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Got Kefir? - Page 27

post #521 of 582
I have also been inspired by this thread and I found a place to get some grains. I am dealing w/thrush which makes it REALLY hard to get sugar out of my diet since I crave it all the time.

I am hoping that making my own kefir will help me combat the yeast, make me healthier in general (and my whole family), as well as help me psychologically to make some changes that I have been trying to make for a while.

Thanks sooooo much! I'm sure I will be back to reread or ask questions once I get my grains and start my first batch.
post #522 of 582
Whew! Don't have time right now to read the whole thread; I skimmed lots of recipes in the beginning, but what I'm really wondering is if there's anything that would be better to do w/ our kefir grains to make the kefir thicker?

I'm using whole, raw, grassfed, organic cow milk, and we're culturing the 5th batch right now. I've basically drank the whole cup each night and rinsed the grains in tap water (ooops? don't have filtered! but they're still making the milk bubble away so hopefully it's OK?). The yeast is becoming less the predominant odor, and I think they might be coming out of dormancy(?) more. But each night I've drank it, it's basically as thin as the milk was before it's cultured. I think it's turning into kefir, though, b/c it's very sour, and last night was rather bubbly/effervescent.

How thick is it, normally? Do i just need to use more cream/less milk? It's pretty darn sour, but I figure that's what it's like, right?

One last thing: I am adding this to my/our diets for gut health purposes. I've not noticed any side effects, so is it OK that I'm drinking a whole cup (or more as the grains are growing and I add a bit more milk) each night?
post #523 of 582
I don't consider myself to be a kefir expert, since I only really use the powder and haven't gotten into the grains... but onetrumpeter I would say that if the milk isn't thick but is still thin when you're drinking it that its not quite done. What's the temp where you're fermenting it? If the temp is lower than 70 degrees, it may just need a little more time to thicken up. In summer when its warmer, the fermentation can go much faster. There's also a fine line between where it thickens and then separates (curdles) into curds and whey. If it goes too far, its still safe and healthy to consume - its just rather lumpy and not as thick and smooth... and sure, 1 cup a day sounds like a fine amount... as long as you're feeling good, drink away!

BTW, I don't have time right now to read this whole long wonderful thread, but has anyone mentioned pineapple juice and stevia? That's my favorite way to drink kefir - just a little pineapple juice (we like the Lakewood brand with no additives - maybe 1 T per 1 cup kefir) and then some drops of liquid stevia to sweeten it up... yum!
post #524 of 582
I'd let it sit longer in the milk. Are you only letting it go 24 hours? Sometimes you need a longer brewing session. Also where do you let it brew and is it in a generally chilly or warmer area? These all factor in. It should be thicker than what you describe. FWIW, I never rinse the grains except in a bit of milk occasionally. Well, rinsed, that is, I killed my batch with a few weeks of neglect.
post #525 of 582

Ooh, ooh, I have a question!!!!

Sorry if this has already been answered, I haven't gotten through the entire thread yet...

I found some kefir starter (pwdr) at a health food store and in the directions it said to heat the milk to boiling, cool it and then add the starter. Why does it say this? Is it bc it is pwdrd starter and not the grains? I didn't do that, I just mixed it into a small cup of milk and then added the amt it suggested and it's sitting on the counter right now in a glass mason jar. I don't know if I messed it up though and if I should try it the way it says.

Also, if my house is less than 70 degrees, where should I put it so that it will work properly?

I am soooo excited to do this though, I hope it works!

TIA!
post #526 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
Any milk (nut, homogenized, pasteurized, goat, cow, etc.) homemade with real kefir grains has more microbial benefit than store bought kefir. And commercial kefir has more microbials than most any yogurt.

Water kefir has more beneficial microbials than any yogurt.

Coconut water kefir is delicious and nutritious!


Pat
Pat, how can I make coconut water kefir? That sounds like something we might be able to do! I have directions form the GAPS book about how to make "coconut milk" from just plain shredded coconut. Is that the same thing as coconut water?

Thanks!

