Got Kefir? - Page 19 - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-01-2010, 02:18 AM
 
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Nice post...Thank you very much!!......
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:29 AM
 
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Quick question... if half your jar is full of water kefir grains, does it brew quicker than if it is a quarter full? Basically, do more grains mean speedier kefir? My stuff is breeding out of control, I throw away a cupful every other day. Although I am going to start taking it to the local HFS, I'd still like to know if it is worth keeping more kefir... currently I wait about two days, I'd like to make one a day. I suppose I could start a second jar.

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Old 11-03-2010, 12:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
Quick question... if half your jar is full of water kefir grains, does it brew quicker than if it is a quarter full? Basically, do more grains mean speedier kefir? My stuff is breeding out of control, I throw away a cupful every other day. Although I am going to start taking it to the local HFS, I'd still like to know if it is worth keeping more kefir... currently I wait about two days, I'd like to make one a day. I suppose I could start a second jar.
yep, more grains=quicker ferment!
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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Yes more grains in the jar makes the kefir ferment faster. You could store the kefir in the refrigerator on the grains, to slow fermentation. I make kefir about once a week and then I store the whole jar in the refrigerator until I make another batch.

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Old 11-03-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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Oh gods that is so good to know.

I'd share my grains on here, but I'm in Oz. Let me know if anyone wants grains and are in Australia. I only have water kefir grains, I don't use the milk kefir.

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Old 01-17-2011, 03:03 PM
 
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Reviving this thread because it's awesome. I've read the first 11 pages.

I got some kefir grains from a friend a few months back. I didn't make much and mostly stored it at first because I was hesitant to mix it with anything (even now I wonder if fruit kills the good bacteria...) but recently I mixed my kefir with raspberry juice and it's soo good! DS loved it too, and downed 3 small glasses.

I also baked some bread with it, the recipe on page one, and it was amazing. Definitely softer than regular bread I've made. And I used goats milk so it's safe for DS. :)

I'm definitely feeling the kefir love. I'm trying to eat as much as possible to boost our immune systems... we've all been sick lately.

 

I really want to try the grape juice kefir. Does anyone have a tutorial for converting milk grains to water grains? (sorry if i missed it, I wasn't planning on it from the start.)


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Old 01-21-2011, 09:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post

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




Pat


So... The part I underlined... Is this why I can't stop coughing up phlem after eating kefir?? Or is there another cause? Is it going to get better or will I always have this? Tips?
 


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Old 01-22-2011, 07:59 AM
 
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Juice Kefir: Save a back up batch of milk kefir grains in milk as they won't continue to reproduce when making juice kefir. But to make juice kefir with milk kefir grains, you use 1:1 ratio water to 100% juice (no additives, not even vit c). I use organic 100% grape juice and non-chlorinated water. Ferment for a day or so with some of the milk kefir grains. It is delicious. There are huge quantities of beneficial microbials in homemade kefir, so just start with 1 tablespoon a day, increase gradually as tolerated. [I find that the juice kefir is yummy for about 3-5 batches and then tastes yeasty to me.]

 

Many people have the phlegm issue and throat clearing with pasteurized dairy, but not raw dairy. Or not cultured dairy. Some have intolerance to A1 casein in some dairy. Some can not tolerate any bovine dairy, but can tolerate other animal milks. Some no dairy.

 

Depends.

 

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Old 01-22-2011, 11:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post

Juice Kefir: Save a back up batch of milk kefir grains in milk as they won't continue to reproduce when making juice kefir. But to make juice kefir with milk kefir grains, you use 1:1 ratio water to 100% juice (no additives, not even vit c). I use organic 100% grape juice and non-chlorinated water. Ferment for a day or so with some of the milk kefir grains. It is delicious. There are huge quantities of beneficial microbials in homemade kefir, so just start with 1 tablespoon a day, increase gradually as tolerated. [I find that the juice kefir is yummy for about 3-5 batches and then tastes yeasty to me.]

