General and generic information on Milk Kefir Grains

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April 25, 2015 by transilvanian

Probiotic Kefir GrainsAnyone who does any research into health foods and particularly in the field of probiotics will quickly come across the topic of kefir. Kefir is a probiotic food that has been compared to yogurt in that it is made from milk and contains beneficial organisms. Anyone who is interested in kefir will soon find that kefir is created by use of kefir grains. The next topic of interest might be how does one go about growing your own kefir grains.

If you would like to grow your own kefir grains it will be helpful to know what a kefir grain is. A kefir grain is a clump of yeasts and bacteria that is whitish in color, somewhat resembles a piece of cauliflower and is at largest about the size of a walnut. The reason it doesn’t typically get larger than a walnut is because it will divide over time into multiple grains once it is about the size of a walnut.

If you grow your own kefir grains you also must know how to obtain a kefir grain. Kefir grains can be purchased as dried grains through the mail or at a store, but this is not ideal if you want to quickly start with kefir. This is because dried grains are in a dormant state and will take time to reverse this. Instead you should try to get an active kefir grain.

When you grow your own kefir grains you must know how to keep them alive. Kefir organisms eat lactose, so you must keep them in milk of some kind basically at all times. Cow milk is most common, but goat milk or sheep milk can also be used. If kefir is not in some milk containing lactose it will die within a few days. If you need to take a trip and can’t be taking care of your kefir, you can put it in the refrigerator which will greatly reduce the speed it reproduces and thus give it more time before it will consume the lactose and die.

Once you have a kefir grain you are ready to grow your own kefir grains by putting it in milk. Place it in a spot where it can be room temperature and is not likely to be spilled. Place a lid on it, but keep it loose because gasses are produced as the kefir ferments the milk. In about a day the kefir will thicken. At this point you may take the grain out and put it in fresh milk, or wait another day.

Each time a batch of kefir is make you will see the kefir grain growing. After several batches of kefir have been produced, the grain will have grown enough that it will split. You have now produced your own kefir grain. You can give it to a friend, sell it or use it to now make two batches at once.

In conclusion, growing kefir grains is fun and fairly easy. Follow the tips above to grow kefir grains successfully.

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2 thoughts on “General and generic information on Milk Kefir Grains

  1. susan patricia chibnall says:

    someone has asked where do Kifir grains come from and I think I remember you telling me from the cows stomach somewhere is that right!??

    • Hi Pat, as far as I know the kefir grains actually come from a sheep’s stomach, and it was the shepherds in the Caucasus mountains that started using them to culture milk.

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