I like making kefir. It has a taste similar to yogurt, with a bit less tang. It is thick but more of a liquid then yogurt is. It is much easier to make. You don't need any appliance such as a yogurt maker to make it. You can drink it as is or it makes a great addition to smoothies.
You can make kefir two ways. One is from kefir grains and the other is kefir cultures.
Kefir grains are left in the milk and daily strained out. The grains multiply allowing you to continue to make more kefir. They require daily maintenance.
Kefir cultures are in a powdered form. You make it by heating up milk and adding the cultures when the milk is an appropriate temperature. You can reculture many times. Meaning you add milk to a portion of the kefir and it will make more kefir.
I chose to use the cultures because there is less maintenance and the end goal of having cultured dairy in my diet is achieved.
Below is how I made my kefir..
This is the brand of kefir I used. It comes in a box with 6 packets of culture in it..
You begin by heating up a quart of milk to 180 degrees...
Then allow the milk to cool to about 75 degrees. If you don't want to wait for the milk to cool you can speed up the process by putting the pan in some cold water (ice can be added) and stirring until it has cooled down.
When the milk is ready, open the packet of cultures and put them in a small bowl.
Take some of the hot milk and pour into the bowl of cultures and stir them.
When they are dissolved pour back into the pan of milk and stir...
Pour the cultured milk into a canning jar and put a lid on the jar.
Set the jar on the counter for 24 hours.
When it is done it will be fairly thick...
You can stir or shake the jar and it can be poured out..
To reculture is simple. Take about ¼ cup kefir and put it in a quart jar. Top the jar with warm milk (75 degrees). Let it sit on the counter for 24 hours and you have another quart of kefir.
Each batch of kefir can be recultured several times.
Here is a link to the Yogourmet Freeze-Dried Kefir Starter -- 1 oz I purchased (affiliate link).