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Old 03-21-2013, 02:37 PM
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Default making kefir

I tried kefir a few months ago and I really liked the taste of it. I just wasn't impressed with the cost, so I've been putting greek yogurt in my shakes in the morning. Somebody was telling me how much easier kefir is to make than yogurt and how much better it's supposed to be, so I was wondering if anybody here has made kefir before?

I saw this youtube video that really make it seem pretty easy. Looks like there's nothing to it except adding the live cultures and 24 hours later it's ready.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5ySZ...e_gdata_player

Everything I seem to find has about the same instructions.
http://wholenaturallife.com/2012/02/...to-make-kefir/

I'm really not sure where to buy the kefir, but this one one amazon has a lot of good ratings.
http://www.amazon.com/Kefir-Grains-L...keywords=kefir
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:26 AM
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End up finding somebody who was selling kefir grains locally for 5 dollars and already started making kefir milk. Really suprised how easy it really is, only takes me 5 minutes every night
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:20 AM
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Since you now know how to make it, would you have been able to start it with a bottle of kefir from you health food store? I mean, instead of having to get something through the mail. You can do this when making homemade yogurt. And what will happen when you go on vacation? It would be nice to know if it can be "restarted" via a store bought bottle of kefir.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh View Post
Since you now know how to make it, would you have been able to start it with a bottle of kefir from you health food store? I mean, instead of having to get something through the mail. You can do this when making homemade yogurt. And what will happen when you go on vacation? It would be nice to know if it can be "restarted" via a store bought bottle of kefir.
I don't believe you can make it from what is bought at the stores, because there's these grains that are needed, which the store stuff doesn't have the grains. The grains are supposed to be very healthy to consume as well and the grains grow like crazy.

since I'm pretty new at this and I've only made it for a few days, my understanding is if you go on vacation you can put it in milk and store it in the frigerator for up to a week. I've heard of people freezing it, but I would probably just try the week thing. If you have friends or family that are making kefir milk, you can go on vacation and then get more grains from them. After only a few days the grains are growing like crazy to my suprise.

I'm actually loving my kefir milk that I'm drinking everyday

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Old 03-26-2013, 03:29 PM
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I've made a lot of kefir, went on a run of making a few quarts a day for a year straight. It is very easy once you get the hang of it, and imo tastes much better and has a nicer consistency than what you get in the store. Of course you can double ferment it too to make it a thicker consistency - more like greek yogurt - and some even ferment it into a kind of kefir cheese.

The time it takes to ferment it depends on a few factors. The temperature of the room you have it stored in (cooler temps take longer, warmer temps take less time), how much milk to kefir grains, the quality of the milk (raw vs. pasteurized).

I originally bought my kefir grains online from a seller on Etsy who had great ratings, feedback and showed they cared about what they were selling. Generally when you first buy the grains you get a couple tablespoons of them. From that, after the course of 6 months, I had so many grains that I have frozen a couple quart jars full of them... and still have grains in use. You can take some and put them in a mixer to blend with other things, but keep in mind it is live bacteria so too much of a good thing can make you feel not so hot in the beginning.

Obviously raw milk is best if you can get your hands on it. The next solution is pastuerized... DO NOT USE homogenized or ultra-pasteurized. If you get it to ferment at all it will be a really poor quality of kefir. That's IF you get it to ferment. Every time I tried with either of those I only ended up with soured milk. Also use whole milk, anything else you're just paying for water-filler that won't help your milk ferment.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aelphabae View Post
I've made a lot of kefir, went on a run of making a few quarts a day for a year straight. It is very easy once you get the hang of it, and imo tastes much better and has a nicer consistency than what you get in the store. Of course you can double ferment it too to make it a thicker consistency - more like greek yogurt - and some even ferment it into a kind of kefir cheese.

The time it takes to ferment it depends on a few factors. The temperature of the room you have it stored in (cooler temps take longer, warmer temps take less time), how much milk to kefir grains, the quality of the milk (raw vs. pasteurized).

I originally bought my kefir grains online from a seller on Etsy who had great ratings, feedback and showed they cared about what they were selling. Generally when you first buy the grains you get a couple tablespoons of them. From that, after the course of 6 months, I had so many grains that I have frozen a couple quart jars full of them... and still have grains in use. You can take some and put them in a mixer to blend with other things, but keep in mind it is live bacteria so too much of a good thing can make you feel not so hot in the beginning.

Obviously raw milk is best if you can get your hands on it. The next solution is pastuerized... DO NOT USE homogenized or ultra-pasteurized. If you get it to ferment at all it will be a really poor quality of kefir. That's IF you get it to ferment. Every time I tried with either of those I only ended up with soured milk. Also use whole milk, anything else you're just paying for water-filler that won't help your milk ferment.
Thanks so much for the info you provided. The very first batch I made came out amazing and the second batch was a little more watery than I liked it, but my third batch and so far it's getting better and better. I like it thick and more similar to yogurt.

I got a question, do you use cold milk or room temperature? I started warming up milk, because the instructions I got said to use warm milk and online I read mixed things about the temperature of milk. Last night I tried cold milk for the first time so I'll see how that comes out though.