I really need some whole foods ways to get probiotics into us, and we just aren't ready for much dairy yet.
post #527 of 582
On the powdered starter, with a store-bought milk, I would bring the milk up to warm - but not so hot that you wouldn't want to stick your finger in it. I think around body temp is good? Then just put in the packet and try to keep it warm... if your house/kitchen isn't near 70, put it on the stove when you're cooking or baking, or check the temp on top of your fridge... somtimes that is warmer. Or after you use the oven and its not too hot, but still warm, stick it in there... also you can wrap it in a towel and put it in a cooler to help it maintain a warmer temperature. Then you can fill hot water bottles and put those into the cooler periodically... basically you will just get a better/quicker fermentation if you can keep it warmer.

On the coconut water kefir question, we love coconut kefir around here Plus the fermented meat. It is not the same thing as "coconut milk" - that is from the mature coconuts with the brown outside. Coconut water kefir is from young coconuts - they are green on outside, or more often sold with a white looking husk (the outer part has been removed). Directions are here: http://bodyecology.com/mcoconutkefir.php But I have to say that using a knife or saw is much harder than the cleaver method - my dh has learned to chop a square hole in the top with hard swings of a big meat cleaver that we bought for just this purpose. Feel free to ask me questions - you can also just buy the coconut water in tetra packs, but then its sterile and you wouldn't be getting as many benefits as from the fresh raw stuff...
post #528 of 582
Yay!!!!!!

I just had my FIRST kefir smoothie! I bought the starter from a HFS until I can get grains and it worked great!

I mixed it w/strawberries and stevia in the blender and yummy!

My boys actually asked for seconds, which they never do!

Thank you everyone! I am soooo excited about kefir now. I can't wait to try the grape juice one too, it sounds so good. And the recipes are on my list of things to try too.
post #529 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofmine View Post
Pat, how can I make coconut water kefir?
Coconut water kefir is the easiest and most nutritious. You just add kefir grains (milk kefir grains or water kefir grains) to the liquid from a fresh young coconut or canned "coconut water". Ferment for 2 days in the cupboard, strain and drink. Start with just a little, tiny bit for you guys. Maybe a teaspoon each day. Gradually work up (or back down), as tolerated.

Keep some extra milk kefir grains back in milk, if you use them, as I'm not certain the milk kefir grains will reproduce in coconut water.

YouTube, how to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmAX2PnRCY0

Instructions: http://www.weim.net/homeovet/Docs/water%20kefir.pdf


Pat
post #530 of 582
thanks to the ladies who suggested my kefir needed a bit more time; I think it last cultured almost 48 hrs; definitely got to the curds and whey stage which helped me better understand (SEE) what was going on and developing.

So when people say it "thickens," do they really mean the curds develop? hope that question makes sense. What I had was a thick layer of curds at the top and thin liquid underneath. The curds were SO thick (and bubbly throughout), in fact, that it was very difficult to sort through and find the actual grains. Then I wondered: are the curds the baby grains?! I have fewer grains than I originally did as I just lost them in the curds. I have the curds in the fridge to try and press through a cheesecloth into a sort of cheese; I think I read that somewhere. Thanks again, ladies
post #531 of 582
I almost always get curds and whey when I make kefir, although the new grains I have seem to have a longer time between thickening and separating. I usually stir mine, and then sort of press them through the strainer. The actual kefir grains won't press through the strainer, but the curds will break back up. Of course, this would be weird to drink, with the texture of the curds, but I usually blend anyway, so don't even notice.
post #532 of 582
Hi forestrymom! Come check out the old ddc and say hello.

After culturing my kefir I stir it, strain it, let it drip a bit, then add what is in the strainer and more milk to that and put it in the fridge until I want to culture more. My grains multiply faster when stored cold for a bit before culturing on the countertop.
post #533 of 582
Kefir generally separates into curds and whey when it's a bit over-cultured. This isn't bad though--if you like the taste at that stage, then it's perfectly fine. For some people, it's a bit too strong. Generally though you're looking to catch it during the period where it has thickened (like the consistency of cultured buttermilk like you'd get from the store) but before it's separated. Finding that point can take some trial and error though.
post #534 of 582
Happy Kefir-ing, Bump!
post #535 of 582

Poking in here

I realize it has been a while since any bumps on this thread, but I had to poke in. In fact, I just registered for this forum all because of THIS thread!!!

