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Old 09-14-2011, 06:41 PM   #121
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Frozen yogurt....that sounds good! The half and half sounds like an interesting idea for the kefir. I have noticed in mine the cream comes to the top and it gets super thick. I've noticed the grains like to group together in the creamy spots.

The pic is of a military surplus geiger counter I got around the time of y2k. It lets you count the ticks of certain types of radiation it detects. I figured I would pull it out of the closet and use it to check food sources since people are saying the Fukushima releases are spreading worldwide.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:22 PM   #122
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Cool! I would think you would have one of those- Rob would- I have to ask him - it is an engineer thing!
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:10 PM   #123
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Haha yes he probably does, engineers love gadgets.

My two 2.5 gallon crocks arrived from Amazon today....but just picking up the boxes to move them I could tell they were both completely shattered. But Amazon was very nice about it, and is sending two new ones out by overnight, and said to just throw out the broken ones. Well on the boxes it said 'UPS Premium'. If that's their premium service, I'd hate to see the regular!

I was drinking some of the KT, which in a gallon jar just like the kefir. The cat was meowing like she wanted KT, because she thought it was kefir. So she had to wait until I got the kefir out to get her share. Then she was happy.

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Old 09-16-2011, 07:18 PM   #124
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Dang, Sorry your Brewers arrived broken!
I dare you to give your cat Kombucha!


Gasp! I'm out of Kefir. My last batch turned to cheese and I have to wait for the next batch to mature. Funny How used to having it I've gotten!
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:20 PM   #125
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Haha, will cats drink kombucha? For some reason I'm thinking that is not a good idea.....

I really wanted to get continuous brewers started today because I have several gallons of tea at the 11 day mark today to get them started.

Faithful did you finish the painting? For is that a weekend project?

My kefirs are turning out much smoother now that the weather has cooled off. I seem to be letting them go at around 70F until they start to get thick, then refrigerate, then wait a few days before consuming and they taste great!
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:27 PM   #126
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I might be able to leave my kefir out now that the weather has cooled. the last few 90 degree days had ruined my leaving it out half a day routine, and made cheese instead.

It's really cool now so I should be able to leave it out like before. Thanks Porcupine for reminding me of the weather difference!
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:28 PM   #127
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Need help setting up continuous brewers!

Ok, I opened the continuous brewers boxes. I'm having some trouble figuring out how to use them though. Where do you pour in the KT to get them started? Maybe some assembly is required?

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Old 09-16-2011, 07:59 PM   #128
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Oh No! I'm embarrassed to say I Laughed Out Loud when I saw that! Aw Man, they look like they were beautiful.

My brewer had so much styrofoam and packing puffs and air puffs I dug for a foot before I found the thing. How'd they manage to break it THAT much? Was there ANY packing material in there with them?
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:11 PM   #129
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Yes I expected to see some styrofoam or those air puffs too...but there were none! Nope, it was just in a box with some cardboard at the top and bottom, and that was in another box. It's not surprising they broke, since there was no other padding. I get a bad feeling they will send the new ones the exact same way and the same thing will happen. I ordered a case of fabric softener from them a few months ago, and it took four shipments to finally have it arrive and not say 'damaged in transit-product returned to shipper'.

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Old 09-16-2011, 08:46 PM   #130
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how thick is the ceramic on those crocks, would you say? 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 inch. I want to compare to my glass crock which seems to be very thin.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:48 PM   #131
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Really ? If they come like that again, I would get a refund & order some from Hannah! If you call her, maybe she will extend the free shippingto you snce I told her about you today when I ordered my heater & accupressure pad. But here is hopeing they will get there OK. Send us new picts!

The pkg has not come yet-maybe tomorrow.

My milk kefir keep kefiring in the fridge without the grains. Really fizzes when it hits the tongue & back of the throat! Really good.

Metqa the laugh was good for me too, but poor Porcupine! I know how you must feel!
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:14 PM   #132
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Those crocks I would say were about 1/4" thick, maybe slightly thicker. I was kind of surprised they were that thin, since I have one I got with a water dispenser some years back that is a bit thicker and heavier. I think they would be fine if shipped and handled better, mainly if they had some sort of cushioning in them rather than just in plain cardboard boxes. If these next ones don't arrive properly I will check out the KombuchKamp!

