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Old 01-04-2009, 02:24 AM
 
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Okay, so I stirred it up really good before straining it. I had just short of a quart of milk with about 1/8 c grains when I started this batch. There was nearly a cup of solids when I strained this time, though. What the heck? The milk is definitely not sour.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:24 AM
 
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My water kefir grains are over-the-top crazy happy and breeding like bunnies... I will happily attempt to dry and mail them. Seems like the colder months would be the best time for this, since freezing is one way to store them.

I have waaaaaay too many and am beginning to contemplate using them for strange experiments.
I would LOVE to help you out with your problem of too many grains! I will PM you!
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:26 AM
 
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The remainder (what I strained off) looks like cottage cheese, and there is no differentiating any grains. So what do I do with this portion?
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:00 PM
 
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The remainder (what I strained off) looks like cottage cheese, and there is no differentiating any grains. So what do I do with this portion?
Since the milk was aged, I'd probably just rinse them gently, this one time, with non-chlorinated water. Then put them in a new glass container and add new milk. Let it sit in the cupboard for 24 hours and drain and drink, etc.

That sounds like a lot of grains, so, I think it might be just curdy. But, no worries. Drink up!~


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Old 01-13-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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I'm so glad to find this thread. Right now, I'm using store bought kefir drink, but I'd love to make my own.

I am looking for a place to buy some kefir grains.. I found dogmom's site after searching here but unfortunately they ship inside USA only.

Does anybody here know where I can buy kefir grains in Toronto, Canada? Or any sites that will ship here? Or would anybody here be willing to share some dried kefir grains please?

Thanks!

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Old 01-13-2009, 07:51 PM
 
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posted this elsewhere, too, but thought I'd ask here--can you use store bought already made kefir as a starter like you can with yogurt or do you have to use grains? Similar recipe to yogurt or no?

Also- can I give this to my 16 month old?
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:40 PM
 
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I'm so glad to find this thread. Right now, I'm using store bought kefir drink, but I'd love to make my own.

I am looking for a place to buy some kefir grains.. I found dogmom's site after searching here but unfortunately they ship inside USA only.

Does anybody here know where I can buy kefir grains in Toronto, Canada? Or any sites that will ship here? Or would anybody here be willing to share some dried kefir grains please?

Thanks!
I am in the process of being able to ship to Canada. I haven't updated my site yet but I can ship the following items to Canada:
Dairy kefir grains
Water kefir grains
Yogurt starter (all varieties)
Buttermilk starter

At this point, I cannot ship Kombucha cultures, sourdough starters or any supplies (including starter kits). Shipping will be via first class mail but the cost won't be any higher than our US orders.

Feel free to place an order. Our site won't reject it. Hopefully in a few days I will get around to updating the site officially (or if the planets align...maybe I'll get it done today ).

ETA: Site updated to reflect international shipping option

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Old 01-13-2009, 08:41 PM
 
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posted this elsewhere, too, but thought I'd ask here--can you use store bought already made kefir as a starter like you can with yogurt or do you have to use grains? Similar recipe to yogurt or no?

Also- can I give this to my 16 month old?
Some health food stores sell kefir powder. Grains are better because they contain more a greater number of probiotics and are reusable indefinitely (with proper care). Powder must be repurchased.

Many people give kefir to young children. It's probably preferable to giving them plain milk since it's a more nutrient dense food.

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Old 01-13-2009, 08:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dds07 View Post
posted this elsewhere, too, but thought I'd ask here--can you use store bought already made kefir as a starter like you can with yogurt or do you have to use grains? Similar recipe to yogurt or no?

Also- can I give this to my 16 month old?
Commercial kefir starter is more labor intensive and fewer beneficial probiotics than kefir made from real kefir grains.
Commercial kefir is more labor intensive and fewer beneficial probiotics than kefir made from real kefir grains.

I'm not sure if you can make kefir from commercial kefir, I'd suspect not really because there is no colony reproducing the bacteria necessary to innoculate the kefir. The kefir starter and commercial kefir only have a combination of a few specific selected bacteria and yeasts isolated from kefir grains. But the real kefir has many more beneficial microbials in symbiotic balance.

The real kefir is so easy, I wouldn't want the hassle of making less beneficial "kefir".

Commercial kefir has about 7-10 beneficial microbials.
Real kefir made from kefir grains has 37+ beneficial microbials.

If your son has no IgE allergy to dairy, yes he could definitely benefit from kefir!!


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Old 01-13-2009, 08:50 PM
 
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Homemade yogurt that is fermented for 24 hours, will have an average concentration of 3 billion cfu/mL of yogurt. If you were to eat a small bowl (500 ml) of 24 hour fermented homemade yogurt, you would receive 1.5 trillion beneficial bacteria - 100 times more bacteria than a 15 billion capsule.

