milk kefir doesn't smell right - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 02-02-2008, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so I have been trying to brew kefir for the past week, and while the consistency looks right, it still smells very bready/yeasty. I keep hoping it is still adjusting, but am starting to get worried. I bought some of the packet starter at whole foods to compare, and the batch that I made from the commercial starter smells yogurty like I assume the one from the grains is supposed to smell. Am I doing something wrong, or is there a problem with the grains? Or do I just need to keep throwing away batches until it smells right? Is there anything else I can do? Thanks!
-karen
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#2 of 16 Old 02-02-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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I would throw out a few more batches. Maybe you need more/less milk????

 

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#3 of 16 Old 02-03-2008, 01:18 AM
 
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It sounds like your grains need to get used to your kind of milk. Try using half the amount of milk so that you're not tossing the good stuff. Even if it doesn't smell right, you can still use it to soak grains or bake with so at least it's not going to waste.
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#4 of 16 Old 02-03-2008, 02:14 AM
 
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It's SUPPOSED to smell yeasty!!!

After you've rested your kefor grains, either by freezing or dehydrating, you dump the first few batches until your kefir gets the desired "yeasty" smell - that's how you know your kefir is kefiring properly.

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#5 of 16 Old 02-03-2008, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
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It smells a lot yeastier than the store bought or the one I made with the kefir starter, which both smell more yogurty - shouldn't it smell more yogurty than bready? The smell is so strong that I don't think I could drink it this way, let alone get my kids near it.

How long should it take for the grains to get used to the milk I am using?
Thanks!
-karen
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#6 of 16 Old 02-03-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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I'm afraid no one can tell you how long it'll take for your grains to adjust to your milk.

And Metasequoia is right, it is supposed to smell yeasty somewhat but not like bread dough. It doesn't quite smell like the storebought stuff nor like the stuff made from a packet because both of those use only a few different kinds of bacteria while kefir has many more.
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#7 of 16 Old 02-03-2008, 01:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
It's SUPPOSED to smell yeasty!!!

After you've rested your kefor grains, either by freezing or dehydrating, you dump the first few batches until your kefir gets the desired "yeasty" smell - that's how you know your kefir is kefiring properly.

yep

With my kefir I restarted recently, I only threw out the first batch. After that, it was fine.

My *test* on whether it is good is this: I shake it around a tiny bit when I think it's ready-then I immediately loosen the lid. You should hear a good pop from pressure when you open it. I do this because I want to mix the creamy layer in a bit. Also, when you open it, take a good wiff. If it burns your nose, it's probably good! It should be a nice combo of that and a gentle yeasty smell.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
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#8 of 16 Old 02-03-2008, 02:16 PM
 
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I should probably go back and read some more but I never throw anything away. Mine has been on the counter for 24 hours before and then in the fridge for a week and I've still consumed it usually just chug it down. This takes a lot of trying not to throw up but I believe it's still good for me so I don't waste it. I recently got the 24 hour stomach bug along with my whole family (I'm the only kefir drinker so we can't blame the kefir) but otherwise I'm never sick. I do still have some lingering yeasty/candida from use of stevia for about a week in my coffee but that's hopefully on it's way out!! Anyway, I really abuse those little grains and they keep growing and doing wonderful things for me.
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#9 of 16 Old 02-03-2008, 02:16 PM
 
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oops - ignore - tried to delete this but couldn't figure it out
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#10 of 16 Old 02-03-2008, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
And Metasequoia is right, it is supposed to smell yeasty somewhat but not like bread dough. It doesn't quite smell like the storebought stuff nor like the stuff made from a packet because both of those use only a few different kinds of bacteria while kefir has many more.
It is still smelling like bread dough, which I think is what is freaking me out about the smell - it is too strong to be able to stomach still, is there any good way to tell exactly what it is supposed to smell like?

Quote:
My *test* on whether it is good is this: I shake it around a tiny bit when I think it's ready-then I immediately loosen the lid. You should hear a good pop from pressure when you open it. I do this because I want to mix the creamy layer in a bit. Also, when you open it, take a good wiff. If it burns your nose, it's probably good! It should be a nice combo of that and a gentle yeasty smell.
Should I be keeping the lid on tight while it is brewing? Maybe that is the problem, I have been loosening the lid slightly after each time I mix it up - would that make the difference?

