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Post your kefir questions here

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi folks. I have sent out lots of grains lately and am up to my eyeballs in alligators so I am afraid I may miss PMs with questions. Since there is a cadre of experts here, I thought I'd start a thread.

This is a post I sent out with the grains:

Here’s the best source of info on-line about kefir:

http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html

I put the grains in a Ziploc bag (double bagged actually) and added a bit of milk. When your receive it, just strain the grains from the milk, put the grains in a jar, pour milk over them, cover the jar loosely with a lid, and put it in a cupboard. Your first batch or two of kefir may smell a bit yeasty as the grains adjust to the new environment, but it’s still edible.

In terms of separating the grains, the biggest thing to avoid is straining with metal – the kefir will end up with a metallic taste. I actually use a plastic colander to strain because the grains get so big and the kefir so thick that a bamboo or plastic strainer just don’t work. I also have a plastic slotted spoon I use – sometimes I don’t wait for the kefir to strain through the colander, I just spoon out the chunks of grains from the mixture. The grains will reproduce – they will both get bigger and make little grains.

In terms of how long to let it sit before straining, it varies so much with temperature and the grain-to-milk ratio. Once it separates you definitely need to strain it – it will look nasty, so you’ll know that it separated. It’s OK if it separates, but will be more sour. I try to strain mine when it looks a bit curdled.

And I'll add key info here to the thread -- I've been mailing about a heaping tablespoon of grains, so probably a quart of milk is a good place to start, but if you are using a quart jar, put in a bit less than a quart.

If you are not able to make the kefir right away, the grains should keep in the fridge for a day or two. They are pretty resilient, so they could last a lot longer, it's hard to say.
post #2 of 6
Does the milk need to be room temp when you put the grains in it? I know it's going to ferment at room temp, but can I pull the milk right out of the frig, and plop them in it.
And alligators? Do you mean that literally?
post #3 of 6
When I strain it and put it in the fridge, does that stop the fermenting process? I ahve been soing mine in a tightly lidded jar and it keeps the fizz in.

Catarina
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainmom
Does the milk need to be room temp when you put the grains in it? I know it's going to ferment at room temp, but can I pull the milk right out of the frig, and plop them in it.
And alligators? Do you mean that literally?

Cold milk will not hurt the grains. I put 'frige cold' milk into my grains all the time to start a fresh batch...even leaving your brewing container IN THE FRIGE while it does it thing, will work, just slower.

This is a good way to 'slow it down' for various reasons. (You have too much Kefer on hand, you are low on milk and want to make what you have last...etc).

I agree about the alligators, I figure it's because of Ivan making them 'come further ashore??? ACK!
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catarina
When I strain it and put it in the fridge, does that stop the fermenting process? I ahve been soing mine in a tightly lidded jar and it keeps the fizz in.

Catarina

Nope, it just slows it down ALOT. With the grains removed (at least any visible ones...some tiny ones might slip through...) it 'almost' stops it, but the cultured milk will continue to get 'sour' and ferment. Keeping the fizz in is ok, just make sure to 'check' the jar every now and then to let some of the 'fizz' out (hopefully when you are drinking or using it), and this will help prevent it from 'leaking' around the lid.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
hee hee. sorry gals, no literal alligators here. LOL

thanks xena.

i'm in the middle of online traffic school right now. last minute. better pass these puppies tonight.
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