Got Probiotics? (Kefir, Yogurt, Other?) - January 2005 - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-30-2004, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Found this New Page the Dom has, he gives full permission to copy as long as it's intact. This is a great how to ship/receive grains info sheet!

But First, here is the link to the DOM's FAQ page, he really does cover most questions about Kefir and it's a good place to look first:

http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kef...#addfruitjuice

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METHODS FOR SHIPPING KEFIR GRAINS for SHARING PURPOSES
for both milk-based, and water-based kefir grains


Below are details explaining methods for shipping [by post] both milk-based or water-based kefir grains by postal or courier services.

Part 1 Describes three preferred systems used by the sender to prepare kefir grains ready for postage. The first system includes directions for shipping translucent water kefir grains.


Part 2 Explains the process and methods for reactivating kefir grains by the recipient at the receiving end.


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PART 1 [For the sender]


PREPARING KEFIR-GRAINS TO POST IN FRESH FORM
For preparing milk-based or water-based kefir grains
Shipping kefir grains, which may take between 1 - 3 days to reach their destination [by post e.g.], may be sent fresh, by placing the grains in either a solution of sweet whey or with fresh milk [for milk-based grains only]. Water kefir grains may be shipped in a 3% sugar solution. The container of choice is a 100 - 200 ml [1/3- 3/4 cup] food-grade plastic bottle [e.g. a pill bottle obtainable from pharmacies]. Alternatively an empty plastic cola drink or mineral water bottle may be used.


Preparing Traditional Milk-Based Kefir Grains:
Fill the bottle approx. 3/4 with a solution prepared with pre-boiled cooled water, mixed with 1-2 tsp of whey powder. Or fill the bottle 3/4 full with fresh milk. Add 1 - 2 tbs of kefir grains. Make sure not to fill the bottle more than approx. 90% with kefir grains + solution. Squeeze the bottle with one hand until the liquid reaches the rim. While holding the bottle with one hand [while still squeezing], place and secure the lid tightly with the other hand. The bottle should be left with little to no air gap. This procedure leaves the plastic bottle slightly distorted due to a partial vacuum. This is performed so as any CO2 gas is produced during transit, the pressure expands the bottle, forcing it back to its uniform state, and not cause the bottle to bulge out due to excessive pressure. This simple procedure reduces the potential risk of excessive pressure buildup during transit.

Preparing Translucent Water-Kefir-Grains [Traditional Sugary Kefir Grains]:The method explained above may be implemented for shipping fresh translucent water kefir grains [WKG], only if shipping time does not exceed 7-10 days. When shipping WKG, the preferred medium for shipping is prepared with a solution of water and sugar [not whey or dairy milk]. Approx. 2 tsp of sugar [sucrose] to 250 ml [1 cup] of water, plus 3 tbs of translucent WKG has worked well. An alternative medium may be prepared with 1 - 2 tsp of molasses with 250 ml of water. The latter solution produces less CO2 gas, which is favourable by reducing pressure buildup during transit.

NOTES: WKG should remain viable when shipped fresh, as explained above, for up to 10 days at ambient temperature.


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SHIPPING PARTIALLY DEHYDRATED KEFIR GRAINS [please see footnotes] For milk-based kefir grains only
Milk-Kefir grains may be shipped in a partially dehydrated state. This is useful when shipping time may exceed 5 days.


To partially dehydrate [PD] kefir grains, place the grains in a strainer and rinse with Chlorine-free clean COLD water to remove protein deposits from the surface of the grains. Alternatively, the grains may be placed in a bowl filled with fresh cold water and the grains are gently stirred to remove protein deposits from the surface of each grain. Pour the contents into a strainer to drain away the water and recover the washed grains. Gently pat-dry the grains by placing between a sheet of paper or cotton toweling. Finally, place the grains between two sheets of thin cloth or paper toweling. Keep in a warm spot with good ventilation and let dry at room temperature for 24 hours. Mix 2 parts by volume of *dry milk powder [DMP] with 1 part PD kefir grains. The PD kefir grains + DMP mixture is placed in a ziplock plastic bag and shipped in this state. Kefir grains shipped in this state will remain viable for approx. 2 months, depending on the extent of dehydration [the drier the grains, the longer they will store].

