Info on making kefir??

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  serenedream 6 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #95068

    Angel29
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    I’ve been reading about kefir and I’m wondering if I should start making it on my own. I really don’t know anything about it and don’t know where to start. Is it better/more beneficial than yogurt? I read you’re supposed to leave the milk out for 12-48 hours, but won’t it spoil? Where can I find high quality kefir grains?

    #95073

    shayfo
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    This website has a lot of good, simple information about how to make it. http://www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/fermenting/kefir_howto.shtml

    As for comparing it to yogurt, any homemade probiotic food will be more beneficial than any commercial version. I think making kefir is easier than making yogurt (which requires a constant high temperature for 24 hours, I’ve read), which makes it a straight-forward decision for me, at least.

    The beneficial acids produced by the kefir “grains” keep the pH of the milk low enough that it won’t spoil.

    I got my kefir grains from a friend who had extra. You can check around on your local Craigslist (since they reproduce, people who make it all the time often give away their extras), or I believe some people here on the forum have ordered them through the Body Ecology kefir kit, amazon.com, and a few other websites.

    #95077

    shayfo
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    Also, I know starting to make your own cultured/probiotic items is a bit nerve-wracking, but really, it’s not that scary. I started making my own kombucha over four years ago, sauerkraut and kim chi and other cultured veggies over two years ago. I just started making kefir this week. The first time I tried my own lactofermented sauerkraut, I was about 30% sure I was going to die! But here I am. I’ve made dozens of batches and never gotten sick from one. And when you think about it, people in mud huts (et al) were making this stuff centuries ago…no worries 🙂

    #95130

    Angel29
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    So are we supposed to drink kefir in addition to taking probiotics and yogurt? Shouldn’t the kefir suffice? What do you do?

    #95131

    shayfo
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    I take probiotics twice a day, and I just started drinking kefir, and plan to continue to do both. It’s recommended to start off with small amounts of kefir and work up to more, so that’s what I’m working on now. Repopulating the gut is a priority, so I’m trying to give that a lot of attention. I’ve also been eating homemade sauerkraut and other cultured veggies.

    #95145

    Angel29
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    Pardon my stupid questions. When you order kefir grains, about how much do they send you? Do these expand over time or something???

    #95151

    shayfo
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    I’m not actually sure how much is sent. You need about a tablespoon’s worth in order to culture 8 oz of milk in a timely fashion, according to some things I’ve read. I think companies usually send them dehydrated, then you reconstitute them in milk for a few days before they start working (might happen in the fridge? I would hope the company selling them would tell you). Since they’re little colonies of bacteria and yeast (that’s why they eat the sugar), they gradually reproduce as they consume sugars. After a while, you’ll have lots more than you started with.

    #95152

    shayfo
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    And your questions aren’t dumb! This is new and presumably pretty foreign information. Most of us Westernized folks AVOID bacteria our whole lives, rather than dumping it into our milk 🙂

    #95161

    Angel29
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    Yea and to top it off…funny looking stuff that looks like cauliflower! Thanks for your help.

    #95232

    orka1998
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    It’s very simple to make, kefir grains grow like crazy when you treat them right, which basically means you give them milk every day. I also suggest to take part of it when you have extra and put them in a small container, put some milk in and freeze them. If the ones you are using die on you (it does happen, like me I forgot to change the milk when I put them to fridge to rest) then you have these to pull out of the freezer.

    The benefits compared to other probiotics are in the amount of strains. Commercial probiotic has around 14 strains (some might have few more), but they say kefir has around 30 strains. Commercial probiotic gives you more CFU where kefir has less. So one gives you lots of solders, and the other gives you more types of solders 🙂

    Have fun making kefir, it’s so simple and fast and offers so many benefits.

    Arijana

    #95233

    fixme
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    Does anyone have extra kefir grains they’re willing to send? Of course I’ll pay for s&h

    #95235

    shayfo
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    I don’t yet, but have you looked around on Craigslist? It seems like those of us in California have a somewhat higher chance of scoring some locally.

    #95246

    Angel29
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    Kefir is supposed to taste sour, right? But how do you know if your kefir is rotten? Also, when you make a few cups of it, how long can it last in the fridge before it really does go bad? Sorry…kefir grains are such a mystery to me!

    #95250

    fixme
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    shayfo;33676 wrote: I don’t yet, but have you looked around on Craigslist? It seems like those of us in California have a somewhat higher chance of scoring some locally.

    There’s a few people on craigslist but I don’t have transportation. I’m thinking of ordering some from “the kefir lady” if anyone has heard of her. She uses goat milk, though.

    #95505

    orka1998
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    Angel29;33687 wrote: Kefir is supposed to taste sour, right? But how do you know if your kefir is rotten? Also, when you make a few cups of it, how long can it last in the fridge before it really does go bad? Sorry…kefir grains are such a mystery to me!

    Sorry Angel, I didn’t have time to respond sooner. Yes, it is sour and at times it would also have a bit of fizz, similar to soda. It does change the taste depending on room temperature, time of year and amount of grains vs. milk. I don’t measure the grains but eyeball it so my kefir will often change taste on top of everything else I noted above.

    According to lots of material I read, they say kefir cannot go bad, the good bacteria apparently takes over and gets rid of bad which would make it go bad. This is why milk is left out with kefir culture and it does not go bad. I had it saved in fridge for 4-5 days and it was still good to drink, just a bit more sour than usual.

    Here is one of the many sites that contain everything you ever wanted to know about kefir: http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html This site refers to some research where they left the kefir out for a very long time and tested it and it was still good.

    I suggest to make enough kefir to consume within a day. Using your grains daily will also make them healthy and grow well. Healthy grains produce better kefir.

    Hope all this helps. Best of luck to you!

    Arijana

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