Originally Posted by Elizabeth2008
I just bought some kefir grains from the Kefir Lady and i followed the instructions exactly and after 24 hours the kefir looked pretty clumpy, so I strained it and what was left in the strainer was very thick cottage cheese looking stuff and what went through the strainer was essentially water. What did I do wrong? And how do I recover my kefir grains from the thick curds in the strainer? Do I rinse it?
When you rinse your grains, you rinse away the kefiran, so unless you're trying to rescue or save damaged grains, it's not recommended to rinse kefir grains.
It sounds like you either had too many grains for the amount of milk you had, your milk cultured longer than necessary for the temperature it was at or it maybe went a bit longer than necessary for the temperature (sometimes they can go a bit under 24hrs depending on the amt of grains and the room temperature). Are you on Marilyn's Yahoo! Group? You can also call her. But my guess is that what she'd suggest is if you want to try to grains with the same amount of milk that you do it at a lower temp. The other suggestion would be to use more milk.
The watery stuff that you have is whey and you can mix it back into the kefir. It separates when it either cultures too long or the temp is too high. Basically, your grains ate all the lactose available in the milk and it started to separate.
How to separate the grains from the curds? You can use a wooden spoon to push them through the strainer a bit, or, just wash your hands and feel them and separate them manually. The grains will feel a bit rubbery and you'll be able to tell them apart that way.