Got Kefir? - Page 15 - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-09-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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Actually, since I finally found a warm spot (water heater), I'm only doing about 24-30 hours. It's brewing much faster there. I have no idea what the temp is though...

I have a question for the experts-

Has anyone ever dried grains? (specifically water grains if it makes a difference) I've had some grains laying out on a towel for like 3 days, and they are still damp and spongy. It's making me a little nervous just leaving them out like that...

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Old 02-09-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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Has anyone ever dried grains? (specifically water grains if it makes a difference) I've had some grains laying out on a towel for like 3 days, and they are still damp and spongy. It's making me a little nervous just leaving them out like that...
I have no idea. You are making me a bit nervous too! I'd suggest just sending them straight from the kefir in a bit of kefir.


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Old 02-09-2009, 03:59 PM
 
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I have no idea. You are making me a bit nervous too! I'd suggest just sending them straight from the kefir in a bit of kefir.


Pat
These are actually just my backup grains since I'm brewing with honey now. (Not the grains I'm sending you- don't worry. ) I've read that drying them is a better method than refrigeration for long term storage, so I thought I'd try it out.

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Old 02-09-2009, 04:06 PM
 
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What do you guys think is the best method for resting kefir for short periods of time? I'm trying to just make it every 2-3 days as we plow through the milk so fast otherwise when I do i tdaily. Normally I stick it in the fridge for a couple days after it's been out a day or so. It's often very sour though. I rarely replace the milk, even when it's longer. I'm wondering if I should just "rest" them in a little milk, then pour it out and replenish and brew as normal for 12-24 hours.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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What do you guys think is the best method for resting kefir for short periods of time? I'm trying to just make it every 2-3 days as we plow through the milk so fast otherwise when I do i tdaily. Normally I stick it in the fridge for a couple days after it's been out a day or so. It's often very sour though. I rarely replace the milk, even when it's longer. I'm wondering if I should just "rest" them in a little milk, then pour it out and replenish and brew as normal for 12-24 hours.
That's essentially what I do. Just give them some milk to sit in and put them in the fridge. The cold temperature greatly slows down fermentation so they can survive quite nicely for awhile.

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Old 02-13-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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Ok, what a great, informative post. Thank you. So, if I use coconut milk, same benefits?
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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I have a question for the experts-

Has anyone ever dried grains? (specifically water grains if it makes a difference) I've had some grains laying out on a towel for like 3 days, and they are still damp and spongy. It's making me a little nervous just leaving them out like that...
Sorry, I missed this question the other day. To dry grains, rinse them very well with filtered water and then lay them on a paper towel or parchment paper (unbleached). Depending on the humidity in your house, it should take 3-5 days for them to dry.

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Old 02-14-2009, 12:52 AM
 
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Sorry, I missed this question the other day. To dry grains, rinse them very well with filtered water and then lay them on a paper towel or parchment paper (unbleached). Depending on the humidity in your house, it should take 3-5 days for them to dry.
Whew... I was expecting them to dry in a day or so, and I got worried when they took so long. They did finally dry though, and man did they shrink!!

I actually used cloth to lay them on though (cut-up old tshirt, that's the closest thing I had to a paper towel).

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Old 02-20-2009, 07:10 PM
 
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I LOVE my water kefir!! :

I'm not sure what I did, cause it is delicious!!


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Old 02-21-2009, 08:12 PM
 
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Does anyone happen to have some grains that are multiplying too fast for their needs?
Id be so happy to welcome them in our home. We have had our grains for about 4-5 years now & I think I officially killed them
We took a much longer break than I orrigionally intended & they were sitting in the fridge in the same milk for about a year & 1/2 before I realised they were back there & that it had been that Long! (oh, what a year it's been!!) I have tried the last couple mos. to re-vive them... but Im just not thinking they are 'working' right...

I'd gladly pay priority shipping costs to me in CA.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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hi mamas~ I too am here seeking water kefir grains..thought I would try this first. I made dairy kefir about 5 years ago and really want to start with water kefir.

thx

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Old 02-22-2009, 06:01 PM
 
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Well, I posted on another thread about my water kefir turning into yucky beer.

I tried another batch - no good.

I tried rinsing my grains (not tap water) over and over, and the grains stink like yucky beer. I'm assuming there's turning them back to normal grains at this point.
It can't be normal b/c the first few batches were good - and I didn't change the recipe/sugar at all. It all changed after I stuck them in the fridge overnight, so I guess I won't do that again!

Luckily I have another packet of dehydrated grains, so I'm soaking those now.

It was mentioned that I must have caught the wrong yeast.

Is that the only thing that would turn the grains yucky on me?

We have no forms of nutritional yeast in the house, due to my thrush, so how would I prevent it next time?

