Information about Milk Kefir Grains

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Jojilla 5 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #107320

    DaughterNature
    Member
    Topics: 20
    Replies: 82

    Here is some information on Kefir Grains. I presented this information at a workshop at my local farmer’s market. Anyone who as something to add is welcome!

    Kefir Milk Grains

    What?
    Milk kefir grains have a texture similar to that of cottage cheese. They feed off lactose in milk from cows, goats, sheep, coconut or soy. The grains consist of beneficial yeast and bacteria that live in harmony with one another.

    How?
    To begin, place kefir grains in a clean glass jar with about 10 times as much milk as you have grains. Cover the jar with a material that permits airflow but does not allow bugs to get in. This can be a paper towel, clean hair net, or an unused coffee filter. Lastly secure the cloth top with a rubber band. Store the fermenting kefir grains and their fresh batch of milk on a counter top and out of direct sunlight. The temperature should be between 75-78˚F. Let the process occur for at least 24 hours. If the room temperature is higher than 78˚F then the kefir will take less time to culture. If the room is cooler than 75˚F then the kefir will take longer than 24 hours to culture. To strain the fermented kefir milk, remove the top and pour the milk into a strainer. This utensil should allow the milky liquid to poor through while capturing the kefir grains. Place the grains back in a glass jar with fresh milk and repeat the process again for another 24 hours.

    Store the strained kefir milk in the refrigerator and use it within a week for best results.

    When?
    Kefir can be produced year-round in your own kitchen.
    Just like any other food, kefir should be eaten in small amounts to start. Start with 4-ounce servings. Once you feel comfortable, you can indulge in larger amounts.

    Where?
    Kefir grains are originally from the Caucasus Mountains between Russia and Georgia. These grains should never need to be repurchased, lasting indefinitely as long as they receive their daily supply of lactose milk. Kefir grains can culture in coconut milk and some nut milks. However, the grains should experience a monthly “maintenance feed” of cow or goat milk. This means that if you do not plan on using animal milk regularly then you should ensure the health of your grains by feeding them animal milk at least once a month or else the grains can die slowly.

    Who?
    People who feel discomfort due to an inner imbalance can benefit from drinking kefir milk. Constipation, yeast infection, chronic fatigue, and irritable bowl syndrome are just a few afflictions that can be remedied with the help of kefir consumption accompanied with a wholesome diet of natural foods.

    Antibiotics and birth control pills are two examples of prescription medications that tend to throw the body’s inner ecosystem out of whack by allowing the harmful gut flora to prosper. A common example of a bodily reaction is a yeast infection. Regular doses of kefir naturally helps controls the imbalance by keeping harmful yeasts in check.

    Why?
    Kefir is full of the healthy bacteria that inhabit the digestive tract and live in symbiosis with your digestive system.

    Kefir is surprisingly easy to digest. The grains use the lactose in milk to produce their food. The amount of lactose left in the fermented milk after 24 hours is significantly lower. As a result, the milk settles well even on an empty stomach!

    Interested in buying kefir?
    Beware of companies who wish to sell you products that do not reproduce grains. The only two investments in kefir should be the initial cost of pure grains and the price of milk to continue feeding them.

    What do I do when I produce too much kefir for myself?
    Kefir grains multiply over time, and you may find that you have a surplus. Some people enjoy making cheese with the kefir. The grains themselves can be eaten for an even higher concentration of probiotics.

    http://www.kefir.net/
    http://www.kefirlady.com/

    #107577

    Donna V
    Member
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 7

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE my kefir cheese! I use an immersion or stick blender to mix flax oil with it. I’ve used this for two years and have reduced my arthritis immensely and eliminated my breast fibroids completely. I learned on http://[email protected], the Dr. Johanna Budwig Protocol.
    Yummy stuff!

    #108282

    fireman22
    Member
    Topics: 9
    Replies: 12

    I noticed in the body ecology starter kit it said to warm the milk to about 90 degrees…do you have to do this? Or can you just put the milk in a glass jar while its still cold? thanks

    #108284

    DaughterNature
    Member
    Topics: 20
    Replies: 82

    I put my grains in cold milk (just out of the refrigerator) all the time. The milk will warm to room temperature and the grains will create kefir just fine this way.

    #108285

    SueSullivan
    Member
    Topics: 18
    Replies: 108

    Thank you for this post. I’m pretty intimidated by the idea of milk kefir but would like to try it. Do you mail order grains then from the sites you linked to? I think I’ve seen them for sale in Whole Foods, and I suppose I could also ask local friends if they have any. I know I have friends who do water kefir, could the same grains be used for milk kefir?
    Would it be safe to do milk kefir with raw milk? We get raw milk from a dairy that tests every batch each week, so I know it’s clean but I’m leery of letting it sit out on the counter.
    Thanks in advance,
    Sue

    #108286

    DaughterNature
    Member
    Topics: 20
    Replies: 82

    Yes, the fermentation process is daunting from a far. However, now I love this as a hobby. I am currently making kefir cream cheese in my kitchen. It is AMAZING! I do not use water kefir grains in milk kefir. I purchased my original grains from a person advertising on craigslist.com a couple years ago. Luckily, this woman took care of her grains and they were of good quality. kefir.net can teach you a lot but for purchases I would go to the Kefir Lady’s site.

