Fr. Anthony’s Kefir Routine

Background. The kefir “grains” are small beads of good bacteria that change milk into kefir at room temperature. The longer the milk is allowed to change, the more sour and (eventually) solid it gets. I like mine at two days. Three days and it’s a bit too sour. Four days and I can’t use it.  I’ve been drinking kefir medicinally for a couple of years.  It seems to have helped with some gut issues I was having.  I like it MUCH better than making kombucha and yogurt (and find it to be more effective; YMMV).

Every other morning:

  • Set out two clean mason jars, two tops, and your strainer.
  • Take the mason jar with kefir down from the kitchen shelf. Take the coffee filter off the top of the jar. Screw the mason jar top onto the jar. Shake pretty well (this is key to getting the kefir through the strainer).
  • Pour the kefir through the strainer into a mason jar. The strainer will catch the grains so they can be re-used. Screw a top on the new jar of kefir and put it into the fridge (you can salt or otherwise flavor it to taste, as desired).
  • There MAY still be a kefir grain or two in the original jar. I run tap water into the jar, swirl it around a bit, and then pour it through the strainer, letting the water go down the sink. This has the additional (but unnecessary) benefit of cleaning the grains.  The grains are the big clumps; really little bits are just bits of kefir.  I clean the filter of everything but the grains, but again, it’s not necessary. 
  • Put the grains into the bottom of a clean mason jar. I used to use a spoon (that works fine), now I hold the mason jar upside down, cover its opening with the strainer, flip them right-side up together , and then flick down on the strainer to force the grains into the mason jar.  Either way, it’s best if they end up at the bottom of the jar.
  • Fill the mason jar three quarters full with cow milk (I use whole, but others work fine). Cover the top with a coffee filter (or something like it) and secure it with a rubber band. Put it back on the shelf.
  • Clean up.  

If you need to skip a week or two, you can put them in the fridge instead of on the shelf. It may take them a day or two afterwards to recover fully, but I’ve done that several times. I’ve also just left the kefir on the shelf a couple of extra days. I couldn’t use the resulting kefir, but as long as the grains have enough milk to eat they will be fine. They eat slower when they are cold.

I got my grains from Amazon: Milk Kefir Grains by Cultures For Health.