Kefir production begins by collecting a group of kefir grains and soaking it in the liquid that one will use to ferment the grains. The most common of such liquids is milk. Although a starter set or collection of kefir grains are necessary to start the fermentation process, kefir grains grow in size and number during the fermentation process as well. Obtaining grains for one’s starter set is easy, as they can be bought or even asked for free from kefir growers.
Traditionally, a certain percentage of kefir grains are infused in milk in a container that is covered and free from acid. The container should be shaken or stirred a couple of times a day to ensure proper fermentation. The container should not be filled so that the kefiran and carbon dioxide produced during the expansion for fermentation will have room to grow.
One more thing to consider during kefir production is where that container is stored. Make sure that it is in a dark place to ensure ultimate absorption of nutrients. After 24 hours of fermentation in 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit or 10-25 degrees Celsius, the grains are sieved from the liquid and are put in another batch of liquid for the second fermentation stage.
The temperature during this second time is no longer very relevant to the fermentation process. Just ensure that the temperature is in the range of 104 degrees Fahrenheit and 39 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius and 4 degrees Celsius.
This second batch of liquid is now ready for consumption. Some preparation methods tend to keep the second fermentation longer so as to make the liquid sour and thicker.
Kefir can be produced using powder cultures available in a variety of health shops. The resulting kefir from the starter set could be kept for future fermentation.
To know more about this wonderful grains:
- Let’s Wallop – The History of kefir
- Benefitsofkefir.com – What is Kefir?
- Vilmave Food Blog – The Power of Kefir
- Blackstrap Molasses