I use an electric-driven heat controllable food dehydrator to partially dehydrate kefir grains. Dehydrating at 25° C [77° F] for approx. 2 hours [until the outer-surface of the grains dehydrate]. This is performed so that the DMP does not adhere to the surface of the grains and to reduce water content.

Any form of dry milk powder may be used i.e. full cream or non fat, cow or goat's milk etc.


NOTES: This shipping method was investigated by a Professor of Microbiology, Professor J. M. Schneedorf, whom at the time was researching kefir at the University of Alfenas, Brazil. The parcel took approx. 2 weeks to reach the Professor by post. The grains were healthy and grew well in his laboratory. He also found that there was no evidence of any microbes, yeasts or molds cultivable from the actual DMP removed from the grains, after 4 days culturing under laboratory conditions.

This was likely due to initially sterilizing the DMP, before mixed with PD kefir grains. Sterilization was performed by toasting the DMP in a hot iron skillet for approx. 3 minutes [while continuously stirring the DMP]. Rapid cooling the sterile DMP to ambient temperature and then mixing the DMP with the PD kefir grains. The mixture was placed in a ziplock plastic bag before posting by regular airmail.

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SHIPPING FULLY DEHYDRATED KEFIR GRAINS
Instructions for Dehydrating Milk Kefir Grains

To fully dehydrate kefir grains, place the grains in a strainer and wash with Chlorine-free clean COLD water, to remove protein deposits from the surface of the grains. Alternatively, the grains may be placed in a bowl filled with fresh water and the grains are gently stirred to remove protein deposits from the surface of each grain. Pour the contents into a strainer to drain the water and recover the washed grains. Gently pat-dry the grains by placing the grains on a sheet of paper or cotton toweling. Finally, place the grains between two sheets of thin cloth or paper toweling. Keep in a warm spot with good ventilation and dry at room temperature.

The grains should be dried until they become hard and yellow in colour. This may take between one to five days, depending on temperature, humidity and size of the grains. Dehydrated kefir grains remain viable for up to 1 to 1-1/2 years if placed in a sealed container stored in the fridge [do not freeze]. I recommend adding *dry milk powder, adding enough to cover the grains, which will aid in preserving the dehydrated kefir grains more effectively.

Dehydrated kefir grains can be placed in a ziplock plastic bag, ready for postage.

*Any form of dry milk powder may be used i.e. full-cream or non fat, cow or goat's milk etc.

Instructions for Dehydrating Water Kefir Grains
Dehydrate an amount of water kefir grains, by first rinsing the grains with fresh clean cold water. Place the grains on a sheet of white cotton or linen toweling and leave to dry in a well ventilated area. The grains should shrink to app 1/2 the original size and have the texture and appearance of large sugar crystals. Dehydration should take between 1 to 3 days, depending on size of the grains, temperature and humidity. The grains should remain viable in a dehydrated state, for at least 6 months.


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PART 2 [For the recipient]

CULTURING KEFIR GRAINS SHIPPED IN FRESH FORM
For culturing both milk-based and water-based kefir grains


Pour the contents of the bottle into a strainer and strain to separate the grains from the liquid [whey, milk or sugar-water media]. Discard the strained solution then follow the directions for culturing milk-kefir explained on the web here:

http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Mak....html#Utensils

or the link below regarding directions for preparing water-kefir on the web:

http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Mak...#Kefir-d-acqua

Alternatively, directions explained below may be followed regarding culturing water-kefir [under "Activating dehydrated water kefir grains"]


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ACTIVATION OF PARTIAL OR FULLY DEHYDRATED MILK-KEFIR GRAINS
Place the grains in one cup of fresh milk and leave in a partially sealed jar, for 24 hour at room temperature. Strain and renew the milk daily, whether or not the milk coagulates. Anywhere within four to seven days, the 24 hour batches of kefir should begin to smell sour but clean and the milk should start to coagulate within 24 hours.

