I’ve used a few methods over the years and all have worked for me at various points of my kefir-making career. I really think it just comes down to personal preference, what you like and what you don’t like.
But for those who commented on struggling with this, I thought I’d share three popular options.
I have used strainers of different varieties to strain off the kefir. This works well, depending on the viscosity of the kefir, which is usually a factor of how long you allowed your kefir to culture.
If you are culturing a thin, drinkable kefir at only 6-12 hours culture time, then a strainer is super simple to use and will just “catch” the grains as the kefir passes easily through.
If, on the other hand, you are making a thicker, longer-fermented kefir, then this can get a bit trickier. The thick kefir will collect in your strainer like a thick yogurt and you must find the kefir grains within.
To achieve this, I find that stirring with a small plastic spoon allows the kefir to break up and pass through the strainer, leaving the larger kefir grains behind.
Brand new kefir grains that are still rehydrating or are just still very small can be sensitive to the stirring process, though. So I personally like to save the stirring and straining for when the kefir grains are mature and large enough to withstand the stirring.
The Muslin Bag
Another option is to use these small muslin bags. Placing the milk kefir grains inside of them contains them, separate from the surrounding milk, and easy to fish out at the end of the process.
I can only recommend using this with mature, healthy grains as their is a possibility of restricting milk flow to the kefir grains, which could be hard on new, developing grains.
The Hand-in-Bowl Method
This is my go-to method when I’m in a hurry, frantic in the kitchen, or just plain need to get those kefir grains out of there now.
I just pour my quart of cultured kefir into a medium glass bowl, put my clean hand into the kefir, and fish out the grains with my fingers as I break up the texture of the kefir.
It isn’t always pretty, but it gets the job done when you’ve got three little ones tugging at your apron.
How do you remove the kefir grains from your cultured kefir?