I am a 30 year old very happily married mother of three beautiful daughters. DH has the WORST eating habits IN THE WORLD. I used to eat really pretty healthy before i met him :P Then I started to just "go with the flow" or make things that made him smile so here I am, 60 lbs. heavier with a huge variety of health problems. I can't say my poor eating habits made me sick, but they sure didnt' keep me healthy! I am currently recovering from my 2nd surgery in less than 2 months.
Long story short, I've been on the look out for healthier options and ways we can handle fixing this mess of a body without so much work or energy that I can't manage to do it in my current state of health. I started making my own kefir about a month ago and we are all in love. Totally and completely! DH is THE PICKIEST eater in the world and even he will talk up kefir to anyone we chat with, lol. I make daily smoothies for lunch. 2nd graders is in the fridge for her after-school snack and DH"s is in the fridge for after work.
I have been slowly converting my family and friends over to the kefir way of life
I recently also started working with an alternative health provider to try to improve my overall health while my several doctors work on fixing my many symptoms. I finally got to a point where I figured nothing else was working. So far I'm optimistic. Nothing is incredibly better yet, but nothing is worse either (well, besides the surgeries, lol).
My most recent surgery was a week ago -- an emergency appendectomy. I was put on 5 days of hefty antibiotics because my appendix had been oozing bacterial secretions into my abdomen without having even ruptured. Not quite bad enough for an extended hospital stay, but enough to amp up the antibioitcs. Then a few days later the surgeon called to say they had cultured my urine in the ER and it came back with a massive urinary tract infection. So they upped my antibiotics to 10 days. The great story is that with the kefir on board I only have a mild yeast infection (in the feminine region, ya know) and no oral thrush! I've been on so many antibiotics in the last year or two that the yeast infections were getting really out of control. Since starting the kefir if I have to go on antibiotics I may add in some vinegar to my bath water (AMAZING at helping to clear up or prevent yeast overgrowth as well) but I've had no more than a little discomfort. Hooray!!!!!

SOrry. If I hang around here too much you'll come to realize very quickly that I have a hard time saying anything in a concise fashion. And right now I'[m on some percocet (long story -- surgery related) which makes me VERY talkative. DH and all the kids are asleep so you ladies caught it this time :P

I'm so excited to start trying more kefir recipes. I stumbled in here looking for a good sourdough recipe. Can't wait to try!!! It may be another week until I really have enough daily kefir to continue our daily smoothies *and* play with bread.
post #536 of 582
I have a friend hunting for water kefir grains in Atlanta. Anyone willing to send her some locally?

Thanks!

Pat
post #537 of 582
I recently made a little bag out of cheese cloth (I think I'm going to go back and make one of tulle because it will be sturdier). It has make my kefir making so FAST!!! I just pluck the bag out while I'm pouring the cultured kefir into the blender for our afernoon smoothies. I gently pull the bag away from the grains (to keep the grains from growing "though" the bag if you kwim) and plop it into the clean container, dump on milk and put it back under a cloth in the corner! No more straining! I can make do the kefir "tending" in just a few minutes
post #538 of 582
I LOVE THIS THREAD!! I havent managed to read it all, and I wondered where's the best place to buy kefir to make my own? I dont currently know anyone who makes their own.

I would love your recomendations on where to buy the kefir grains starter.

I cant wait to try these awesome recipes you've posted! Thanks for taking so much time to put it all down!!
post #539 of 582
MDC mama, dogmom327 has many culture starters available at Cultures For Health.


Pat
post #540 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
MDC mama, dogmom327 has many culture starters available at Cultures For Health.


Pat
thank you! I'll head that way!
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