Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 1 liter/quart
  • 1 liter/quart whole milk
  • 40-50 grams/ml (~3 heaping tablespoons) dairy kefir grains (5% w/w)
  • 2-liter/quart or larger wide glass jar, baking dish or casserole dish with a lid
  • Small wire mesh strainer (or clean silicone sink strainer)
  • Funnel
  1. Reserve 1 cup (250ml) fresh milk in a pint or quart sized jar with a lid and store in refrigerator (will be used later).
  2. Add remaining fresh milk to baking dish or wide jar.
  3. Add kefir grains to milk. Stir contents gently.
  4. Close container tightly for a more sour flavor, or with breathable cloth if you want a milder flavor.
  5. Leave container in a cool, dark spot for 24 hours. Stir gently once or twice if you think of it.
  6. After 24 hours, taste. Milk should have thickened up and may even have broken into solid curds and liquid whey. If it is sour and thick enough for your taste, it is ready to strain. If not, replace lid(s) and check kefir again in a few hours.
Strain and Store Kefir
  1. Secure the lid tightly (if possible) and shake or stir the kefir vigorously until it is smooth and evenly textured. This is usually only necessary if the curds and whey have separated.
  2. Using a wire mesh strainer or a silicone sink strainer, strain the kefir into clean glass container for storage. The grains are rubbery, yellowish and translucent, and won't go through the strainer. If you used unhomogenized milk, you may need to manually remove the clots of cream from the strainer (be sure to add those back to the kefir!)
  3. Add the strained grains to the fresh milk you reserved earlier to keep them happy and healthy.
  4. Store finished kefir and the grains jar in the refrigerator. Consume within 1-2 weeks.
Recipe by Fermenters Club at