is there a feb kefir thread yet? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-15-2005, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I couldnt find it if there was. I was wanting to know about the grape juice kefir. How do you go about making it? my milk kefir grains have grown so much I need to split them, so I was thinking about the grape juice. Does grape juice kefir have all the great benefits that the milk kefir does? TIA for all info
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#2 of 5 Old 02-15-2005, 10:53 PM
 
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Nope I've been painting glow in the dark stars, planets and comets on my kid's celiing and have been too busy to start it...but we can consider this one the thread until March hits

Basically any fruit juice that is liquid enough for the grains to sit in and 'culture' with probiotic goodness will work. The grape juice WILL have probiotics in it, but it will not have some of the other stuff milk has (protein content, and mineral content). But it will have good vitamin content, per the juice used.

It's a matter of taste. Firstly you are after the 'probitics' and secondly the increased nutritional values of the medium the grains soak in.

If you use a juice that is both acidic AND sweet (like grape or apple or even pineapple) then you can just put the grains in it and let it ferment for a few days at room temp. The grains will thicken and swell and they will start to get a larger 'good yeast' colony, that can handle the additional sweetness of the juice. The grains might also take on the color of the juice they are soaked in (this is fine).

You can probably still use the grains in milk if you don't do the 'juice' soaks too often, but it's best to just dedicate a set for juice making.

Hope this helps!

Heather
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#3 of 5 Old 02-16-2005, 12:46 AM
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Is it ok to put the grains in a little bit of milk in the fridge for a day or two? My kefir grains are so strong they are giving me kefir within a day and a half at the max and I'm going through milk like mad. Last week I ran out of milk and the kefir was ready, so I just put the grains in a small amount of milk in the fridge until the next day and then poured the whole thing into the larger quantity of milk to culture. Can I do this and have it be safe? I don't need to dump the first batch of kefir do I. I'm talking a day or two at the most. I only have just over a tbsp of grains, and it was explained to me that the more grains the slower the fermenting process will take. This may be why I'm getting such quick kefir and they need to multiply and not to split them.
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#4 of 5 Old 02-16-2005, 01:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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so when I let the juice sit with the kefir grains, is it best to cover them with a lid or let them "breathe" a little. With my milk kefir I have a cheesecloth cover over the top. would this work or should I use a solid lid and screw it on or leave it loose?
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#5 of 5 Old 02-17-2005, 04:17 PM
 
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First, to answer both questions...remember how they did Kefir in the old days...

They filled an animal skin bag with grains and milk and hung it near the door, so anyone walking past would give it a 'swing' to shake things up and distribute the culturing goodness....

They then just poured off what they needed and then added in more milk, never removing the grains until they probably got really big or it was starting to get too full....

So as far as using a lid or using 'mesh'....as long as bugs can't get through the mesh (fruit flies), then that's fine. A lid is also fine (on a bit loose if you have the jar particularly full and you want to let some of the gases escape.

The instructions for doing a juice ferment say a tight fitting lid, but that's probably because you want it to build up a bit of CO2 fizzyness, and if it was on loose, it'd 'POP' off, and something might get in the brew (it would attract fruit flies like made with the fermenting smell).

Milk ferments can be done either way (I've done both...I used lid, then mesh and have lately used a lid again.) The mesh did allow for a super mild smelling Kefir, not yeasty in the least bit....

Lately, I've just been straining off the kefir milk, swirling the grains a tiny bit with a silicon spatula to knock off any curds, then putting them in a clean jar and adding in fresh milk. I do not rinse them, unless I'm going to ship some of them and I want to make sure I'm getting actual kefir grains mostly in the package.

I've also let this 'brew' for up to 3-4 days just to test it...(*it is cold here, and it's been taking longer for true 'curding' and lumping up*) but man is this some mild, almost sweet, and 'bubbly' Kefir.

More grains will usually turn it 'curdy' faster, and you can add more milk, let it brew longer and not worry. If it changes texture and flavor so much you don't like it, then remove a few grains.

There is no 'wrong' way to do this..it's all experimenting and personal preference. The only bad things are subjecting them to heat, metal for a long period of time and putting 'milk based' grains in juice and never giving them milk again (that is, if you want them to reproduce still, they will still 'culture' both even if the flavor changes...)

You can definitely sit them in milk for a day or two in the refrigerator. You can even just put them in clean, chlorine free water (It's like a mini fast for them). I believe I have a 'leaving your grains unattended' info sheet on one of the threads with just this info. You can even leave them longer! They just might be 'slow' to ferment your milk if you leave them in there a VERY long time (like a month or more).
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