How To Make Bulgarian Style Kefir

A few weeks ago my husband and I received a sample of Bulgarian Kefir cultures from Ivo at Bacillus Bulgaricus.  If you remember, Bucillus Bulgaricus is the brand that we get our Bulgarian Style Yogurt culture from.  Although my husband and I have never had Kefir before, we are absolutely in love with our Bulgarian Style Yogurt and couldn’t wait to give it a try.

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The other day my husband and I went to our local farm to pick up our bi-weekly order of raw milk.  The milk we picked up the other day got turned into our amazing yogurt, which I am absolutely addicted to, and kefir!!!  Last night the kefir was ready to try and it was absolutely AMAZING!!!

You hear a lot about kefir now-a-days.  You see it in the store.  You hear that it’s good for you.  Kefir is a fermented food and fermented foods are amazing for you.  But what exactly is kefir?

“Kefir is a healthy super food, made form milk, fermented with lactic acid bacteria cultures, much like yogurt. Some experts claim that consuming kefir has even greater health benefits than those of yogurt because the kefir bacteria remains in your gut longer.”

https://bacillusbulgaricus.com/product/kefir-starter/

Bacillus Bulgaricus Kefir contains many different strains of live active acid cultures including:

  • lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
  • lactococcus lactis biovar diacetilactis
  • lactobacillus kefir
  • streptococcus thermophilus
  • lactobacillus parakefir
  • saccharomyces cerevisiae

These strains of live active acid cultures are what makes kefir so good for you!  It is LOADED with more strands of live and active cultures than even yogurt

“Both kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products but they contain different types of beneficial bacteria.  Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that reside there. But kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match.

Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt.

It also contains beneficial yeasts, which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, forming a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and strengthens the intestines. Hence, the body becomes more efficient in resisting such pathogens as E. coli and intestinal parasites.

Kefir’s active yeast and bacteria provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy.”

http://www.kefir.net/kefir-vs-yogurt/

What makes Bacillus Bulgaricus Kefir different than other kefirs is that it contains:

  • streptococcus thermophilus,
  • lactobacillus kefir
  • lactobacillus parakefir

These are three exclusive strains to Bulgarian Kefir that make it even more nutritious.  Bulgarian yogurt and kefir contain a lot more strains of bacteria than store-brand yogurts and kefir.  In fact, Bacillus Bulgaricus contains billions and billions of beneficial strains of bacteria while regular store-bought yogurt and kefir only contain bacteria in the millions!  How amazing is that? [https://bacillusbulgaricus.com/why-buy-this-starter/]

Not only is Bulgarian style yogurt and kefir better for you because they contain billions of beneficial strains of bacteria, but it is also super easy to make and super delicious!

How To Make Bulgarian Style Kefir

Once you get your Bulgarian Style Kefir Starter, you are ready to make your own kefir.  I recommend getting your Kefir starter from Bacillus Bulgaricus.  Prices range from $2.87 for a sample size that will make 32 oz of kefir to $17.97 which will make 14 gallons of kefir!  The best thing is, just like Bacillus Bulgaricus’ yogurt culture, this is an heirloom culture and can be reused indefinitely to culture future batches of kefir!

Preparation (from https://bacillusbulgaricus.com/kefir-making-instructions/)

1. Bring the milk to a gentle boil. The milk should boil in order to kill any existing bacteria in it, which could react with the strains in the starter. Milk boils at about 212°F / 100°C. Be careful not to burn it, otherwise your kefir will inherit the burnt taste. Even if you are using pasteurized milk, it is always recommended to heat up the milk to boiling point as this step realigns the fat molecules in the milk, making it more susceptive to the bacteria in the starter.

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Bringing the milk to a gentle boil – have your candy thermometer ready to keep a constant watch on the temperature of your milk.

2.  Cool the milk down to 90°F / 32°C. The easiest way to test for the right temperature is to dip your pinky finger in the milk – if the milk feels cool (but not cold) to the touch, then the milk is just right.

3. Add the Bacillus Bulgaricus kefir starter. Mix well — stir for 2-3 minutes (do not use a mixer, stir by hand)

4. Cover the container loosely with a lid. Do not close it air-tight.

5. Leave the container on the counter. If its cold in the room, throw a towel or a blanket over it. (note: you can also incubate your kefir in the oven with the light on, oven off)

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Incubating the kefir in the oven – light on, oven off

6. The kefir will set in about 12-14 hours. You can easily check if the kefir has set by tipping the container a bit — its contents will be viscose (a thick liquid) instead of liquid.  For a denser kefir simply leave the milk culturing longer.

Your kefir is now ready to drink!!!

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The kefir we made last night came out absolutely amazing!!!  My husband and I can’t wait to experiment with it.  I’m thinking of trying my Raw Cacao Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake with the kefir!  I would substitute the milk with the kefir and omit the whey as the kefir is loaded with protein and probiotics!

It’s so much fun making your own products and knowing where they come from.  It’s fun living off the land!

A very special thank you to Ivo at Bacillus Bulgaricus for sending me a sample of your new Bulgarian Style Kefir Starter.  Buy your own today by clicking here!


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