NOTES: When activating dehydrated milk-based kefir grains, for the first few days the culture-product may go through some unusual stages regarding producing an unusual aroma and appearance. An overgrowth of yeast is likely to occur during the first 3 - 4 batches. This may be evident as a layer of froth or foam forming on the surface of the milk. This should settle down as consecutive batches are prepared. This foaming is mostly due to initial friendly yeast overgrowth. Within 5 - 7 days, the yeast and bacterial components should find a workable and desirable balance between the two components, to produce a kefir without excess yeast activity. When the kefir begins to have a clean sour smell, with an aroma resembling fresh yeast [or beer-like], the grains have then reached a workable or desirable state of balance. From this point on, the kefir may be consumed for its appealing flavour and consistency.

Under some circumstances, activation period may take anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks. So perseverance with a little patience is required during this period. The grains should commence growth within 3 to 4 weeks. Within this time frame the grains should become white and slimy [the slime factor of propagable kefir grains], which is an indication that the grains have begun to grow. After the fifth week, any yellow or pinkish-brown grains should be removed and discarded. This should provide enough time for any slow to activate grains, a chance to awaken and begin propagation.

Please read FAQ 38 for further details regarding reactivating dehydrated milk-kefir grains, explained on the web here:

http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kef...l#reactivation


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ACTIVATING DEHYDRATED WATER-KEFIR GRAINS
In an 8-cup glass jar, dissolve 4 to 6 tbs of cane sugar in 4 cups of cold fresh water. Add 2 to 3 thin slices of lemon and add the dehydrated water kefir grains. Place a tight lid on the jar and let sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, or until the solution is bubbly with a slightly sweet flavour. If too sweet let sit for 24 hours or longer. Strain the brew, rinse the grains with cold water and repeat the process for the next batch.

NOTES: The grains should commence propagation within the first week. As consecutive batches are cultured, the beverage should be ready within 48 hours thereafter. The grains should be reasonably clear and translucent. If the grains appear to begin to go brown and loose transparency, and reduce in over size [of each grain], rinse the grains well under a stream of cold tap water, then place the grains in a sugar-solution explained above. Then store the jar in the fridge for 5 to 7 days. Strain, rinse the grains with cold water and commence brewing at room temperature once again. Dry fruit such as one dry fig or dry sultanas or raisins etc., may be included after the first week. Slices of fresh apple, straw berries including a variety of fresh fruits may substitute or be ncluded with lemon.



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This webpage takes approx. 4 to 5 pages to print on sheets of A4 letter paper.

© Dominic N. Anfiteatro 2002-2003

Updated June 19, 2003 [Happy new Earth-spin-cycle, and Happy New Revolution around the Sun]

E-mail [email protected]

Web: http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html

The full contents of this webpage may be freely distributed in printed or electronic format only for non monetary purposes and only if the contents are left fully intact with the copyright notice above, including this here notice... PEACE and LOVE be with us without a full stop
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Old 12-30-2004, 05:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by xenabyte
OK, starting a new Kefir thread. Please bear with me while I get together an appropriate and concise 'Kefir FAQ', for us here at Mothering. Though the Dom has great info, it's can be a bit overwhelming to read all at one sitting.



I think the 13 page Kefir thread was more overwhelming than Dom's site!!!

OK, I'm going to repeat a question that got "lost" in the last thread: Can I make kefir with milk that's starting to smell "off" (but isn't quite sour yet) or should I stick with using only fresh milk?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 12-30-2004, 01:06 PM
 
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Hi - I've been lurking on your last thread and would like to join this one! I had two questions:

1.) If you are drinking your Kefir in the morning, do you need to take your probiotics too? It seems like the kefir should provide all you need, but I just wondered.