 

Many people have the phlegm issue and throat clearing with pasteurized dairy, but not raw dairy. Or not cultured dairy. Some have intolerance to A1 casein in some dairy. Some can not tolerate any bovine dairy, but can tolerate other animal milks. Some no dairy.

 

Depends.

 

Pat


Thank you for your reply!! Well I bought some grape juice. Pretty sure there's no additives but I'll have to check for Vit C. I think it was SunRipe brand. My friend was going to bring me a brita, will that be good enough for getting teh chlorine out? She cancelled on me twice and I got annoyed and just rinsed some of my grains with tap water quickly (Did it before and they didn't die) And then covered them with like a cup of grape juice. Today is it's second day of fermenting. My regular kefir takes like a good 3 days to ferment because it's so cold here in canada. Do you think the grape kefir will need a bit of extra time? I guess I could just try a bite and see how it tastes...

 

Hm. It's strange. I drink a lot of regular milk and never have the phlem problem. I made the kefir out of the same milk I drink. shrug.gif  I'm hoping it's just a temporary thing.
 


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Old 01-22-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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I'd rescue your grains. As they won't keep reproducing in juice, per my understanding. :-)  The juice alone has a LOT more sugar and will become wine/vinegar quickly. I'd take the grains out now and see how you like the flavor. I wouldn't give it to kids, unless diluted with water.

 

I doubt the kefir is causing the phlegm then. But try without the kefir and see. There is a lot of crud going around currently.

 

My understanding is that the Brita doesn't remove enough chlorine, not certain, however. But, it is not necessary to rinse the grains. You can use a bottled water for the occasional times you need chlorine-free water. But check - those might actually be "metropolitan water" too.

 

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Old 01-22-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post

I'd rescue your grains. As they won't keep reproducing in juice, per my understanding. :-)  The juice alone has a LOT more sugar and will become wine/vinegar quickly. I'd take the grains out now and see how you like the flavor. I wouldn't give it to kids, unless diluted with water.

 

I doubt the kefir is causing the phlegm then. But try without the kefir and see. There is a lot of crud going around currently.

 

My understanding is that the Brita doesn't remove enough chlorine, not certain, however. But, it is not necessary to rinse the grains. You can use a bottled water for the occasional times you need chlorine-free water. But check - those might actually be "metropolitan water" too.

 

Pat



Yes I decided I better give it a taste test. I really didn't think it would be ready yet but it was! It was fizzy and tasted a little alcoholic, yet still sweet. So yummy!! I put more juice back in with the grains... ALthough I checked and my juice does have Vit C and ascorbic acid. :( So I guess after this batch I better put it back in milk until I can figure out what kind of juice to use. What brand do you guys use?

I won't rinse the grains anymore. I read you were suposed to when you first convert teh grains but I wont anymore. Id hate to always have to buy bottled water to make water kefir though. :( Boo.
I guess I'm on the lookout for ACTUAL water kefir grains. It's really cold here though. Like minus 40. So maybe best to wait til summer if I'm getting it shipped?


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Old 01-22-2011, 02:43 PM
 
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'nother question. All this time, with my dairy kefir, I've been assuming it needed to separate completely to be ready. Like, curds and whey... is that wrong?


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Old 01-23-2011, 07:18 AM
 
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Does sound too cold to ship live hydrated grains, perhaps. But, Cultures for Health has dehydrated grains she can ship.

 

Milk kefir does not need to separate to be "done". It is fine to separate, I just shake to remix. But, most people think it tastes a bit too sour at that point.

 

Yes, rinse milk grains before converting to juice, not necessary otherwise (there is controversy about this). But, milk kefir grains won't keep reproducing in juice so KEEP A BACK UP BATCH. -because the juice seems to alter the milk kefir grains to a point that the juice is too much like beer, ime.

 

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Old 01-23-2011, 09:06 AM
 
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that's correct.  it doesn't need to separate to be done.  it's all personal preference!

