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Kefir grains are a great option for making kefir because the culture is made up of some 50 different probiotics which help to promote health, if they are taken care of they will last forever and they can be used daily to make a new batch of fresh kefir.
The problem is that every day you make a fresh batch of kefir! This can lead to an overwhelming amount of kefir in the fridge and as the kefir grains grow (yes they grow) the amount of kefir you can produce increases.
Here is a great way to use all the extra kefir your grains produce and in the process make a wonderful hard cheese which has a feta like texture. It can be flavored however you want making it a very versatile cheese.
Equipment you will need
- Two pieces of tightly woven cotton cloth about a foot square
- 2 feet of String
- Bowl to catch whey
- A small plate
- Something heavy
- 1 liter of kefir fermented for 48 hours.
- Flavorings of your choice. I like herbs, pepper or fermented jalapenos
Line the bowl with the cotton cloth and pour the kefir into the bowl. Gather the edges of the cloth together and tie closed with the string.
Tie the other end of the string to something high enough to suspend the bag of kefir above the bowl and hang the kefir for 24 hours. This will allow some of the whey to drip into the colander leaving the thickened curds in the cloth bag.
The kefir will now be thickened enough to add the flavorings.
Open the cloth bag and scrape the kefir cheese into a bowl.
Mix in the salt and other flavorings a little at a time and tate it often. It is easy to add more but not possible to take any out.
If you are using dried spices remember the flavor will get stronger as the spices combine with the curds so don’t add too much.
Place the second cloth on the counter and put the flavored kefir mixture in the center. Wrap the kefir so that it is entirely contained within the cloth.
Place it in the colander. Empty the whey from the bowl and store for later use. Place the colander over the bowl and put the small plate on top of the kefir.
Place the weight on top of the plate. This will force more of the whey out of the kefir cheese. In 24 hours you can either check the consistence of the cheese or add more weight. The more weight the harder the cheese.
Once the cheese is as hard as you want it place it in a container and refrigerate.
It can be enjoyed in salads, omelets, on crackers or just plain.