Still kefiring without the kefir grains! That is great. I find the grains seem to all go to the bottom of the container and sometimes a few are in the cream that rises to the top.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:08 AM   #133
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Interesting observation on kefir thickening

I like to leave my kefir at room temp until it just starts to thicken. Normally I am not right with the kefir when it reaches this point. Today I had a 1/2 gallon right next to me and was checking it during the day. I noticed the 'thickening point' occurs pretty quickly. I had checked it about an hour before and it was still just as liquidy as normal milk. Then an hour later I checked it and it was all thick. So now into the refrigerator it goes!
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:01 AM   #134
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Fizzy water kefir on 2nd ferment

I find if I let the WK ferment 24 hours then I can put most anything in it to flavor & then seal the bottle for several days & chil well before opening. If you let it go 48 hours you need a fruit os something with a sugary base. My sour cherry concentrate I buy by the qt is great for making some fizz right out of the bottle. But I like to sick with flat for teas. Just FYI from my experimentation...

Let us know how yours turn out.

I have ladies on a fibro sight I gift to & they always ask ?? I have trouble answering. Wish they would ask here so we can all pipe in....
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:58 PM   #135
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Hi faithful, thanks for the info! I'm assuming you remove the WKG before doing the second ferment with the sealed bottle?
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:53 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by porcupine73 View Post
Hi faithful, thanks for the info! I'm assuming you remove the WKG before doing the second ferment with the sealed bottle?
Yup! You engineers are so smart!

However, the root beer I am trying for the kids is in a 2ltr pop bottle, kefired 48 added 1/4c sugar & 1T flavor from the store & 5 big grains for good measure. 1 week ferment bottle is super tight! We might have drinkable root beer! Kiddos came for a sleep over on the spur-of-the-moment so we popped it in fridge last night! Will post what happened here & picts on FB tomorrow afternoon.

I keep thinking more people will join us. Can you do me a fav? PM me the URL for this site & the one for Kombucha. I can't see it from my phone. That way I can write it down & when I gift to people I can send them a link a ask them to visit & join so we can all help them with ideas.

Metqa, your WKG are coming Monday! Is it cooler there yet? How is the MK coming? Dad drinking yet? If mot maybe he can do WK & if he likes tea can use it like I do for the sweet water base for cold tea.

RE: the TMKG ~ how are yours doing? Mine are about tripled! I have about a teaspoon now! They arn't big enough to float yet & every day I have them kefir about a cup of milk~just enough to drink for breakfast on a 24 cool room kefiring. It is fun to watch them grow! Kristen (gdaugter) will strain them like last week; she will be surprised at their growth too. And the kefir taste different! More mild & it so far hasn't separated on me. Have you any observations regarding yours? Are they floating to the top yet & how are they in size to the "USA" ones? Flavor?

I have to look back- didn't you try chocolate milk with USAMKG? Maybe I will try some for kiddos next time they come but put it in ice cream maker for them.

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Old 09-25-2011, 04:00 PM   #137
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Back from Florida yesterday! Yikes I'm so tired, then my friends wanted to go flea market hopping. So I'm finally back home. I need to refresh my kefir. It's been fermenting erratically so I haven't had any for a week. The weather IS cooling down, and I'll try leaving it on the counter for 12h again to see if it smoothes out. It was overfermenting too fast, maybe my grains have grown, but it also smelled too strong to make cheese with. Ive got some fresh milk and will try to let them warm up again.

Faithful, thanks for the WK, I wasn't paying attention and didn't notice you asking me about them! Do you want me to Paypal you? I can't remember whether or not you have paypal? Last time we just traded evenly, didn't we.

Well, gonna go refresh my grains before going out for Game Night. I hope to have some yummy Kefir by tomorrow evening. I hope they aren't too angry with me for leaving them alone all weekend!

eta: well, i'm lucky! the last batch that i underfermented before i left tastes AWESOME! I left it in a sealed mason jar in the fridge for 3 days, Lid and screw top tight , and it gassed off when I opened it. So Fizzy, So yummy, ...a bit curdy, but sweet with no hint of sour( bad sour) Aaaaahhhh, just had 4 oz of yumminess.

faithful, Ihaven't introduced my parents to kefir yet,I haven't been home yet. if I just sent the grains, they'd likely not do it on their own. i want to take a nice batch of kefir with me to let them taste and if they like it THEN Ill give them the grains, and show them how.

I got a pint plastic bottle of milk from the supermarket, and realized it's be great for holding my kefir for it's 2nd ferment, and it'll be more portable than the glass jar, I can take it with me to BF's house and still have my kefir nearby. I still wish I could find a more accurate calorie count though, still searching. I don't want to use yogurt's counts cause it's a slower ferment, different conditions and all. If anybody finds any articles addressing the reduced sugar content of kefir with approximate numbers please post a link or how to find it. kthnxbai
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:06 AM   #138
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Quote:
RE: the TMKG ~ how are yours doing? Mine are about tripled! I have about a teaspoon now! They arn't big enough to float yet & every day I have them kefir about a cup of milk~just enough to drink for breakfast on a 24 cool room kefiring. It is fun to watch them grow! Kristen (gdaugter) will strain them like last week; she will be surprised at their growth too. And the kefir taste different! More mild & it so far hasn't separated on me. Have you any observations regarding yours? Are they floating to the top yet & how are they in size to the "USA" ones? Flavor?
My TMKG is doing pretty well. I have noticed it doesn't form hard clusters of grains when they XX. It is more very smell granules dispersed in the cream part. The MKG you sent me seems to form nice hard clusters when it XX's. I have had the TMKG separate if I leave it in the fridge for about a week. The taste does seem a little more mild. It took probably 5 batches after I got them before the taste settled down. They had a weird slight almost acetone type smell in the first couple pints I did for cleanup (but I didn't drink that).

