kefir consistency ... thick or thin? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-29-2006, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been making kefir for a couple of months now and it's always had a thick-ish consistency ... I usally leave it for about 24 hours, but the last few weeks I've noticed the consistency isn't changing at all ... the smell is still the same, and the cream separates to the top with the grains like before ... I really have to remember to stir it more, anyway, nothing seems to have changed except it's now just like milk when I pour it out ... I'm so afraid I've killed my grains. Is that possible? thanks for your input
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#2 of 9 Old 11-29-2006, 02:20 PM
 
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: sounds about right to me. You don't want to compare yours to the store bought kind if that's what you're referring to. Most of the store bought versions that I've seen add powdered milk in to thicken it just like in yogurt.

For me the key is always the fizziness in my home brewed kefir. At first it's not so fizzy, but when I pour it in the mason jar and put it in my fridge then it's REALLY fizzy! Well...that and my grains continue to reproduce!
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#3 of 9 Old 11-29-2006, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've never had the store bought kind so not even sure what that is like. I've never had fizz in mine before, how long do you leave yours out? Does the change in weather make a difference? My grains have definitely reproduced, maybe I should get rid of some and see if they're still growing.
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#4 of 9 Old 11-29-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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Do you keep your kefir on the countertop and has it been cooler in your house over the past several weeks? I wonder if maybe it's just that it's been cooler so the kefir is taking longer to get to that 'thick' stage. You can try leaving it for more time and see if that helps it thicken up.

Also, I've noticed that if I swirl the grains + milk around in the jar at least twice a day that the resulting kefir is thicker.

Good luck!
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#5 of 9 Old 11-29-2006, 07:48 PM
 
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I leave mine out for upwards of 36-48 hours - well past when I was warned that it would be too sour. We keep our house around 60-62 deg during the winter and it's likely cooler in the kitchen given that we live in an older house and the kitchen just seems to be a bit more drafty.

I don't know as it's time to start ditching the fellas. Maybe put some in cold storage (in a container covered with milk and in the fridge) and just try making a smaller batch and see what happens?

I usually look for a layer of curds on top with a small layer of whey and then some milk below before I strain mine. I usually have to give the strainer a good whack to get all the curds through it and then usually use a hand blender to very lightly encourage the curds to evenly distribute themselves. Even then it's not all that thick - thicker than the milk that went in, but not super thick.

I've always had fizz - even the one time that I didn't let it sit very long - but again, that's after putting it in a ball jar, sealing it and putting it in the fridge overnight.

Hmmm...did you check Dom's site?
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#6 of 9 Old 11-29-2006, 11:25 PM
 
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Sounds like the change in weather temp is causing a change in the brewing time. As long as it still smells and tastes good than I would go with it.

Try brewing longer or shaking more. I find my grains go thru phases They have their own moods from time to time. Sometimes the milk fat content changes based on what they are eating and that can change your kefir too.
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#7 of 9 Old 11-30-2006, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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wow, ya'll, thanks for the info, all of it's very helpful ... I'm thinking the temp is making a difference ... I'm going to try leaving it out longer and see what happend ... thanks
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#8 of 9 Old 11-30-2006, 12:56 PM
 
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I agree with pp. My kefir also gets thick and thin depending on weather and season. Also make sure you are still using the same amount of grains as when you started. My milk kefir grains usually grow and grow until I can make finished kefir in less than 12 hours. When that happens, it's about time to get rid of some grains. Even though the kefir looks like the same doneness, I notice that after I stir it back up, it's almost like milk consistency instead of the thicker consistency. After I remove some grains, the consistency will go back to normal after a couple of brews.
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#9 of 9 Old 11-30-2006, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks, that's so helpful, I do have lots of grains, so maybe that's my issue, I need to get rid of them anyway

can I store them ... I'm going to see my MIL in 2 weeks and she wants some ... I'll have to do a search on that
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