Furthermore, freshly made kefir can have an average microbial count as high as 10 billion cfu/ml. This includes a mixture of various bacteria and yeast strains. This means that a 500 ml glass of homemade kefir could contain as many as 5 trillion beneficial microorganisms or even more!



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Old 01-13-2009, 08:51 PM
 
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Both kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products... ...but they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that reside there. But kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match.

Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt, Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species.


It also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, forming a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and strengthens the intestines. Hence, the body becomes more efficient in resisting such pathogens as E. coli and intestinal parasites.



Kefir's active yeast and bacteria provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy.
Because the curd size of kefir is smaller than yogurt, it is also easier to digest, which makes it a particularly excellent, nutritious food for babies, invalids and the elderly, as well as a remedy for digestive disorders.


http://www.kefir.net/kefiryogurt.htm




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Old 01-14-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dogmom327 View Post
I am in the process of being able to ship to Canada. I haven't updated my site yet but I can ship the following items to Canada:
Dairy kefir grains
Water kefir grains
Yogurt starter (all varieties)
Buttermilk starter

At this point, I cannot ship Kombucha cultures, sourdough starters or any supplies (including starter kits). Shipping will be via first class mail but the cost won't be any higher than our US orders.

Feel free to place an order. Our site won't reject it. Hopefully in a few days I will get around to updating the site officially (or if the planets align...maybe I'll get it done today ).

ETA: Site updated to reflect international shipping option
THANK YOU!!!! :

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Old 01-19-2009, 04:46 AM
 
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Does anyone have water kefir grains that they would be willing to send me for the price of shipping?? I have milk kefir grains, but I'm assuming that I can't use them for juice/water kefir??


Also, could I safely just begin using my milk kefir grains with almond milk or coconut milk or rice milk? Could it then go back to being used with milk? Does it really matter if they stop growing, if I just keep using the same bunch of grains for a batch? I think they may have already, as I've had them in the fridge so much.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:17 PM
 
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Does anyone have water kefir grains that they would be willing to send me for the price of shipping?? I have milk kefir grains, but I'm assuming that I can't use them for juice/water kefir??


Also, could I safely just begin using my milk kefir grains with almond milk or coconut milk or rice milk? Could it then go back to being used with milk? Does it really matter if they stop growing, if I just keep using the same bunch of grains for a batch? I think they may have already, as I've had them in the fridge so much.
I have a friend who uses her milk kefir grains in coconut milk. It produces this super rich cream. Very yummy! It's fine if they stop growing. You might want to occasionally put them back in regular milk to revitalize them but otherwise they should be okay at least for awhile.

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Old 01-19-2009, 01:28 PM
 
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Does anyone have water kefir grains that they would be willing to send me for the price of shipping?? I have milk kefir grains, but I'm assuming that I can't use them for juice/water kefir??
You can make juice kefir with milk kefir grains. Just add 100% juice with NO additives. Dilute 1/2 juice and 1/2 non-chlorinated water. Set in the cupboard for 24-36 hours. The longer it sets, the more alcohol develops as the yeast eat the sugars.

The grains won't reproduce in juice, but will keep making kefir. You might want to rest the grains (which turn purple in grape juice, btw) in yogurt or raw milk from time to time. We've found that the juice kefir seems to get yeasty after a few batches. But will taste better, after resting the grains in mik for a day or so.




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Also, could I safely just begin using my milk kefir grains with almond milk or coconut milk or rice milk? Could it then go back to being used with milk? Does it really matter if they stop growing, if I just keep using the same bunch of grains for a batch? I think they may have already, as I've had them in the fridge so much.
Yes on almond milk and coconut milk. I hear that rice milk just makes nasty kefir.

I'm not sure if they could go back and make the exact same milk kefir. Some of the microbials are different in different milks. It probably won't keep growing. But, I've heard of some folks rotating the milk sources and as long as you occasionally use real dairy milk, it keeps growing. But, I've heard it won't grow after being in other milks too.

You practically can't kill grains. So, they are usually fine after making a few batches of milk kefir.

The number one advice is to SAVE SOME GRAINS for emergencies. So, maybe take a few grains from the original grains and just keep them in milk in the refrigerator. Refresh at least every few weeks. The kefir will culture more slowly at lower temperatures.



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Old 01-19-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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Okay thanks! I'll save some small ones for emergencies in milk, but I don't have a ton. Does it have to be very big? What exactly is the advantage of using the water kefir grains? I'd rather keep it simple and not have multiple grains anyway, but just wondering.

