KEFIR – Paraphernalia & Process

Making kefir is not difficult. It just needs attending to over a span of a few hours each day. I took a shot of the paraphernalia I use for it:

1. A small bowl
2. Plastic strainer (the one in pic is the medium size of its kind) – NO METAL STRAINERS!!!
3. Ice cream cover (with the center cut out to a size that would fit the strainer bottom snugly)
4. Measuring cup or measuring spoon (able to measure out in TABLESPOON, OUNCES and ML)
5. Glass (kilner jar) or plastic container for the kefir (use good imported plastic if possible, not cheap kind — kefir’s acidity could react with cheap plastic)
6. Coffee filters that fit into the strainer
7. Sponge (for exclusive use of kefir paraphernalia)
8. Perla bar – this is best soap. Others have perfume that could affect kefir.
9. Small plastic spoon (to stir kefir during straining)

You will also have to have liquid milk on hand as well as bottled water. The milk can be fresh or full cream. It does not seem advisable to use skim milk or other types of milk but I still have to do some research on the internet on this. Some have tried soy milk but I think that will give the kefir a different taste.

OK, once you have all these stuff, the process is as follows:

FIRST STRAINED BATCH:

1. Put a coffee filter into strainer, put strainer into ice cream cover, then put these over the bowl.

2. Get the kefir which has stood for 24 hrs. Pour it into strainer.

3. Let stand for 2 hours to drip.

4. The liquid from this initial straining is the most potent. Set it aside for a family member who needs it most (sick, weak, senior citizen, etc.)

SUBSEQUENT STRAININGS:

5. Measure out 200ml water. Pour slowly into kefir in strainer. Sometimes since kefir has coagulated, a very gentle stirring of the bottom ensures that it does not clog the filter’s holes. Allow liquid to drip into bowl. Check once in a while the progress of drip. Once bowl is almost touching strainer bottom, transfer liquid to a glass or plastic pitcher with cover.

6. Put in a second measure of 200 ml water. Again allow liquid to drip into bowl. Stir the bottom of strainer gently with plastic spoon, if necessary, to de-clog blockages by kefir. Transfer liquid to pitcher.

7. Repeat a 3rd time with another 200 ml water and allow to drip. Stir strainer’s bottom gently if needed. Transfer liquid to pitcher.

8. The liquid kefir from all the strainings must be stored in the ref.

CULTURE PREPARATION FOR NEXT DAY’S STRAINING:

9. The kefir remaining in strainer is now ready to be cultured for the next day’s straining.

10. Pour 8 oz. milk into the kefir to activate the fermentation process.

11. Let stand in room temperature (away from direct sunlight) for 24 hrs. The start of the 24-hour counting is from the time of 1st straining, not from the time you added milk. So if you started 1st straining at 6pm, you do the following day’s straining at 6pm also.

SCHEDULE OF STRAININGS:

12. Kefir should be strained for 20 consecutive days. Then it is made to “sleep” in the ref for the next 10 days to gain back its potency. (To keep track, you can mark the kefir’s container with masking tape to indicate straining and sleep days.)

13. During the “sleeping days”, you may opt to stop drinking kefir (or consume any remaining kefir in your ref). Some want to continue drinking so they set aside another batch with a different sleeping schedule so they can use its liquid during the other batch’s sleeping days.

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

* NOTHING METAL should touch the kefir. Metal reacts with the kefir’s acidity.

* Always wash hands prior to handling the kefir and paraphernalia.

* Kefir paraphernalia must be exclusively used only for kefir and not for storing food, etc.

* Kefir paraphernalia should be washed with Perla and sponge used exclusively for this purpose.

* The kefir grains that look like cauliflower must not be mashed to preserve their potency. Stirrings must always be gentle to avoid cutting the grains.

* The kefir will naturally multiply over time. The batch can be divided into 2 or more batches for as long as each batch contains 2-1/2 TBSP of kefir grains. Each batch must have 8 oz. milk to allow it to ferment.

* Any kefir left over in the coffee filter is still usable. Scoop these and use on face as a mask or on rough spots on the body. It is supposed to help soften, moisturize and whiten skin. If there is more than enough kefir even after applying to face and body, store this in clean plastic container in ref for future use.

