Kefir is a dairy product that is somewhat like a yoghurt thin enough to drink. In consistency, it’s like a thick, pourable cream. It is made by fermenting milk with yeasts and bacteria. The bacteria it contains include Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species.
Kefir made from Kefir Grains can have an alcohol content of up to 2%, but commercial Kefir has an alcohol content only between .002 and .05%.
The taste is slightly tangy. It smells a bit like fresh yeast.
Kefir is popular in Eastern Europe.
To make Kefir at home (the traditional way), Kefir Grains are placed in milk at room temperature. They are allowed to ferment the milk for about 7 to 8 hours, during which time the milk needs to be shaken frequently, so that it doesn’t solidify. The milk is then filtered through a cloth into sealable bottles. Each bottle should be filled only about ¾ full, to allow room for gases that will still be produced, and then have their tops put on. Let stand for 24 hours, shaking frequently. After that, it’s ready to drink.
Kefir Grains can be washed and reused, or dried again for future use.
Kefir comes from a Turkish word, “keif”, meaning roughly a sense of feeling good.