If one is allergic to dairy, is there still the milk protein in the milk kefir grains? I have no clue.

I think I might try pomegranite juice that I just got from costco. Excited now, that sounds as easy as making milk kefir.

I poured out my kefir last night and made a rice milk batch, so we'll see if it's icky. But boy oh boy was that last batch of milk kefir creamy and fizzy. yum yum. I'm so sad we can't keep doing it with milk.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:53 PM
 
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Okay thanks! I'll save some small ones for emergencies in milk, but I don't have a ton. Does it have to be very big?

If one is allergic to dairy, is there still the milk protein in the milk kefir grains? I have no clue.

I think I might try pomegranate juice that I just got from costco.

I poured out my kefir last night and made a rice milk batch, so we'll see if it's icky. But boy oh boy was that last batch of milk kefir creamy and fizzy. yum yum. I'm so sad we can't keep doing it with milk.
Yes, a casein IgE allergy would prohibit using milk kefir grains. However, a non-IgE intolerance probably could tolerate dairy kefir. Especially if it is raw milk and especially if it is goat's milk. The casein is very different in modern, homogenized, pasteurized cow's milk than in kefir.

Check if the pomegranate is 100% juice. The Costco pomegranate that I bought wasn't, back before Thanksgiving. Also, no vit C or ascorbic acid additives. If it is made from "concentrate", it probably has chlorinated water added as the dilute; and chlorine will kill the grains!

You can grow more milk kefir grains faster by leaving a bit of kefir in with the grains when you add (less) fresh milk. Then let it culture for longer, closer to 48+ hours. Not more than 72 hours, as the kefir gets very sour.


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Old 01-19-2009, 02:21 PM
 
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hmmm, it says "100% juice from concentrate" and "filtered water" in the ingredients list. would that be chlorinated??
I'll ask the allergist when we get in about this. thanks.
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Old 01-21-2009, 02:12 PM
 
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Wow...there are a lot of pages!! With an 8.5 month old, I'm not making it through enough of them to answer my questions, so I apologize if these have been discussed already!

I have my water kefir grains - woohoo! They are currently dehydrated, so I know I have to rehydrate them.

After I rehydrate them and make my first batch, I must use one of the recommended foods to go in it right? (I thought it was just for flavour, but I think I read that it is actually to help it ferment properly?)

After dealing with yeast issues in the past, I've avoided sugar (other than fruit) like crazy. Do I have to use the full amount of sugar, or can a I reduce it?

In my cupboard I have "Raw Cane Demerara Sugar" and "Evaporated Cane Juice" sugar (this one is in packets) - are either of these good to use?

Due to my 8.5 month olds' food intolerances (He's EBF), I haven't trialed any of the things that need to be added during the fermenting - any recommendations as to what might be least reactive? (I was thinking figs or ginger..)

Did I read somewhere not to drink the first few batches after rehydrating them?
How will I know when it's good to drink?

Any other tips to throw at me?

Thank - you!!
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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hmmm, it says "100% juice from concentrate" and "filtered water" in the ingredients list. would that be chlorinated??
Well, we have multiple juices at home. Several of them are ONLY juice. Although, several others list "filtered water" as the first ingredient, and several others list "juice concentrate" as the first ingredient.

I've only used the one with ONLY juice to make juice kefir. But, I understood to use "only 100% juice". It seems "100% juice" can be on the front label of the juice, and the juice is still made from concentrate. All seem to have about 30g of sugar.

I guess, with "filtered water", that (hopefully) the chlorine is filtered out. I'd save some grains out as back-up, and give it a go.


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Old 01-21-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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Springmum, I haven't made water kefir. I asked CS to come take a look at your post. But, the sugar is eaten by the beneficial yeasts. The sugar is necessary or the kefir gets more alcoholic, per my understanding. Some of the ingredients are necessary for the fermentation. Dogmom may be able to explain that better than I. You need an acid medium for the beneficial probiotics to thrive.

I don't know about different sugars. You might ask in the Traditional Foods forum. But, I'd be inclined to trial them first, as a small residual sugar does occur. Maybe 2%??

You can drink the first couple of batches, they will just be a bit off-tasting, I hear. But, kefir does taste a bit "off".

Not sure if figs or ginger are less reactive.


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Old 01-21-2009, 04:14 PM
 
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Wow...there are a lot of pages!! With an 8.5 month old, I'm not making it through enough of them to answer my questions, so I apologize if these have been discussed already!

I have my water kefir grains - woohoo! They are currently dehydrated, so I know I have to rehydrate them.

After I rehydrate them and make my first batch, I must use one of the recommended foods to go in it right? (I thought it was just for flavour, but I think I read that it is actually to help it ferment properly?)

