What’s kefir? Kefir is fermented milk. It is classified as a naturally fermented food (NFF).
Kefir brings beneficial bacteria, many of which are naturally found in the canine’s gut.
Put 1-2 tablespoons of kefir grains into an empty glass jar and add 1-2 US measured cups of raw goat or raw cow milk, or store bought vitamin D cow milk works too. The more grains you put in a glass jar, the more milk you need. Cover your jar with cheesecloth or with a coffee filter or other breathable cloth. Place the jar band around it to hold your cover in place. Set the jar on the counter for 18- 28 hours. You can use silicon pickle lids too if desired.
Fermenting Tip: Be sure to strain and bottle your kefir prior to it separating into curds + whey unless you would like to collect the whey. Depending on where you are in the world and what your climate is like, your milk may ferment faster than the typically recommended 24 hours, so I give a window of 18 – 28 hours. Kefir likes to be in a fairly warm environment so be sure it’s not too cold in the kitchen. Find a warm place (a cabinet can be used). Check your kefir at the end of 18 hours. If it hasn’t thickened yet or if you cannot hear a “fizz”, leave it for another few hours. Once you see thickening or the whey separation, the kefir is ready.
Kefir Fact: Kefir grains feed off the lactose in milk which makes kefir approximately 99% lactose free.
If you would like to grow your grains at a faster rate from time to time then it can be done in whipping cream. You use whole whipping cream instead of milk. Ferment the whipping cream a full 24 hours.
Fermenting Tip: It is difficult to find all of your grains if the whipping cream gets excessively thick. If you aren’t planning to use the fermented whipping cream for something else, then I recommend you add milk to the jar, seal it shut, give it a good shake and then strain the liquid. Otherwise, you’ll want to have some time to spend and some patience as you’ll need to find your grains by hand. It’s worth it though if you’re using the fermented whipping cream for another recipe!
Resting Your Grains
If you need to take a break you can “rest” your kefir grains. Store them in two cups of milk in the fridge and seal them shut with a non metal, BPA-free lined lid. Burp the seal each day to release the gas. Use a jar that is large enough to leave a gap at the top so your jar doesn’t bust. You can let your kefir grains rest for up to two weeks before you need to feed them again and make more.
#kefirkarma Once you have grown yourself a nice amount of grains, it’s time to gift some Kefir Karma to another person!
Post Update November 2019: Want to learn more about canine gut health and naturally fermented foods? Download a free copy of my eBook A Guide to Better Gut Health for Dogs Here