Thanks, I feel like a total kefir newbie here
-karen
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#11 of 16 Old 02-03-2008, 08:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kcs View Post
It is still smelling like bread dough, which I think is what is freaking me out about the smell - it is too strong to be able to stomach still, is there any good way to tell exactly what it is supposed to smell like?


Should I be keeping the lid on tight while it is brewing? Maybe that is the problem, I have been loosening the lid slightly after each time I mix it up - would that make the difference?

Thanks, I feel like a total kefir newbie here
-karen
Well, I always tighten mine. But that is because I have a small kitchen,that gets a lot of use, and I have my scoby opposite the kitchen on a different counter. So I don't want much cross-contamination if I can help it!

How long have you had it out? Depending on the temp in my house, or how many grains I use, mine can take anywhere from half a day to 3 days to brew. I know I use about 1-3 tbls of grains and kefir per quart, depending, since I don't really measure. Also, leave a bit of room at the top for air.

And I know how you feel, I feel like I am still experimenting with mine and I have been making it awhile. You'll find the groove.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
.
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#12 of 16 Old 02-04-2008, 02:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kcs View Post
It is still smelling like bread dough, which I think is what is freaking me out about the smell - it is too strong to be able to stomach still, is there any good way to tell exactly what it is supposed to smell like?


Should I be keeping the lid on tight while it is brewing? Maybe that is the problem, I have been loosening the lid slightly after each time I mix it up - would that make the difference?

Thanks, I feel like a total kefir newbie here
-karen
I always tighten a lid on mine, but it's fine to just cover it with a cloth to keep dust & flies out.

Try to keep a relaxed attitude about your kefir - have you read Dom's site? It's really such an art, no two batches are exactly alike. Kefir is actually really hard to mess up - I've killed two batches of fil mjolk but have abused my kefir for years & it just continues to multiply!

After my kefir has fermented sufficiently, I put the whole jar in the fridge for a few hours or a few days. When I want to drink it, I take it out, put a strainer on top of my blender & strain the kefir directly into my blender, stirring the grains around to push the kefir through. I scoop out the grains from the strainer & put them in a clean jar & add fresh milk to the grains.
Then I toss a banana or two into the blender depending on how much kefir I've made & a large handful of blueberries & blend it up. The kids LOVE it like this. It's best to drink it cold like this, room temp kefir is kind of icky, but I've done it. You can also keep your bananas in the freezer to make it even icier.

Even if your kefir smells funny to you, it's not going to kill you & the chances of it making you sick are pretty slim (unless you have candida die off or something.)

Homeschoolin' Mama chicken3.gifto Dd1 2/3/00, Dd2 1/13/03, Ds1 3/11/06 & Ds2 11/18/10!!
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#13 of 16 Old 02-04-2008, 02:30 AM
 
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What I have been doing lately is straining out a few tsps of grains(after I shake it to mix it up so I can tell where some are) and then the rest I dump in a blender. Then I blend it with a tiny bit of vanilla and rapadura(just enough to sweeten), then I put it in the fridge. Then we drink it for morning.

Sometimes I strain it and put it in the fridge plain. Then we do milkshakes with it. We never really drink it plain. Sometimes I will use it in place of yogurt for fermenting things.

I agree, kefir is hard to mess up!And it can smell so different based on what kind of milk you use- raw or not, etc etc.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
.
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#14 of 16 Old 02-23-2008, 03:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I just wanted to update - I tried pretty much everything with those grains to make them less yeasty, because it was really undrinkable the way it was. Even tried a yogurt bath, and tried adding commercial starter with the grains to give it a "boost", nothing worked. I finally gave up and got a new batch of grains from a wonderful mama here, and the difference is huge! I did about two start up batches, and tonight I tried it for the first time and it tasted like I thought kefir was supposed to taste, and no overwhelming yeasty smell I am so excited, and am glad I didn't give up. Yay, I am going to have yummy kefir brewing here now

So just wanted to give an update, and let people know that there can be big differences between grains from different sources. Turns out I wasn't doing anything wrong, the grains I got off e-bay were just brewing super yeasty ickyness, while the new grains I got from the mama here are wonderful!! Yay!!
-karen
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#15 of 16 Old 02-23-2008, 03:38 AM
 
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Good to hear you found a way out.

I'm sorry you fiddled for so long with sub-par grains.. I didn't even know that it was possible that some aren't very good!
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#16 of 16 Old 02-23-2008, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Heh, yea, so am I, but I am glad that I didn't give up and tried the new grains - my husband even tried it and loved it, so that is huge! He could definitely use some good healthy food
-karen
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