After dealing with yeast issues in the past, I've avoided sugar (other than fruit) like crazy. Do I have to use the full amount of sugar, or can a I reduce it?

In my cupboard I have "Raw Cane Demerara Sugar" and "Evaporated Cane Juice" sugar (this one is in packets) - are either of these good to use?

Due to my 8.5 month olds' food intolerances (He's EBF), I haven't trialed any of the things that need to be added during the fermenting - any recommendations as to what might be least reactive? (I was thinking figs or ginger..)

Did I read somewhere not to drink the first few batches after rehydrating them?
How will I know when it's good to drink?

Any other tips to throw at me?

Thank - you!!
Pat sent me over to help you, although I'm certainly no expert with water kefir. But I will tell you what I know.

I don't add anything to my kefir. I know it's recommended, but none of those things are safe for us, so I just don't use them. And it still works fine.

You do need a full cup of sugar if you're brewing a gallon. But you can let it ferment for 2 days, and it will eat up most of the sugar. But check it often the 2nd day- I find that there is a really quick change from sweet to sour if you let it go too long. Once you make it a few times, you'll get the hang of it.

ETA: I also use honey to brew mine, even though many on this board say it's not recommended. It makes a FABULOUS water kefir. Nice and bubbly and sweet. But make sure you keep some backup grains, because they will not grow in honey and will probably eventually die.

I made at least 5 batches before mine was any good, and it's still hit and miss for me. I think that you really need a good, warm spot (my house is really cold) for it to brew correctly.

For sugars- I found that sucanat works GREAT- my grains at least double every batch. I've also tried using cane sugar with a T. of molasses, and that worked well too, although the molassas left a weird residue on top of my water and the kefir seemed a little funky.... Cane sugar works, but the grains didn't grow and I didn't get many bubbles.

So over all, my recommendations are: 1) warm spot, 2) sucanat (I think the evaporated cane juice is probably the same thing), and 3) make a few batches before you really start drinking it. Once you get the hang of it, it should be bubbly, not too sweet, but not sour (alcoholic).

HTH!

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Old 01-21-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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CS/Pat - Thank you - that helps!
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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What an amazzing resource! I've been wondering about making water kefir - as i just don't have a raw milk source available. Does anyone have grains to spare?

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We've been drinking dairy kefir in smoothies about 4 days a week for about a month. It seems like its been that long that my ds has had runny, frequent stools. Is it possible that kefir is the problem? Since I've started drinking it, its the first time in most of my adult life that I've been regular, but its the ONLY thing I can think of that would be causing his diarrhea.
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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What an amazzing resource! I've been wondering about making water kefir - as i just don't have a raw milk source available. Does anyone have grains to spare?
You can make milk kefir with any type of animal milk. Cultured milk from the grocery is MUCH healthier and more easily digested. So, skim milk, goat's milk, raw or otherwise, pasteurized, homongenized, whatever. '

Just Get Kefir.

If you have dairy casein issues, you can do water kefir. You can even make juice kefir with milk kefir grains.

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Old 01-22-2009, 05:12 PM
 
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We've been drinking dairy kefir in smoothies about 4 days a week for about a month. It seems like its been that long that my ds has had runny, frequent stools. Is it possible that kefir is the problem? Since I've started drinking it, its the first time in most of my adult life that I've been regular, but its the ONLY thing I can think of that would be causing his diarrhea.
Did he drink milk before this? Any eczema or other allergy symptoms? Can he eat cheese? If he can eat cheese, and no eczema, I imagine the kefir is displacing some "bad" bacteria and that is just 'die-off'.

Also, have you added any magnesium or increased vit C? Both of those can cause loose stools.

Any recent antibiotics could be C. Diff.

I've heard that 12 hour Kefir is a mild laxative, 36-48 hour Kefir could cause constipation. Also, large amounts of any protein can be dehydrating, unless adequate fluids are consumed.

You could stop the kefir for a week and see if that alters the stool.

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Old 01-22-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
You can make milk kefir with any type of animal milk. Cultured milk from the grocery is MUCH healthier and more easily digested. So, skim milk, goat's milk, raw or otherwise, pasteurized, homongenized, whatever. '

Just Get Kefir.

If you have dairy casein issues, you can do water kefir. You can even make juice kefir with milk kefir grains.

Pat
Thanks Pat! I do admit, I'm inspired by the soda substituteness of juice/water kefir - as most of my family needs to get off the junk!

Ok, so I can make water kefir from dairy kefir grains. But, is it correct that once they are dedicated to water they will not reproduce? So if I'm thinking on making water kefir, I should get some milk grains and culture those and use some of them to make water?

Thanks for your help, Pat.

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