First Batch of Kefir

A few months ago, before a yoga class, I was talking with classmates about fermented food and how to make kim chi. My teacher asked if I had ever made kefir and when I said no but I have wanted to, she said that she would share some grains when they were ready.

Last month, she brought me about a tablespoon of the ‘grains’ in milk and a container and I added them to a jar (with more milk, effectively staring the ferment again). I let it sit on the counter for 24 hours but it didn’t seem to be done in that amount of time, so I let it sit another day. That time, it looked ready. It didn’t thicken like I’ve read sometimes happens, but it definitely begun to look right and smelled sort of like fresh bread and yogurt. Two days in my cold kitchen is what it seems to take.

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I carefully poured the kefir into another jar, using a picnic fork to keep the grains separate. I then started a new batch and popped the fermented kefir into the fridge. When I tried it later, I was surprised to discover that although it didn’t look bubbly, it felt bubbly! Until that taste there had been lingering doubt that it had worked! Since there is tons more probiotics (and beneficial yeasts) in kefir than yogurt, I’m only going to make small amounts until I’ve weaned myself on and my grains have increased.

I’m so excited about having received the grains (reading our cheese book, I wondered where on earth I would even acquire them), how easy it was to make, and look forward to sharing grains when I begin to have extra.

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