I began blogging about milk kefir on December 10, 2009. If you look over on the right side of this page, you'll see the "chapters" there. I want to update you on how I manage it now. It hasn't changed much, but I have learned, through experience, what works and what is easiest.
Ok, starting on the left and going clockwise, here is what you're looking at:
1. Quart jar of liquid milk kefir with the lid loosely screwed on. I always let it sit out on the counter, and use it for many things, including drinking, "buttermilk" biscuits, pancakes and making kefir cheese - which I use like cream cheese... yes, even in cheesecake!
2. 1/2 gallon jar of fresh goat milk. You can use any milk. It needn't be raw or goat.
3. Small Pyrex bowl with a stainless steel strainer sitting in it.
4. Pint fermenting jar with a lid loosely screwed on. In this jar are the kefir grains and I add fresh milk every morning after straining out the liquid kefir into the bowl there.
Kefir grains multiply, so when I have too many, I either share them with friends or just eat them. They are kind of nice! Sort of like a softish sour gummie bear. Truly. I like them.
Here is the morning routine:
1. Pour the contents of the pint fermenting jar into the strainer placed in the bowl. Let it drain and then using a stainless spoon, I scoop the grains back into the jar, and eat some if need be.
2. Pour more fresh milk over the grains and put the lid on loosely.
3. Pour the liquid kefir out of the bowl into the quart jar, shake it up and pour out some to drink.
4. Put the two jars back in their spot on the counter.
5. Wash up the bowl and strainer. That's it!
It's the work of about 2 minutes, probably. Very easy and quick. Occasionally I switch to clean jars when they start looking a bit crunchy, but it is perfectly safe not to do that.
If you were ever in a situation where you wanted to have milk, but had no refrigeration, using kefir grains would keep your milk safe indefinitely.