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Got Kefir? - Page 8

post #141 of 582
xenabyte: Ah yes! I could consume anything if it's flavored with yummy maple syrup! We're "kefiring" away here. I'm going to need to rest my grains for a week while we go on vacation, so hopefully all will be well!
post #142 of 582
I'm glad you gals got your grains and you're culturing away. I'm mailing out Tuesday if anyone else is interested.
post #143 of 582

I thought I would bump this to see if anyone has an answer

Hmmmmm.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain mom
I have a question!

So, I have been seperating my youghurt to make cream cheese and whey and then using the whey to make sourdough starter, soak my grains and fermented ginger ale amoung other things.

If I was to make kefir using rice milk or coconut milk and then seperate the kefir into the cream cheese and whey, would this whey be considered vegan? I have a very strict vegan buddy whom I would love to make coconut cream pie for with kefir cream cheese. Plus I have been soaking my flour with a bit of whey to make banana bread and muffins and such and if I use youghurt whey she won't let her kids have any but if I use the whey from my coconut or rice milk kefir....


What do you all think?
post #144 of 582
Thread Starter 
Sorry Mountain Mom, I guess I missed this question with all the down board times and Thanksgiving preparations and such...so here goes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain mom
If I was to make kefir using rice milk or coconut milk and then seperate the kefir into the cream cheese and whey, would this whey be considered vegan?
Yes, coconut milk or rice milk is vegan, and the only other stuff in it, would be the 'ferment' from the Kefir Grains. As long as she eats cultured products or yeasted breads or the like, I don't see a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain mom
I have a very strict vegan buddy whom I would love to make coconut cream pie for with kefir cream cheese. Plus I have been soaking my flour with a bit of whey to make banana bread and muffins and such and if I use youghurt whey she won't let her kids have any but if I use the whey from my coconut or rice milk kefir....
I would definitely buy some canned coconut milk (it's thicker and seems to ferment closer to regular milk). Now, I drank my coconut Kefir Milk in a smoothie, so I've never gotten to the point of letting it seperate out to see if it makes curds and whey, like milk does.

Basically it was, Kefiran innoculated, coconut cream milk. I'm not sure if only true milk will give you the 'curds' to make a cream cheese like substance.

You will have to just try it and see if it will substitute for your pie, but if it works, it IS Vegan. You could soak the grains in it and see if the flavor and texture is ok also; I would think a coconut flavored bread would be lovely! I've not experimented with coconut 'whey' or tried to make that specifically, so if it works, let us know!

I did make up some coconut cream concentrate into a 'liquid' and it didn't form a smooth drink...so that didn't work too well....

Rice milk might not have the right components to seperate out into 'curds', but you could filter out any solids and use that for a grain soak for baking, as it would be 'fermented' with Kefiran and other goodies...

Hope this helps. I say just try it!
post #145 of 582
well kefir is going good here. I have found my favorite is a smoothy made with kefir, frozen blueberries, banana, and ground flax seed. YUMMY!
post #146 of 582
Thanks Xenabyte for your reply, I will try it! I actually am waiting on a batch on grains from Andrea and then I am back on the Kefir wagon!

What about this idea....using homemade Eggnog to make Kefir then making the cheese and making eggnog kefir cheesecake!
post #147 of 582
Thread Starter 
The homemade eggnog would have raw egg and sugar in it, and possibly vanilla extract. I would worry about affecting the grains during the ferment and the raw egg sitting around while it fermented....

I would just make milk Kefir, THEN make eggnog with it to drink. using whatever usual recipe you use...just substitute Kefir milk for normal milk.

If you want to do Kefir Eggnog Cheesecake: Make normal milk Kefir, then make your cream cheese. THEN just add in vanilla extract, a bit of ground nutmeg, and make the cheese cake per whatever recipe you like. Just omit any lemon juice or other strong flavors. I would not want to have Kefir cream cheese sitting around with raw egg in it. So I would just make a vanilla flavored cheesecake and add in some nutmeg to give it the 'eggnog' flavor.

But it does sound super yummy. I LOVE eggnog.
post #148 of 582
I think I'm doing my kefir wrong - am I supposed to just strain out the grains or do I strain out the curds too (I was straining out the curds and the kefir seems really thin - so today I put them back in.) Do I strain the whole batch or should I just fish out the kefir grains?
post #149 of 582
Thread Starter 
Personal preference...however I usually let a few curds cling to the grains to give it a good start on the next batch, but definitely 'rinse' them off at least once a week, to make sure the grains are getting full access to all the milk.

I found a little nylon strainer at a health food store designed to actually hold loose tea leaves. It has a super fine mesh.

I pour my kefir through this now, and it captures all the grains (and alot of the curds). Then once the liquidy kefir milk is in my new jar, I take the round, smooth handle of a wooden spoon (or a plastic one) and gently 'stir' the curds/grains in the little cup shaped strainer. This makes the curds break up and pass through into the more liquidy stuff (and thickens it, but it's super smooth).

I don't stir and stir, until it's all passed through, but it will become 'liquidy'. I pour this residue with the grains into my brew jar and add fresh milk. It has made the Kefir really smooth and easy to drink (no curdy clumps in your mouth). It stays smooth like this too in the refrigerator, so it's nice to drink even days beyond it's 'brewing'.

