Milk kefir is probably my favourite ferment, so naturally I always want to bring it along on holidays! It’s surprisingly easy to travel with milk kefir grains.
General Info for Taking Kefir Grains on Holiday
I ended up carrying my kefir grains around with me for a whole month-long trip to Europe. The grains went on two overnight boat rides, many car trips, a train ride and an overseas flight. Here’s some advice for how to travel with milk kefir grains.
- Divide your kefir grains, leaving at least 1/2 at home in a jar full of milk for safe keeping. It’s a good back up just in case something happens to the traveling kefir.
- Kefir will live in a jar full of milk in the fridge for at least 2 months.~Personally, I’ve never left it for longer than that.~
- For road trips all you need is a few glass jars to keep rotating the grains in fresh milk. A cooler is handy, in case you’re producing more milk then you can drink. I invested in two juice jars and a small folding beer can cooler, which worked well for traveling by car, train and boat. I just made sure to keep the upright, while we were on the road.
- Take only a small grain (about 1 tbsp) since you aren’t likely to use as much kefir when staying in hotels and eating out of restaurants.
Taking Milk Kefir on a Plane
Are you wondering how to take a milk kefir grain on a flight? Even a long a long-distance flight? (I live on an island in the Northwest Pacific… so Europe is far!)
- Pack your kefir grains with a just little bit of milk into an air-tight plastic container. Then double bag the container just to make sure it doesn’t leak in your suitcase. A leak is likely both because of the pressure of fermentation and changes in air pressure. My kefir separated into curds and whey, with the curds staying in the container and the whey leaking into the zip-top bag.
- You can put the grain into your checked baggage, or if you want to put it in your carry on, then only add 1 tbsp of milk so that you can take it through security without a problem.
- When you arrive, buy a container of fresh milk and pop your kefir grain in for safe keeping until you are ready to start culturing. Don’t worry too much about what kind of milk, kefir is pretty robust to changes. Just avoid UHT milk.
- It might take a few days for the kefir to overcome jet-lag, but you should have it culturing nicely within one week.