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Got Kefir? - Page 9

post #161 of 582
Thread Starter 
Here is something I want to try, but have NOT done yet...but here is the info. The Dom has a 'edited down' new FAQ page, and I'm giving the link here and it might help answer some questions:

http://ftp.newave.net.au/~dna/kefir-...ml#ingestingkg

He mentions a 'yogurt/Kefir' hybrid that sounds interesting. It would give you the benefits of the Kefir AND probably have more of a 'yogurt' mouth feel and taste. Worth looking into. I've altered the recipe a bit with my notes...go to the above site for his instructions.

Kefir grain cultured homemade yogurt [Kefiran-Yogurt]

Ingredients

1-2 Tbs of fresh kefir grains finely chopped or blended with 1/3 cup of fresh water
1 Lt [4 cups] fresh milk
3 Tbs of dry milk powder [opt but included will render the final yogurt thicker with a spoonable curd]
Yogurt incubator or thermos-flask [fill flask with boiling hot water, place lid and let sit to sterilize] or an electric blanket
2 Tbs of fresh unpasteurized commercial yogurt or a commercial yogurt starter-culture

Method

Chop Kefir fine with a knife. Boil in a pan of water for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. This gives you a gel. Set aside.

Add milk into another pan and dissolve dry milk powder. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Immediatly take off the heat when it boils. Then put the entire pan in a bit of cold sink water (no deep enough to get in the pan). Keep stirring with spoon until it's about 98 to tp 112 deg F.

Add the kefir gel and fresh yogurt or starter-culture packet to the milk; mix well.

Place this Kefir gel/yogurt inoculated milk in a sterile glass jar[s] or thermos flask.

Incubate at 98º to 113º F for 8-12 hours. If using a thermos-flask as an incubator, have it sitting full of hot water while you make the yogurt up, then pour the hot water from flask and add the inoculated milk. Let sit to incubate for 8-12 hours.

The Kefiran [gel-polysaccharide of kefir gains] should render the final yogurt with a smooth silky mouth-feel and it will contain the additional bacteria found in Kefir.

Another experiment would be to add in some yogurt starter culture to your Kefir jar and see if this 'pushes' it closer to a drinkable yogurt, flavor wise. Make sure to keep an 'uncontaminated' back up set of grains...unless you like the flavor and then you could 'convert' all your grains to this.

I once heated some milk to body temp and added in some grains AND a packet of Kefir culture starter. The resultant 'Kefir' was much closer to store bought in flavor. And I figure it helped 'replenish' any missing components (Hey, who knows...I am not looking at my Kefir under a microscope to see what is there and isn't there) and since it was taken from 'commercial Kefir' it was ok to mix in, as the Live Kefir will take what it needs or /might/ be missing. Everything seemed fine and the grains were fine.

Ok, enough rambling...I'm having a bad day with the kids and can't get a break...toddler driving me nuts (his job at this age) and baby is being VERY needy and I need to nurse him and cuddle....

TTYL
post #162 of 582

I got my kefir grains today!!!

I took them out of the little baggie they were shipped in, rinsed them in a plastic/nylon sieve with cool tap water, then put them in a clean glass jar, filled the jar about halfway with goat milk from the fridge, covered the jar with a cloth and left it on my counter.

Did I do it right?
post #163 of 582
Hi Ruthla, I think you did fine, but I am not sure about the rinse in the tap water. I was told to rinse with a milk or purified water.

I have a question. So I went and bought a donvier youghurt cheese maker. I would like to make kefir cheese, so once I strain my little grains out of the kefir is it safe to strain it through the metal mess in the youghurt cheese maker? Hoping I can thicken it up a little this way by removing some whey.

Hmmmmm....I still need to find the perfect mess strainer to get the grains out though, my tea sock idea didn't work because it is too tight of a knit.
post #164 of 582
Oh ya and I was reading Sandor's book, the kefir section and he says that you can strain kefir through anything. Whatsup???
post #165 of 582
As for straining, I got a set of strainers in the dollar store that seem to work pretty well. They're plastic on the outside (handle and ring) and nylon mesh for the strainer part. It's certainly not the best quality (what do you expect in a 4-pack for $1?) but I don't know if something similar is available in a higher quality product.

