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Old 09-02-2011, 09:14 AM   #61
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Drank my first batch of kefir this morning. It was good! I had strained it and put in the refrig. overnight. I thought it was too thin last night, but it thickened up a lot. Add a little vanilla extract and Splenda to it. Second batch is growing. I hope to do enough each day that I can share with my 4 cats and dog.
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:53 AM   #62
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That's great stilldews! The kefir is pretty good tasting. I need to get another gallon going this evening. My cat seems to like it in small amounts.
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:34 PM   #63
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The ginger and lemon sounds very good!

Does anyone know how long you an keep beet kvass in the refrigerator before it goes bad? For some reason none of my local stores have any beets right now and the farm stands said it is still about a month until harvest, so as soon as I can find some I'd like to make quite a bit if it will keep in the fridge for many months.
Had mine since March, took it out added more whey & some onion powder & parsley etc let it ferment again & it is still great just with more flavor. Remember, I told you after 1st ferment I juiced the beets & put it back in... Can't stans waste!

How big is your fridge? With broth, WK, MK, Kvass & KT mine is full.
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Old 09-02-2011, 05:40 PM   #64
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Thanks it sounds like it will last quite a long time then! When beets are harvested toward the end of the month I'll have to make up a good number of gallons.

I noticed the kvass is even better after I refilled it with water and let it referment for a day. Then after a couple more days in the fridge it tastes excellent. I did find more beets today but they were kind of pricey.

Yes my fridge is packed. Actually I have two refrigerators right next to each other. I had bought a side by side on closeout from Home Depot to get more freezer space, and I just kept the old fridge. But yes between 10 gallon jars of milk, then bone broth, plus food there's not a lot of extra space.

The Tibetan MKG came today! They came wrapped in moist cheese cloth. I couldn't quite tell if had milk on it or what it was. Then that was in a plastic bag, which was inside an empty Jello pudding box, which was then wrapped in a Walmart bag, and then in the envelope. I asked the seller about the origins of the grains. She said she originally brought them the U.S. 22 years ago when she moved here from Russia. She said she got them at a farm 300 miles south of Moscow I believe.

So I have them in a pint of milk overnight, then I'll dump that and do the same thing again. She said to do that 3 times before using them.
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Old 09-02-2011, 05:51 PM   #65
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When reusing the MKG for the next batch, do they have to be rinsed with water? Or do you just strain them out and dump them into the new batch?

Eat Fat Lose Fat says to rinse them in water but do people actually do that or is it necessary?
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:44 AM   #66
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It will be interesting to hear how the Tibetan MKG differs in taste from what you have been using.

So far, my cats and dog have just licked the kefir off my fingers and don't seem very interested in the dab I put in a bowl for them. Figure even a little bit will be good for them and maybe they will develope a taste for it soon.

Put my first bottle of WK in the frig this AM. No fizz yet. I started another bunch without the molasses. I don't really like the taste of molasses much and just used it with the first batch to get it off to a good start.

Anyone have a good salad dressing recipe using the MK?
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:22 PM   #67
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When reusing the MKG for the next batch, do they have to be rinsed with water? Or do you just strain them out and dump them into the new batch?

Eat Fat Lose Fat says to rinse them in water but do people actually do that or is it necessary?
Just put them into new milk- no need to rinse- when mine needed it cause they were tight in the curds, I used milk not water to kinda rinse them off.
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:26 PM   #68
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[quote=stilldews;14971876]It will be interesting to hear how the Tibetan MKG differs in taste from what you have been using.

So far, my cats and dog have just licked the kefir off my fingers and don't seem very interested in the dab I put in a bowl for them. Figure even a little bit will be good for them and maybe they will develope a taste for it soon.

Put my first bottle of WK in the frig this AM. No fizz yet. I started another bunch without the molasses. I don't really like the taste of molasses much and just used it with the first batch to get it off to a good start.

Anyone have a good salad dressing recipe using the MK?[/quote

I like the white sugar better- less trong taste & adapts to tea & juices better.

Got to tell ya'll... Now that I have FIZZ in the WK to where it foams- I made cherry & Cream Soda for the grand kids! THEY DIDN't LIKE IT! Guess I will drink it myself! Will get root beer flavor & try that! Never give Up!

My dressing is easy but maybe not too healthy

I add enough Hidden Valley Mix to taste & let it set up an hour or so- just small quanities as it doesn't stay like if you made it with mayo- but I guess you could just sub the kefir for the buttermilk & it would prolly last forever..

