You might have been thinking of freezing kefir grains after taking them so much for a long time. Water and milk kefir are very popular and they are probiotic drinks that have been available for some years. However, it could be a bit expensive for purchasing them pre-made. It makes more sense, very easy, and hugely inexpensive when you can make yours yourself.
Kefir starts with a kind of “mother culture” that you could use batch by batch under the correct circumstances almost indefinitely. If you want to go on a vacation, your kefir culture can be stored safely to be used later when you want to. Perhaps you just want to take a break from kefir.
What we want to find out in this article is to find out how you can freeze your kefir grains for proper storage. You have to rinse kefir grains, dry them, and then seal them inside an airtight container if you want to properly freeze your kefir grains. They will also be helped to remain fresh for about 6 months inside your freezer by sprinkling a bit of powdered milk on them.
Everything You Need to Know About Kefir Grains
To make kefir, you have to buy some specific grains in particular that will gladly house a series of healthy yeast and bacteria. The original yeast, bacteria, and grains will continue to multiply with each batch you make. However, your original grains are needed to have those bacteria that will start the “mother culture.”
It is either you find a set of kefir starter culture (sometimes referred to as a direct-set culture) or milk kefir grains. Getting yourself involved with a kind of starter set will be a perfect place to start if you are just starting with kefir and you are not sure you will stay committed to the process for a long time.
If, however, you know you will make fresh kefir almost every day, you should start using a milk kefir grain set so that you will get the best possible bacteria culture. You can use milk kefir grains in multiple times and even when frozen if necessary. If you have anyone that locally makes kefir, you could get your grains fresh that are already thriving inside milk. If not, you could order online for your dry set of kefir grains and all you need to do is to get them reactivated.
How to Make Kefir
It is quite easy to prepare kefir as long as you are a bit patient. What you need to include some milk and starter kefir or fresh grains. You will start by adding 1 (one) to 2 (two) teaspoons of the milk kefir (milk) to 4 (four) cups of your fresh milk. Keep them inside the glass jar. Use a kind of breathable cover like your paper coffee filter to cover the jar. You are doing this to allow the escape of air but also to protect the liquid from any bacteria from outside that you will not want to contaminate your grains.
You should then leave the milk to remain in a dry and warm location for up to 24 hours. A temperature between 70°F and 85°F is the range of suitable spots to ensure the culturing of your kefir. You will notice the thickening of the milk and the smell coming from it can be classified as being lovely tangy just like your plain yogurt.
Once it is ready, all you need to do is to drain the grains out, put them in an entirely new milk batch, and use or drink it as you would want. Goat milk or cow milk are usually used to make milk kefir but coconut milk can also be effectively used to make it.
Milk Kefir vs Water Kefir
Rather than milk, water is used to make water kefir and that makes it probiotic and healthy for both lactose intolerant and vegans. The flavor of water kefir is usually lighter and this makes it a bit more versatile. To make water kefir, you will ferment the kefir grains, juice with sugar or coconut water, and the water altogether. Water kefir is a very food source of probiotics. However, milk kefir contains a kind of wider strain variety than what water kefir contains.
How to Freeze Kefir Grains
Once you begin, the making of kefir is more of an everyday process. In case you want to stop without wasting the milk or damaging the kefir grains, you have to store the grains for you to reactivate them successfully when you want to continue making it. If you want to rest the kefir grains successfully, you need to first ensure that you have allowed them active for a minimum of 3 to 4 weeks.
To keep your kefir grains fresh and still inactive, the best idea is to allow them to cool down. You could freeze the grains if you will be taking a long time away from it. You need to use cool water to rinse them, allow them to dry by patting them on a paper town to help soak up the remaining moisture. They can be allowed to stay on the counter by using paper to cover them for about one or two hours so that they will properly dry up.
You can then place them inside a glass, freezable jar that has an airtight lid after they have dried up. If you want to get the best outcome, pour a little powdered milk on the grains just before you seal the jar. You are assured that the grains will remain fresh inside the freezer for about six months, use it within this time.
How to Refrigerate Kefir Grains
In case you are only taking one or two weeks break, then the kefir grains soaked in milk can be stored inside the refrigerator. You should cover the container but allow some airflow for air to escape. The milk will give the bacteria what they will eat when it is resting but it will not change into kefir.
After at most two weeks, you need to pour the milk out of the container and you cannot drink it because it is not good enough for drinking. A less expensive option is for you to soak the kefir grains inside a combined solution of sugar and water. Ensure you cover the liquid but allow some airflow so that the bacteria will breathe. This can stay inside the fridge for a longer time of about 2 months.
How to Dry Kefir Grains
What you need to do is to prepare the grains just like when you want them frozen but rather than packing them inside the freezer, allow them to dry on the counter for an extra 3 to 5 days. Transfer them into a glass jar or container when they are ready and use a bit of powdered milk to cover them. You can then seal them and place them inside the refrigerator where you can store them for about 6 months staying fresh.
How to Reactivate Kefir Grains
You will need to be a bit patient with your kefir grains to return to the culturing best if you have used any of our highlighted methods to store them. They can be reactivated just the same manner they were first activated by placing 1 to 2 grains teaspoons in a cup of milk. Ensure your breathable filter is used to cover them and allow them to be in a very warm location for about 24 hours.
The grains will be ready for the proper batch if the milk has been cultured well. However, if the milk is yet to thicken, separate the grains and place them for another period of 24 hours into new milk. Until your milk is properly thickened, continue this process.
People usually take kefir for being probiotics. There are about 60 healthy bacteria strains contained in milk kefir and the bacteria are good for the gut, more than what you will find in an average yogurt. People also consider adding probiotics to help them improve digestion, treat vaginal infections, gastrointestinal infections, and UTIs, and also repair damages done by recent antibiotics course.
Bacteria help to allow your immune system to be healthy, allowing you to have a better opportunity to fight other types of bacterial or viral infection and also help to heal quickly from diseases and injuries.
Apart from the probiotics, your milk kefir also contains low calories and high proteins, it is full of B vitamins, calcium, and other micronutrients. Milk kefir contains lower lactose than what you will find in regular milk.
In case you usually have trouble trying to digest dairy products, this might be a product you could have. It is easily digested because the process of fermentation changes the lactose to lactic acid. Some special enzymes also break down the lactose more. You may still find it incompatible if you are highly sensitive, but people usually enjoy the vitamin D and calcium they miss out from other dairy products by consuming milk kefir.
How long does it take for kefir to start working?
Every glass of kefir you take will help your health because it contains important nutrients. So it works immediately. If, however, you want to use it to heal a specific health issue, the length of time you need to see improvement depends on how severe the condition and some other factors.
Does kefir cause weight gain?
It is high in nutrition and protein and it has low calories. Kefir will usually make you feel more full even after taking just a little, helping you to promote loss of weight instead of loss of weight. It also helps to improve hormones, digestive systems, and control blood sugar which all helps to have optimal weight.
Is it safe to drink kefir every day?
People take kefir safely every day because of its probiotics and vitamin health benefits but you may need to first consult your doctor in case you have an autoimmune disorder.