Help! Kefir Grains?

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Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
270
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Is there any way of storing the grains, say if we were on holiday for a week or more?

Also, does anyone have any recommendations as to where is best to buy good grains? Do they differ much?
They differ in taste and quality quite widely, and there seems to be no definitive source of information ( that I can find ) , although the 'net is flooded with how-to's which all start with ' get your grains'.

When you have the ones you're happy with you can put them in a clean jar with a small amount of good milk then straight in the fridge where they'll go to sleep and be good for 2-3 weeks; when you change the milk, leave in ambient temp. and 24 hrs later they're back to work. :)
 

Herbalist1

Settler
Jun 24, 2011
586
0
North Yorks
I'll be in touch as soon as there are enough to pass on and you'll be welcome to them; you're right, you just wouldn't believe how the commercial big boys have got hold of this and we all know how much you can trust the commercial food producers, eh?
Thank you - much appreciated! I'll look forward to hearing from you - no rush though, you'll want to make sure yours have built up nicely and probably have enough for a back up resting in the fridge. Oh, an a note on the fridge saying Do Not throw anything away!!! We were away recently and had my parents round to look after the cat - I had to warn them not to throw out the big jar of stinky fermenting guck - my home made Kim chi. It really does whiff (I quite like the smell but makes wife want to retch) so anyone unaware would definitely have chucked it out!!
Thanks also for sharing your experiences of using kefir - I tend to suffer from IBS so trying to incorporate more fermented food into my diet. Some take quite a bit of prep (like the Kim chi) so something that is fairly quick to prepare and easy to keep going will be a big help.
 

neoaliphant

Nomad
Aug 24, 2009
426
5
Somerset
Great news that they made it, Mrs N was concerned they would make it though the post!

your welcome!



A wee update on this one - I've just started the third batch from the grains I was gifted by neoaliphant and Mrs. n, and they've been really lovely, even the first batch was delicious so you must be keeping yours in tip-top condition.

I was fearing a nightmare, having to get started again but I can't believe how seamless it's all been, so heartfelt thanks for taking the trouble to get them to me :).

When they are established and multiplying strongly I'll be only too happy to gift some on to anybody else that'd like to give it a try...................................
 

Herbalist1

Settler
Jun 24, 2011
586
0
North Yorks
Updating this thread - Macaroon was kind enough to pass on some grains to me - thanks Mac.
I left my first batch for 36 hrs and the resulting kefir was only slightly fermented - not really much thicker than ordinary milk and only slightly sour. So I decided to leave the next batch for longer - probably about 60 hrs. I guess that was too long but I thought after the first batch, the grains needed a bit longer to do their work. Strained the second batch this morning and it was so thick it was hard to get it through the sieve. In the end I scooped out the largest grains - some nice big ones already and helped the kefir the brought the sieve with a wooden spoon saving some of the smaller grains to join their larger 'siblings' for the next batch. This second batch was very tangy and effervescent - I mixed this with the kefir I had left from the first batch and the result was just right - nice lemony tang and pleasant light fizz.
Clearly I left the second batch longer than needed but I was surprised at just how active the grains had been. I guess (not surprisingly) that the grains were a bit sluggish after being in the post for a couple of days but they seem to have recovered very well. I'll test this current (3rd) batch after 36 hrs with the option of leaving til 48 hrs depending how it's doing but I won't be surprised if 36 hrs is plenty given how active the grains now seem to be.

Thanks again Mac and thanks Neoaliphant for passing on your culture and making this possible.
If anyone is interested, I'll be happy to pass on the favour once I've got enough grains to share
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
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Excellent news, and thanks for updating the thread. I'll have some grains to spare again about ten days or so, anybody that'd like to give this a try let one of us know :)
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
5,758
840
Bedfordshire
I think I will take you up on that offer. I have been wanting to try some since reading this thread, but have stalled at ordering some from ebay
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
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I bought a few bottle of kefir from the Polish section at Tesco at 69p and found it pretty horrible, so haven't really continued investigating. I should maybe mix it with some fruit, or even fruit syrup, definitely can't drink it from the bottle.
 