PM me for a phone number & I will call you about the "secret" I found for +: Fizz... Or look back through thread... I think I posted it there
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:46 PM   #69
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My milk keeps coming out very separated and coagulated. It never gets "thick" without gettting lumpy.

What am I forgetting to do? I tried leaving it in the fridge to go slowly but it did nothing for two days and when i left it on the counter it turned to cheese overnight.

I seem to miss the stage between a smooth kefir and a curdled lumpy fluffy float.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:52 PM   #70
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Mine did that the first few times. I don't know if I was leaving it out too long. I was going 24 hours. Then I switched to 12 hours then refrigerate and it has been much smoother. The first times it separated into whey pretty quickly. It was still good but very sour.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:22 PM   #71
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There are a couple things that cause the early separation.

1. Too many grains for the amount of milk. I sent ya'll enough to do more than a quart (I kept the same amount & had the same results) So really all you need for a quart is one or two big grains.

2. Temperature too warm needing a shorter ferment time. MK really likes it cool maybe 68-71°. Kefir will kefir in the fridge-mine does all the time when I have them on "hold" but it takes a week or more depending on ratio of grains/milk. I "hold" mine in 2 cups of milk. Never throw it out when I take out grains...just put em back in til it finishes kefiring.

Hope this helps ya'll. After the 24 hours mine may separate a tad but it is very pourable especially after straining. I leave it out on the table another 24-48 hours shaking during that time. Gets a great ferment. The highte the % of fat the thicker the kefir. I have experimented with skim 2% & whole. Have yet to try 1/2&1/2 or cream...dont like the fat... Mainly use 2%. It gets thicker in the fridge & I usually turn the quarts (shake) them daily to keep them mixed as I find they keep kefiring.

Just sent SCOBYs, MK (& I still have bunches of big ones) & WK to CA. Isn't this fun?

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Old 09-08-2011, 07:37 PM   #72
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Just a thought- ya'll might try
1. Ferment start when you get home & let it go overnight til Just B4 you leave the next day - stir let it finish in the fridge.

2. Start in the AM & stir & refrigerate overnight.

Might give better results. But 2nd ferment adds flavor not necessarily thickness...that comes from fat content.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:59 AM   #73
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I have some fefir working right now but was wondering if anyone here had made
natto ? Natto is fermnted soya beans and suposed to be verry good for you but
it stinks and isn't all that pleasent to eat.
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:54 AM   #74
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E.W. glad to have you here! Invite others as well!

I have heard of Natto but haven't found the courage or been adventuresome enough to culture it yet. Since it is just me, I have to eat/drink everything myslef.

Please let us know how it is cultured. never know-Porcupine might give it a try & advise us!

What kind of Kefir do you have going? do you Kombucha as well?
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:53 AM   #75
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So I need to keep it cooler, my place is pretty warm, and shake it more often during ferment.

Okay, i'll try that. I'm using whole milk. I think 12 hours might be long enough cause it really looks scary after 24.

Thanks, i wondered, cause I've fermented yogurt for up to 24 hours and never got separation like what the kefir does in just 12hours.
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:38 AM   #76
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Excellent thanks for all the info. My initial kefirs at 24 hours were when it was over 80F in the house. I have noticed now that the temp is down around 70F at 12 hours it is not quite as fermented as I want so I may try going longer.

Quote:
After the 24 hours mine may separate a tad but it is very pourable especially after straining. I leave it out on the table another 24-48 hours shaking during that time. Gets a great ferment.
That sounds like an interesting method, I will have to try that.

I tried a small batch of kefir with cocoa powder mixed in. My hope is that the fermentation would remove/neutralize some of the phytic acid in the cocoa (cocoa is high in very high in phytic acid).

The natto sounds very interesting. I have taken nattokinase, which I think is extracted from the natto. I might give a try to making some, just so many projects going on right now haha.

The 'Tibetan' MKG are doing OK. They have a little different taste than the other grains, mainly it seems a bit sweeter, but maybe it just isn't as fermented as the other yet. So if anyone wants to try some let me know I can send it out.

The next thing I'd like to try is WKG, in coconut water and in just water with lemon and ginger. Those sound good. That kefir powder I bought I don't think really did anything.

Are white coconuts the same as immature coconuts? I saw white coconuts (said from Mexico) at Wegmans, they were heavy and seemed like they had a lot of liquid in them, they were 2.99 ea.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:50 AM   #77
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Excellent thanks for all the info. My initial kefirs at 24 hours were when it was over 80F in the house. I have noticed now that the temp is down around 70F at 12 hours it is not quite as fermented as I want so I may try going longer.



