What You Need to Know Before Making Milk Kefir
Kefir is a fermented drink similar to a runny yogurt made using kefir grains. Kefir is a good source of probiotics and is beneficial for digestive health. Kefir is easy to make at home. Here are a few things to know before making milk kefir.
What Type of Container Can I Ferment My Kefir In?
There are a few container options to choose from when making kefir. However, there are some that are better than others, and some you should avoid altogether.
- Ceramic – Ceramic isn’t recommended for fermentation as some glazes used contain lead. However, you may be able to find one coated with a food-grade glaze.
- Plastic – Plastic is also not the best choice for fermenting. Plastic often contains harmful chemicals which can seep into your kefir during fermentation. It is also easily damaged and scratched. This allows bacteria to hide and grow.
- Metal – This is another container that is not suitable for fermentation. Metals can degrade in the acidic environment created by fermentation and is susceptible to rust. However, medical-grade stainless steel can be suitable in some instances.
- Glass – Glass is definitely the best choice for fermenting foods. Glass doesn’t scratch easily or allow bacteria to grow. Glass doesn’t contain harmful chemicals and won’t react to the acidic environment. Kefir jars are specifically made for the fermentation process.
Should I Cover My Milk Kefir During Fermentation?
When making kefir, coving it properly during fermentation is important. Many people will use a cloth and rubber band to cover their kefir, however, this increases the risk of contamination. Kefir needs to be covered with a good lid that allows airflow and prevents contamination.
Does Kefir Need a Breathable Lid?
Kefir is an aerobic culture and needs oxygen to function properly. A breathable lid is recommended, and also reduces the risk of explosions from the pressure. Using an airtight lid during fermentation will increase the carbonation, which is something you can do later if you choose. Kefir gains thrive when exposed to oxygen. A good lid will allow oxygen to flow and keep out contamination.
You can buy kefir jars specifically for making milk kefir. They can make the process much simpler. A kefir maker not only looks good, but it also has a lid that controls airflow and a built-in strainer to make the cleaning up process easier.
What Temperature Does Milk Kefir Prefer?
When fermenting kefir, room temperature is usually sufficient. Between 18 and 28 degrees is good, however, 22 degrees is ideal. A yogurt maker should never be used, but a warm spot is advisable if the room temperature drops too low.
What is the Best Method for Storing Kefir?
Once you have made your kefir it is best to store it in the fridge in a clean glass container. Just like during fermentation, plastic and metal containers are not recommended for storing kefir. Kefir should keep well in the fridge for quite some time.
Making Kefir at Home: 4 Simple Steps to Follow:
- Measure out your kefir grains
- Add milk
- Place lid on and allow airflow
- Ferment at room temperature for 24 hours
Click here for full details and ingredients to begin making homemade kefir.