Do I toss these grains, or is there a trick to getting them to stop producing this yucky beer taste/smell?
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Old 02-24-2009, 03:20 AM
 
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I made a second batch of water kefir and it tastes like lighter fluid! Or worse. Have NO idea what happened...


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Old 02-24-2009, 03:23 AM
 
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I made a second batch of water kefir and it tastes like lighter fluid! Or worse. Have NO idea what happened...


Pat
Lighter fluid? Eeewwwww. Sorry, not funny. Don't feel bad- it took me a couple months of constant brewing before I got a batch that was palatable. I was pretty shocked that your first batch turned out so good!

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Old 02-24-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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I'm still reading page 6, but wanted to ask a question. Basically just a run down of what I'm doing and if someone can say if it sounds right or not, I'd appreciate it. I'm following the instructions, but just want to check. Thanks!

I got my Kefir grains last week! yay! I started them brewing on Saturday just popped them into a glass jar, covered with a towel and rubber band and let go for 24 hours. Sunday I drank my first bit. It was pretty sour (as a matter of fact I added chocolate syrup to it). Then on Monday I tried the next batch, far less sour, tangy and actually good. I didn't notice much of a difference in texture than regular milk. I'm guessing it's ok, but wanted to ask here.

I'm not using anything fancy, just grocery store whole milk. I'm kefiring about 12 oz at a time and I'd say my grain is about teaspoon sized. My kitchen is coolish right now (probably about 65 degrees), with occasional warmer times when we are cooking. I didn't swirl it or anything, and wonder if I should.

I tried it in my millet porridge this morning and it was quite delicious!

I'm already itching to try the recipes here! What a great thread!

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Old 02-24-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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I'm still reading page 6, but wanted to ask a question. Basically just a run down of what I'm doing and if someone can say if it sounds right or not, I'd appreciate it. I'm following the instructions, but just want to check. Thanks!

I got my Kefir grains last week! yay! I started them brewing on Saturday just popped them into a glass jar, covered with a towel and rubber band and let go for 24 hours. Sunday I drank my first bit. It was pretty sour (as a matter of fact I added chocolate syrup to it). Then on Monday I tried the next batch, far less sour, tangy and actually good. I didn't notice much of a difference in texture than regular milk. I'm guessing it's ok, but wanted to ask here.

I'm not using anything fancy, just grocery store whole milk. I'm kefiring about 12 oz at a time and I'd say my grain is about teaspoon sized. My kitchen is coolish right now (probably about 65 degrees), with occasional warmer times when we are cooking. I didn't swirl it or anything, and wonder if I should.

I tried it in my millet porridge this morning and it was quite delicious!

I'm already itching to try the recipes here! What a great thread!
Sounds like you're doing fine. It's likely going to take a few batches before the grains acclimate to your particular milk and in the meantime, you can use the non-kefired milk for cooking, etc. Your kitchen does sound a bit cool. I'd recommend seeing if you can find a bit warmer place to let the kefir work. Maybe on top of the refridgerator, a high shelf, a warmer room, etc.

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Old 02-24-2009, 01:44 PM
 
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I made a second batch of water kefir and it tastes like lighter fluid! Or worse. Have NO idea what happened...


Pat
That's not fun! Have you made another batch since? Does it taste better?

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Old 02-24-2009, 01:45 PM
 
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Do I toss these grains, or is there a trick to getting them to stop producing this yucky beer taste/smell?
You could keep culturing them every two days in sugar water (since it's cheap and easy) and see if the situation improves. Is it possible they over-fermented (too warm, too long, etc.)?

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Old 02-24-2009, 02:24 PM
 
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That's not fun! Have you made another batch since? Does it taste better?
It is brewing. Hmmm...it is in the cupboard above the oven. I wonder if it got too hot when I left the oven door open below it.

It is like grain alcohol probably tastes. I haven't tried grain alcohol.

The grains reproduced, it seems, though.

Just tasted it. It is MUCH better, delicious even. But, it has only been a day and the house is cooler. Can I leave the lemon and figs in the kefir and put it in the refrigerator and just strain it when I want to drink it? I'm lazy that way.

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Old 02-24-2009, 02:26 PM
 
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Lighter fluid? Eeewwwww. Sorry, not funny. Don't feel bad- it took me a couple months of constant brewing before I got a batch that was palatable. I was pretty shocked that your first batch turned out so good!
Yeah, I was a bit afraid it was going to kill me overnight. I almost posted that, but didn't want to give off bad energy about kefir, you know. :

Love My Kefir. I love my kefir.


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Old 02-24-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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Can I leave the lemon and figs in the kefir and put it in the refrigerator and just strain it when I want to drink it? I'm lazy that way.