2.) It was recommended that you have 8 oz on an empty stomach in the morning - does it interfere with the health benefits if the kefir is mixed into a smoothie?

Thanks for all of the wonderful information ladies! Also, Xenabyte you've gone above and beyond the call of duty with all of the information you've provided.

Living the good life
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Old 12-30-2004, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla
I think the 13 page Kefir thread was more overwhelming than Dom's site!!!

OK, I'm going to repeat a question that got "lost" in the last thread: Can I make kefir with milk that's starting to smell "off" (but isn't quite sour yet) or should I stick with using only fresh milk?
Probably because no body wanted to dig that hole, answering....but here goes:

The CYA answer would be always use the freshest milk available.

They riskier answer would be, if the milk isn't sour yet, and it doesn't smell bad, then it should be ok (always smell final Kefir product to make sure it seems 'normal'. I would also NOT use all my grains, JIC it turns out badly.)

Once milk starts to get that funny smell, it's already got some bacteria and what not brewing in it. The KEFIR bacteria and yeasts should be able to 'outgrow' and kill off anything not compatable, however, it could also like the new bacteria, and then these 'off smelling' bacteria/yeasts could start living in harmony with the Kefir grains and then your new batches might smell like 'off milk', if that makes sense.

Those are the reasons, it's your call. I would definitely makes a back up copy of the grains in the fridge (even if they are just sitting in some filtered water in a jar) until you get fresh milk.

Safest way to use up 'slighty off milk' is to make pudding and eat it, as this kills anything 'funny' starting to brew.... (Basically just use the milk for cooked goods, but pudding is my favorite...hehe)
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Old 12-30-2004, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Danesmama
Hi - I've been lurking on your last thread and would like to join this one! I had two questions:

1.) If you are drinking your Kefir in the morning, do you need to take your probiotics too? It seems like the kefir should provide all you need, but I just wondered.

2.) It was recommended that you have 8 oz on an empty stomach in the morning - does it interfere with the health benefits if the kefir is mixed into a smoothie?

Thanks for all of the wonderful information ladies! Also, Xenabyte you've gone above and beyond the call of duty with all of the information you've provided.

Answers:

1) Kefir does provide all the probiotics you need, but if you have some to use up, go ahead. You might get 'the runs' from it, if you are overdoing it though...

2) I think you are fine if you are doing your morning 'smoothie', it's still fresh, uncooked probiotics on an empty tummy, just with more flavorings

Now I want a smoothie...I just had Kefir D' Aqua for breakfast with some dried figs...but smoothie sounds yummy!
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Old 12-30-2004, 06:02 PM
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I checked my kefir this morning and it was thick, clumpy and curdy. I strained it and stired it. It now has a mild yeasty smell and is not as thick as yogurt, but thicker then milk and curdy. Is this what it's supposed to look like?
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Old 12-30-2004, 11:31 PM
 
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Question: Do I have to use grains to make the kefir, or can I make it like yogurt--just put some storebought kefir in with the milk and let it sit for 24 hours and the cultures will take over? If this will work, how much do I use?

Second question: Is there still someone here who will ship starter grains for a small fee? I'd really like to get some, but in reading on it on Dom's site it sounded not that easy to get.

Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2004, 12:03 AM
 
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Cjr: sounds good to me!

Heather: I put the water grains into a cooled herbal tea of clover, echinacea, ginger, lemon, and chammomile flower. I also added two level tablespoons of rapadura. I had about 1/4 cup of grains. I am using a pint canning jar to ferment. All ready (6 hours in) it is fizzing up and smells just wonderful. I am going to let it go for 48 hours and I will report back.

I am so excited about this....a probiotic/immune stimulator herbal tea! Yummy and good for you and good for your immunity etc etc. I am bouncing off the walls with kefir madness!

