How Much Mik Should An 18 Month Old Be Drinking Making Creamy Cold-Fermented Kefir at Home

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Making Creamy Cold-Fermented Kefir at Home

I like to make kefir at home. You can find many resources that teach you how to make kefir, but I know of a way to make it that’s a little different. This article assumes you know at least the basics of making kefir. I’ll explain how I make it, but I assume you know all about fermentation time and what a properly fermented batch looks like.

Several years ago when I started making kefir, my kefir grains multiplied to the point that I could ferment a gallon of milk at a time. The problem here is that since I was the only one who really drank it at the time, and it only takes 24-48 hours to ferment, I couldn’t drink it fast enough. The other problem I had came in the summer. Kefir ferments much faster when it’s hot. I lived in an apartment where it could easily reach 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit, and I usually went to my parents’ lake house on summer weekends, so I didn’t want to leave a gallon of fermenting milk alone explosive in the kitchen. We actually turned off the window air conditioners when we went away for the weekend and it was a second floor apartment so the temperatures rose a lot. I decided to try a cold fermentation. The colder the temperature, the slower the fermentation. Now you can mix this as you wish. You can start it at room temperature to get it going, then put it in the fridge when it has reached the proper “cooking” and leave it there where it will continue to ferment but at a much slower rate. You can take your time getting there and you don’t have to worry about it exploding or turning into cheese.

Let’s review the first part of the ferment, which is the basis for making kefir. Please wash your hands thoroughly before proceeding.

First you need kefir grains, which are little rubbery-textured white things that look like cauliflower florets. No one has been able to figure out where the first ones came from or by what mechanism they were created. They get bigger and fall off a bit from most of it, then those parts get bigger in turn in the milk until they have pieces that fall off and grow and it goes on and on. As far as we know, all the kefir grains on earth came from the first batches of the Russian-Georgian region of the Caucasus mountain range where the Muslim tribesmen considered them a gift from God like the manna that nourished the ancient Israelites in the desert even before that. .

You also need milk. You can use any type of mammalian milk, but cow’s, goat’s, and sheep’s milks are the most commonly used. I have personally made kefir with cow’s and goat’s milk. I prefer the taste of goat’s milk to cow’s milk and also like goat’s kefir better, but I make it in small quantities due to the high cost of goat’s milk. To make a gallon, just use cow’s milk as long as you’re ok with it and there’s no allergy to bovine mammary secretions (milk). Where I live, I’m fortunate to be able to get organic, grass-fed, I assume creamy non-homogenized milk from Jersey cows, which is MUCH creamier and fattier than milk from more commonly available Holstein cows and more watery. Unfortunately for most people, they are stuck with BGH-blended, homogenized Holstein milk from grain-fed cows. Hey, you use what you have. Kefir will even make this milk safe to drink, but if you can opt for organic milk from grass-fed cows.

You will need bowls and tools. I prefer the Pyrex style glass bowls and the plastic ladle and colander. You need plastic, not metal tools for all of this. Also try using glass bowls, measuring cups, etc. I also use a Pyrex style quartz pouring container with a handle. I laid out paper towels to catch any dripping pages, but you don’t have to. You want all your stuff clean. You also need containers to store strained kefir. I use old cleaned plastic mayonnaise jars. They are made of food grade plastic. Use food grade plastics or glass. This one is optional but really adds to the drinking ability. A kitchen blender or electric hand mixer. You should also have at least two tall glass jars with snap-on lids and rubber seals. That’s what I use. You can use any glass jar or food grade plastic jar. I recommend a large one to keep all your milk and cereal in one container, but I suppose you can split it into two smaller ones if the large one is too bulky for some reason. You will also need a large, wide-mouthed funnel. This is also optional, but we will see later where it will be useful.

Lay out all your stuff. All of this assumes that you already have enough kefir grains to make that large amount and that it has already fermented at least once to make a batch. You should have put it all together and fermented it then chilled it in the fridge to slow it down or started it at room temperature then kept it cold longer to allow your consumption to catch up. your fermentation or maybe you just wanted to take a break from making and drinking kefir for a while.

