Kefir grains are used in the making of kefir which is a drink with the consistency of a yogurt drink. You can drink it as is or use it in a smoothie. You can also drain the whey and use the remaining part to make kefir cheese which is great to use for homemade dips and dressings.
Kefir has probiotic benefits which more and more people are starting to realize the benefits of ingesting. Do to Kefir milks growing popularity, many people are making it at home. To make it at home you need the grains which are small bits of yeast and bacteria mixed with proteins, sugars, and fats. You can purchase kefir grains or find someone you know who already has some. The kefir grains are mixed with cow, goat, or sheep milk to ferment the milk giving the resulting beverage and slightly tangy taste with extreme probiotic properties. Yeast and bacteria reproduce quickly so once you start making kefir you will always have the grains.
Can You Freeze Kefir Grains?
The grains, if stored properly, can be used indefinitely. Learning to freeze and store the grains properly does not take long; it is quite a simple process.
How To Freeze Kefir Grains
If you would like to store your kefir grains you can do so in the freezer for up to two months. Before freezing, you need to wash the grains with water that has been boiled and then cooled. Pat the grains dry to take out any excess moisture and then leave them for an hour or two to dry. Put the grains into a jar or a plastic bag and seal it tightly before putting it in the freezer.
If you are freezing milk grains, add enough dry milk powder to cover the grains. Mixing dry milk with the grains will help to prevent freezer burn. If you freeze milk grains with the dry milk powder they should be viable for up to two months but without the powder it is best to use them within one month.
If you freeze kefir grains for too long it may remove the yeast component hence the time recommendation.
How To Thaw Kefir Grains
When you are ready to use the grains again you can thaw them by putting them in a glass filled with cold water for a few minutes. Once they have thawed, put the grains into a strainer and wash off any powdered milk residue that has adhered to the grains.