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Old 09-10-2011, 06:01 PM   #91
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Did you get chocolate grains ?


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Originally Posted by porcupine73 View Post
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, 06:03 PM   #92
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Thanks for the info! I haven't tried heating the milk that high before putting in the starter yogurt. I think that is what the lady who sells the milk does when she makes the yogurt.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:04 PM   #93
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It did stain the grains cocoa colored. Or do you mean there's a special MKG for chocolate? I just mixed in some nativa raw cacao powder before adding the MKG. It was pretty good. I was hoping the fermentation would reduce the phytic acid in the cocoa but I don't know if it actually does.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:07 PM   #94
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WK is like sweet water...

You can add flavoring & also make it fizz

I am working on root beer fizz for kids but can't get it roght yet.

I like mine flat- brew a strong flavor tea (like Mango Peach or peach w/green tea) & add kefir to taste. Sweet with all the sugar or Truvia.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:10 PM   #95
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It did stain the grains cocoa colored. Or do you mean there's a special MKG for chocolate? I just mixed in some nativa raw cacao powder before adding the MKG. It was pretty good. I was hoping the fermentation would reduce the phytic acid in the cocoa but I don't know if it actually does.
No I meant stained (now forever chocolate ) grains.

Good luck on heating the milk- you can do it hot plate top but you have to keep stirring it.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:30 PM   #96
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Yes I think that kefir grain is permanently stained chocolate. I'll probably just eat it. It was just a pint jar so I only used a small grain in it. I've been using the extra gains as they XX to make 1/2 gallon jars of kefir to take to work for lunch, then just eating those grains. The grains are really tasty, they're super sour.

What I had been doing is using a crock pot filled with water to control the temp for culturing. I built a temp controller so it has a probe that goes in the water then it turns the crock pot on and off to maintain the set temperature.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:54 PM   #97
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I want one of those! How much to have you make one for me?
How does it work? Put my yogurt outside when it was 90+° inside my big pressure canner but too cold for that now. Your idea is great if it isn't too costly for me. I love kefir but do miss my yogurt. Will send you some~enough for a couple quarts- 2 tb per quart. It makes a really thick smooth yogurt but I kept mine outside for 14 hours then inside for 10 & then the fridge for a day or are before I opened the quart jar.

What size slow cooker do you have... You are an interesting young man...
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:00 PM   #98
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I use my picnic cooler and fill it with hot water and set my mason jars inside. I put my digital thermometer inside to monitor the temp and shut the lid. After it goes all night, and cools off slowly, It makes a nice creamy sorta tart yogurt, heat sealed on it's own. I haven't had any yogurt lately, been mucking about with kombucha and Kefir! mabye I'll use up the rest of that gallon of milk for a couple of quarts of yogurt to stash in the back of the fridge...
\
Porcupine, I'd like to know about your thermo regulator set up. Many folks I've heard have gotten a dimmer switch sort of outlet adapter and plugged the crock into that, adjusted it till the water stayed a certain temp and just whenever they use the crock for yogurt just plug in the adapter, preset from before.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:20 PM   #99
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Using the cooler is a good idea. I think I saw that in Nourishing Traditions maybe, then you don't have to leave anything plugged in or worry about it maintaining correctly.

The crock pot I have is I think a 6 or 7 quart, it was the biggest one Walmart had at the time, but was still only about $20. For the temp controller to work, the crock pot has to have just a manual dial. It can't have electronic controls at all.

But the temp controller can then be used to control just about anything, a crock pot, a hot plate, a lamp, etc. It uses a commercially available module, the Johnson Controls A419, to which I wired up a plug and outlet. It cost a bit over $100 I think to get the controller, conduit, outlet, cord, plug, etc. I don't know how safe this thing is but it hasn't caught on fire so far haha.

The easiest way to get this set up might be to purchase a prefab one at Amazon. After I made this one, I saw someone is selling something similar on Amazon. If you search Amazon for B00368D6JA you'll see it. It's the reverse setup though: it turns off below the setpoint instead of on, but I think that is just a jumper in the unit that can be set. Amazon also sells the Johnson Controls A419 unit separately.

