Milk Kefir Grains

I love milk kefir.  I should be subdued and say “I really like it” and not come off as a weirdo but the truth is that it has so many health benefits and makes me feel so good that “love” is probably more accurate.  I drink at least a pint per day and culture just shy of 2 liters per day for myself and my family.  Mostly we drink it.  I prefer it straight or with a bit of raw cinnamon (no sugar) stirred in.  My kids like it with a bit of raw honey (mixed with a bit of water to keep the two strains of bacteria from fighting) and we also put it in smoothies.  I bake with it as it’s a great replacement for buttermilk and also means I can leave out baking powder in a lot of recipes… because baking powder is often full of crap.  Not literally, but who wants to eat aluminum and chemicals? Not me.  It makes our bread soft and fluffy, our muffins puffy and as the grains eat up most or all of the lactose in the milk it is also kind on the tummy.  It also makes a killer awesome coconut yogurt, which is totally worth the extra fiddling it sometimes takes to make. So there is my schpeal as to why I think it’s wonderful.  It’s even better if you can find a local source of humanely treated Jersey cows for the milk as they produce milk much higher in protein.

I sometimes have milk kefir grains for sale (I always do, but it depends on supply and demand).  If you would like to buy some, there is a link on the right.  You will need supplies, so please read through the care and directions before purchasing.

Milk Kefir Care & Directions:

Grains need new milk, coconut milk or coconut water every 8-14 hours. You will need 2 glass jars with plastic or spring/clamp lids, a nylon mesh sieve and an appropriate size funnel.

I use a 5.5” stainless steel funnel, 5.5” nylon mesh strainer, and glass mason jars with plastic lids.

Use whole milk (pasteurized is fine but not ultra-pasteurized). I have used organic valley grass fed, Market of Choice’s own brand regular hormone free whole milk, and Garry’s.  If you can’t afford non-ultrapasturized organic milk, you will need to find your own local source.  Some regular pasturized milks are still heated too high during processing and therefore do not give the kefir grains the food they need, because the milk is essentially dead or at least part dead.  Think of your kefir (and all probiotic organisms you plan to culture) like a beloved pet and you’ll find you fare better in keeping it alive.  It’s needs and wants periodically change and you’ll need to be adaptable.

Coconut milk or coconut water (pure) can be used but the grains will need to be refreshed with real hormone free non-ultra pasteurized milk.

Proportions are as follows:

5g/1/2 Tbsp grains to 250ml/ 1/2 pint milk

10g/1Tbsp grains to 0.5 Litre/ 1 Pint milk

(20g/2Tbsp to 1 liter/1 quart milk)

Decide how much you will consume and buy the appropriate jars:

1 Pint/16oz/500ml Glass Mason

1 Quart/32oz/1 Liter Glass Mason

2 Quart/64oz/2 Liter Glass Mason

Strain the grains using a fine mesh sieve into a new jar (I used to use a screw top 2Qt Mason but now I use a hermetic sealing jug) and store in the fridge for drinking, breadmaking etc

Weigh the grains in a glass jar and add milk proportionally.  Store on counter out of direct sunlight for 8-14 hours.  Optimal temperature is 22 degrees celsius.  The process will be slower at lower temperatures and faster at higher temp.

If you are not accustomed to milk kefir, start slowly with consuming 1 Tbsp per day and double every few days until you can drink a glass.  Some people experience candida die off and will have flu like symptoms if they hit it too hard too fast.  This is good, but does not feel good when it happens to you.  My son and I did this when we started drinking it and were knocking back a pint glass daily.  His symptoms were worse than mine (which only lasted about 2 hours) and he had a rash on top of what looked like a flu for more than half the day.  I was able to flush it out with water kefir after a bit of a bacteria epiphany, but I would still recommend starting it slowly as people vary in their health and for some it could last for days.

So message me if you would like some.  If it is all overwhelming and you would just like the whole flopping kit sent to you I can put it together but the wait will be longer and the charge will be about $50.

I mail grains out on Mondays only to avoid having them stuck in the mail over the weekend.  When you receive them rinse them out in your mesh sieve with non-chlorinated water and put them in a clean glass jar with the appropriate amount of milk, leaving 1-2″ of room at the top to avoid explosions.  Watch the magic and enjoy!

Again, here are the supplies you’ll need:

5.5” stainless steel funnel,

5.5” nylon mesh strainer or the middle one from this set

1 Pint/16oz/500ml Glass Mason

1 Quart/32oz/1 Liter Glass Mason

2 Quart/64oz/2 Liter Glass Mason

plastic mason jar lids

hermetic sealing jug