WATER KEFIR:

Update. Ok, I'm loving this stuff, using real water kefir grains. I think they are growing (seem to have more than I started with), but they are growing slower than milk Kefir. I hope when it's warm again, in the spring, maybe they will 'take off' and I'll have lots of extras! The flavor of the 'water kefir brew' is actually extremely nice. I just use unsulfured ginger slices, some sugar, and one organic, unsulfured fig per batch. I bottle it after three days in ceramic stoppered 'beer' bottles and refrigerate. It's like a really mellow ginger ale! I have even bought some plain sparkling water and pour it half and half with the brew, and it's like high end 'health food store' gingerale!

Happy Holidays!
post #150 of 582
Another question (sorry) - is the kefir supposed to have a sour fermented taste - rather undrinkable unless you add stuff to it? I expected it to taste more yogurty which I enjoy plain.
post #151 of 582
Does anyone have any grains to get rid of? I'm intrigued and really want to try this!
post #152 of 582
Cathe -- The kefir becomes more sour the longer it stews, so you might not culture it for as long. I do find it to be much more sour than yogurt. My mom drinks it plain but it's too much for me. You first few batches might be a little extra yeasty too as the grains adjust, so it might be more drinkable as it mellows.

MoMommy -- I just responded to your PM
post #153 of 582
THanks Gale Force - I'll keep trying then.
post #154 of 582
I was talking to my mom last night about kefir ( she used it when I was young but hasn't for a long time) and she suggested that my apartment might not work for making my own - her main concern was the temp/ humidity. Has anyone not been able to make kefir due to their living conditions or do you just need to adjust your ratios/ brew time?

Sorry if that has been answered before - I just went through the whole thread and my eyes are getting kind of tired

I'd like to try this out but I don't want to kill any grains I might get, especially not right away.
post #155 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by mermommy
I was talking to my mom last night about kefir ( she used it when I was young but hasn't for a long time) and she suggested that my apartment might not work for making my own - her main concern was the temp/ humidity. Has anyone not been able to make kefir due to their living conditions or do you just need to adjust your ratios/ brew time?
The temperature affects how long it will take to brew. In the summer my kefir gets strong and sour very quickly. In the winter, it takes days. We don't have big differences in humidity here and we're not particularly dry or humid, so I can't speak from experience there. I would try it.
post #156 of 582
Thanks Gale now I'll just have to hunt down some grains
post #157 of 582
Okay so I am on the hunt for the best strainer for kefir as well as making youghurt/kefir cheese (straining off the whey).

I have a bunch of 'sock' tea strainers in various diameters. They are a knit cotton material that is hung from a ring (thats metal). It is possible to strain the kefir without touching the metal.

Here is the link to where I bought them. What do you all think of this idea. I am concerned about contamination. One can wash these socks very thoroughly mind you. Hmmmmm

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/tea_tool/infusers.php

They are called cotton tea nets and if you click on the camera icon you can see a picture.

What do you all think?
post #158 of 582
Thread Starter 
Hey, sorry I've been away from my computer for a few days and have missed several questions. I'll probably be like this until holidays are past.

Cathe,

One thing I did that seemed to mellow out the Kefir REALLY quickly, was put a tight mesh on the lid of the jar and screw a metal band on it (canning jar). Letting it 'air out' as it ferments keeps it from developing that 'sourdough bread' smell.

I also set the jar (mesh lidded) in the oven with light on for about an hour and (to make long story short) it 'off gassed' even quicker and or developed a really super mellow flavor.

Bacterias like warmer temperatures, approaching body temps. Yeasts do fine and prefer cooler temps. So, fermenting at room temp will develop more yeasts (and ergo that 'sour' smell).

Bacterias like you get for making yogurt and used in the warmed milk, will prefer warmer summer day ferments or sitting near or in a warm spot. So try sitting your jar in the oven with light on. You could leave the door ajar too. Just don't let it get TOO hot.

I also noticed a nice flavor after fermenting the grains in some coconut milk (canned) once or twice a month.

Just some hopefully helpful tips for anyone 'playing around' with the ferment time and flavors!

P.S. Now I always ferment my Kefir with the 'aerated' mesh lid.

Also, if I've missed any PMs or Emails about grains, please PM or Email me again before Monday. I should have enough to ship out some more grains, now that Thanksgiving is behind me ....

Another Note: I appoligize to all, I've been pulled in twenty directions the last few weeks and it's gonna get worse. I have 6 birthdays in Dec, 4 in January, and 3 in Feb...on top of holiday shopping and my brothers are coming to visit..so trying to get house ready...I'll be very sporatic and seem very disjointed in my posts! I do love you all and will try to help answer some of the questions as I can!
post #159 of 582
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain mom
Okay so I am on the hunt for the best strainer for kefir as well as making youghurt/kefir cheese (straining off the whey).

I have a bunch of 'sock' tea strainers in various diameters. They are a knit cotton material that is hung from a ring (thats metal). It is possible to strain the kefir without touching the metal.

Here is the link to where I bought them. What do you all think of this idea. I am concerned about contamination. One can wash these socks very thoroughly mind you. Hmmmmm

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/tea_tool/infusers.php

They are called cotton tea nets and if you click on the camera icon you can see a picture.


What do you all think?

Answered this on the other thread where you posted (or I should say, I gave my $.02 worth ...heheh)

I think the socks would be ok, but you would need to dry them (and possibly iron them on hot) to make sure they were 'sterile' enough and nothing was growing in them while damp. Other than that, they are a good all natural product. It just might get to be a bit of a hassle to make sure they are 'sterile' dry every day if you are brewing alot of Kefir or whatnot...

H
post #160 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe
Another question (sorry) - is the kefir supposed to have a sour fermented taste - rather undrinkable unless you add stuff to it? I expected it to taste more yogurty which I enjoy plain.
My moms kefir tatses just like butter milk to me, rather good IMO.
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