Zingmo

Eardstapa
Jan 4, 2010
1,274
84
S. Staffs
Once again I have been encouraged to try something new by BCUK! I bought some kefir grains from the “Live Kefir Company” on Amazon. They have been going quite crazy with the hot weather lately, turning half a litre of milk into something akin to cottage cheese in 24 hrs. So I have resorted to only allowing them out of the fridge for 12 hours or so each day. I’m still not really sure what I’m supposed to be getting as I have never tried anyone else’s kefir. I try to catch it just before it separates. The taste is pleasantly yoghurty. There is a slight whiff of off-milk but not the unpleasant taste. When I have left it too long, or without enough milk, the dog gets the results; which she loves. Disappointingly, the rest of the family have refused to even try the stuff, so the dog has had some of the grains already to reduce the production rate.

Z
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
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Maybe I should try some of someone's excess grains and make my own. I'm away for a week, but if I may, I'll contact one of you generous gents on my return.

Nice to keep the neoaliphant strain going too. :)
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
270
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SE Wales
Once again I have been encouraged to try something new by BCUK! I bought some kefir grains from the “Live Kefir Company” on Amazon. They have been going quite crazy with the hot weather lately, turning half a litre of milk into something akin to cottage cheese in 24 hrs. So I have resorted to only allowing them out of the fridge for 12 hours or so each day. I’m still not really sure what I’m supposed to be getting as I have never tried anyone else’s kefir. I try to catch it just before it separates. The taste is pleasantly yoghurty. There is a slight whiff of off-milk but not the unpleasant taste. When I have left it too long, or without enough milk, the dog gets the results; which she loves. Disappointingly, the rest of the family have refused to even try the stuff, so the dog has had some of the grains already to reduce the production rate.

Z
There's no 'standard' Kefir, it's a matter of taste. The general consensus, however, is that the longer it ferments the more beneficial it is. I personally like mine thick and creamy, when it seperates just give it a gentle stir
with the wooden spoon and leave it some more. Remember, though, that when you filter the grains out and store it in the fridge there's a secondary fermentation that takes place and that's when most folk add fruit. Dates added to the filtered Kefir and then left in the fridge for a further 24hrs or so is supposed to be a revelation, though I've not tried it myself as I'm very fond of the taste without anything added.

When I first started making it I was a little put off by the 'milky' smell; as I began to enjoy it well fermented that smell disappeared, I really don't like milk raw very much at all and a longer time removes all similarity.
I have family members who are properly lactose intolerant but they use Kefir regularly with gusto.

I also give a little to the dog a few times a week, very good for them as it is for us. :)
 

neoaliphant

Nomad
Aug 24, 2009
426
5
Somerset
Hi All

@Zingmo, do you know roughly what volume in tavblespoons you got for the 5g/10g etc.

Mrs N says the amazon site looks decent and the grains look the same as she grows.

Shes well chuffed the culture is still going strong.

@Zingmo, Mrs N says you shouldn't be getting any sour, that can happen if thereis too much milk to grains, even in hot weather they should all turn before milk sours.
There should be just a yoghurty taste with a hint of yeast smell.

with recently aquired grains, they can take a while to aclimatise to different environment/milk, this will slow production rate and increase chance of milk souring, this should get better as the little buggers get used to your house/source of milk.

If its separated,it can just be shaken to recombine to drink, or just used in a smoothie


Al

Edited
just noticed posted same time as macaroon,Mrs N says the fridge should help slow production which should give a creamier product....
 
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Herbalist1

Settler
Jun 24, 2011
586
0
North Yorks
It's great that this thread is generating so much interest and really useful to have the input from experienced kefir users.

