Kefir has become part of our everyday routine. Each evening I strain the grains and 'feed' it new milk. Just a reminder, kefir doesn't do well with metal, so we use glass jars with plastic lids. I also use a glass bowl and a plastic strainer when I work with the grains.
There were some things to learn along the way. I was surprised at how quickly the grains grow. If there are more grains in the jar than the milk will feed in a 24 hour period, the milk will start to separate into whey and curds, of a sort. It's not quite like cheese curds, but I have read that you can hang these curds in cheese cloth just like other curds and have a spread or cheese. I haven't tried anything like that. So if the grains begin to get too large, they need to be separated and part of them discarded or stored in the frig. I feed our extras to the chickens.
The kefir will thicken and culture the milk more evenly if it is shaken several times throughout the day. The lids we use don't seal very well, and sometimes let some of the milk run down the side of the jar, so we keep it on a plate to contain the runoff.
I use about a tablespoon of grains and 2 1/2 cups goat milk. Any milk will do, we have used whole store bought milk as well. We have found that leaving the kefir out on the counter for 24 hours gives us the flavor and consistency we like. Well, Frank doesn't really care for the taste, but he drinks some anyway. We like to add a little maple syrup to offset the tartness of the kefir. I have read many different things people do with kefir, but this is all we do. We drink this amount each evening sometime after dinner. Kefir has a different kind of taste and not everyone likes it. We don't know anyone else that drinks it, so it must not be for everyone.
The Kefir Lady has a lot of information on her website about how to care for kefir and she also sells grains. This is not where I got mine, so I can't comment one way or the other on the quality of her products, but I do like her website and the information she provides. I received my grains from a friend who chooses to remain anonymous.
This is just one more way we are trying to eliminate some items from our bodies and replace them with something more natural. We feel in the long run it will make a difference. It feels good to be able to make an informed decision to care for our physical well-being with non-chemicalized, homegrown products.
Until next time - Fern