That sounds like an interesting method, I will have to try that.

I tried a small batch of kefir with cocoa powder mixed in. My hope is that the fermentation would remove/neutralize some of the phytic acid in the cocoa (cocoa is high in very high in phytic acid).

The natto sounds very interesting. I have taken nattokinase, which I think is extracted from the natto. I might give a try to making some, just so many projects going on right now haha.

The 'Tibetan' MKG are doing OK. They have a little different taste than the other grains, mainly it seems a bit sweeter, but maybe it just isn't as fermented as the other yet. So if anyone wants to try some let me know I can send it out.

The next thing I'd like to try is WKG, in coconut water and in just water with lemon and ginger. Those sound good. That kefir powder I bought I don't think really did anything.

Are white coconuts the same as immature coconuts? I saw white coconuts (said from Mexico) at Wegmans, they were heavy and seemed like they had a lot of liquid in them, they were 2.99 ea.
My hand is up for the TMKG whenever you have plenty - no rush of any Kind. I hae WKG coming out my ears-double almost every time now that they have become used to being at home. DO U want some?

I will let you figure thr natto out first, Porcupine... You are the adventuresome one.

Donno know about the "white " coconuts. The ones I got were cut on the bottom- flat & cut round in a circle with a little pointy top on it. Wrapped on plastic wrap... Ask them if they are for coconut water. When you cut open the coconut shel is very thin & the water was kinda pink. To open don't cut or you loose the water... Use something hard clean to puncture a hole in the top after you cut the pointy top down some.

I put MKG in refer last noght to finish (it is 73ish in here now & seemed like it went better. When they were in my room where the A/C unit originated they did eell... They definitely like it cool .

Have a great day everyone - off to buy paint for the Family room!
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:00 AM   #78
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What color paint are you getting?

I think the white coconuts are not the immature coconuts then. I know the immature coconuts you are talking about with the flat bottom. I have gotten those at Wegmans in the past but I have not seen them there recently.

I think I saw a receipe for the natto in the book Wild Fermentation so I'll have to look for it again.

Yes I would be up for getting some the WKG! Let me see how much the TMKG XX by Monday morning and hopefully I can send you some out. I'll include a paid return box so you can send me back some WKG when you get a chance! Do you like buttermilk? I've got a culture I started with storebought and then restarted about 3 times now, and it has gotten really good, it gets super thick in the jar, almost like jello. I could send a jar of that too if you want to try it out!
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:15 AM   #79
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COLOR? Donno yet!


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What color paint are you getting?

I think the white coconuts are not the immature coconuts then. I know the immature coconuts you are talking about with the flat bottom. I have gotten those at Wegmans in the past but I have not seen them there recently.

I think I saw a receipe for the natto in the book Wild Fermentation so I'll have to look for it again.

Yes I would be up for getting some the WKG! Let me see how much the TMKG XX by Monday morning and hopefully I can send you some out. I'll include a paid return box so you can send me back some WKG when you get a chance! Do you like buttermilk? I've got a culture I started with storebought and then restarted about 3 times now, and it has gotten really good, it gets super thick in the jar, almost like jello. I could send a jar of that too if you want to try it out!

Sure, just send me a starter on the BM & instructions. I love BM bit have replaced Kefir in most of my things so I don't have to buy BM. Be sure to give me EXACT instructions so it turns out rigt.

Too bad you don't have an asian market- then you can get some spice for kimchi- OH I will just send you some! I have enoug for the rest of my life! Will send with the WKG.
I have asian mkt - you have farmer.... Fair trade!

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Old 09-09-2011, 08:41 AM   #80
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Great, I should be able to send it out on Monday then. The BM is pretty easy; I was just putting about a cup of the previous batch into a gallon of milk and letting it sit at room temp for 24 hours before refrigerating. So probably what I'll do is Monday morning just before boxing I'll put some BM in a small jar of some fresh milk and ditto on the TMKG, then they should be in nice shape when you get them which I would think would be Wednesday.

I haven't looked for an Asian market yet. I know there is a Lebanese market around here. I think there must be an Asian market because there are several good size universities around here so there must be one to cater to the international students.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:49 PM   #81
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Ha HA!!

I'm drinking some delicious Kefir! From my own fridge. I made it. It came out right! It's really tart and slightly tangy/fizzy. YUM!!! I was afraid that the commercial stuff I bought was just a dream and that "real" kefir would not taste as good, but this is more tangy than the bottled stuff.

