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Firm Kefir Cheese

How to make hard kefir cheese - like cream cheese, feta or ricotta

4.8 from 4 reviews

Learn how to turn over-cultured kefir into a firm cultured cheese. This simple recipe doesn’t require any cooking or rennet. See the sections above for information on how to finish the cheese by hanging it or pressing it.

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 4 cups of thick curded milk kefir
  • 1/2 tsp of salt (non-iodized)

Instructions

  1. While kefir cheese can be made from accidentally over-cultured kefir, it’s better if the kefir is intentionally allowed to curdle.
  2. To curdle milk kefir for cheese, remove the grains from well-cultured, thick kefir. Allow the kefir to sit out on the counter for an additional 12-24 hours until it has fully separated into curds and whey.
  3. Line a colander with two layers of cheesecloth. Pour the curded kefir into the colander to drain away most of the whey. I recommend catching the whey because it is full of probiotics and perfect for culturing all sorts of other ferments. See the notes at the bottom of the recipe for some suggested ways to use kefir whey!
  4. Allow the curds to drain for 4 to 6 hours.
  5. After this initial draining, sprinkle on 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir it into the thickened kefir. The cheese can be used at this point for soft cheese. However, I recommend making a firm cheese using the hanging ball method or pressing the curds. Both of these options are described in detail in the sections above.
  6. Store homemade kefir cheese in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Notes

  • This recipe is for cheese made from milk kefir. To make cheese from yogurt, follow this recipe for labneh.
  • Kefir whey is incredibly useful. It can be used for baking, culturing vegetables, or adding a dose of probiotics to dips and sauces.
  • If this is your first time making cheese, I recommend reading my post on how to make cheese at home for more details on each of the steps involved.

Keywords: kefir cheese, pressed cheese, simple, homemade, cheesemaking, over-cultured kefir, separated kefir, kefir feta, kefir ricotta, kefir cream cheese