The brass pipe is what I stick the sensor into to keep it from getting wet. In the pic is just a small crock pot that is big enough for a 1/2 gallon or quart jar. I just got some 1/8" stainless pipe - that would be suitable for immersion in bone broth for example, whereas I would not the brass soaking in my bone broth.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:33 PM   #100
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Maybe I will try the dimmer switch thing! I have a engineer son but he is too busy ti concoct something like that for me.

My son & his family are prolly moving in with me so the kitchen will be really cramped (mine only has 8' of counter space including the double sink). Will have to do this kind of thing in my room so the small crock pot I have will work best. Will find a dimmer with a plug in next trip to Lowes or ACE. Thanks for the thought!

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Old 09-11-2011, 06:09 AM   #101
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That should work. Once you find the setting on the dimmer that keeps it the temp you want, then as long as the temp in the room where it is doesn't vary too much it should be golden! If you really wanted one I could probably put one together at some point. It took a few hours to get it all working right and such. The reason I hesitate to make them for anyone else is it is not a listed appliance; i.e. it doesn't necessarily meet all required codes. So if for some reason the thing starts a fire it is possible an insurance company would claim it was something like uninspected/unapproved electrical work to deny coverage. I'm thinking there are probably commercial devices already made that do this, I just didn't see any off hand when I made it.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:32 PM   #102
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nice instructions for bone broth and chicken broth
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:18 PM   #103
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Nice. I had watched those chaps in the bone broth video before. I just finished canning up my last batch. I browned the meaty bones at 350F for a bit over an hour. Wow, that makes a big difference in the taste of the broth. Before without browning it was ok and edible, but now it actually tastes really good.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:29 PM   #104
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Nice. I had watched those chaps in the bone broth video before. I just finished canning up my last batch. I browned the meaty bones at 350F for a bit over an hour. Wow, that makes a big difference in the taste of the broth. Before without browning it was ok and edible, but now it actually tastes really good.
I'm guessing my pork bones should be browned too... Guess we do that before we soak them overnight... Thanks! My fridge is full & I am not hungry these days. Must ne the VCO... I haven't drunk the Beef broth form a week or two ago.

Been a long day for me, friends.

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Old 09-12-2011, 04:23 PM   #105
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Hi Faithful. I have the Tibetan MKG in a full gallon of milk trying to get some good XX going before packing some up for you Faithful along with some buttermilk This gallon that is going of the TMKG is coming out better than its previous batches, so maybe it has finally 'stabilized'.

I browned all the meaty bones. I haven't yet tried soaking overnight before starting the broth. This time I tried the Nourishing Traditions beef broth recipe. It says to start the bony bones (non-meaty bones) in the pot soaking in cool water, then get the meaty bones browning. So it would give the non-meaty bones a bit over an hour of soaking. Then it says add the veggies and meaty bones and slowly raise the temp.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:25 PM   #106
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I must be old cause I was just goin ta bed... Hmmm... These pork bones have lots of meat...think I will brown & then soak in my wine water... Should be tasty. If you haven't figured it out yet- I am not much for following recipies... Just read them, get an idea & jump in. We didn't use cookbooks back-in-a-day...

No concern on rushing TMKG- make sure they double or tripple insize B4U send any out. Good rule of thumb in "gifting". I HaVE ALREADY GIFTED TWICE THE NEW WKG I am happy with and now I have 2 cups not 2Tbsp. Wow these do grow fast like the MKG from Sandy- already gifted there twice too...Seems like the more I give the faster they XX. So, be sure yours are golden - don't want unhappy grains.

I have been doing way too much trying to get house ready for family to move in with me. Changed paint color today-it is somekind of pecan or something like that- want it to pick up the color in the wallpaper that resembles wood. Now that shopping & finding carpet remnants is over I can actually start work on the family room they will use for their living room. I have a smaller older house it has a lot of good rooms... Looking forward to grankiddos being here! They don't know yet & will have the time of their lives here in the country-they have been city dwellers all their lives!

