Have you been making kefir for a while already? Then the chances are high that at least once you have asked yourself the question: what is the optimum temperature for making water and milk kefir?
However, a lot of people are not even taking temperature into consideration. Because this nutritious beverage is a mesophilic culture, which means that kefir does not need hot temperatures to thrive. If you ever tried making, for example, yogurt you know that this particular culture requires a higher temperature range.
But even though water and milk kefir can easily be left in the room for fermentation, the temperature of the surrounding is still something that you need to take into consideration. After all, during winter the temperature can drastically drop even in your kitchen and that can either prevent the kefir grains from multiplying or simply kill the culture.
Because of this, you should consider getting a special thermometer. After all, it’s always nice to know that you are in control of the situation, right?
Here are the 3 best thermometers for making kefir available on the market.
In case you want to find out a little more about the best temperatures for kefir making, then keep on reading.
Table of Contents
Kefir Temperature Range: What Is the Ideal Temperature for Making Kefir?
The temperature will determine how much time your milk or water kefir needs to ferment. Typically, on colder days the process will take longer. But the trick works the other way round as well. If your area is experiencing a few surprisingly hot days, your kefir might be ready faster than usual.
The perfect temperature range for water and milk kefir making is 20-25 °C (68-77 °F). In case your home has a steady temperature throughout the whole year, you have nothing to worry about. But various temperature swings are never a great thing for your culture. So, if you know that the temperature is going to drop or if there are going to be a few extremely hot days, then try insulating your culturing container. You can easily do that with the help of a towel, for example.
The truth is that you can make your kefir even at extreme temperatures. The beverage will continue to ferment at 4°C (39°F) or 30°C (86°F). However, as we have already mentioned, the time that the culture would need to make the real kefir will drastically differ.
But in case you decide to culture your water or milk kefir at home, then the room temperature has to do. If for some reason, the temperature in your place drops below 16°C, the fermentation process won’t stop. But it will definitely take you longer to make kefir. Moreover, if there is a sudden drop in temperature the kefir will turn out to be thinner. The grains need around two weeks to get used to the new temperature in order to start giving normal kefir again.
When it comes to high temperatures, it is a whole different story. You can keep the batch at 30°C maximum for a day. Later on, the grains will start degrading; they won’t grow any longer and the texture will change. In such a case, make sure to change the milk daily. However, it is always better to find a cooler place for your kefir culture.
How to Keep the Kefir Warm during Cold Weather?
Keeping the kefir cool is relatively easy. You can always put the container in the shadow, a cupboard or in the basement.
But how can you keep the future water or milk kefir warm, in case the temperature drops?
There are some special places in your home that always have a higher temperature (next to a boiler, for example). By the way, there is nothing bad about keeping your baby kefir next to the fireplace, so do take that into consideration as well.
However, we live in the 21st century, and there certainly are some gadgets that can help us deal with this problem.
A heating belt, for example, is a relatively a cheap option. You can wrap the belt around the container with the future kefir and leave it in a safe, dry place. Heating belts usually don’t give you the option to set the temperature, but such a device will surely keep your precious kefir at an acceptable temperature.
Heating pads are considered to be a better option as these things can be placed around the container. Thus, the vessel will be heating up evenly. Remember to place an insulating fabric first and only then – your heating pads.
Review: 3 Best Thermometers for Making Kefir
Now you know why it’s important to have a stable, warm temperature in the room where you have decided to ferment your kefir. Moreover, you know what are the best temperatures for kefir making.
If you want your beverage to turn out tasty and healthy, you have to be able to control the temperature. And the first thing that you would need to do is check the actual temperatures.
These devices will help you with that:
1. Zoo Med Repti Temp Digital Infrared Thermometer
- Instant read thermometer gun
- Easy to use, just point and click
- Infrared digital technology delivers accurate measurements
- Perfect for checking terrarium, basking area, incubation and hibernation and brumation temps
Don’t worry. Even though this thermometer is designed for animals, it will also do the job perfectly for your water or milk kefir. Besides, it is practically impossible to find a thermometer made especially for kefir making, so you don’t really have too many options.
This thermometer can read water temperatures (exactly what we’re looking for). Moreover, it’s compact and all you have to do in order to find out the numbers – is click a button. Another ‘pro’ is that the device can easily switch between Centigrade and Fahrenheit. The temperature range that the device can measure is pretty impressive (-28° to 230°F;-33° to 110°C).
How does the thing work?
Well, you simply point the device at the spot and click the button. After that, the thermometer will tell you the temperature of the place. You totally can measure the temperature of your actual kefir by pointing the thing straight at the beverage. But bear in mind that if you measure the temperature of the container, the results might not be correct (the thermometer can’t really monitor the temperature through glass).
However, all you need to know is the temperature of the place where your milk or water kefir will be stored, right? The device includes a lithium battery so that you can start right away.
2. LCD Thermometer Stick-On Strip Self Adhesive
- 10x LCD Thermometer Temperature Strip - 13cm (H) x 2cm (W)
- Temperature Range 14 - 32C
- Stick On, Self Adhesive shows a constant reading.
- Easy to read. Numbers Light Up as the temperature changes.
- Sticks to the side of your fermenter bucket, barrel, demijohn.
These little fellows are perfect for sticking to the side of your fermenting container. The major downside of these thermometers is that they have only a Centigrade scale and a small temperature range. However, if you know the optimum temperatures for water and milk kefir, then you will have absolutely no problems with the scale.
Once you stick it on, it will constantly read the temperature. Every time something changes, the thermometer will light up the number to get your attention. Pretty cool, right?
This is not the most durable item out there. That’s exactly why these thermometers come in a pack of 10.
3. Instant Reading Fast Digital Cooking Thermometer
- Simple function: The display shows the temperature in degrees Celsius / Celsius.
- Wide temperature measurement range - from -58°F to 572°F (-50°C to 300°C),
- Equipped with a large LCD and buck sensitive probe, it can quickly and accurately read the temperature for meat cooking after 3-4 seconds of response. Energy saving - temperature readings keep the temperature turned off automatically for 15 minutes with automatic shutdown to save battery life (including battery)
- Various safety measurements - Stainless steel probes are ideal for depth and safety measurements for a variety of purposes, such as meat (steak, beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, fish), liquid beverages such as coffee, tea, milk, indoors and Boiling water in outdoor cooking and other heated foods.
- We use a unique long tube storage box, which is easier to store and protect, and is equipped with a lanyard for easy carrying.
Ok, so the main downside of this option is that you would have to open the container and put the thermometer inside the kefir in order to measure the temperature. And that’s not always a good idea. However, if you don’t want to open your baby kefir, you can always place another container with sample water or kefir right next to your batch. Use the first container to measure the temperature. Your ferment is going to have the same numbers.
However, this device has an extremely wide temperature range and it is the most accurate option out of the three. Moreover, it can be used not only for water or milk kefir but also for all the different dishes that you would want to prepare in your kitchen. So, you are getting practically an all-in-one model.
Yes, a thermometer is not something that you have to have if you want to get into kefir making. However, it will be a very handy addition to your kefir making equipment, as this device will help ensure that your nutritious beverage turns out perfect.