Saturday, Jan 29, 2022

How to Make Fermented Milk Kefir at Home

Are you looking for an easy fermented drink to make at home? Then milk kefir is for you! You just need milk kefir grains, organic whole milk, a glass ..

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Are you looking for an easy fermented drink to make at home? Then milk kefir is for you! You just need milk kefir grains, organic whole milk, a glass jar, a cloth covering, and a mesh strainer. You never have to replace the starter culture for milk kefir. Once you acquire milk kefir grains, they last forever as long as you feed them fresh milk. Homemade milk kefir is an affordable source of probiotics, vitamins and nutrients.







When Did Humans First Drink Milk Kefir?

This week I went on a deep internet dive to learn about the history of milk, and why humans started to consume milk from animals in the first place. I certainly learned a lot.

To summarize, someone used animal milk for nutrition, and probably survival, for the first time around 10,000- 7,500 years ago… Someone most likely observed the similarities of breastfeeding human mothers and baby cattle, then made the decision that keeping the animal to consume its milk was a more reliable nutrition source than killing the animal and eating the meat. The milk was almost always naturally fermented into what we know as buttermilk, kefir, yogurt, and cheeses. Since there were no refrigerators, milk was stored at ambient temperature in ceramic jars or canteens made from the stomachs of sheep. These vessels (and the utters of animals) harbored microbes that always led to some kind of natural fermentation.

Fermented Milk Helped Ancient Humans Survive

This ancient fermented milk consumption was an evolutionary advantage for humans. The practice of consuming milk products from ruminant cattle led to genetic mutations in human populations that aided in the ability to digest lactose. It’s considered one of the biggest displays of natural selection in human history. Humans who digested lactose and who could thrive on nutrient-dense fermented milk were more likely to survive, have offspring, and pass their beneficial genetic mutations onto their offspring.

So if humans basically evolved by drinking milk, why are so many people intolerant to dairy these days? The answer is quite simple. 

10,000 years ago all cattle were “grass fed”, they were treated so much better, milk was not ultra-processed and sterilized in a plastic jug, and times were obviously different. The dairy consumed was different in consistency, completely raw, nutrient-dense, and almost always fermented. People in this time also had robust gut microbiomes, unscathed by processed foods and modern chemicals.







Homemade Milk Kefir

Anyways, after 5 years of not eating or drinking any dairy, I’ve been trying milk kefir and eating hard fermented cheeses! I’m very excited. I also now want a dairy cow… and Angora goats. I gave up dairy five years ago when I was healing my eczema, and thus my gut. Now, I am ready to reintroduce high quality home fermented dairy into my diet.

For now, I am making milk kefir at home using organic non-homginized cream top milk from a brand called Kalona Supernatural. It still includes the cream and comes from grass grazed cows on small Amish and Mennonite family farms in the Midwest. Until I get land and animals of my own, this milk is a great option.







Ingredients and equipment you need for this recipe

You only need two ingredients to make milk kefir:

  • high quality milk, you can use cow, goat or sheep milk
  • milk kefir grains, click here to shop where I bought mine
  • 16 ounce mason jar, thoroughly cleaned
  • cloth covering and a rubberband
  • mesh stranier

It’s important to sterilize your milk before culturing. The only time I do not sterilize my milk is when the carton is brand-new and unopened. It’s very simple, you just have to heat the milk to a certain temperature. Some people do make milk kefir using raw milk with great success, but I’ve never tried it.

More Fermentation Recipes to Try

  • How to Make Homemade Yogurt with Matcha and Vanilla (Dairy-Free)
  • How to Make Yogurt in an Instant Pot
  • How to Make Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt with Mango

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How to Easily Make Milk Kefir at Home

Are you looking for an easy fermented drink to make at home? Then milk kefir is for you! You just need milk kefir grains, organic whole milk, a glass jar, a cloth covering, and a mesh strainer. You never have to replace the starter culture for milk kefir. Once you acquire milk kefir grains, they last forever as long as you feed them fresh milk. Homemade milk kefir is an affordable source of probiotics, vitamins and nutrients. 

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Fermentation time: 24 hours
  • Total Time: 24 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Fermentation

Ingredients

  • 16 Ounces of organic whole milk (about 500 mL)
  • About 20 grams milk kefir grains

Instructions

  1. Add the milk to a glass jar. If the milk is brand new and pasteurized, proceed to step 3. If not, continue to step 2.
  2. To sterilize your milk: Place a thermometer in the jar of milk. Place the jar of milk in a pot of water. Slowly bring the pot of water to a light simmer on medium-low.  Bring the temperature of the milk up to 181° F (83° C). Once it reaches this temperature, remove the jar of milk from the hot water bath. Leave the thermometer in the jar, and cover with a clean towel. Allow the milk to cool down to about 110° F (43° C). This process can take an hour. Once cooled, remove the thermometer and proceed to step three.
  3. Add in the milk kefir grains and stir the milk gently.
  4. Place a breathable cloth lid on the jar and secure it with a rubber band. Allow the milk to ferment for 12 to 24 hours. (Aim for 12 hours if it is warm in your house. Go for 24 hours if it is cooler in your house)
  5. When the kefir is finished, you may need to give it a stir. It should be thick, pleasantly tart, you should see “rivers” on the sides of the jar after pouring.
  6. After fermentation, strain off the kefir grains and add them to a fresh batch of milk. Store the finished kefir in the fridge in a sealed bottle for up to a month.

Keywords: milk, kefir, dairy

Did you make this recipe?

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The post How to Make Fermented Milk Kefir at Home appeared first on Cultured Guru.

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By: Kaitlynn Fenley
Title: How to Make Fermented Milk Kefir at Home
Sourced From: cultured.guru/blog/how-to-make-fermented-milk-kefir-at-home?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-make-fermented-milk-kefir-at-home
Published Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2022 23:34:15 +0000

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