I've also read that you should consider not washing the jar you used last and reuse it as it will help the fermination process better and if you can put a little bit of the kefir milk in the new batch of milk it will help it process faster, so I started adding just a little bit of the kefir milk.

I'm using whole milk right now without rbgh. I'll be honest I keep hearing about raw milk being healthier and it's probably my ignorance, but raw milk makes me a little nervous. I guess it being illegal kind of makes me nervous, even though I hear other countries that's all they consume. Below is what it says in the state of Florida

STATE of Florida where I live
Raw milk sales for human consumption are illegal. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services interprets the definition of “sell” in the state administrative code to extend the ban on raw milk sales to any cowshare agreements as well.

Department of Agriculture policy permits the sale of raw milk for animal consumption even though there is no state law that covers this issue. The state permits raw milk sales for animal consumption either on the farm or in retail stores. Containers should have a label clearly stating that the raw milk is for animal consumption only.

One question is how long does frozen kefir grains last? I've read that they last a week in the frigerator, but wonder how long can you keep it frozen?
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:34 AM
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jbo, I don't know about your last question regarding freezing the bacteria, but do know what the friendly bacteria need. Your question about cold milk can be answered by realizing the requirements of the probacteria. They go dormant in cold. They do not reproduce very well. They need a warm environment, like your body, and they need sugar. Natural sugar is the best, one that they can convert to glucose. That is why milk is such a good medium. Lactose. Lactose is a disaccharide whose main component is glucose. See? Easy conversion.

You can make kefir from coconut milk too.

There is even a water kefir. But that requires a lot of sugar in the water.

Don't worry about the sugar. If the bacteria have done their job, there will be no sugar left by the time you are ready to drink.

So, warm and sweet. That's what they need.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh View Post
jbo, I don't know about your last question regarding freezing the bacteria, but do know what the friendly bacteria need. Your question about cold milk can be answered by realizing the requirements of the probacteria. They go dormant in cold. They do not reproduce very well. They need a warm environment, like your body, and they need sugar. Natural sugar is the best, one that they can convert to glucose. That is why milk is such a good medium. Lactose. Lactose is a disaccharide whose main component is glucose. See? Easy conversion.

You can make kefir from coconut milk too.

There is even a water kefir. But that requires a lot of sugar in the water.

Don't worry about the sugar. If the bacteria have done their job, there will be no sugar left by the time you are ready to drink.

So, warm and sweet. That's what they need.
My question about freezing it was more about how long would it last frozen and not damage the grains? I know people say you can keep the grains in the frigerator a week while you are on vacation and that's safe, but I never heard of people freezing it until I saw the post.

I've read about water kefir, but I'll take one step at a time. I'm still getting the hang of the kefir milk, mostly because of weather conditions. I live in Florida and normally we have a problem with heat, not the cold, but lately it's been pretty cold. I've noticed within the few days I've been making kefir that if it's below 70 degrees it's a very very slow process and it's more watery.

I just saw this link on how to convert milk kefir into water kefir.
http://marly67.wordpress.com/2010/03...-kefir-grains/
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:59 PM
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Just wondering if anyone has made water kefir then added fresh fruit juice, kinda like the Synergy drinks, only kefir rather than kombucha. Man I love those things. But way cheaper to make yourself, me thinks.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Mistretta View Post
Just wondering if anyone has made water kefir then added fresh fruit juice, kinda like the Synergy drinks, only kefir rather than kombucha. Man I love those things. But way cheaper to make yourself, me thinks.
I'm going to make some this summer for sure, but I've never made it before. kombucha kind of makes me nervous, since I read about the dangers here and there. I'm allergic to mold, so it's why I haven't attempted to make it. I've honestly never tried kombucha and would like to at least try it.

I'm amazed at the places that now sell kefir. I was just in aldi and I saw that they are selling kefir, but not sure how popular kefir is or how well they are selling them.

Here's some of the dangers I saw before for kombucha
http://www.livestrong.com/article/13...gers-kombucha/
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbo View Post
Here's some of the dangers I saw before for kombucha
http://www.livestrong.com/article/13...gers-kombucha/
Yikes! It's so frightening when your throat closes up from an allergic response.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:22 AM
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Is the Kefir sold in stores pasteurized after it is completed? If so, wouldn't this kill off all the beneficial bacteria?

Is pasteurized kefir useless?
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limitme View Post
Is the Kefir sold in stores pasteurized after it is completed? If so, wouldn't this kill off all the beneficial bacteria?

Is pasteurized kefir useless?
I would guess it would be no different than yogurt. I would assume most stores sell only pasteurized kefir. I really don't know what they do, but there's a difference if it was pasteurized before or after the fermentation process. If the bacteria were added before pasteurization, the heat of course kills all the probiotics. Not knowing for sure I guess is another reason to make it yourself.

I'm drinking two cups fo kefir a day and I spend less than 5 minutes transfering and making a new batch each night. Of course I'm still learning how much grains to use to milk ratio to make the kefir milk the way I want it, but wish I would have started making this a long time ago instead of spending money on it at the store or yogurt
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