Edited to add: if I shouldn't use tap water to rinse the grains, is the water from my Brita filter good enough?
post #166 of 582
One more question. Can I make kefir out of my own homemade, strained nutmilks? They are just the soaked nuts, ground and blended and diluted with purified water. Can I use this to soak my grains in? I would like to keep one of our fermented milks a non-dairy source and we don't do store bought milks anymore such as rice milk or soy milk. Now I am making either almond, hazlenut or cashew by soaking the nut with some whey for 1 day then grinding and blending and diluting then flavouring with vanilla or maple and stevia. IF I was to make kefir from the nutmilk I would use it before the flavour is added.

What do you all think? I have made coconut milk kefir with success too.
post #167 of 582
Cross posted with you Ruthla, I think Brita would be fine. Some tap probably would be okay, but you can never be too safe IMO. Depends on your tap water I guess, but better safe than sorry, use Brita, again, IMO.

post #168 of 582
My package of kefir grains say to boil the milk before adding the grains. Is this really necessary? I want to use coconut milk cuz I have some in my fridge that I don't know what to do with.
post #169 of 582
With dairy milk I will bring to a light boil and then cool to about 110 degrees.

I have never heated the coconut milk, I just shake it up really good then pour it into the grains.

HTH
post #170 of 582
I havent ever heated my milk that I add to the kefir *didnt know I was supposed to* What will happen if I dont heat it?
post #171 of 582
Quote:
My package of kefir grains say to boil the milk before adding the grains. Is this really necessary? I want to use coconut milk cuz I have some in my fridge that I don't know what to do with.
It sounds like you have a yogurt-like starter with kefir-like bacteria. In that case I would boil it. With actual kefir grains, you can use cold milk. I am mailing out grains on Tues Dec 14 if you want to use the real deal. It's cheaper and easier.
post #172 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain mom
I have a question. So I went and bought a donvier youghurt cheese maker. I would like to make kefir cheese, so once I strain my little grains out of the kefir is it safe to strain it through the metal mess in the youghurt cheese maker? Hoping I can thicken it up a little this way by removing some whey.
I think the big issue with the metal is the effect on the grains -- the future kefir would acquire a bit of a metallic taste. I missed the part of Wild Fermentation about straining through anything. Who knows. I've heard "no metal" enough that I follow it.
post #173 of 582
Thread Starter 
The deal with Tap water is:

Tap water has LOTS of chlorine in it. The Chlorine is designed to kill bacteria...good or bad. So rinsing them with plain tap water is a bad thing. It could kill your grains. Filtered britta water should be fine, if the chlorine is for SURE removed.

The whole deal about metal strainers is this:

Kefir becomes slightly acidic from the ferment. Acids cause minute electrical currents when they come into contact with metals (this is how batteries basically work). Electrical currents over a period of time, could in theory kill the bacteria and yeasts from mini 'electricution'. So metal strainers with longish periods of contact are a bad thing.

The Packaged Kefir is NOT Kefir Grains.

It is ONLY some of the bacteria and yeasts taken out of commercially brewed Kefir, then dehydrated in a powdered milk solution and then sold. This is why you need to continually replace that stuff and you need to 'pasturize' the milk and make it warm to reactivate as many of those bacteria as possible, so that you get a relatively decent 'Kefir drink'. Kefir Grains are living and are a symbiotic colony. As long as you treat them well and feed them milk, they will give you Kefir forever...

Mmm...did I miss anything? /hugs to all!

Oh, and if you have coconut milk in the fridge, for sure you can use it cold and ferment it. Just stir it up good to make it smooth, and add in your grains.

You can do nut milks, but I would read the Dom's section on this. The link to his faq is at the top of this page in first post.
post #174 of 582
Thanks so much for all the answers! I checked out the link, bookmarked and now I feel much more confident with my grains. That is quite the site!

Thanks again, I am off to strain my coconut milk kefir and start a batch of cashew milk kefir, then I think I will try grape juice kefir.
post #175 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenabyte
[B]
The Packaged Kefir is NOT Kefir Grains.

It is ONLY some of the bacteria and yeasts taken out of commercially brewed Kefir, then dehydrated in a powdered milk solution and then sold. This is why you need to continually replace that stuff and you need to 'pasturize' the milk and make it warm to reactivate as many of those bacteria as possible, so that you get a relatively decent 'Kefir drink'. Kefir Grains are living and are a symbiotic colony. As long as you treat them well and feed them milk, they will give you Kefir forever...
Oh my gosh, I'm so dumb. I bought this "kefir starter" that has dried milk as an ingredient so this must be what you're talking about. It's a powder and is not at all *grain* like and I didn't know why. And I was so excited about making kefir Would I just be better off buying the already made stuff?
post #176 of 582
Another question....Can I covert my 'milk' grains to juice grains? I saw on Dom's site that they consistantly made grade juice kefir with orignal white grains that eventually turned purple. I like the idea of a constant fermentation of grape juice kefir.