Take the jug out of the fridge which has cold fermented and, carefully over a towel spread out on a counter, give it a few gentle shakes or turns to mix in the curds, whey and fat which may have leaned a little separated. You want it to flow as freely as possible to pour it into the strainer.

Put on your plastic strainer, which should have holes large enough to allow the fatty mixture to pass through but not large enough to lose too many of your small grains into the kefir. If the holes are too small, you’ll be there with a strainer full of kefir that never drains. You might want to experiment with a few, but they should be plastic, not metal. The colander should also be large enough that the rim of the colander fits just over the rim of the bowl, so that you don’t have to hold it constantly and there is enough space left under the colander. so that the filtered milk can accumulate there.

Open the fermented jar carefully because there is carbon dioxide gas that will want to escape. Hold the large pot of fermented kefir with both hands and slowly pour as much as you can into the strainer to make it full. There may be splashes and drips when the cereal and lumpy milk hit the lumpy milk. It’s normal. Set the jar down and take the strainer by the handle and gently shake or move the strainer back and forth to stimulate movement and the straining process. If all goes well, you should have a colander full of grains and a bowl full of kefir. Pour the grains through the colander into the other bowl, or just keep them in the colander, but for now place the colander in that other bowl to keep everything straight and orderly.

The next part is optional, but if you don’t, your kefir will be lumpy and the lumpy lumpy texture will put many people off, especially children. Also, this step will slow or stop the tendency of chilled strained kefir to separate into curds and whey. All you have to do to mix them is shake them lightly or turn the container upside down a few times, but still.

You can pour the strained kefir into a blender, but I prefer one of those handy electric hand blenders. Get a clean plate to put it on between uses, because I guess all the effort so far has to be repeated at least once, and it will sink. Simply insert the hand blender into the bowl of strained kefir and give it a few blends by pressing or pulsing the button. You can move the mixing end around to make sure you get it all, but keep it fairly well submerged or you’ll end up with kefir all over the place. I know this from experience. Now your kefir will have a delicious creamy and silky texture. You can add mango nectar or other fruit juice or something at this time to flavor it if you don’t like the taste of plain sweet and sour kefir. You can mix each container you fill with a different aroma. If you do, make sure you don’t overfill it with kefir and leave enough room for the flavor component AND the mixer end. Also, if mixing in a bowl or plastic container, be careful not to touch or rub the bottom with the mixing end. You don’t want plastic shavings in your kefir. That’s why I prefer to mix it in a glass bowl.

I want to take a little tangent here regarding the aroma. Once in an Indian restaurant with an Indian colleague, we ate Mango Lassi, an Indian drink made from fermented milk. It was pale yellow and delicious. It was mango flavored. One day at the supermarket I found Goya Mango Nectar. It comes in glass jars and is quite reasonable. It is of Spanish origin and unless they make a distinction, the added sweet component is sugar, not the toxic high fructose corn syrup that plagues American-made sugary drinks. The light bulb went on and I remembered the Indian restaurant’s delicious mango lassi. I bought a few bottles and took them home and mixed some in the kefir until I found the right strength for my liking. It also had the awesome side effect of getting my 9 year old son to drink the healthy kefir drink, which he won’t touch plain. Chocolate syrup (organic from an organic market) is also a popular flavoring for kefir.

Well, after filling the jars with kefir and the strained bowl is empty or nearly empty, repeat the pouring, straining, and mixing process for that batch. Once your jars are filled, you can now finish. I have two large one gallon jugs, one that’s been cleaned since last time and one that I just emptied. If you are only using one, now is the time to thoroughly clean the pitcher and dry it with paper towels. Your regular towels may contain germs and you want to drain chlorinated tap water. Then you place the wide-mouthed funnel on top and use the ladle to scoop out your large pile of kefir grains from the strainer and put them into the jug. When this is complete, pour a gallon of fresh milk over it, seal it, shake it a few times to inoculate the milk well, then place it on the counter to start the new ferment. In about 24 hours, put it back in the fridge for a week to several months if needed.

There you have it, a delicious cold fermented kefir. It’s also worth noting that often when I make it this way it’s loaded with tiny carbon bubbles that really make it the champagne of milks!

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