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What's happening to my kefir grains?! Help!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping someone can tell me what I'm doing wrong!

I've been making kefir with raw milk for over six months now. Until the last 2 months, my grains had been doing great--multiplying like crazy. Then they started breaking down and becoming less elastic. I used to have very large grains--now they have dwindled down to almost nothing and aren't growing. I think bits of the grains break off in each batch since my kefir has become very lumpy. The few grains that are left still make kefir, but at this rate, I won't have any grains left in a week.

This same thing has happened twice now (I had some grains stored as an emergency back-up). I must be doing something wrong! Here's some more info:

I use raw milk in a mason jar. I culture it for 48-72 hours (is 72 hours too long?). Lately I have been putting a lid on the jar to keep fruit flies out. I do not rinse the grains.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
post #2 of 4
How are you straining them out of the kefir? Are you breaking them up unintentionally when you strain them?
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks, gardenmommy for the thought. I use a slotted non-metallic spoon. I'm fairly certain that the spoon is not breaking them up since their texture has changed completely. When I'd eat the occasional grain, before all this happened, it would be chewy. Now they feel crumbley. Before, I could pick up the large grain (3-4 inches long) and it wouldn't fall apart. Now, if I just poke at one, pieces will fall off.
post #4 of 4
hmmm...not sure what to tell you. Try searching this forum for kefir, see what you find. You could PM xenabyte, she is very knowledgeable about kefir.

I'm sorry I'm not more helpful!
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