Homemade Kefir has so many health benefits, it is worth the time to learn how to make it and once you have it is really simple.
Directions taken from Body Ecology Kefir Starter Kit.
1. Into a container (preferably glass with an airtight lid), mix entire foil package kefir and one quart of milk or young coconut water that has been heated to skin
temperature (about 92 degrees).
*IMPORTANT* If using goat’s milk, use two cups milk and entire package of starter for the initial batch. After that you may make as much as you want depending on how much liquid is transferred from the previous batch (transfer ratios listed below).
2. Whisk and stir well. Put the lid on the container.
3. It is important to ferment at 72-75 F for 18 to 24 hours. It will thicken (slightly clumpy) and have a distinct sour aroma.
4. Once thickened, shake or stir vigorously and refrigerate. Kefir still ferments in the refrigerator, but the process is slower.
Transfer Instructions (Best to make transfers within 3 days)
This is for using the kefir you have already made to start new batches of Kefir instead of buying more starter. Before you finish drinking your initial batch begin the second by taking out some (see below for ratio) of the initial batch and combining with freshly warmed milk. You may repeat this approximately seven times before you will need another foil packet. Body Ecology’s unique kefir starter contains strong, viable lactobacillus bacteria and two strains of beneficial yeast that are unusually hardy, making the transfer process possible. This is only found with our starters. Make transfers using the following proportions:
1 quart use 6 tablespoons of previous batch
1/2 gallon use 2/3 cup of previous batch
1 gallon use 1 cup of previous batch
*these transfer ratios also apply to goat’s milk & coconut water
Do not add more than recommended amounts of previous batch. This will result in a taste moresour than you may prefer.
Making Kefir Cheese
1. Make Kefir as instructed, but let the freshly made kefir remain at room temperature for several hours longer. The curds (milk protein) will separate from the whey.
2. Line a strainer with cheesecloth. Place strainer over bowl and pour the curds and whey mixture through the
strainer. The strainer will catch the “cheese” or curds and the whey will go into the bowl. Place the strainer and
bowl into your refrigerator and let it drain for several more hours. Store in a covered container for up to 5 days.
*WARNING* Once Kefir is placed into the refrigerator and cooled, the fermentation process is inhibited. You CANNOT then bring it back out to room temperature to turn into cheese.
Uses for Kefir Cheese
This cheese is excellent tossed into salads. It is also delicious flavored (e.g. chopped onions, garlic, sea salt, fresh herbs) and served with an assortment of raw vegetables.