I did try the chocolate grains. I worked OK. It is definitely chocolately, but not sweet at all. I like cocoa powder, but the potential problem with it is that it is extremely high in phytic acid. I was hoping by including it in the ferment it would lower the phytic acid content but I'm not sure if that is the case.

Dom's site has some info about the carbs and other components of kefir: Dom's Nutritional and Chemical Composition of Kefir in-site

Hm I see he does list acetoin as an aromatic compound that may be present, not sure if he actually means acetone, as I have smelled that in some of my early batches.
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:07 AM   #139
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For carbohydrate content in kefir....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom's
The majority of digestible carbohydrate of kefir is milk-sugar [lactose], of which at 24 hour fermentation followed by 24 hour storage seems to be approximately 3.5%, going by the figures available. This is about 50% reduction of the original lactose content in fresh milk.
So he doesn't really say how much carbohydrate is in it exactly, but, since he does say it is about a 50% reduction in lactose content verses fresh milk, I will run with that. So for raw whole milk for example has about 12g carbs per cup. Not all the carbs in milk are from the lactose, but if we assume they are for simplicity, then 1 cup whole milk kefir should be around 6g per cup. I just notice Dom has some tips for reducing the lactose content in kefir: http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/...r.html#Storing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom's
The percentage of kefir-grains for fermentation did exert an influence. Sample batches prepared using 1% added kefir-grains had higher lactic acid bacterial counts, lactose, and pH [not as acidic]. The sample batches prepared with 5% added kefir-grains had higher yeast and acetic acid bacterial counts and viscosity a lower pH [more acidic].
So it looks like more kefir grains results in lower lactose, but makes it taste more vinegary.

I was looking around Dom's site and noticed:

Quote:
Milk exposed to direct sunlight will have a reduction in Riboflavin, because of the sensitivity Riboflavin has to Ultra Violet radiation. For this and other reasons, culturing kefir in clear, glass containers should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
Hm...Dom has a page for creating kefirkraut and kefirchi (kimchi), using MKG and/or WKG. It looks pretty neat. I might have to try making a batch this way.

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Old 09-26-2011, 09:33 AM   #140
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Dom has a recipe for coconut milk kefir. Basically it involves adding kefir to the coconut milk and doing a second ferment. That sounds good. It looks like coconut water can be used but he says it will increase the alcohol in the final product.

I think my next project will be attempting a continuous kefir brew. Dom says he's done it for weeks at a time with no problems. Basically you drink or draw off an amount from your brew, then add fresh strained kefir as a makeup. It looks like not refrigerating it actually makes it even harder for non-desired bacteria to survive.

How to make an airlock on a 1/2 gallon or 1 gallon jar. I want to attempt that, since it will be far easier to clean the milk out of the jar than it would be out of a bottle, even with a bottle brush. I'm guessing if I drill a hole in a jar lid, put the airlock in and maybe just seal it with a little aquarium sealant on the outside only, that would work fine.

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Old 09-26-2011, 09:41 AM   #141
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Thanks for sorting through the thecy stuff... My mind can't handle Dom's site. It is nice to have a "Man Around the Site" that can navigate that technical jargon.

I actually have drunk everything from the TMKG they didn't need transfer time-prolly cause you sent them in milk. It will be fun to see how they do oer the months. It is my daily drink now & the others are resting in the fridge. I drink & change about weekly & it is very tasty.

would ne bice to try the Doms kimchi but I am off peppers right now & doing good. If you ever need more korean flakes-let me know- still have a lot!

Toodles!
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:43 AM   #142
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Dom has a recipe for coconut milk kefir. Basically it involves adding kefir to the coconut milk and doing a second ferment. That sounds good. It looks like coconut water can be used but he says it will increase the alcohol in the final product.

I think my next project will be attempting a continuous kefir brew. Dom says he's done it for weeks at a time with no problems. Basically you drink or draw off an amount from your brew, then add fresh strained kefir as a makeup. It looks like not refrigerating it actually makes it even harder for non-desired bacteria to survive.