    I am so envious that you have access to quality raw milk. I have used raw goat’s milk to make kefir. It is supposed to be better for the stomach than cow’s milk. Don’t worry about letting the milk sit out. Room temperature is ideal for the grains to be “healthy”. The grains do a great job of preserving the milk so that no rotting occurs. My crazy scientist boyfriend tests the limits of kefir frequently. Rest assured that the beneficial bacteria thrive in non-refridgerated environments.

    🙂

    #108287

    SueSullivan
    Member
    Topics: 18
    Replies: 108

    Thanks for all the info! 😀

    #108305

    DaughterNature
    Member
    Topics: 20
    Replies: 82

    This link will teaching you a lot about kefir. If you have time to read it all you’ll be a kefir expert.

    #108639

    DaughterNature
    Member
    Topics: 20
    Replies: 82

    I followed the diet and protocol so I added kefir after three weeks. I would have added kefir after two weeks but my die-off was so bad that I waited. Many forum members say that kefir is an essential part of the cure so I’m glad you know how to make your own. Have you tried double-fermenting the kefir (secondary fermentation under airlock)? Supposedly this method makes the vitamins more bio-availble. I embedded a link with the process and more information above.

    🙂

    #108665

    Jojilla
    Member
    Topics: 21
    Replies: 51

    Does anyone know how much kefir is recommended on the strict diet? I drink 1 cup in the morning on an empty stomach and another cup prior to going to bed (not quite as empty of a stomach, but I try).

    I love kefir so much. It’s my favorite “treat” on this diet. My favorite way to eat it is to put a couple tablespoons of Qi’a cereal (http://us.naturespath.com/qia) (the only ingredients are buckwheat groats, hemp seeds, and chia seeds) into a cup of kefir in the evening before bed and have it in the morning because the chia seeds create a decently thick, creamy, cold pudding to eat in the morning!

    Thanks for helping us out with kefir, DaughterNature!

    #108692

    DaughterNature
    Member
    Topics: 20
    Replies: 82

    Hello, Jojilla.

    I don’t know that there is a specific amount of kefir consumption recommended on the diet. 1 cup in the morning and at night is great! I’ve gone up to 2 cups in the morning and at night making sure to consume enough water, too.

    #108824

    Jojilla
    Member
    Topics: 21
    Replies: 51

    I have a few more kefir questions. I’m new to making kefir. I’m making goat kefir (well, really, not yet, I’m in my first week of rehydrating milk grains from Cultures for Health). This week I’ve been feeding my grains, daily, one cup of pasteurized milk. And each day it smells better, but isn’t getting kefir thick yet. Cultures for Health said it could take from 4 days to 2 weeks for my grains to be fully active. Do you have any thoughts on this DaughterNature? I’ve been doing this for 5 days now.

    I’ve been storing my kefir in the cupboard above the refrigerator, but I’m wondering if it’s not so good that I leave it in an enclosed cupboard? It’s probably about 72-74 degrees up there.

    Thanks for your advice!

    Also, just last night, I decided to try a second ferment with the cup of milk from the previous day. I don’t know that it will work given I’m not really making kefir yet. But I have to say, it’s starting to smell like kefir—it’s a nice fresh, kefir smell each day—-just not thick at all.

    #108827

    DaughterNature
    Member
    Topics: 20
    Replies: 82

    Hi Jojilla,

    Below I am posting a link to a website that clearly explains the process of reactivating dried milk kefir grains. However, it seems like you’re doing things correctly; the temperature seems ideal; an enclosed cupboard is a good location.

    What is the texture of your grains at this time?

    Keep me posted on changes.

    http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-activate-dehydrated-milk-kefir-grains-video

    #108832

    Jojilla
    Member
    Topics: 21
    Replies: 51

    I watched the video, and my kefir isn’t what as thick as theirs was at 4 days. My grains are starting to grow a bit and to become a bit softer, though some are still hard. In the video, she said 70-78 degrees was preferable, and I’m worried that I don’t have my kefir in that warm of a place.

    #108842

    DaughterNature
    Member
    Topics: 20
    Replies: 82

    Jojilla;47345 wrote: I’ve been storing my kefir in the cupboard above the refrigerator, but I’m wondering if it’s not so good that I leave it in an enclosed cupboard? It’s probably about 72-74 degrees up there.

    Based on this statement it seems that your environment isn’t far from ideal. Are you using fat free, low-fat, or whole milk? Also, when I used raw goat milk the kefir tended to separate and formed a very liquid milk (instead of thicker texture made from most cow’s milk). You can try giving the fermenting grains a swirl or a stir (with a clean wooden spoon) every few hours to allow them more direct contact with the milk after slight separation.

    If your grains are softening and becoming larger then they should be waking up. Perhaps you should wait a few more days and update me on their state.

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