Sunday, January 15, 2012

November's Au Lait du Mois: Kefir

We had a power outage a while back and my freezer contents suffered. I wasn't sure how my cultures did, but it seems like they weathered the heat. I made the kefir with a half gallon of whole milk and I let it sit for 24 hours. It turned out nice and thick.

I used half of the kefir in smoothies and I used the other half to make kefir cheese. The smoothies contained pineapple, strawberries and bananas along with the kefir. They were a hit.

There are two different ways to make kefir. One uses a kefir culture, as described below. The other, more authentic, method uses live kefir grains. The Gourmet Home Dairy Kit recommends contacting Marilyn, the Kefir Lady, to buy live kefir grains.

You can reculture the kefir culture at least once before it loses its kick. But the live kefir grains can be kept alive, at least in theory, in perpetuity. To re-culture the kefir culture, use 2 T of the prepared kefir in 1 qt of milk and follow the same directions set out below.

Kefir adapted from Ricki Carroll's Gourmet Home Dairy Kit
  • 2 quarts pasteurized whole milk
  • 1 packet kefir culture
  • 2 qt. pot
  • Dairy Thermometer
  • Yogotherm yogurt incubator
  • Pour the milk into the pot and affix the thermometer in a readable position.
  • Put the pot on medium heat and stir occasionally until it reaches between 76 and 86 degrees.
  • Pour milk into the Yogotherm yogurt incubator
  • Add the packet of Kefir Culture and stir thoroughly.
  • After between 12 and 15 hours - or 24 hours is your a busy mom, check for a thick consistency.
  • When it is at the correct consistency, put the Yogotherm insert in the fridge
Previous Au Lait du Mois:

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