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Old 01-23-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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Thank you for your replies!! I kept a closer eye on this batch of dairy kefir. I was looking at it yesterday, wondering if it was done. I gave it a swirl and it seemed to have clumps but mostly still liquid. So this morning I took a peek and it had just a bit of clear stuff near the bottom so I gave it a swirl and it was thick. Even though it wasn't nearly as separated as I normally leave it. So I strained and tasted it, so much better!! Like you said, much less sour! I couldn't understand before, how people could eat it plain. It tasted like vinager flavoured yogurt lol. Now it's much better. I mixed some with a smoothie. :)

 

I've definitely kept a back up batch of grains. I'm not 100% confident my water/juice kefir won't die one day lol.


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Old 01-23-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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Ok I finally officially read this entire thread lol. Of course right near the end were all the answers about "when is it ready." Haha.

 

Someone mentioned a cheesecloth baggie. That's awesome. I just cover teh opening of the jar with cheesecloth and tip it upside down. I slowly slide the cloth away and the kefir hangs inside it. Then I squish it out with my (clean) fingers from teh top down, which I find amazingly satisfying. lol. I love how it squishes. I'm like a kid in mud. It's really quick too. I did it today just before heading off to church!


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Old 01-26-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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I have a few questions:

-Is it okay to have a quart Mason jar half filled with kefir grains, and sugar water covering them up to the top of the jar?  Or do they need more room/water over top of them?  What is the max. amount you want the jar filled with grains? (basically, how much water to Kefir grain ratio is safe?)

 

-How long can they stay "on hold" in the fridge before I use them again?  I've got too much Kefir water made, and I'm having to dump it!  I'd like to take a break.  How often do they need to be "used" on the counter top? 

 

-How often do I need to change the water? (fresh water and sugar)?

 

-Should I use the typical Mason jar lid (being airtight)--or will it get too fizzy sitting in the fridge that long and explode?  Should I just use a breathable cover on it in the fridge, same as I do on the counter top?

 

Thanks!


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Old 01-27-2011, 03:27 PM
 
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thanks for reviving this thread!

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Old 01-27-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daisymommy View Post

I have a few questions:

-Is it okay to have a quart Mason jar half filled with kefir grains, and sugar water covering them up to the top of the jar?  Or do they need more room/water over top of them?  What is the max. amount you want the jar filled with grains? (basically, how much water to Kefir grain ratio is safe?)

 

-How long can they stay "on hold" in the fridge before I use them again?  I've got too much Kefir water made, and I'm having to dump it!  I'd like to take a break.  How often do they need to be "used" on the counter top? 

 

-How often do I need to change the water? (fresh water and sugar)?

 

-Should I use the typical Mason jar lid (being airtight)--or will it get too fizzy sitting in the fridge that long and explode?  Should I just use a breathable cover on it in the fridge, same as I do on the counter top?

 

Thanks!



I'll try to answer what I can.

That seems like a lot of grains to me. I only have a tablespoon for a regular mason jar, and fill it half full with water. Also I think you should get a bigger jar because there should be more air in there, to allow for expansion. The glass could explode... (Maybe I'm wrong and that's only dairy kefir?)

I change the water every 36 hours or so. I'm not sure what the max is... It depends on your room temp. But just taste it and drink it soon as it's decently fizzy?

I think the breathable cover for in the fridge is a good idea. I think being exposed ot air slows down the process as well. I'm not sure how long it'll last in there but I've left dairy kefir in the fridge for like 2 weeks. You could prob even do a mason jar with the lid on slightly loosely... 


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Old 01-29-2011, 03:07 PM
 
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This is weird. I made some water kefir with just sugar and water. It didn't get fizzy. I tried adding a little juice and it got fizzy in no time...

 

Also I read something somehwere about brewing water kefir with ginger root? I bought some ginger... and now i can't find the instructions back. Can I just add ginger slices to my sugar water and grains?