How to make an airlock on a 1/2 gallon or 1 gallon jar. I want to attempt that, since it will be far easier to clean the milk out of the jar than it would be out of a bottle, even with a bottle brush. I'm guessing if I drill a hole in a jar lid, put the airlock in and maybe just seal it with a little aquarium sealant on the outside only, that would work fine.

Why the airlock & on what - yes that should work!
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:45 AM   #143
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You can make your own coconut milk if you can find frozen raw coconut- I am going to check out the asian market this week.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:00 AM   #144
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Thanks for the tips! The airlock goes on the jar or bottle for the kefir second ferment. Dom says
Quote:
Kefir ripened under airlock as apposed to ripening in a sealed bottle, produces best flavour with less acetic acid, which otherwise gives kefir a drier sourer flavour. This is possibly because of lesser to no oxidation of alcohol [oxidation of alcohol produces vinegar]. Flavour including aroma is much improved during ripening as per the above comparison.
Dom's site is very nice but wow it does take time to read it carefully and then develop your own plan of how to proceed.

I will look around for the coconut milk options. I think I will try it using the two immature coconuts I bought, though that will be coconut water which he says will make a bit more alcohol in the brew.

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Old 09-26-2011, 07:35 PM   #145
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That is what I used & saw on U-Tube! It is what cracked/popped my swing top bottle. Maybe I didn't like it because it got to the alcohol stage-really dry. It was the ONLY experiment I dumped... Had bo sugar at all in it!

The root beer came out excellent- but again the little grains ate all the sugar... ereal bubbly but no sweet taste... Last time really sweet no bubbles... Think I know the trick- THIRD time a charm???

I don't understand anything-ok just a tad- on his site. My brain is not that sharp. I am thankful for you looking up things & putting in simpler terms. It means a lot. Thanks!

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Old 09-27-2011, 06:41 AM   #146
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Hmmm ok I will have to be careful with the swing top bottles blowing up then! Yes I think the second ferment on kefir does result in more alcohol, because oxygen is not getting to the brew. If oxygen gets to it, the alcohol/ethanol turns to vinegar instead.

The root beer sounds neat. I might have to give that a shot some time. Dom noted that WKG really XX well when ginger is added.

I think I might order some of Dom's MKG for comparison. He says his are a combination of 12 different ones he aquired over the years. I emailed him but he says right now it is about a 4 week wait because he has so many orders at this time of year.

Dom also has a really neat page about making a healing toothpaste that can help teeth remineralize. It looks pretty involved but gets my interest due to my Cure Tooth Decay plan.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:58 PM   #147
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Don't order From Dom's site for now. He's not been fulfilling his orders and has had a lot of complaints.

I don't know if he's still sick or unwell or what, but better safe than sorry. I like his page, but it seems he's made enemies out of alot of followers by not being able to get the orders out in a timely fashion if at all, but also still collecting the payments for those orders.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
My last pint of kefir, well, I stayed out overnight, and so did it, so it curdled really tightly. I poured the whey off and will feed it to my volunteer tomato plant ( pulled it out of my worm bin, trying to grow) and I homogenized the curds by tapping them through a fine mesh sieve and added it to my ongoing drink-from jar, the one that gets really fizzy. I'm not leaving the drink-jar it out to second ferment anymore, I'm just adding fresh kefir to the older kefir and keeping it in the fridge. I think even with the cold temps, the older kefir is ripening the new stuff and giving it a nice powerful fizz, and the variation between batch flavors, sourness and fizziness is nicely averaged.

I haven't been home to enjoy my kefir and kombucha lately but I plan to have more daily samples as I'm trying to reclaim some normalcy in my lack-of-routines.

Last edited by metqa; 09-27-2011 at 01:03 PM..
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:05 PM   #148
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You can keep the grains in fridge in milk if you get too much remember too many grains makes it kefir faster.

I am just doing the TMKG right now getting them to grow. Make a cup a day & drink warm. So my others are in fridge. I check them every Sat & if thick enough I strain & add more milk- makes nice kefir in slow motion if you want to slow down production.

BTW - mailed out WKG to you, Metqa, yday.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:41 PM   #149
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I'm somewhere in between not drinking it fast enough and wanting it NOW! I think I'm doing Fast 1st, and slow Second. It's seems sweeter that way, but I'll split my grains and try for a slow fridge 1st and see how It works. It was too slow for me before but I didn't have any kefir stash built up yet. I like the continuous jar though.

Thanks I'll look for theWkG in a day. I might get BF to try it since i told him it was milder than kombucha. I've neer tried it so if it's a lie I told it.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:10 PM   #150
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Hm.....shoot, yah it looks like Dom has ticked off quite a number of people now that you mention it.
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