How to Make Kefir — Homestead Recipe Basics

Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that contains probiotic benefits similar to yogurt. Unlike yogurt, kefir can be fermented at room temperature and requires less tools. Kefir is fermented using kefir grains. The grains are slightly yellowish in color and look like cauliflower. Kefir has been cultured for over 5000 years in the Caucasus Mountains and in the monasteries of Tibet. The grains are made up of more than 35 probiotic bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial to health.

What You Need

1 tablespoon kefir grains

Fresh milk

2 16-ounce jars

Wooden spoon

Fine mesh plastic strainer

Step 1

Put 1 tablespoon of kefir grains into a 16 ounce jar. Add enough milk to the jar to fill it about 2/3 full.

Step 2

Cover the jar with the lid, but do not tighten the lid completely. Gases will build up inside the jar during fermentation. You can also rubberband a coffee filter around your jar for a lid to allow gases to escape.

Step 3

Place your jar in an area that remains at room temperature and is away from sunlight. Stir your kefir with a wooden spoon every few hours so that more of the fresh milk gets to you kefir grains.

Step 4

Let the kefir ferment for 24 hours. Increase the time to 48 hours for a thicker, more sour kefir. Decrease the time to 12 hours if you want a thinner and sweeter kefir.

Step 5

Mix the kefir with your wooden spoon. Strain the kefir through a fine mesh plastic strainer. Look for the slight yellowish kefir grains and separate them from the liquid. Place them into a clean jar.

Step 6

Put your kefir liquid into the refrigerator. Add fresh milk to your kefir grains so that the jar is ¾ full. Repeat the entire fermentation process.


  • The first batch you make may be too sour to drink. You can add half the kefir liquid to your kefir grains with fresh milk during the second fermentation and discard the rest of the batch from the first fermentation.
  • It may take between 4 to 6 batches before the kefir tastes right.
  • Never use metal while fermenting your kefir. Keep all your tools for making kefir clean between each new fermentation.

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