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Old 01-29-2011, 07:12 PM
 
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yep!  you sure can! I always try to keep 2 jars though, when I start adding other things to the grains.  But I'm a purest that way wink1.gif

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Old 01-29-2011, 08:37 PM
 
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Well I use converted dairy grains and still make dairy kefir so if I killed this batch I could always take more from my dairy batch :)

Thanks for the tip! I will do this tomorrow!


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Old 02-03-2011, 10:01 AM
 
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HI everyone, I am very excited reading all the posts, I have a question, where can I get kefir grains? I have call several organic markets and they don't carry them. thank you,

Angela

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Old 02-03-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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Well here's one place. Or make it your facebook status. There might be someone local that has some.

 

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/starter-cultures/kefir-cultures.html 


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Old 02-08-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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I need some trouble shooting!

I got some milk and water grains from a friend over a week ago. I read probably 15 pages of this thread and then skimmed the rest. I just have no idea what I am doing wrong! My water kefir comes out slimy, tasting bad/rottenish and syrupy and my milk kefir either is thin, watery, and very sour and terrible tasting (well, like rotten milk) or it smells horribly sour and turns to curds and whey.

With the water kefir, I have probably 2-3 tablespoons of it and I use probably 3 cups of water, 1/2 c sugar and a tangerine. After 48 hours it turns very murky with no fizz and is real slimy. I've tried increasing the water and still the same result. Even after just a few hours it turns murky.

I started out with like 3 c of milk to 1/2 a tbsp of grains (thats all my friend could give me). after 12 hours it was horrendously stinky and sour and thin. I tried with more milk...curds and whey after 12 hours. I tried less milk...much less, like 1/2 c and got half sour milk and half creamy goodness at the bottom at 24 hours. Less milk, more time? I thought I would get milder stuff with more milk, not less? Perhaps the grains were dormant? My friend said they didn't use them often and were just sitting in the fridge because they could never get their kefir to not be sour. They used raw milk and I use pateurized. Maybe they just need some time to get used to my milk and my house??

So...what should I be doing to get good water and milk kefir? I live in Florida. In February, one day it's 40F outside and the next day it's 80F. We try not to run the air or the heat unless it gets below 60F or above 75F. so it's usually somewhere in between those. unless we aren't home, then it can get below or above those temperatures. I ferment my stuff in a dark linen closet in the middle of the house. My kombucha tastes great tho.

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Old 02-08-2011, 11:10 AM
 
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Thats strange. If it turns to curds and whey they must be alive. You might just be fermenting too long. Try straining it when it just barely starts to separate. You'll see a few pockets of clear liquid at the bottom.

The water kefir, I don't know. Maybe try a juice or other type of fruit? I tried with pears and it tasted horrible. But my pears were overripe so that might be why.


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Old 02-08-2011, 12:28 PM
 
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I do once cycle and strained before it separated completely. It was completely thick with pockets of liquid. It smelled horrible. I tasted it too...ick! I will just keep experimenting. I think that perhaps the grains were dormant. What's the best way to bring them back to live and propagate them?

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Old 02-08-2011, 12:31 PM
 
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I have a hard time believing they're dormant if the milk is thickening. But I have no idea what else it could be. Maybe this is what happens when it's in the process of "waking up" still.


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Old 02-08-2011, 06:33 PM
 
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for the milk, I think you should do some reading on Dom's site.  Also the kefir group on yahoo is a great place to ask questions.

 

The water kefir.  Use about the same amount of grains and sugar, sounds like WAY too much sugar to me.  Also make sure it's in a warm place.  I would leave out the fruit and just do sugar and water until you get it going better.

 

Good luck!

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Old 02-09-2011, 01:49 PM
 
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Well I posted my previous posts from school and when I got home I had perfectly delicious milk kefir waiting on me! It was wonderful! I mixed it with cocoa powder and maple syrup. Yum! My water kefir is still gross though.

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