Kefir grains aren’t really grains – they similar to Kombucha in so far as they are actually a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast aka SCOBY but are much smaller and form in a different way. They tend to clump more than a Kombucha SCOBY and can start out quite small.
And of course there are fresh grains and dehydrated grains so these little babies are going to look and perform slightly different as well. Throw on top of that the fact that we are talking about live micro organisms, these little babies are therefore going to interact with local wild yeast and bacteria differently also!
As I’ve grown my confidence with Kombucha and somewhat Kefir, I’m coming to realise that while there are some common ground rules, it’s really important to tune in and observe and connect with your ferments.
I don’t drink dairy, however I acknowledge that kefir grains need the active enzymes in dairy to ‘wake them up and energise them’, so I choose to wake mine up in raw unpasteurised milk regularly. In fact, given that I make coconut milk kefir, I tend to strain my grains from the coconut brew and pop them straight in to fresh cow’s milk to keep em happy!
So, working on the principle that you’ve got your grains and are ready to go, you simply need to open a can of good quality coconut milk – choose one that has no guar gum or additives etc. Now I like a thick creamy kefir seen in this pic below, similar to the consistency of yoghurt, so my recipe is made to my preference. If you’d prefer a thinner kefir, add extra filtered water.
I 440 mil can of coconut milk 1 heaped teaspoon kefir grains 1/2 cup filtered water
Pour coconut milk, filtered water and kefir grains in to a wide mouth glass jar and gently mix with a non metal spoon or stirrer. Cover with a linen cloth or paper towel and secure with a rubber band. Leave stand in humid weather for 4 – 6 hours. Once water has separated from the milk the grains will be visible on the bottom of the jar.
Gently strain kefir through a plastic strainer directly into a sealed jar and pop in refrigerate for at least 8 – 12 hours. Place grains into a small sealable jar covered in fresh cows milk in the fridge for your next brew or share with a friend.
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