How to Make Kefir with a Direct-set Starter Culture

 

Direct-set powdered kefir starter culture is a great option for those interested in making kefir without maintaining milk kefir grains. Learn the differences between milk kefir grains and the powdered starter culture in our article, Choosing a Kefir Culture: Grains vs. Direct-set Starter.

 

Equipment:

  • One glass or plastic container
  • A plastic, wood, or stainless steel stirring utensil
  • A coffee filter or cloth
  • A rubber band to secure the cover

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart Liquid for Culturing
    • Dairy Milk
      • Pasteurized milk is most commonly used with this culture, but fresh raw milk may be used, as well.
      • For best results, avoid ultra-pasteurized milk.
    • Coconut Milk
    • Coconut Water
    • Fruit Juice
  • 1 Packet of direct-set kefir starter culture
 

How to Make Kefir:

  1. Pour 1 quart milk, coconut milk, coconut water, or fruit juice into a glass or plastic container
  2. If using a refrigerated liquid, heat to 70º-75ºF
  3. Add 1 packet kefir starter culture and stir gently until the culture is fully dissolved.
  4. Cover the container with a coffee filter or cloth, secured with a rubber band, and place in a warm spot, 72º-74ºF, for 12-16 hours.
  5. Cover finished kefir with a tight lid and store in the refrigerator.

 

Reculturing the Kefir

Kefir made with a direct-set style starter culture can often be recultured anywhere from 2 to 7 times. The exact number of successive batches will depend on the freshness of the kefir and hygienic practices employed. Be sure to reculture within 7 days. Longer periods between batches may not result in successful batches.

  1. Pour 1 quart milk, coconut milk, coconut water, or fruit juice into a glass or plastic container
  2. If using a refrigerated liquid, heat to 70º-75ºF
  3. Add ¼ cup prepared kefir from the previous batch and stir gently.
  4. Cover the container with a coffee filter or cloth, secured with a rubber band, and place in a warm spot, 72º-74ºF, for 12-16 hours.
  5. Cover finished kefir with a tight lid and store in the refrigerator.

 

Signs the Kefir is Finished Culturing

  • Dairy Milk: The culturing process is complete when the milk thickens to the consistency of buttermilk or heavy cream. 
  • Coconut Milk: The coconut milk takes on a distinctive sour, less sweet aroma. Cultured coconut milk does not thicken like dairy milk.
  • Coconut Water or Juice: The coconut water or fruit juice becomes cloudy and less sweet.
 

Ready for Some Amazing Flavoring Ideas for Milk Kefir?

 

                                                
 BLS  
Glass of coconut water with young coconuts behind


Related Articles

 

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Cultured Food Life: The Trilogy DVD Cultured Food Life: The Trilogy DVD

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