Kefir is an ancient natural tart, yogurt-like beverage made from fermented milk.
One of the richest sources of probiotics, kefir is prepared and made from kefir grains. It takes more than 24 hours to make kefir from kefir grains. Then the grains have to be strained out before drinking the kefir. The strained out grains can then be used to make new kefir.
Purchasing and using a kefir starter is a good way to produce kefir if you don’t have kefir grains. A kefir starter contains packages of kefir grains and is perfect for the beginner and expert kefir maker. The kefir starter kits are manufactured by many companies and it could be bought over the counter in grocery shops or it could be ordered online from the websites that sell them. Kefir starter will typically contain 6 packets. Each of these packets could be used 6 to 7 times depending on the brand. The starter has to be used with milk. Cow’s milk is ideal, but other milk also can be used as well. Vegan options of making kefir include using coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk or hemp milk. The taste of course will differ depending on the milk base you use.
One packet in the starter has to be added to 1 liter or a quarter gallon of cow’s milk of room temperature. After stirring well, it has to be kept in room temperature for fermentation. The kefir will be ready in 16-20 hours. If coconut milk is used, it will take double the time required than when using other type of milk. The starter when used with other types of milk than cow’s milk gives watery kefir. Kefir once prepared has to be stirred well and stored in the refrigerator as this slows down the process of fermentation. It has to be consumed within 1 week.
When you want to make new kefir, 3-4 tablespoons of already made kefir has to be added to 1 liter of milk. 6 batches of kefir could be made from one packet of kefir starter. Its shelf life is 12 months. The shelf life can be prolonged by refrigeration.