So my question is "Can I just do grape juice kefir without ever rinsing in milk again (daily milk)

hmmmmmm

Mz Libbie...you should get Gale Force to send you some grains!
post #177 of 582
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mz_libbie22
Oh my gosh, I'm so dumb. I bought this "kefir starter" that has dried milk as an ingredient so this must be what you're talking about. It's a powder and is not at all *grain* like and I didn't know why. And I was so excited about making kefir Would I just be better off buying the already made stuff?

Don't feel dumb! You would not believe how many times this has been asked hehe...

Well, if you like it super fresh, then making it yourself is still a good thing. You will just have to keep buying the starter packets, and after a few times using the resulting Kefir to 'innoculate' new milk, you have to use another packet of starter.

The store bought stuff is convenient, but I imagine making your own, even if it's from a starter packet, is cheaper and you KNOW what milk you are using and you can add in other flavors if you like.

If you want some 'live' grains, PM me or Gale Force.
post #178 of 582
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain mom
Another question....Can I covert my 'milk' grains to juice grains? I saw on Dom's site that they consistantly made grade juice kefir with orignal white grains that eventually turned purple. I like the idea of a constant fermentation of grape juice kefir.

So my question is "Can I just do grape juice kefir without ever rinsing in milk again (daily milk)
Mountain Mom..In a nut shell. YES, you can convert your milk grains to 'juice or Kefir d' Aqua grains. You can permanently leave them in the juice and never need to rinse them in milk. They will 'adjust' to the juice solution and be happy.

I spoke to the Dom specifically about this, and he told me that if you do convert your milk grains to 'juice' grains, the only bad thing that will happen is that the grains usually stop 'growing' and reproducing. This is not necessarily a bad thing! You will not have to worry about removing grains from an over abundance when this happens!

They WILL however, continue to ferment the juice/flavored sweetened water just fine. They can even 'ferment' milk again, but it won't be 'quite' the same, and they will not reproduce if you put them back in the milk (after an extended period of adjusting to being in juice).

I really think anyone that doesn't want to 'deal' with milk, should still get the grains and use them for fermenting nut milks, juices (or flavored sweet waters) and sourdough bread. Milk is the original medium they prefer, but not the only one they will work in. They are amazing!

I still deal with having milk on hand, as I want to maintain a 'pure, original' Kefir colony that reproduces, so I can 'share the wealth', but I really am enjoying my REAL water Kefir grains lately, and the delicious 'Kefir d' Aqua gingerale I've been making! Plus, there is something about having a source of essentially, 'buttermilk' in the form of Kefir (and fresh cream cheese) that I really enjoy!

I wish I knew about this stuff years ago!
post #179 of 582
Thread Starter 
New experiment:

I heated up 1.5 quarts of whole, organic cow milk, then cooled to 100 ish deg F.

I added in 1/2 cup Rapadura sugar, and 2 tsp organic vanilla extract. Then I added the contents of two 'yogurt starter' packets (it's one packet per quart).

I poured one quart of this into a mason jar, added on the lid and band and set it in my 'playmate' cooler with hot tap water.

I added in a half quart of freshly brewed Kefir milk to the remaining half quart and put on the lid and sealed this too. I set it in same cooler. I closed the cooler and let this 'ferment' for 5 hours.

At the end of the 5 hours, I had my 'normal' vanilla yogurt in one, and the other one, had turned into the most yummy, vanilla 'yogurt Kefir' and was much thinner and 'drinkable'. YUM

So, another thing to think about, is using your ready made Kefir to 'super charge' some Yogurt ferments.....

I just ate some of the vanilla yogurt too, and the baby was trying to eat most of it! He also drank half a cup of my vanilla 'yogurt Kefir'! He's 9 months old.
post #180 of 582
Thanks Heather for you reply. So last night I strained the coconut milk and it was sooooo lovely, zip and zangy, rich and sweet,

Then I drained the grains really well, and put them in a clean mason jar with raw coronation grape juice. I will leave this for two days (48 hrs) and then strain and I will let you know what it tastes like. What I am trying to do is to somewhat get a taste similair to wine to drink with meals instead of, well, wine :LOL

Thank you for guiding me along on this, I really appreciate it!
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