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Old 12-31-2004, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by cjr
I checked my kefir this morning and it was thick, clumpy and curdy. I strained it and stired it. It now has a mild yeasty smell and is not as thick as yogurt, but thicker then milk and curdy. Is this what it's supposed to look like?

YES whoo hooo that sounds like a perfect batch of Kefir. It it thick and curdy, then once strained and stirred...it thinner (and drinkable) than yogurt. whoot!

Ok, now that you have perfected the plain Kefir brew, add in some yummy flavors to drink it. Always add in additonal flavors AFTER brewing and straining (just a reminder) to keep the grains safe.

I had mine 50/50 with some organic apple juice (new non heat treated, just pressure pasturized so it still has some living enzymes)...talk about YUMMY!

Heather

/does happy dance for CJR YEA we finally got you some grains and they sound like they are gonna be fine...now you can service the other Canadian moms
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Old 12-31-2004, 01:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by slightly crunchy
Question: Do I have to use grains to make the kefir, or can I make it like yogurt--just put some storebought kefir in with the milk and let it sit for 24 hours and the cultures will take over? If this will work, how much do I use?

Second question: Is there still someone here who will ship starter grains for a small fee? I'd really like to get some, but in reading on it on Dom's site it sounded not that easy to get.

Thanks!
Slighty Crunchy,

1.
If you want to do that, and not use grains first, I would suggest you look for and buy the little box of 'Kefir starter' that is kinda like making yogurt (Yogourmet Brand is a good one). I have read the ingredient panel of the premade store bought stuff, and they add in other stuff, and I'd not quite trust it to make a TRUE Kefir brew using it to 'innoculate' your milk. Safer to just buy the powdered starter.

If you use one little packet from the boxed 'dry powdered Kefir starter, which is only the bacteria/yeasts taken out of Kefir'd Milk' at least it will work really well, and then I think you can use some of THAT freshly brewed Kefir to start your next batch for like 5 times. Then they suggest using another little packet to start you next batch, and again, you can use it up to 5 times before they suggest using another packet. The bacteria 'wear out' over time, and that's why you should occasionally use the fresh packet to insure you are getting a STRONGLY cultured batch (it prevents other stuff from growing in the milk too.

(BTW, Kefir 'grains' do not wear out, like the starter packets, and you can use them OVER AN OVER indefinitely, the bonus to having your own set of living grains.)

2.
PM me your mailing info, and I will try to get you some grains either this coming Monday or in one week. I have three on my list for this Monday, Jan. 3rd, but might be able to SQUEEZE out enough for another shipment.

I ask a small fee to cover shipping and my packaging/printing costs. It's definitley cheaper than DOM or 'GEM' Cultures.
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Old 12-31-2004, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Cjr: sounds good to me!

Heather: I put the water grains into a cooled herbal tea of clover, echinacea, ginger, lemon, and chammomile flower. I also added two level tablespoons of rapadura. I had about 1/4 cup of grains. I am using a pint canning jar to ferment. All ready (6 hours in) it is fizzing up and smells just wonderful. I am going to let it go for 48 hours and I will report back.

I am so excited about this....a probiotic/immune stimulator herbal tea! Yummy and good for you and good for your immunity etc etc. I am bouncing off the walls with kefir madness!

That sounds like a very YUMMY, healthy drink! Plus what a wonderful way to prevent colds and flu this season!

You might get away with drinking that sooner than 48 hours, if you only have a pint jar, it'll be 'ready' pretty quickly (esp. if you have a full 1/4 cup grains.

I use a two quart glass 'pitcher' for my d'Aqua brews and only have maybe 1/8 cup grains. And it's really bubbly after just 24 hours. I go the extra day for erm...the erm...more nerve tonic effects.... /hick It also uses up more of the sugars and leaves you more of the 'bubblies'.....

