Mel’s Menu: Adventures with Kiefer Sourland – The Kefir Starter

I grew up with this delicious beverage. But we called it Acidophilus, which is partly true. That is one of the dozens of probiotic strains in Kefir. 


Recently I started drinking Kefir again, as part of my immune boosting anti-covid routine. Dang that got expensive fast! Some stores are charging $7 for 32 ounces. Most of the time I can find it for about $3 to $4. The cost was adding up fast, but I really love the stuff. Plus it was helping with acid stomach which I am prone to. 


So I decided to go back to my youth and start making my own. I ordered my grains from Amazon. There are some great Kefir starter sets available on Etsy but I only needed the grains. 


Once my grains arrived, I got them into some milk immediately. It did take a few batches of just feeding the grains to get them to bounce back from the shipping process. I did milk changes every 12 hours and I started to see those lovely chucks on the 5th batch. 

Now everything I could find says to let the milk and grains do their thing for 12 to 24 hours. I was leaving them for 24 because 12 just wasn’t funky enough. I almost gave up on the whole thing because mine didn’t taste like the yummy stuff I remember from childhood or the commercial brands I was buying. Thankfully I talked to my sister Maria about it. She reminded me that we used to let ours go for 48 hours, sometimes even longer. Maria has never steered me wrong, so I gave it a try. NOW it’s perfect! 


Kefir is like crime solving. The first 48 hours are the most crucial. You gotta give it time to bring on the funk. Please note that some say the probiotics start to die off if you go longer than 24 hours. I don’t care at 24 hours I wasn’t drinking it. But now at 48 hours I can’t get enough of it. Nigel loves it too. I mix a little in with his wet food. It’s been helping a lot with his acid stomach he gets from the prescription food he’s on for his bladder stones. 


As I was writing this blog, I stumbled on this article. Where was this when I started this whole thing? This will give you an idea of the taste depending on how long you let it get funktified.  


As my grains grow (which they do, like a weed) I am getting into making my own soft cheeses. It’s a lot of fun and doesn’t take up too much time. Most of the time is just letting the grains eat up all the lactose and turn it into lactic acid, then for cheese you are just draining the whey off. Easy Peasy! 

Next I will make homemade butter. Stay tuned for more of my adventures with Kiefer Sourland.


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