OK, Kefir-making mamas, a few questions... - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-31-2004, 01:32 AM
 
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I wouldn't use the sprout jar because, as I found out the hard way, fruit flies LOVE kefir! My daughter is obsessed with bananas and 2 weeks ago I didn't notice that one of the bunches I had on the counter had a gash across the back. We ended up with a huge fruit fly infestation as a result and they got into the kefir jar! I had a solid lid on but left it loose to allow air in. there were bunches in there just overnight. I know usually we don't have fruit flies but I've been really screwing the lid on tight. Since i started really tightening the lid my kefir has been coming out much thicker too.

Anyway, the goat kefir came out really runny and really goatie. I ended up using them in my rye pancakes and even my husband who's not a big fan of goatie flavor, really liked them. I think next time I'll try half cow & half goat to try and get something a bit thicker for making cheese.
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:04 AM
 
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I was thinking of the sprout jar for straining (I dont have a plastic colandar/strainer or cheese cloth) I was mainly concerned about the straining for equipment needed.
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Old 11-01-2004, 11:43 AM
 
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I don't have a plastic colander either. I've been using a plastic slotted spoon, when I get a pile of grains I use wooden chopsticks to pull them off the spoon. I keep thinking I'll get a colander but honestly this works fine. If your straining as much as Gale Force though you probablly need a colander.
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Old 11-01-2004, 12:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrheka
If your straining as much as Gale Force though you probablly need a colander.
LOL I hadn't really thought about that. But I suppose most people just need a slotted spoon. I am not sure how well the sprout jar lids would work to strain, probably fine. I let my kefir brew a little longer than most so it is extra thick and wouldn't go through cheese cloth or a regular strainer.

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Old 11-01-2004, 12:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale Force
Oh, and a tip for expanding your grain stash: put the grains in a lot of milk and let them sit for 2-3 days, strain and do it again. When I started with about 2 tsp I did this until I ended up with about a cup. It took 2 weeks or so. Luckily I've got some nice gallon glass jars so I am able to brew about 3/4 gallon in on jar.
Thanks Gale, that's a great tip! I actually did add a bit more milk than usual, and have been letting it sit out for two days! I will check them today. The whey seperated but I just swirled it back in to the curds. I was worried about getting out the grains, but I can water it down and make bread with it. Then add more milk and let it keep doing this.

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:32 PM
 
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Well, I used my very best powers of persuasion and the postmaster won't mail the grains. He agreed to ship them ground if I don't include the milk. That won't work, so that's out. I'll talk to another postmaster tomorrow about it in town and we'll see if I have any success. Basically, he is worried that the milk will leak and they will have to call in the hazard materials team. He said that there is no rule against mailing a milk product but that he is supposed to use his common sense. And there is no container that he would agree is foolproof enough to send them in.

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Old 11-01-2004, 04:33 PM
 
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ACK, that sucks, Gale!

I triple baggie mine with the expensive 'ziplocks' and use just enough milk to keep the grains 'washed' in it...so it's not all that liquidy (ergo, no problems yet). It sounds like your postmaster is giving you needless grief!

I read somewhere to 'vacuum seal' the baggie with one of those electric sealers, but then you'd need a sealer. I have heard you can 'iron' the edge closed on a mylar bag, but you'd need mylar bags....

I'm trying to think of a container he'd approve of, for a tiny bit of milk...gee, it's not like it's a haz mat!

Maybe a baby food jar, wrapped in plastic bubble wrap (up goes the shipping costs) or some other small, sealing plastic container so you don't have to worry about glass.

You know, technically once the Kefir grains arrive, it's more curds, not really liquid milk.....

The other option would be to dehydrate the grains and store them in powdered milk to ship.
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Old 11-01-2004, 05:08 PM
 
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I discussed this with him backwards and forwards. The container doesn't matter. He won't ship it. "What if I double bag it, put a washcloth around it, and put it in a tupperware container?" No dice. It could get crushed, leak on the PO floor, and require the hazmat team. It would be curds by the time it got to bellafin, but it could leak all over in Bakersfield while it was still milk. Anyhoo, we went through all the scenarios.

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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