Happy New Year all, I'm hosting the party tomorrow, so I'll not be around until Saturday to check messages and the PM box.
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Old 12-31-2004, 01:29 AM
 
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I have been following the kefir threads for awhile now and I think I am getting brave enough to try it. I would love to get some grains if you have some to spare. I will happily pay for them.

I hope to start getting raw milk products in Jan or Feb and I'm thinking that would make great kefir.
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Old 12-31-2004, 02:10 AM
 
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I am shipping again Tuesday, probably for the last time in a while. I think I've got enough for one more person. ANyone interested can PM me their address and work out $3.85 for priority shipping.

I know I said before that I would have grains "until Jesus came back," but we are going dairy-free for three weeks so I have worked for a month cutting my three cups down to about 1/2 cup now. By Tuesday, I figure I'll be down to a couple of tbs.

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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Old 12-31-2004, 04:29 PM
 
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This has probably been addressed inthe big thread but I don't have time to look through it now so I apologize for the repetition. I just got my grains in the mail today but am about to leave town until Tuesday. Can I leave them in the bag they came in? I don't have any regular milk here but I do have soy milk. Should I leave them in that?
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Old 12-31-2004, 04:46 PM
 
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Sarah,

I got your PM but thought I'd answer here in case anyone has any other input. You definitely need to leave it in something. I don't have any experience with soy milk, so I am not sure about that. I guess it would be better than nothing. Can you borrow a cup of milk from a neighbor? Whatever you do find to put it in, you can put it in the refrigerator so that it brews more slowly and will be ready for you Tuesday.

Amanda

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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Old 12-31-2004, 05:09 PM
 
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Sarah,
Do you have any canned coconut milk? That could work. Definately, I think, put them in a liquid seperate from the liquid it came in. Have a good time on your trip!

Heather,
Andrea (whom sent me the water grains) said that since seperating the grains for me, hers have mulipled quite steadily. Perhaps overcrowding is an issue in the slow reproduction?

Amanda,
I got your pm re: the card exchange and I am going to send you a card soon! Thanks for the address.

Happy New Year/Calender Change Everyone!
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Old 12-31-2004, 05:49 PM
 
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OK, thanks- I'll just reconstitute powdered milk when I'm out of fresh.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 12-31-2004, 06:26 PM
 
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Hello, kefir-yogurt mamas...I just made a good batch of yogurt following the ideas that people had given on the other "yogurt" threads. I followed a tip from a page Toraji had made a link to - to leave the lids off the yogurt pots in the yogurt maker, so that the water condenses on the big lid, you can toss it, and the yogurt is thicker. Anyway, it worked.

And I made a lovely winter smoothie with kefir and fresh pineapple. I get to thinking that smoothies are for hot weather but that's not the case. I end up using all my kefir for baking and surely that kills off all the good yeast and bacteria?
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Old 01-01-2005, 05:57 AM
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What is Kefir supposed to taste like? Mine had a tanging sort of taste. I mixed it with fresh cranberry juice this morning and it was a tanging, tart sort of taste. Also, is it supposed to remain curdy? My dh thought I was nuts drinking it this morning, but so far so good. One more question...When I strain I get clump of curds with the grains. I have been gently taking the grains out and putting them in a jar to ferment again, but what do I do with all the curds? Do I put it in the kefir mixture, do I discard them? I have been discarding because I'm sure there are small grains in the curds I can not get out. I don't know if it's good to ingest the grains. Do I put the curds along with the grains back into the brewing jar? I'm sure this has been address in the larger thread, but I just can't go through all the posts.

