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05-02-2013, 06:08 AM   #1
prettykitty
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Making kefir

Continuing from previous thread about yogurt...

I ordered kefir grains on the internet over the weekend, and they arrived yesterday! I'm super-excited! First batch is brewing now... the instructions said to just toss out the first couple of batches (I assume to let the cultures get back up to speed after the trauma of shipping), so I won't have any results to report until probably Sunday.

Would love to hear from others who make or who have made their own kefir -- any tips?
05-03-2013, 11:04 AM   #2
mnsun
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Mine do best with **Organic Valley Whole Milk; at least I get the most consistent, texture-wise, result with this after just letting the grains sit in milk at room temp for two days. I was using a ratio of 1 tblsp grain: 1cup milk. Now I have a lot of grains so I use maybe 1.5tblsp per cup milk.

The starter I received didn't look like grains whatsoever. It was a pasty powder that became grains probably two weeks into it. Since using the above milk, my grains reproduce pretty well.

**On second thought, non-homogenized would be best for longterm health as suggested by others. I went 5+ years without buying milk and sorta forgot of that pitfall. The grains may work faster on such less processed milk, needing only 1-1.5 days to ferment.
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Last edited by mnsun; 05-17-2013 at 11:02 AM.
05-04-2013, 08:05 AM   #3
prettykitty
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Thanks, mnsun! I've been using the same brand, but lowfat -- I'll see how the first batch turns out, and switch to whole, if needed.

Mine arrived as a smooshy kind of paste. The person I ordered it from just put a tb of grains and a little milk in a ziplock baggie and sent via mail, so it was totally squished flat. But after 2 cycles of letting it sit in milk for 24h and draining, it looks like grains. I'm super-excited for my first batch, which I think will be Monday!
05-05-2013, 01:42 AM   #4
Ya noy
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Hi pretty kitty,

Working out of town and haven't been able to post much.

Kefir is really easy to make. We usually use raw organic milk from grass fed cows - but we also pasteurize it ourselves. I believe the source is fairly clean, but don't know for sure.

We make 1/2 gallon batches, and have been going through about a quart a day, but also use kefir in recipes.

We also culture ours for a little longer, to thicken it up. If you culture kefir for less than 24 hours, it can have a laxative effect, while culturing over 48 hours can cause constipation.

Best of luck!
05-07-2013, 01:30 PM   #5
prettykitty
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Finally had my first batch this morning. I had let it sit for 48 hours at room temp. It was a little thinner than I prefer and not quite as tangy. I'm guessing it may be because my grains are still not up to their peak production level, and because I'm using lowfat milk. I think I'll try leaving it out a little bit longer on the current batch. If that doesn't work, I may switch to whole milk.

I've also been using milk straight from the fridge -- it is possible I'd have better results if I let the milk warm up t room temp before inoculating?
05-08-2013, 12:40 AM   #6
Ya noy
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Yes, you should leave the milk in the counter and let it warm up before adding your kefir grains. When they get cold, the grains go into hibernation mode, but they do recover to regain full strength. If it continues to stay thin, you may not be using enough kefir grains, try using less milk until your grains increase. don't worry, they grow fast
07-16-2013, 06:29 PM   #7
davew41
 
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Finally had my first batch this morning. I had let it sit for 48 hours at room temp. It was a little thinner than I prefer and not quite as tangy. I'm guessing it may be because my grains are still not up to their peak production level, and because I'm using lowfat milk. I think I'll try leaving it out a little bit longer on the current batch. If that doesn't work, I may switch to whole milk.

I've also been using milk straight from the fridge -- it is possible I'd have better results if I let the milk warm up t room temp before inoculating?

Get regular milk from the store as long as it is not ultra pasteurized, make your ratio about 1 tsp of kefir grains to 1 cup of milk, make sure you are using a glass jar and not using any water to clean it that contains chlorine, also make sure your strainer is either plastic or stainless steel.. YOU DO NOT have to warm the milk it will NOT cause the grains to "hibernate" on your counter. I have been making Kefir for over 3 months and have never warmed my milk ...


Mix your 1 tsp of "grains" to 1 cup of milk and let is sit overnight, it will take about 24 hours for this to "separate" when you see pockets of clear liquid mixed in with the "grains" and milk the Kefir is ready.

If you let it sit longer it will separate almost in half the bottom half being clear liquid, Mix it with a wooden spoon over your strainer and you can either let it sit for another 24 hours, refrigerate it or drink it at that time..

My grains are kicking about 1 liter a day out at this time and it does not sit more then 45 minutes before i drink it
07-17-2013, 05:35 AM   #8
prettykitty
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Yes, I definitely found that regular pasteurized milk works much better than ultra pasteurized. But I also have gotten far better results letting the milk come to room temp before inoculating. I suspect we must have different preferences for how we like our kefir... I prefer mine very thick and tangy. I use 2 tbs per cup of milk and let it go 48 hours before straining, and it's perfect (for me)!
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