I like to make Kefir at home. You can find many resources that teach you how to make kefir, but I know a way to make it which is a bit different. This article assumes that you at least know the basics of kefir making. I will go over how I make it but I assume that you know all about how long to ferment it and what a properly fermented batch looks like.
Several years ago when I got started YETI ONE GALLON making kefir, my kefir grains multiplied to the point where I could ferment a gallon of milk at a time. The problem here is that since I am 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 summertime. Kefir ferments much faster when it is warm. I was living in an apartment where it would easily get to 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit, and I usually would go away to my parents’ lake house on the summer weekends, so I didn’t want to leave a gallon of explosively fermenting milk alone in the kitchen. Actually, we would turn the window air conditioners off when we went away for the weekend and it was a second floor apartment, so the temperatures would actually go much higher. I decided to try a cold ferment. The colder the temperature, the slower the ferment. Now, you can mix this any way you want. You can start it out at room temperature to get it going and then put it into the refrigerator when it has reached the proper “doneness” and leave it there where it will still continue fermenting but at a much slower rate. You can take your time getting to it and don’t have to worry about it exploding or turning to cheese.
Let’s go over the first part of the ferment, which is the basics of kefir making. Please wash your hands well before proceeding.
First you need kefir grains, which are little white rubbery texture tings 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 first created. They grow larger and bit fall off the larger part and then those parts in turn grow larger in the milk until they have pieces that fall off and grow and it goes on and on and on. As far as anyone knows, all kefir grains on earth came from the first batches in the Russo-Georgian are of the Caucasus mountain range where Muslim tribesmen considered them a gift from God like the Manna that fed the ancient Israelites in the desert even before that.
You also need milk. You can use any kind of mammal milk but cow, goat, and sheep are most commonly used. I have personally made kefir with both cow and goat milk. I prefer the taste of goat milk to cow milk and I also like goat kefir better, but I make that in small batches due to the high cost of goat milk. To make a gallon just use cow milk as long as you are okay with it and there are no allergies to bovine mammary secretions (milk). Where I live I am lucky enough to be able to obtain organic, grass fed I presume, creamy non homogenized milk from Jersey cows, which is MUCH creamier and fattier than the more commonly available and more watery milk from Holstein cows. Unfortunately for most people they are stuck with BGH laced and homogenized Holstein milk from grain fed cows. Hey, you use what you have. The kefir will even make that milk fit to drink, but if you can go for organic milk from grass fed cows.