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how much kefir grains to make a pint/quart?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I bought some grains online and they never really did well. They were small and wimpy when I got them and never grew.

Last week a friend gave me some of hers and they are HUGE! They're all big and fluffy and slimy and wonderful looking.

Here's my problem: They are multiplying so fast I'm not sure how much or how little to use for each new batch.

I usually make a pint a day because the kids won't drink it, so I only use it for cooking and baking. Can I measure in a measuring spoon? How much do I want to use? A tsp? A tbsp?

Thanks!
post #2 of 10
According to Dom's Kefir site (http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/...thod_for_kefir), the ratio should be approximately 7 parts milk to 1 part kefir grains.
post #3 of 10
It depends on which part of dom's site as elsewhere he prescribes a ratio of 1:30 to 1:50 kefir grains to milk (particularly if your goal is to get the grains to grow quickly).

Ultimately though even a small portion of kefir grains will normally culture a decent amount of milk, it might just take a little longer.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Uhhh, I guess I don't understand the whole ratio thing. Milk is a liquid and the grains are solid. Can't imagine how to make the "parts" match up. I don't have a scale to weigh out grams or anything...

Like...if I have 8 fluid oz of milk, would I put about a tsp of grains? I can break the big chunk in to smaller pieces.

I'm asking because I wonder if the grain-hunk is so large it is culturing the milk too fast. It's getting all the way to the stage of separating into curds and whey after only about 12 hours, but I can't use it up that fast. I need it to take a full 24 hours to be ready. As it is, I keep my thermostat at 75*, I can't imagine why it's setting up so fast except because maybe there's too much grain in it. ???

So I want to reduce the amount to lengthen the time but I don't want to put too little grain and ruin a cup of milk.
post #5 of 10
It can take a bit of experimenting but you really want your kefir to take at 18-24 hours to culture. 12 hours is too quick--actually I'd double check that kefir is actually forming and the milk isn't just spoiling (could be a sign the grains aren't working).

For your next batch, put the kefir grains in and then watch it carefully (maybe start it in the morning and check it throughout the day). You want to see the milk thicken before it separates. If that's not happening, something (probably the grains) isn't working right.

The ratios are approximate...don't worry about weighing or liquids versus solids. This is more of an art than a science. I generally will use 2-3 teaspoons of grains to culture between a pint and a quart. Much more than that and I find the process goes too quickly and I ended up with kefir that doesn't taste as good.

Ultimately though there's an interdependent process going on. How fast kefir cultures is dependent on the amount of grains, the amount of milk and the temperature of the room. So for example, more grains and less milk will culture faster. Warm rooms will cause kefir to form faster; cold rooms will slow the process down.

Just play with the ratios a bit. If you have more than a tablespoon of grains, it might be worth sticking some in milk in the fridge while you only use part of them. The good news is that once you find the amount of grains and milk that works best for you given how often you want kefir and the temperature of the room, you'll be in good shape until there's a temperature shift.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmom327 View Post
It depends on which part of dom's site as elsewhere he prescribes a ratio of 1:30 to 1:50 kefir grains to milk (particularly if your goal is to get the grains to grow quickly).

Ultimately though even a small portion of kefir grains will normally culture a decent amount of milk, it might just take a little longer.
You're right, I looked at more of Dom's site, and he says anywhere from 1:3 to 1:50 will work. So I guess it all is up to experimenting.

That said, I usually use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup to culture a quart of milk, and that seems to work out okay.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by acoleman View Post
You're right, I looked at more of Dom's site, and he says anywhere from 1:3 to 1:50 will work. So I guess it all is up to experimenting.

That said, I usually use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup to culture a quart of milk, and that seems to work out okay.
I'm really hoping one of these days his site gets more organized. There is such fantastic info on there--just really hard to find sometimes.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oh, yes! There are so many pages and new windows are always opening and I get so overwhelmed.

I keep my house at 75 in the summer (9mos) and open windows the 3mos of winter we have here, so it's usually pretty cool in here. I'll pare it down to a couple of tbsps and put the rest to sleep in the fridge and see what happens.
post #9 of 10

According to http://judsonsnotes.com/notes/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=76&Itemid=110 you should use a ratio of 1:100 by weight.  Apparently the bacteria count decreases with too many grains.
 

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi and welcome to MDC!  I've taken a break from kefir and now I'm back to brewing kombucha but I'm thinking of starting up kefir again as our local HFS just started carrying real milk, so this link is very timely!

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