Preparing kefir at home is simple—within 24 hours it’s ready to be consumed. Yogurt and kefir are both fermented milk products but contain different bacteria and yeast. Of the two, kefir excels mainly because of the bacteria and yeast contents.
How to prepare kefir at home
Kefir can be prepared from sheep, cow, goat, soy, or coconut milk. It’s easy to prepare kefir using a starter culture and whatever milk you choose. The starter culture contains bacteria that commence fermentation. I’ve many times used Body Ecology Kefir Starter.
Body Ecology Kefir Starter contains the following microorganisms
- Lactococcus lactis
- Lactococcus cremoris
- Lactococcus diacetylactis
- Leuconostoc mesenteroides
- Lactobacillus kefyr
- Klyveromyces marxianus
- Saccaromyces unisporus
- In a container, mix one package of kefir starter and one quart of slightly warmed milk (skin temperature or 92 degrees).
- Stir or whip with a whisk to mix well and put the lid on.
- Let it ferment at 72-75 F for 18-24 hours for animal milk. (It might take 24-48 hours for coconut water.)
- Shake or stir vigorously and place into the refrigerator. Even in the refrigerator fermentation continues at a slow pace.
When is the kefir ready?
You will notice it is ready if the milk has thickened and has a distinctive, sour fragrance. Final consistency is pourable but not “eat with a spoon” thick. Coconut water will not thicken like milk, it becomes cloudy and less sweet.
To some degree, you can determine the thickness and taste by changing the temperature and how long you allow the fermentation to go on. Kefir should be somewhat thicker than milk and have a creamy texture.
Homemade kefir can keep for up to a week in the fridge.