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22 thoughts on “KEFIR – Paraphernalia & Process

  1. Hi Jane! I’m Mona from U.S.
    I have enjoyed reading all your posts on Kefir!
    After a long search I finally found a lady in California that was kind enough to send me some real kefir grains and I have been making it for the past two months. My experience has been so great that I am now a life-long “kefirhead” 🙂 The only thing I wish for would be raw milk. It seems impossible to get so I use pasteurized whole milk.
    I just wanted to pass onto you the way I make my kefir. It is very different from yours.
    My grains are growing like crazy and the kefir is rich and creamy. It doesn’t seem that I go to as much trouble as you do!
    I never put water on my grains, ever. I have read not to do that as long as they are healthy.
    I have a crock with a cork top that I make the kefir in, placing a paper towel on top and setting the cork top on loosely. The crock is kind of tall- about like spagetti and not very big around.
    I don’t measure anything at all.
    I use a metal stainer because I heard that was a myth not to use metal and I have had NO PROBLEMS. As long as you don’t leave them in it long.
    I estimate one heaping tablespoon of grains for every cup of milk, never measuring. (I don’t think they measured 2000 years ago)
    I don’t rinse the crock out but I scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and wipe the sides (until I get to the freshly poured milk line) with a damp clean paper towel after stirring the new batch in progress.
    I dump the kefir grains in the crock from the strainer after straining. (PLOP)
    I pour about a quarter of a cup of the “new kefir” from the straining in over the grains to inoculate them and then pour the milk in and stir gently with the spatula. The milk is cold straight from fridge. I figure maybe they like a cool dip to invigorate them. Seems to be working because they are very healthy. Some say room temp milk and some say cold milk- I do the easiest and fastest.
    I use a strainer that doesn’t have the little tiny holes (not “fine”) but bigger ones (not huge) so the little “baby” kefir grains can go through and some of them be put back into the new batch, and so the grains drain better. I have read to do this.
    I tap the stainer on the crock to get some out and when it slows down and gets sluggish I then use rubber spatula to go between grains and strainer, leaving some gooey stuff on the grains.
    I have never used coffee filters or waited for hours for my kefir to drain. Just don’t have time!
    I use an emptied milk carton to put my strained kefir in,…the kind with a screw on cap, and I use it over and over without cleaning and switch to a new one every so often. But the stuff on the sides of the milk carton (inside) is good healthy bad bacteria fighting bacteria. I have never had a problem…afterall that’s what it does inside our bodies! Fight bad bacteria so why wouldn’t it do the same in a milk carton IF WE SHAKE IT OFTEN! I shake it several times a day and then leave the cap a little loose. (so it doesn’t explode) lol
    I have read that the kefir will kill any bad bacteria and as long as you stir or shake the bad stuff can never form. I’m still alive and so is my husband! 🙂 YIPPY!! NO WASHING! Can it get any better than that!? (Apparently kefir originated in very unsanitary conditions and they used goatskins to make it)

    One thing I do though is that I clean the openings of all my containers (where air hits and on outside) with a damp paper towel every time there is anything on it.
    And here’s the real shocker I’m sure!!….I NEVER PUT MY KEFIR IN THE FRIDGE. I have tried it and we like it much better at room temp. It’s lemony and bubbly and delicious.
    I just dump the new batch into the milk carton with the old batch, and I have a glass pitcher that I dump the carton’s kefir into when it gets too full, leaving some in the carton to mix with the new stuff.
    I have heard that it gets more healthy as it sits out.
    We usually end up drinking the batch (I make 4 cups at a time) within two days anyway.
    One more thing! I make my kefir at 10 am and then stir it once before I go to bed. Sometimes if I think of it I stir it twice within the 24 or so hour period.
    Wow! That took a long time to write all that!
    Keep on “Kefiring” and enjoy Health!
    Take Care~
    Mona

    p.s. I also put kefir on my face for a mask and it works great.
    It does not stop perspiration but it stops odor and “some” perspiration. You still sweat a little but not as bad.

    Jane: Hi there Mona and thank you for taking the time to write me such a LONG letter. I truly appreciate it. You know, I have read different ways of culturing kefir and yours is definitely one way that is different from how I do it. I may just experiment with different ways later, including yours. I wonder though if climate has a bearing on the procedure since you are in a temperate zone while I am definitely in a tropical country.

    Nevertheless, I am happy to find someone who is a firm kefir believer. And who also uses leftover kefir as a face mask. Let’s continue to exchange experiences!

