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.)
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.