As I say, I'm happy to pass on some grains as it was Mac's kindness that has got me started. However, I reckon it's going to be at least another 10 days before my grains have multiplied enough to do so. Don't mind someone contacting me earlier though.

Nice65 - I'd say definitely give making your own a go. Don't judge it on the strength of the supermarket bought stuff. I'd say that the fresh stuff doesn't need fruit adding though secondary fermentation with fruit might be an interesting experiment for the future.
 

Zingmo

Eardstapa
Jan 4, 2010
1,274
84
S. Staffs
I got about a level tablespoon full which was 5g. I chose the seller as the most recent reviews were good. They have about quadrupled in the month or so I have had them.

I was under the impression that if the liquid separated then it meant that the milk had been "used up". So less grains, less time or more milk was needed.

Z
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
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My grains are going really well at the moment and I'm about to send some out to a member who has expressed interest; I have ready one more lot which I'd be happy to send out to anybody who'd care to give it a try?

I got about a level tablespoon full which was 5g. I chose the seller as the most recent reviews were good. They have about quadrupled in the month or so I have had them.

I was under the impression that if the liquid separated then it meant that the milk had been "used up". So less grains, less time or more milk was needed.

Z


When the liquid seperates the Kefir is as made as it's going to be; strain off and put in the fridge for a secondary fermentation without the grains. Then top up the original container, with grains, with fresh milk and it'll start again.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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I've been drinking almond milk since childhood, long before the days of nut and oat milks becoming fashionable
Has anyone any experience of using the kefir grains, or something similar, with nut or soya milks ?

M
 
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BorderReiver

Full Member
Mar 31, 2004
2,692
13
Norfolk U.K.
Well, I'd never heard of it up until now, but having to take Omeprazole daily, and suffering IBS sometimes, I think I'll give it a go. Breakfast for me at the moment is kiwi, blueberries, banana, Chia seed, and live yogurt. Sometimes with a handful of granola to keep me going longer.

I'm just researching how it's made and used, and trying to find the right grains to start it off. I see what you mean about sourcing grains, there are a lot of companies out there.

My Polish neighbours had an earthenware pot in the kitchen that they allowed milk to ferment in, I wonder if that's a similar thing?
If you can't be bothered to make your own, it's available ready to use in Tesco and Sainsbury, Rich.
 

Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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I did find it in the Polish section Mike, but wasn't too thrilled by the taste. What I need is a blender to add fruit to it.
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
270
70
SE Wales
I've been drinking almond milk since childhood, long before the days of nut and oat milks becoming fashionable
Has anyone any experience of using the kefir grains, or something similar, with nut or soya milks ?

M
Here you go, Mary, this is about the clearest explanation I can find.

If you can find a commercial Almond Kefir you'd only need to buy it once and then clone your Kefir as you go along. I'm afraid I don't know anything about the non-dairy grains or where to get them.
 
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Herbalist1

Settler
Jun 24, 2011
586
0
North Yorks
Hi everyone,

from what ive read, commercial kefir products (including nut milk kefir to) aren't made with kefir grains but are inoculated with a collection of bacterial and yeast strains (but not the same diversity as are found when using grains). These cultured products can usually be used to produce more kefir up to about 6 times (the same as if you buy the kefir powders from places like Lakeland). After that the cultures may become unstable.

Also, as far as I know, nut milk kefir can be made using normal milk kefir grains BUT afterwards they need to be fed with dairy milk (i.e. they can't survive in non dairy milks in the longer term).

Mary - if you want to have a go at nut milk kefir, I've got lots of kefir grains at the moment and I'd be happy to pass some on but you'd need to be happy to make dairy kefir too to keep them surviving and thriving in the long term.
Likewise anyone else needing some grains ... Let me know and I'll help if I can (good to go at the moment).
 

Herbalist1

Settler
Jun 24, 2011
586
0
North Yorks
Just keeping this post running - sent out my first request for kefir grains today. But my grains are growing fast so I've got plenty to share if anyone else wants to give kefir a go!