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How to Care for Live Kefir Grains | The Healthy Home Economist


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The current article on the best type of kefir starter generated plenty of questions on the right way to activate and in any other case look after stay kefir grains. It’s clear that a lot of you now perceive the massive probiotic benefit of homemade kefir cultured this manner in comparison with powdered starter.

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The care and feeding of kefir grains is so easy that actually anybody can do it.

Reactivating Kefir Grains

Whenever you first buy kefir grains from a reputable source, they’ve been out of milk for a brief time period in the course of the time it took to ship to your door.

This weakens them barely.

Thus, you possibly can’t use them instantly out of the package deal to ferment kefir. They have to be reactivated first, which takes on common about 36-72 hours to perform. The eight steps beneath describe the easy course of:

  1. Place the grains in a large mouth mason jar.
  2. Pour in a single cup of recent entire milk, safe the lid, and depart on the kitchen counter at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
  3. After the required 12-24 hours, pour in one other cup of entire milk and resecure the lid.
  4. Let the jar sit on the counter for one more 12-24 hours. It’s best to now discover that the milk has turn out to be barely bubbly.
  5. Take away the grains from the milk with a non-metal strainer (contact with metallic weakens them over time) and place them with out rinsing them off in a clear mason jar. You might use the partially fermented milk from the sooner steps in smoothies.
  6. Repeat steps 2 and three.
  7. Hopefully, after this second time round, the milk will likely be utterly coagulated into kefir, which is the consistency of drinkable model yogurt. If the grains are particularly weak and full coagulation has not but occurred, pressure the grains out and repeat steps 2 and three once more.
  8. As soon as the grains are coagulating correctly, they’re able to ferment a full quart of milk inside 12-24 hours.

Ought to Milk be Heated?

A typical query is whether or not the milk used for making kefir or reactivating the grains needs to be warmed.

You actually don’t want to do that.

I’ve all the time used milk proper out of the fridge. The milk shortly involves room temperature, which is the purpose at which the kefir grains will turn out to be energetic.

Kefir grains work at any temperature between 40 and 80 levels Fahrenheit. Thus, it’s best to have the ability to reactivate kefir grains and/or make kefir throughout any season of the 12 months at no matter temperature you discover most comfy in your house.

Ought to Kefir Grains Be Rinsed?

There’s some disagreement about whether or not kefir grains ought to ever be rinsed between batches.

I’m of the varsity of thought that it’s best to by no means rinse them.

I’ve tried rinsing kefir grains once in a while through the years, and with out fail, it appears to weaken them to the purpose the place it takes a number of batches of kefir for them to re-strengthen again to their previous selves.

Since my expertise rinsing kefir grains has by no means been a very good one, I might advocate that you simply keep away from the follow. After straining kefir grains, place them straight right into a clear glass jar for the subsequent batch with out rinsing. If they’re glugged up with cream, that’s high quality. In truth, kefir grains appear to choose it this manner!

What to Do with Extras

As you proceed to ferment kefir one batch after one other, you’ll discover that your kefir grains begin to develop.

Because you solely want a small clump of grains in regards to the measurement of a ping pong ball to ferment a quart of kefir, any additional could be given away to family and friends.

Another choice is to easily eat them for his or her probiotic advantages. They don’t have a lot style and the feel is sort of a gummy.

Freezing or Dehydrating

One factor you positively don’t need to do with extra kefir grains is freeze or dehydrate them.  This may kill them and no quantity of reactivating will deliver them again to life.

So, when you’ve got extras, your choices are merely to eat them, give them away, or compost for your garden.

Easy methods to Retailer Kefir Grains Between Batches

Kefir grains will final for weeks within the fridge if you should take a break between batches for no matter motive.

Merely place them…unrinsed…in a clear mason jar and pour in 2 cups of milk. Safe the lid and refrigerate.

They are going to be simply high quality for a few month this manner.

As soon as you’re able to ferment kefir once more, it’s possible you’ll have to reactivate them based mostly on the eight steps above. In the event you’ve solely taken a break for per week or much less, you in all probability can go straight into fermenting once more.

If it’s been longer, the grains could be a bit weak and wish refreshing.

Non-Dairy Use of Kefir Grains

Notice that kefir grains can tradition nearly any beverage or fruit that accommodates some sort of sugar. It usually takes a bit longer to ferment these kind of drinks, nonetheless. For instance, fermenting a quart of recent juice often takes 24-48 hours as a substitute of the same old 12-24 hours for dairy milk.

Regardless of this means, kefir grains choose to be in dairy milk. So if you’re utilizing them primarily for non-dairy functions, you should definitely ferment a batch of entire milk dairy kefir now and again to maintain them robust and rising. I like to recommend not more than three consecutive batches of non-dairy kefir adopted by a restorative batch of dairy kefir to maintain them wholesome.

In the event you don’t eat any dairy, it’s best to make use of water kefir grains as a substitute which might be particularly grown in sugar and water and gained’t require periodic refreshing in dairy milk. The draw back is that water kefir grains do not add as many probiotics to a beverage as milk kefir grains do.

By taking good care of your kefir grains, there is no such thing as a motive why they shouldn’t final you a lifetime!


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