kefir help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-08-2010, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I just got about a tbs of kefir grains from a culture club. It was given to me in a water bottle. I drained them and put them in 2 cups of raw milk. I was told it would take 12 to 24 hours to culture but after 24 hours on my counter...nothing. The milk still tastes like milk and is not any thicker. Are my grains bad? What should I do?
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#2 of 5 Old 05-08-2010, 11:13 PM
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what do you notice the milk smelling like? yeasty? sourish? If it were mine, I'd taste it and notice if there were any bubbles. For a couple months, my kefir did NOT thicken! I posted a while back about it - didn't know if I was doing it right. When I ran out of raw milk and put the grains in pasteurized milk, they turned it very quickly into a thick kefir. Weird. I've never bought kefir from a store so I'd figured my thin kefir was as thick as it gets. Nope. Now I've been using the store milk for my kefir regularly, and it thickens quickly. When I use raw milk I notice a more sour taste that I don't care for. I hate experimenting w/ raw $$$ milk so not sure when I'll try it again.

Anyway, if you notice any change in your milk, I'd say they are still alive and just need time. Maybe they were in water too long?

Have fun w/ your kefir Hope they start eating and growing!

blessed Catholic mommy to DD 10/07 and DS 2/09, little one due 8/12!

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#3 of 5 Old 05-09-2010, 12:40 AM
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When I first got my kefir grains the instructions that came with them told me to culture them for a full 48 hours in one cup of milk for the first few batches until they started producing a thick kefir. The instructions also said to stir it often for the first few batches. I did all that when I first got them about a month ago and now my kefir is nice and thick and I make up to four cups at a time. I use lightly pasturized and non-homogenized milk, because raw milk here is about $14 a gallon and WAY out of our price range, and they seem to do just great in it. I would say to give them a few more days and see if things pick up for you.

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#4 of 5 Old 05-09-2010, 03:28 AM
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OP--how warm is your house? If it's on the cool side, it may just take longer than 24 hours (could take closer to 48 hours). I'd change the milk out at 48 hours. Also if your milk is different than the type, brand, etc. the grains are used to, it can take a few batches to get them acclimated. So just change the milk out every 48 hours and as long as the milk doesn't smell, look, or taste bad, you can probably use it for cooking.

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#5 of 5 Old 05-09-2010, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips. So after I posted this, I put the milk in the oven with only the light on (to make it warm) and left it there overnight. When I woke up, the milk seem thicker so I strained it. So now, what it looks like is whey with crumbs in it and it kind of smells like yeast. What do I do now? I also hate experimenting with raw milk because of the cost!!!
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