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Old 05-25-2011, 07:07 PM   #41
dinnerstick
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but ginger beer plant is the same thing as water kefir grains, no? if not what is the difference?

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Old 05-25-2011, 07:21 PM   #42
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they are very similar but have some differences. here is a section about the differences from Yemoos.com
Ginger Beer vs Water Kefir

Both are symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeast and perform similar
functions of fermenting sugary-water, but that is about where the similarities
end. Just like milk kefir and kombucha are cultures of the same principle yet
totally different, the same can be said for ginger beer and water kefir.

Their shape, translucency, diet preferences, fermenting time and even mineral
preferences differ. The resulting taste is also notably different. Ginger beer
having a more sour bite - some even feel it's like a mix of a tart kombucha and
sweet water kefir. The grains never get nearly as large as water kefir's greatest
size, and do not form the same angular, clear grain - instead they are like a
murky brown puffed rice. They can range in size from tiny little tapioca globs,
to extra big pea-size blobs. GBP also grows much more slowly. It's easy to strain
water kefir in a colander, but you might lose your ginger beer doing the same!
Sometimes, you may even get a kombucha-like scoby on the top at the end of
a ginger beer ferment (depending on time, ingredients and temperature)!

Try them both, and see for yourself!

from a little google searching water kefir grains seems to be composed of different microbes than GBP and also seems to be more diverse in its composition from culture to culture, similar to kombucha mushrooms.

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Old 05-26-2011, 06:55 AM   #43
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interesting, but i would need to do a blind test to see if there is a difference! since i am not about to analyze the organisms in the grains... i only have the retro culture strain which i use for ginger beer and water keffir. they fit the description above for gbp but i imagine there is a hell of a lot of variation in size and color even within the same strain, depending on how you treat them and what you brew with them.

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Old 11-10-2011, 10:58 PM   #44
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I know this thread is a bit old now but.... I just finished making my first GB wort. I'm making two different batches of 6L ea. I put the GBP in when the wort was in the 90's, I hope that didn't hurt my little buddies. I kept some on the side in case.

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Old 02-09-2012, 04:23 PM   #45
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Hi all.... I know I have been away, and have had limited posting here so my credibility is likely NULL. BUT, water kefir grains and true GBP are not even close. Their visible structure is completely different and their cellular make-up is quite different. I am quite active in the kefir krowd http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kefir_making/ and do a lot of work with milk kefir and water kefir--two completely different grains. And I have done the side-by-side comparison with GBP vs WKG (water kefir grains). Taste is similar, but the grain activity is completely different (visually and growth-wise).
Ginger beer plant, real GBP, is its own entity. When dinnerstick posted the photo of his GBP in the container I knew on sight that it was a water kefir grain or hybrid, the grains are too large and have edges, GBP are small and round--remind me of cream of rice (if you are familiar). For those who have the water kefir grains, they may remind you of pieces of rock candy-translucent, jagged lumps, some round (you can Google photos of water kefir grains), WKG also change in color depending on the solution they are in. GBP also reproduce/grow at a much slower rate when compared to WKG. http://www.yemoos.com/gingerbeerproductpage.html, has a good photo of what WKG vs GBP looks like...go to the link, scroll down, 2nd photo--right hand:WKG and left hand:lightly colored grains are GBP. In my side-by-side comparison, the GBP doubled in volume after 3 batches which took 5-7 days each, that was the most rapid increase I ever saw; compared to WKGm which double in volume, for me, every other ferment (48 hours). I continue to use WKG to this day (GBP died a kitchen death in 2011 thanks to DH).
Here is a list of just SOME of the cultures identified in water kefir:
Lactobacillus brevis (identified as the species responsible for the production of the polysaccharide matrix that forms the WK grains),Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus, Lactobacillus alactosus, Lactobacillus casei casei, Lactobacillus pseudoplantarum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Streptococcus lactis, Streptococcus cremeris, Leuconostoc mesenteroide, Saccharomyces florentinus, Saccharomyces pretoriensis, Kloeckera apiculata,Candida lambica, C. valida & possibly others One of the biggest benefits from WATER KEFIR is the probiotic load you get from the combo of these organisms.
I hope some of this helps clear the water when it comes to GBP vs WKG. Did you know there are also MILK KEFIR GRAINS---probiotic laden fermented milk, consistency of buttermilk, like a super tangy yogurt.

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Old 03-05-2012, 04:25 AM   #46
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I don't know if this has been mentioned, and I hate to break it to you, but I remember reading retro culture's GBP was not true GBP, it is water kefir grains, which are similar, but NOT the same. I don't endorse any one seller, but I'm positive gingerbeerplant.net's culture is real, because I have one, and it's awesome. You can go to the yahoo group GBP to find more info.

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Old 03-06-2012, 01:49 AM   #47
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If someone wants ginger beer plant, the real thing.... Ill trade for yeast. I traded with Saramc recently for her kefir. They taste nothing alike. I need kolsch or WLP540 Abbey IV Ale Yeast yeast. Mine originates from yemoos and is very healthy. PM if interested. Id do other trades for other stuff as well.

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