My second batch took about a day and a half, just like the last batch. Should I wait until the brewing time shortens before adding more than just 1 c. of milk to the brew pot?
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Old 01-01-2005, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by cjr
What is Kefir supposed to taste like? Mine had a tanging sort of taste. I mixed it with fresh cranberry juice this morning and it was a tanging, tart sort of taste. Also, is it supposed to remain curdy? My dh thought I was nuts drinking it this morning, but so far so good. One more question...When I strain I get clump of curds with the grains. I have been gently taking the grains out and putting them in a jar to ferment again, but what do I do with all the curds? Do I put it in the kefir mixture, do I discard them? I have been discarding because I'm sure there are small grains in the curds I can not get out. I don't know if it's good to ingest the grains. Do I put the curds along with the grains back into the brewing jar? I'm sure this has been address in the larger thread, but I just can't go through all the posts.

My second batch took about a day and a half, just like the last batch. Should I wait until the brewing time shortens before adding more than just 1 c. of milk to the brew pot?

Kefir tastes kinda like liquidy yogurt (the real, unsweetened stuff) or like sour cream or even buttermilk. It's definitely tangy and kinda sour tasting. If you want something to compare it to, buy some unsweetened Kefir milk at the health food store, but be aware it's usually more mild tasting from the store, as they add in more milk to make it milder.

And as far as the 'curds' I usually stir the kefir gently with a plastic or wood spoon, and kind 'break up the curds' to free any trapped grains. If you accidentally (or purposely) drink/eat a grain, it's fine. It is one way to control excessive grain production, actually.

I don't bother with excessive straining, I put the grains with any clinging curds (which act as an insulative barrier) into the new brew jar with fresh milk. This kind of 'kick starts' your next batch. Every once in a while, I give the grains a good 'cleaning off' of curds, like before I ship, to make sure I"m shipping actual grains, and not just curds.

You can probably up your milk to 2 cups in the next day or so. It will eventually turn, just be sure to swirl the jar occasionally to make sure the milk is in contact with the Kefir grains/curds while it's brewing. This just helps it along. It's all a matter of personal taste now, since they are obviously working just fine, plus winter months tend to make things take longer anyway.

After you strain your Kefir, if there are lumps still in your glass that you intend to drink, just give it a GOOD stir or a quick whirl in the blender, it will smooth out nicely! Since I'm usually adding in a juice or fruit, it's easy nuff. Oh, and wow, if you drank unsweet cranberry juice in it, that must have been some TANGY drink there.... /puckers lips Way to go though!
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Old 01-01-2005, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla
OK, thanks- I'll just reconstitute powdered milk when I'm out of fresh.

Actually, I'd just leave them in some filtered water in a jar in the fridge until you have more fresh milk.

There was some article I was reading about how the drying process for 'powdereing milk' damages the cholesterol, which is what is not good for your body. It's a personal thing, but I'd avoid drinking powdered milk. I will try to find that article or info.
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Old 01-01-2005, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Note: First post has been edited. Has new info and link info
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Old 01-01-2005, 05:52 PM
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xenabyte- Thank you so much. It was alittle tangy with the cranberry juice. This morning I made a smoothy with the kefir, a shot of cranberry juice and a banana. It was pretty tasty. It looks much more appetizing having the curds smoothed out in the smoothy. So, this will probably be my staple breakfast using different fruits. I'm pretty excited about using it to cook with in place of buttermilk. It's hard to find a good organic buttermilk that does not break the bank, and I cook with it all the time. I strained off some whey and I'm trying to get a sourdough starter going. I am a flop at breadmaking.

I will most likely continue with my extra strain until I'm comfortable ingesting a grain or two. It's still alittle wierd for me right now. I am pretty new to fermented foods. I was making my own yogurt for awhile, but I kept getting some wierd things happening. I think I might get a yogurt maker in the next little while.

This last brew took less time, so I think I will do 1 c. of milk next and go for 2 cups with the brew after that.
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Old 01-01-2005, 09:36 PM
 
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Hi everyone!
So we just strained off our first batch of water grains that I had soaked in lemon, ginger, echinacea root, red clover flower and chammomile flower with rapadura sugar.

