I started making kefir last year and thought it sounded a bit difficult. But, I haven’t had a bad batch yet. It is easier to make than yoghurt, but much thinner. It is a stronger flavor than yoghurt, but I quickly developed a taste for it. I have it with muesli instead of milk and make smoothies with it. Smoothie recipes another day.
Equipment is pretty basic. Go for plastic, or glass, rather than any reactive metals is the standard advice. Which I have followed mostly. But there was no ill-effect on the occasions I used a metal spoon.
I purchased my kefir grains on eBay and got stuck into making it straight away.
My process is basically this:
- place the kefir grains in milk
- cover with a cloth
- leave on the bench for 8-12 hours, then place in the fridge
- when you are ready to strain it in the next day or two, stir it to mix in the whey
- strain through a fine plastic mesh, it’s ready to use
- rinse the kefir grains in plain water
In Summer I would place the container in a cooler with an ice pack during the day to slow down the fermentation, but typical April temperatures in the mid 20s (centigrade) here on the Gold Coast (Australia) it goes really well just on the bench.
I have had successful batches made with coconut milk too. I used this to make coconut ice cream with puréed mango for flavour. Goat milk also turned out well, but I wasn’t so keen on the flavour for drinking. I strained it through cheesecloth until a cream cheese consistency and turned it into a dip with some herbs for flavouring.