Pat
I don't see why not (coming from a fellow lazy person)

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Old 02-24-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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Does anyone happen to have some grains that are multiplying too fast for their needs?
Id be so happy to welcome them in our home. We have had our grains for about 4-5 years now & I think I officially killed them
We took a much longer break than I orrigionally intended & they were sitting in the fridge in the same milk for about a year & 1/2 before I realised they were back there & that it had been that Long! (oh, what a year it's been!!) I have tried the last couple mos. to re-vive them... but Im just not thinking they are 'working' right...

I'd gladly pay priority shipping costs to me in CA.
THANKS so much!!

PLEASE Someone? Before It gets too hot to mail them here to me, Please... :
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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PLEASE Someone? Before It gets too hot to mail them here to me, Please... :
I don't. But, ask on the Kefir share thread in the "Trading Post" forum. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ighlight=kefir

Also, dogmom has them in her link above.


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Old 02-24-2009, 05:52 PM
 
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Sounds like you're doing fine. It's likely going to take a few batches before the grains acclimate to your particular milk and in the meantime, you can use the non-kefired milk for cooking, etc. Your kitchen does sound a bit cool. I'd recommend seeing if you can find a bit warmer place to let the kefir work. Maybe on top of the refridgerator, a high shelf, a warmer room, etc.

Thanks dogmom327, ahh the joys of winter and trying to save heat. Ok, I called Mr Toona and he said it's definitely warmer there and put my jar on the fridge. So, this means I will see a thicker result? Also I hope it's ok if I drank my not-quite-there kefir. Cuz I did.

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Old 02-24-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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Thanks dogmom327, ahh the joys of winter and trying to save heat. Ok, I called Mr Toona and he said it's definitely warmer there and put my jar on the fridge. So, this means I will see a thicker result? Also I hope it's ok if I drank my not-quite-there kefir. Cuz I did.
As long as it looked, smelled and tasted okay, it should be fine.

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Old 02-25-2009, 02:36 AM
 
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I was reading a few pages ago about not using juice that has water in it as the water would likely contain chlorine. Would this be a concern only if I'm putting the grains in the juice? If I'm adding the juice to the finished kefir after the grains have been removed, will the chlorine that may by in the water in the juice kill off the beneficial bacteria in the finished kefir? If that question makes any sense . . .

Also . . . what should water kefir taste like?

I'm only on my second batch and I tasted both before adding juice to them. They have been pretty sweet, but as I lift the glass to my lips, it definitely smells different than just plain sugar water. I guess I'm just worried that the grains aren't working and that I'm just drinking sugar water and thinking that it's kefir.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:54 AM
 
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I was reading a few pages ago about not using juice that has water in it as the water would likely contain chlorine. Would this be a concern only if I'm putting the grains in the juice? If I'm adding the juice to the finished kefir after the grains have been removed, will the chlorine that may by in the water in the juice kill off the beneficial bacteria in the finished kefir? If that question makes any sense . . .

Also . . . what should water kefir taste like?

I'm only on my second batch and I tasted both before adding juice to them. They have been pretty sweet, but as I lift the glass to my lips, it definitely smells different than just plain sugar water. I guess I'm just worried that the grains aren't working and that I'm just drinking sugar water and thinking that it's kefir.
Kefir grains don't do well with chlorine so try to avoid it to the best of your ability when the grains are involved. After the grains have been removed, it's not an issue.

Finished water kefir is still fairly sweet but often smells a little like yeast. The best way to know if the grains are working is to test the brew before and after it ferments. While it will still be sweet afterward, it should be no where near as sweet as when it started.

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Old 02-25-2009, 03:11 AM
 
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Hmmm . . . okay, I'm worried mine is too sweet still. Next batch I'll add some blackstrap molasses and see if that makes my grains more active. If I could get some discernable bubbles that would reassure me too. I think I could call the smell "yeasty," so that's a good sign too.

On the plus side, whatever it is, it's making yummy lemonade.
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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As long as it looked, smelled and tasted okay, it should be fine.
I guess I'm not sure what "fine" tastes like. Today, after a half day atop the fridge, it was definitely more sour, but I don't know that I saw any difference in thickness (that's my other question, is it supposed to be thicker?). Sorry to overload you with questions, but you are the resident expert!

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Old 02-25-2009, 02:19 PM
 
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I guess I'm not sure what "fine" tastes like. Today, after a half day atop the fridge, it was definitely more sour, but I don't know that I saw any difference in thickness (that's my other question, is it supposed to be thicker?). Sorry to overload you with questions, but you are the resident expert!
I just was trying to qualify the answer with don't drink something that tastes rotten Don't want you to get sick! Finished kefir is generally the consistency of yogurt (sometimes a runnier yogurt) when it's stirred. If it ferments a bit too long, the curds and whey will visibly separate.

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