Now I have NO IDEA why it came out right THIS TIME. I wish I had paid more attention.

I can't recall what I did. But Yay! It's great. I've got a pint of it and I'm sipping some now! Yay!!!!

I was giving up hope. I put some in the jar, and I think I left it on the counter for some time then put it into the fridge??? I don't know but I do know that I can do it. so Now I have to take better notes of what I do so it comes out as good as this accidental batch.

The last cheezy lump-a doodle, I let sit out to further ripen, but nothing much happened so I put back a few grains into it to make it get more curdled and thick and then I will hang it for soft cheese.

I've used up half a gallon of milk and finally got a delicious pint! Ureshii!!!


I'm gonna remember your tips and incorporate them: jiggle it a bit, chill it if it's too warm, let it ripen slowly in the fridge... I hope the next batch comes out as well!
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:57 AM   #82
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Yday morning I put all my grains in a qt.
Then last night I put it in the fridge.
Just now-mid almost 10am I strained the best yet... Real thick & creamy.

Myhouse is now around 70-3 all the time
I am convinced they like it cool!

Metqa - great on the cheese I haven't bought any for months now- too easy! And I know what is in it

Porcupine I will ger WK grains sea weed & Korean hot pepper for kinchi to you next week. Do you need anything else. I have a terrific yogurt that I perserved into cheese- makes a great starter.

Metqa- do you have WKG? East to make & I will send if you don't have them.

Stilldews, have you got everything you need & is your culturing going well for you?
Lost another pound this week....Hmmmm don't know why but I will take it! Still waiting to see the 160's... Someday I still dream... My 14s are so loose I hate to wear them but it is what I have... I have some 12s waiting in the closet but they will wait til spring! Have to get sweats for winter-gave all my large away-medium here I come! Yes! Far car form the XL!!!

Porcupine, you will have lovely kefir all winter.

Thanks for the BM start. Might travel well in double/triple bagged baggies. That way you don't have to worry about the glass breaking.

Took the tip from the TMKG person when I sent MK grains out last week. I put some in cheese cloth (finallya use for cheesecloth) and dipped into fresh milk. Put it in a baggie and then another one. Put it in a bag with WKG just doouble bagged-no water added & a well bagged SCOBY/KT. Fibro Fog said everything arrived safely and on her ! What good timing!

I think we all are doing good things for others as well as ourselves. Ya'll pat yourself on the back!

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Old 09-10-2011, 08:38 AM   #83
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Sounds good! I have noticed my kefir is more mellow now that the temps have dropped. Those first few batches it was 80F+ in the house, now it is in the 70's. I would be interested in trying your yogurt starter. I'm having some trouble making yogurt with the raw milk; the natural bacteria in it seems to quash out the yogurt bacteria. It's still good but it comes out the same if I don't use any yogurt as a starter as when I do. I culture it at 110F for 24 hours.

I'm heading out for 12 gallons of milk and possibly another place for eggs, so then I can get the kefirs XX'ing some more.
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:18 PM   #84
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Sounds good! I have noticed my kefir is more mellow now that the temps have dropped. Those first few batches it was 80F+ in the house, now it is in the 70's. I would be interested in trying your yogurt starter. I'm having some trouble making yogurt with the raw milk; the natural bacteria in it seems to quash out the yogurt bacteria. It's still good but it comes out the same if I don't use any yogurt as a starter as when I do. I culture it at 110F for 24 hours.

I'm heading out for 12 gallons of milk and possibly another place for eggs, so then I can get the kefirs XX'ing some more.
I know you have 2 refers but I don't know how you consume all you are making. Do you have other porcupines eating with you? Lots of fluids includint the broth.... I would be floating away! (Wish we had a pict of a guy rowing or floating on a log.)
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:39 PM   #85
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I left my kefer from 4pm to this morning. It wasn't as cheesy as before but it Had started to separate. I strained the grains out and it tastes fine. Not as strong or thick as the Surprise batch. I think I might have to leave it out so the milk can warm up to temperature and start to work then chill it so it can work more slowly and thicken without separating. I dont know if regular warming and cooling will hurt the grains or does anyone else ferment kefir in the fridge? ( I know somone does I just can't recall and don't feel like reading back )

I'm hanging a cloth full of the curdled milk from the previous batch to see if I can make it into a soft cheese.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:11 PM   #86
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It was lil old me! When I put my grains to rest in the fridge (2cups of milk) & take them out a week or so later I have nice kefir...not terribly thick but when I strain the grains out to use them the reserve is kefired nicely & I just drink it ~ nothing goes to waste here.

