I often get frustrated customers contacting us because their milk kefir grains are just not rehydrating well with their Non-Homogenized milk. I set out to do some experimenting myself, as I had heard it could be done, yet so many were still struggling. I cannot have dairy myself, but a friend mentioned she was too busy to take care of grains and really wanted to drink kefir…I offered to help, and what great timing to test out rehydration with the troublesome milk! I knew temperature is always a huge factor. It is rather chilly in our house, especially in the kitchen with its many poorly insulated windows and linoleum flooring. I was also in the process of making bone broth continuously so I planned for my grains to live right next to the crock pot (see here for more ideas to warm up the environment). Before the grains arrived, I made sure I had my supplies – a brand new plastic mesh strainer, clean jars, cloth napkins, a kitchen towel, a rubber band, and a good organic regularly pasteurized non-homogenized milk. I stored the box of grains in the fridge for a few days until I knew I could babysit the grains and ensure a smooth process.
The dried grains went into 1 cup of milk. Wrapping the pint jar in kitchen towel, I placed it next to the crockpot. Nothing of course happened in the first 24 hours, so I discarded that milk and gave the grains a new cup of milk. To my surprise, 12 hours later, it had thickened throughout! Even the yellowish cream layer on top had thickened beautifully. I strained the grains out and gave them 1 ½ cups of new milk right away. The thickened milk sure smelled and tasted sour, so into the fridge it went for my friend. Less than 24 hours later, the 1 ½ cups had thickened beautifully. I repeated the processed and now put the grains in 2 cups of milk. By the time I reached 3 ½ cups of milk, I knew the grains were happy and officially rehydrated.
If you are having issues with your non-homogenized milk, contact Customer Support! It might be that you need more warmth, or that it needs to be agitated a few times so that the cream doesn’t get a chance to separate, or so the cream doesn’t carry away the grains to the top of the jar!. It can be done, and we’ll do our best to help!