Basic Kefir Recipe By Donna Schwenk author of Cultured Food For Life

You can use the method below to make any amount of kefir you desire; just keep in mind that a good rule of thumb is to use 1 tablespoon of kefir grains per 1 cup of milk. So, if you want to make 1 cup of kefir, use 1 tablespoon of kefir grains and 1 cup of milk. For 2 cups of kefir, use 2 tablespoons of kefir grains and 2 cups of milk. And so on. 

Step 1: Place the kefir grains in a glass jar that can be securely sealed. I like canning jars with plastic lids, but you can use any jar that will close securely. 

Step 2: Using the 1 tablespoon to 1 cup ratio of kefir grains to milk, add the appropriate amount of milk to the jar.

Step 3: Securely seal the jar, and leave it on your kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight, or in a cabinet at room temperature for 24 hours. 

Step 4: After 24 hours, remove the kefir grains using a slotted spoon or a mesh strainer. (The strainer can be stainless steel or plastic.) Add the kefir grains to fresh milk to begin another fermentation or for storage (see page 17).


Step 5: Transfer the strained kefir to your refrigerator. At this point, it is ready to drink or to start a second fermentation (see page 16). You can keep the kefir in your fridge in a sealed container for up to one year. But remember, the longer it’s in the refrigerator, the more sour it will become, because the bacteria eat the lactose from the milk. 

Donna Schwenk is the Kansas City Chapter leader for Weston Price Foundation, a worldwide organization comprised of people dedicated to restoring nutrient dense food to the human diet through education, research, and activism. She teaches classes in the Kansas City area to open people’s eyes to the power of cultured foods, which dramatically changed her health and the health of her family when she started making and eating them in 2002. She is the founder of