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Old 11-28-2012, 02:43 PM   #1
southpawbrasserie
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Default Kefir grains

I know I'm not in the right section since this is about kombucha. I did not find a section on Kefir so I apologize. But kombucha is the closest on this forum.

Does anyone culture Kefir? I recently acquired kefir grains and started them about 60 hrs ago. At this point they seem to have not fermented the milk. I read that they should culture the milk in about 24 hrs. I know by moving them and the lag time of not in milk will cause them to have a sluggish fermentation for a bit, but they seem to have not cultured at all. Can anyone direct me on resuscitating them. Should I go ahead and toss the milk and change it? Maybe fresh milk will liven them up...

Anywho, thanks!

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Old 11-28-2012, 03:00 PM   #2
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My qualifications: I cultured milk using kefir grains for 2 years

The milk I was culturing was always done within 24 hours if I used the correct proportion of milk to grains ratio at room temperature (~70*F), however there were times I would leave it 2-3 days because of laziness. I would use about 3 cups of milk and 3-4 Tbsp of grains. I would initially swirl them around and let sit idle for 8 hours, then give the jar a little tipping action to just move the liquid a little (nothing too vigorous). Strain the next day and into the refrigerator the cultured milk went.

They should be springy and rubbery, white to off-white, smooth on the outside, and generally look like a cauliflower floret. They shouldn't be crunchy or hard in any way.

To get them back into good health. I would put 3-4 Tbsp in about 1 cup of milk on the counter and let sit for 12 hours, then strain and dispose of the {mostly uncultured} milk. Repeat the process until the milk is actually being cultured within that timeframe. When it seems like you're getting a good cultured milk then give it a taste. If it's working then start back on the 3 cups to 3-4 Tbsp ratio for 24 hours at room temperature and you should be good to go.

Choice of milk: The less processed the better. Raw milk is perfect. Lightly pasteurized is really good. Ultra pasteurized is terrible. You can usually tell a lightly pasteurized milk by the fact that it's expiration is always only about 7-10 days away.

I hope this helps and I'd be happy to provide any more info I can. Cheers and enjoy your kefir!

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Old 12-03-2012, 08:54 PM   #3
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Newly acquired grains can take some time to bounce back, so many variables. There is a good kefir forum on yahoo, easy to find. Answers are typically quick. Plus you can read all about kefir on Dom's site in AU.. http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html

FWIW, once grains have recovered you need a grain no larfer than a child's basic glass marble per cup of milk. Been making kefir for 5+ years, but you will find the ratio that works for you. Enjoy!

...Sara

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Old 12-04-2012, 01:12 PM   #4
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Now just 8 days culturing the kefir and my grains are working very well. The first batch seemed to not be culturing and I was getting nervous that they were dead. It took a few days and now about 4-5 batches into it, the grains are running along. I didn't have time to transfer last night, but this current batch cultured in about 18 hrs. Now it's the matter of "will I drink this fast enough?" My oldest daughter likes it so I'm not the only one drinking it. I've even snuck some into smoothies which my wife and other daughter didn't know! I'm current making about a cup and have, I'd say, about a qtr of a cup of grains. I want to build up the grains some so I haven't thought about removing the unnecessary grains, plus I don't want multiply batches of kefir right now. I think I will either dry some or some other route that Dom has mentioned for maintaining a backup culture. Thanks for the advice

Cheers!
Tim

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Old 12-10-2012, 11:42 AM   #5
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You can always strain your finished kefir thru triple layer damp cheescloth, or a cheese strainer, and get a great soft cheese that you can do so many thinfs with,not to mention the residual nutrient rich whey. Dogs typically adore milk kefir.
Just remember, if you plan to increase your grain production they need proper ratio of milk so they will grow. A common complaint of many is their grains are not growing and we recommend dropping amount of grains, and voila! grains start reproducing.

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Old 12-10-2012, 03:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions. I have two dogs and im starting to get kefir stacking up in the fridge ready to drink. I've combined 3 batches from the last 3 days into one container. I'll give a little to my pups to see if they like it. Thanks!

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