What supplies do I need to make dairy kefir?
- A culturing container
- A cover for the container
Beyond those two items, any other supplies are purely optional.
What size container do I need?
- Kefir can be made in a any size jar.
- When choosing the size of your culturing container, consider how much kefir you will consume, as each batch of kefir will culture in about 24 hours or less.
- It is better for the health of the kefir grains to continually make small batches (in a quart-sized jar) than to make large batches and take breaks.
Can I use a container made of glass?
- Glass is hands-down the best option for culturing kefir.
- Glass won’t react to the acidity of the ferment. Glass doesn’t scratch easily, nor does it contain chemicals such as BPA.
- Glass containers are relatively easy and inexpensive to obtain. Canning jars are a great option.
Can I use a ceramic container?
- If you would like to culture kefir in a ceramic container, be sure that it is coated in a food-grade glaze to avoid potential contact with lead.
Can I use a porcelain container?
- Food-grade porcelain is generally safe for culturing kefir.
- Avoid porcelain pieces such as vases or decorative pottery that are not-food grade.
Can I use a plastic container?
- Although technically plastic can be used to make kefir, we do not recommend it for several reasons.
- Plastic can be damaged, and scratches in the plastic can harbor foreign bacteria.
- Plastic (even food-grade plastic) often contains undesirable chemicals that can be harmful to the kefir grains.
Can I use a crystal container?
- Because crystal contains lead we do not recommend using crystal containers for making kefir.
Can I use a metal container?
- Metal is generally detrimental to kefir and should not be used as a culturing vessel or for any item that will have contact with the kefir grains.
- The only exception is stainless steel. While we do not recommend using it, some people do have success doing so.
What should I cover my jar with?
- The cover should allow the culture to breathe.
- Effective coverings include tight-weave dish towels or fabric, a paper towel, a paper coffee filter, etc.
- Avoid loose-weave fabric and screens.
- You'll also want to secure the cover to keep out pests such as ants or fruit flies. You can do this with a tight rubber band or even the rings from canning jars.
Can I use a tight lid to cover my culturing milk kefir?
- A tight-fitting lid should not be used during the fermentation process
- It is handy to have a lid for storage after fermentation is complete.
- Plastic bpa-free lids are available for both wide-mouth and regular-mouth canning jars, which are commonly used for culturing milk kefir.
What other supplies are helpful to have to make dairy kefir?
- A Plastic Fine Mesh Strainer is a good tool to have on hand for straining and removing milk kefir grains from finished kefir, especially when working with new grains.
- When straining grains, metal should be avoided.