I will get WKG out to you & Metqa probably next Monday...I have to regroup- bad when you are too tired to open a jar of kefir to drink for dinner but just get a glass of water & head for the "sack"..

Love you guys! Great friends!

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Old 09-12-2011, 05:35 PM   #107
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The pork neck bones I thought were very good. I was surprised too at how meaty they were. He was only charging $1 / lb for them I think it was.

The pecan paint color sounds nice! I think most younger kids from the city enjoy the country. As they get a little older I think that's where it becomes more polarized, like they either love it or hate it.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:51 AM   #108
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The pork neck bones I thought were very good. I was surprised too at how meaty they were. He was only charging $1 / lb for them I think it was.

The pecan paint color sounds nice! I think most younger kids from the city enjoy the country. As they get a little older I think that's where it becomes more polarized, like they either love it or hate it.
My son hates the idea of "coming back home" but the economy dictates it for a while. I think it will be harder for them "not having their own house" than it will be for me. Mine is smaller in size than theirs but has more rooms. Eneryone will have their own bedroom (5)... family room, kit, & living room are small compared to what they had. Jon always said this was too far away from the city- but unfortunately the city is coming this way...UGH! But the Dollar Store is convient and soon we will have a Wendys & a gas station convience store. My how it has changed from a place where I could only buy a postage stamp.

I put 6 large grains in a qt of half n' half last night & WOW! I strained & put back in 4 grains then popped it into the fridge for a few more days... Goal is sour cream with les fat! BTW I am kefiring MK start AM in room then around 12 hours later in the fridge til I decide to strain it. Works better for me! Not tied to it & the product is better for me.

Got the dimmer & played with water in crock for 24 hours. Closest I can come is aprox 105° & that will work. Have 2qt in right now but will leave them for about 18 hours B4 I refrigerate. Will start 2 more when I get those out of the crock. I forgot how mild my Greek Yogurt was til I got a starter set aside for you. Yours will be better cause of the raw milk... Be sure to heat/cool it...

Got off the broth thread but forgive me- I forgot where I was

ya'll


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Old 09-13-2011, 11:58 AM   #109
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If someone wanted the nutritional data for fermented Kefir, what information would you tell them or what source would you direct them to?

I find it hard to get accurate data for nutrition for fermented foods from labels because often they don't bother to account for fermentation. Milk products always assume the values of milk before the change. GT's Kombucha seems to consider that but they are anamolous. The Lifebrand Kefir I have shows more milk carbs than plain milk, and that's just confusing.

Someone posted about Yogurt exception and how the numbers differ after the ferment, but I wonder how Kefir which is much more sour than yogurt but a shorter time, how would the carb count differ. I'd assume the same calories, but I know that when carbs are digested, sometimes the biproduct is not digestible so it might lose some calories, and alchohol is different than carbs, so I don't know.

I need something to put into ****** and I don't trust Lifebrand's Label.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:27 PM   #110
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I will call CFH & see if I can get web info for you! There was nothing in the info I got from them re finished product. May be tomorrow B4 I get aomekind of answer.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:46 PM   #111
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On Google - milk kefir doms

There will be several pop up...
Look for the one that says Dom's Kefir FAQ site...

I can't read it well from my phone but the answer may be there if it is anywhere. He is considered the Gru of Kefir... I know he has an email address somewhere on the site & will reply as he did to me early on.

This is the best help I can offer... Maybe Porcupine can find something there or somewhere else... He is so good at that. I considered CFH but the dehydrated grains I got from them wernt dependable so I am not sure their info would be either.

