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what do I do with my kefir grains?

614 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  caedmyn
I just got some kefir grains in the mail and I have no idea what to do with them now! How do I make kefir? How do I store the grains? How often do I have to make kefir to keep them going? Maybe someone can do a quick "kefir for dummies" tutorial for me
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You need to put them in milk - raw, pasteurized ... whole milk is best but 2% works too ... skim milk is the worse - and let them kefir. Your first batch (and sometimes the second) may not be up to snuff, so to speak. But once your grains get used to things, you should be able to kefir your milk in about 24-36 hours.

How many grains do you have (measurement wise - about a tablespoon? A little less?)? If you have about a tablespoon, put them in a glass jar with about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of milk. Put the lid on and then put then in the back of the cupboard and let them go to work. If you think about it, you can shake the bottle up a couple times while they are kefir'ing. When done, use a plastic strainer to strain the kefir from the grains (I use a plastic collander on top of a plastic bowl ... the kefir grains go back in the mason jar and the fresh kefir goes in a clean jar). Pour new milk on the grains, and put the already kefir'd milk in the fridge (some people will do a second fermentation for another 24 hours after straining in the cupboard - I've never done that though and just put my fresh kefir in the fridge).

If you find you are making too much kefir too quickly, you can kefir your milk in the fridge (I do this especially in the summer when I can get kefir'd milk in as little as 12 hours!). It usually takes about 3-4 days to get a creamy kefir, so it can buy you some time. You can also "fast" your grains in the fridge in fresh, filtered water for a week or so. But always make sure you eventually get them back in fresh milk as that's where they get their food.

I have left kefir grains in the back of our garage fridge (doesn't get opened very often) in a jar of milk for 6 months, and they revived just fine. Anything past that, though, could kill them or at least stunt their growth so that they don't multiply anymore.

Keep asking if you have more questions! And happy kefir'ing!
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That does help...I have kind of a unique situation going right now so maybe if I explain what's going on you can give me a good solution to keep these grains alive.

I think my EBF DD may have a dairy allergy...I'm taking steps to "fix" that (long story) and am planning on eventually (in a couple of months) trying kefir to see if she can tolerate it. So basically for now I'd like to just store the grains and not keep making kefir that won't get used, but I will keep making it if necessary.

So...what if I make a couple of batches to get them going and then store them in the fridge? Of course the fridge does get opened a lot but I could always make a new batch of kefir every month or so if that would help. Does that sound like a workable plan to keep these grains going?
That would work. How old is your dd?
If I were storing them that long, I think I'd freeze them.

Good luck with the dairy allergy!
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