I started putting all my grains in a qt early morning & leaving them til dark...gives milk a chance to warm up and wake the grains if they have been sleeping... Then I pop the jar in the fridge & it can stay there til I remember to strain it & start all over. Has not separated in 3 tries & is mellow.

If you want it more tart~second frement with tight lid on jar on the table if it is cool. It might separate on you & you will need to shake or stir. Dom "the Gru of Kefir" NEVER refrigerates his & just dumps fresh kefir into the jug his family drinks from every day. He doesn't think kefir is RIGHT til it does separate - but I don't live in Australia & I like mine smooth.

Remember the higher the fat content the thicker the kefir. Also, it gets thicker in the fridge. And, you can use cream & a few grains to make sour cream. Sandy, the one that sent me the grains we have now used half n half cause she didn't like the carbs in milk & didn't mind the fat. Dukan tells me to not sweat the dairy carbs cause they are OK but make sure it is low fat dairy (2% or less).

I am going to get some HnH & make some thick to strain for cheese. I think I can splurge a little. And I may get some cream to add to the HnH & make a liter sour cream. Will let you know...

Kefir keeps kefiring after grains have been removed. I have about 6 qts always in thr fridge. Sometimes I see it separates a little but it is more of a settleing than separation because the whey is on the top. I grab a straw & drink it off the top (it is just me here that drinks it) & leave the rest in the jar.

I love my kefir. <3
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:16 PM   #87
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Forgot to answer the question ~
I haven't noticed the change in temps hurtin either MKG or WKG.They do like it under 73° me thinks....

Mine grow even in the fridge when they are there for a week.
WKG grow too that way ~ I out them in a fairly strong sugar water when I refrigerate them...if it is still real sweet when I strain them out I save it in fridge for next time... Eventually it changes & I drink it when the sweet is gone.

Metqa do you have or want WKG?

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Old 09-10-2011, 04:19 PM   #88
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aha, I thought so. I think I'll try the overnight fridge like you do, I think that's how my delicious surprise batch got made.

I do like it tart, and I want it as tart and yet as smooth as possible. I'm not lactose intolerant, but I don't need the milk carbs so I don't mind if they get eaten up. In fact if I can make this work, I might sell the idea to my Lactose Int Step Dad and Mom to try. I don't drink milk cause I can get the same texture flavor with almond/cocomut milk without the sugars/lactose. But I do like whole milk. I haven't tried it yet with skim though. Guess I'd better go get a quart and try.

My yesterdays surprise batch got even fizzier and tarter after I let it sit in the fridge with a cover. YUMMY! I added the mellow batch( after sitting on the counter half the day) to what was left of the super tart batch and it should be fizzy and yummy by tomorrow. I'm up to about 4 oz now that it's tasting like I want.

and the bag of sour-kefir curdles is still draining over a cup. I have some cream, I'll try kefir cream cheese next.

Thanks again Faithful for the grains. I didn't think I was ready for them, but I'm glad I have them now.

Answer to WKG, Sure, That sounds like another experiment to run in my kitchen. I've never tasted water kefir though. How does it compare to say....Kombucha?

Last edited by metqa; 09-10-2011 at 04:20 PM..
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:48 PM   #89
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Yes thanks again for the MKG faithful! Hmm...will have to try making the cheese by straining the kefir. That sounds delicious. I like the kefir tart as well, the more of the lactose that gets converted is preferable for me too. Many of the Weston Price oriented books say people who are lactose intolerant often tolerate fermented milk products quite well.

I tried a pint of milk mixed with cocoa with a teaspoon of kefir grain, it turned out pretty tasty.

The milk I picked up today was exceptionally creamy. She said one of the cows had just given birth so the milk may have some colostrum in it as well. I'm not sure how I end up drinking it all...it just happens somehow. Pretty much used 10 gallons in 2 weeks so I went for 12 gallons this time, plus I want to take some of the cream to try making butter. As a bonus, she had some little pullet eggs and grass fed beef and soup bones so I picked all that up too!
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:51 PM   #90
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Porcupine~ heat your milk to 165° - 180° & let cool tol atleast 110° before you inoculate the milk with starter. This should take care of your problrm as when milk reaches that high temp it kills the bacteria & the strater doesn't have to compete with them.

I heat mine in the microwave - 1qt takes about 9 Minutes - two on high & the rest on 50%... Or something like that- can't remember it hs been a while...

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