Tootles!
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:34 PM   #112
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It's great that you have the space to be able to accommodate your son and his family. It sounds like the dimmer for the crock pot is a success!
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:50 PM   #113
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:59 AM   #114
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Hi faithful, the 'Tibetan' MKG and buttermilk cultures are mailing today so you should get them Friday I would imagine! The grains had a lot of cream on them, so I poured some into a container and then added some fresh milk to feed them on their journey. Hopefully it will work that way. Same thing basically on the buttermilk. The buttermilk has really gelled up nice and thick the last few batches. A paid box is enclosed so you can send me some WKG and maybe some of the yogurt starter and anything else I should try.

On the Tibetan MKG it may take several batches for them to start to taste good. I went through three small batches after getting them and didn't consume it, then used them to brew about 3-4 full gallons. The last couple gallons have been pretty good.

Thanks for the tip on Dom's kefir site, wow there's tons of info on there!

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Old 09-14-2011, 11:39 AM   #115
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TEMPERATURE CONTROLLER JACKPOT!!!!

Ok for anyone who wants a temperature controller, I have found one that is about $30 shipped. And it can handle up to 1000 watts so crock pots will be fine with it and smaller hot plates as well. If you google "Hydrofarm MTPRTC" you'll find it. I wish I would have seen that one before I built mine. I think I'm going to get one and a heat mat for put under my 2 continuous brewers for winter.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:10 PM   #116
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Important note on the Hydrofarm temperature controller mentioned above: the temp range is 68F to 108F, it cannot be set outside this range.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:46 PM   #117
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108 should be okay for yogurt, a little on the low side but still pretty warm. I think my incubator holds about 115, and that's a bit on the high side.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:11 PM   #118
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What kind of incubator do you use? When I use a crock pot, even just set to warm, I've noticed the temperature rises 2-3 degrees even after the power is cut. I think the crock soaks up a lot of heat so it continues to radiate even after unplugged.

I was reading some people were saying radiation levels in milk have increased after Fukoshima. I checked my milk and didn't notice any levels above background. But I would probably have to count the ticks for 20 minutes or so for a real comparison.

My cat is hooked on the kefir now. She recognizes the milk jars and when she sees me get one out of the fridge she lets it be known that she wants her share.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:23 PM   #119
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I am glad these threads don't go away otherwise I would loose the info. The slide dimmer keeps my yogurt around 105° didn't know 115° was good. I have to tell you! My Greek yogurt rocks! So thick & mild like fresh yogurt should be! Left it in the crock for 14 hours then left it there too cool. I thought I turned it off for an hour but turned it on Med & the temp went to 154 at the end...OK so it is dead! But I eat all my mistakes! Kristen can hang it for cream cheese & we can make frozen yogurt with the other. Today I have 2 more qts going & will be careful...I think I will let it ride til morning & will be sure to UNPLUG it this tim. Who ever heard of a crock pot going - off,med,high,low! Dumb!

My MK half n' half is totally awesome, but if you read the KT thread you know that... This is for others to see... Put a few grains in half n' half & left @ room temp about 12 hours then to refrigerator til I remembered maybe 24 hours. Strained grains & put 4 back in so I would know how many to fish out. I forgot it for a day or two & it is thick & spoonable/spreadable. I can imagine what whipping cream would be like but I would count the grains so I didn't have to strain.

PS glad I can go to 115° - I won't have to sweat it!

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Old 09-14-2011, 05:32 PM   #120
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What kind of incubator do you use? When I use a crock pot, even just set to warm, I've noticed the temperature rises 2-3 degrees even after the power is cut. I think the crock soaks up a lot of heat so it continues to radiate even after unplugged.

I was reading some people were saying radiation levels in milk have increased after Fukoshima. I checked my milk and didn't notice any levels above background. But I would probably have to count the ticks for 20 minutes or so for a real comparison.

My cat is hooked on the kefir now. She recognizes the milk jars and when she sees me get one out of the fridge she lets it be known that she wants her share.
Let us know about the radiation-not that we can do much of anything about it.

Crocks stay hot forever that is why they are so good at slow cooking.

& I am sorry... What was that a pict of? I am not technical!

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