WOW, it is fantastic, not sweet at all and I am glad since I was concerned about the sugar. But, the grains ate it all up and the drink is very strong and potent. My dd, who is three, and I drank a portion each and each sip we looked at eachother and said, mmmm this is good. It was a really funny, good moment. :LOL

Kefir rocks. I would wear a t-shirt that said that!

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Old 01-02-2005, 03:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mountain mom
Hi everyone!
So we just strained off our first batch of water grains that I had soaked in lemon, ginger, echinacea root, red clover flower and chammomile flower with rapadura sugar.

WOW, it is fantastic, not sweet at all and I am glad since I was concerned about the sugar. But, the grains ate it all up and the drink is very strong and potent. My dd, who is three, and I drank a portion each and each sip we looked at eachother and said, mmmm this is good. It was a really funny, good moment. :LOL

Kefir rocks. I would wear a t-shirt that said that!

the tea sounds soo good! i've never liked milk though. i was forced to drink it growing up :blech
i got my grains though and put them in milk. the grains are a clump floating on the top-i think i might give them a bit of a stir with a bamboo skewer. i tasted it tonight even though it's prolly not ready-and i love it! once i learn more i really want to switch part of my batch into making the tea. tea is really up my tree!
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Old 01-02-2005, 04:33 AM
 
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We had our grains in goat milk for a couple of days, then put them back in cow milk. Dh didn't rinse them, just switched the milk. The next day I couldn't drink the kefir, it still had the goat taste. Now I'm not going to be drinking milk for the next couple of weeks, so he put it back in goat milk. Will it be forever goaty or will it go back to normal taste with a good rinse?
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Old 01-02-2005, 12:52 PM
 
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on dom's site, there used to be brand name Kefir products that you could buy in store, does anyone know the products or have the link?
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Old 01-02-2005, 01:26 PM
 
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Splendid,
Here in the Boston area I see Lifeway and Helios brands of Kefir sold in quarts at the fancy/healthy markets, both plain and flavored. I usually get the Helios because (I think) it has less junk in it.

But, I've asked xenabyte to send me some kefir grains, so I can stop paying upwards of $3/quart for the stuff!
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:03 PM
 
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Thank you.

My HS sells a Kefir starter set as well, I just wanted to know what commercial kefir tasted like as compared to the stuff I will be making at home.
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Old 01-02-2005, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by danielsmommy
We had our grains in goat milk for a couple of days, then put them back in cow milk. Dh didn't rinse them, just switched the milk. The next day I couldn't drink the kefir, it still had the goat taste. Now I'm not going to be drinking milk for the next couple of weeks, so he put it back in goat milk. Will it be forever goaty or will it go back to normal taste with a good rinse?
You can try rinsing them in filtered, cool water and putting them in cow milk until the smell goes away or even letting them sit in filtered water in the refrigerator for a few days.

Also, an overnight soak in canned coconut milk will usually do the trick too.
(I soaked some 'goat milk raised' grains in coconut milk and one soak did the trick!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by splendid
on dom's site, there used to be brand name Kefir products that you could buy in store, does anyone know the products or have the link?
Not sure what specific brand he recommends, but I'll second Helios pre made store brand (though they do add in milk to thin it down for drinking) and if you are looking for a powdered starter set, I have used and like, Yogourmet Brand Yogurt and Kefir starters:

http://www.lyo-san.ca/english/yogourmet.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjr
I will most likely continue with my extra strain until I'm comfortable ingesting a grain or two. It's still alittle wierd for me right now.
I understand that completely! I found this little nylon strainer cup, that is actually designed for putting loose tea leaves in and setting in your tea cup, then you just lift it out and have a perfectly clear cup of tea. It's actually really nice (fits just in the opening of a wide mouth canning jar) and I pour the final kefir through it and it catches ALL the grains. Anything that still clumps, I use a small very flexible and soft silicon baby spoon to stir and push kefir through. Then I add the grains back to the brew jar. I finally found the link, here it is:

http://www.herbalremedies.com/brew-basket.html
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