Making kefir is ridiculously simple – you basically add milk. The tricky part is in the timing and the fact that kefir might be a bit foreign to you – there’s always a certain ick factor in the beginning, and maybe a bit of terror, but once you are over that, it’s all plain sailing.
The other problem is the taste of the first couple of batches tends to be, shall we say, ‘interesting.’ Kefir is a living thing and sometimes needs to adjust to a new environment. There are no hard and fast rules here and you just have to feel your way. I didn’t leave my first batch for long enough and it was somewhat insipid. The next batch was just plain odd but eventually I got it right. My dog thought they were all delicious though!
Some people prefer a longer fermentation time which makes the kefir on the sour side. Fermenting in the fridge makes a thicker kefir but it takes longer.
A note on which milk to use: Kefir basically likes the milk it is used to being fed so if you suddenly switch, the results won’t be great. I wanted to use raw milk but was disappointed to read that the bacteria would compete with the kefir bacteria. However, I discovered that you can ‘train’ kefir to accept raw milk by gradually replacing the pasteurised stuff, a quarter cup at a time.