  2. Hi, I too am interested to acquire some grains. Where is SG can I find them?

    Thanks
    Nadira

    @Nadira – Hi Nadira. I replied to your earlier query. Sorry, I am not familiar with where kefir grains are available in Singapore. I hope some other Singapore-based reader of your query can help.

  3. Hi Jane,I have Kefir grains and as u know it grows like crazy.I wish I had more people around me believing in Kefir so I wold give away some.Because I love it so much I never through it away,and I put it in plastic containers with water and I freez it.The other day I try to use some of the frozen to see if it works and it did work. Now I have my freezer half full of it, and I feel so bad that I will have to trough it away.Do u have any good ideas what should I do with It?Thanks Kiki

    @Kiki – The best thing to do with your kefir grains is to give it away to friends and family to encourage them to take kefir as well. I have never tried freezing my kefir so I do not know how it would fare after thawing. But it seems in your case, it still grows. There are many recipes on the internet that you can check to see how else you can use kefir. I know some people use it as salad dressing.

    • Hi Kiki/Liza! I’ve been using kefir milk for almost a year now. My problem is i don;t get the milk often. I emailed PCARRD where can I get kefir grains.. They referred me to this link. Where can i get in touch with you? I am looking for months now where can I find kefir grains. Hope you can help me..

  4. I can never thank you enough for introducing kefir to me and my family. I am loving the process and am still haven’t passed the stage of being amazed just yet. God bless you and your heart. 🙂

  5. Hi Jane. I live in Singapore and I would appreciate if you could send me some kefir grains. Mine died. Probable cause was accidental exposure to the sun.

    Thanks.

    @Sharon – Hello. I don’t think I can send you kefir grains since mine are not the freeze-dried kind but the wet kind and this cannot be shipped abroad due to stringent importation rules. I hope you can find kefir grains in Singapore.

  6. Hi, I’m Eric, I like to make a kefir Milk but don’t have a kefir grains, Hope you can send me some grains. My email is cire_of_selbor@yahoo.com I’am in Bambang St. Sta. Cruz Manila.

    @Eric – Kefir grains cannot be mailed because of its semi watery content. I can only provide the grains if this can be picked up from an office in Pasay City. Do contact me again and let me know if you can pick it up there.

  7. Pingback: GreenBucks » Blog Archive » Kefir as Facial Wash

  8. Cool stuff, Jane 😉

    How may I request kefir from you?

    Regards,

    Reggie

    @Reggie – If you’re in Metro Manila, email me again if you’re willing to pick it up from either Pasay or QC.

    • hi jane,

      i’m ready to pickup the kefir 🙂 i’m coming from eastwood, so whichever is closer.

      regards,

      reggie

      @Reggie – Will email you details separately. Thanks!

  9. HI there!

    Please email me your contact details.. am looking for kefir grains. I’m from Davao City, would you know somebody here culturing kefir grains? Thanks and God bless.

    regards,

    rochie

  10. Hi! Ms. Jane.. a friend of mine introduced KEFIR to me and it works wonders (I saw improvements & beneifts on her).. Ms. Jane can I aske for some grains? and by the way, is it okay if I give some to my child (he’s 9 years old)… thank you very much…

    @Lorena – Emailed you privately already.

  11. Dear Jane,

    It is so nice to know that you are generous enough to share your knowledge and kefir grains to people. May i ask if you can give me, too? My mother has GERD and my husband needs to recover from an operation. I know that it can really benefit them and my kids, too.

    I can pick up the grains either in Quezon City or in Pasay. Thank you so much Jane! May God bless you always!

    Very sincerely,

    Pam

    @Pam – Will email you privately. Of course I can share my grains with you.

  12. Hi Jane,
    Please help me to get kefir grains in QC Vibal Foundation. I would like to produce kefir products for my family.

    @Greg – I am not sure if we can still pass the kefir grains through Vibal in QC. I will email you privately to see how else we can get it to you.

  13. Hi Jane,

    I’ve been reading up on kefir lately and have just started on a Paleo diet. Would you still have Kerif Grains for sharing? Very interested in procuring some. I live in QC and willing to meet up where convenient!

    Thank You!
    Bugsy

  14. Hello Jane

    Am i correct in thinking you live in Davao city?
    If so i would be very interested to aquire some Kefir grains if possible as i too live in Davao.

    Many thanks
    Chris

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