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Old 09-28-2011, 09:37 AM   #151
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Faithful, the WK grains came in the post just a few minutes ago. I've already followed your written instructions and put 1/4 cup sugar into a quart of chlorine removed filtered water, and added the grains. Those little rubbery buggers kept bouncing around and bouncing away!

So I've got them for now in a plastic quart bottle, I broke my other glass jar so I' need to go shopping for more, but I figure the plastic bottle would be fine for a day or two till I get it a better home.

I told BF about it so he may be enjoying this soon, I'm still afraid of the sugar content, so I'll only sample for now.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:41 AM   #152
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That's great! I put some of my WKG in coconut water yesterday so I'll see how they turn out. Dom says you can do a second ferment on WKG to reduce the sugar further.

Dom says something about adding some blackstrap molasses and lime I think it was to the WKG to make sure they are fully nourished. Something about tap or filtered water he says often after a period of time in that the WKG will no longer XX.

I'm thinking about getting some of those sprout strainer lids for wide mouth jars. Then you can just pour out the liquid and the grains stay behind, ready for reuse.

I'm thinking of obtaining some additional milk kefir grains from a few other sources and combining them all together. My impression from Dom's site was that if any of the particular grains were lacking in one or more yeasts/bacteria/etc, that they could get 'recolonized' from being in kefir containing those items.

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Old 09-28-2011, 09:47 AM   #153
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That's great! I put some of my WKG in coconut water yesterday so I'll see how they turn out. Dom says you can do a second ferment on WKG to reduce the sugar further.

I'm thinking about getting some of those sprout strainer lids for wide mouth jars. Then you can just pour out the liquid and the grains stay behind, ready for reuse.

I'm thinking of obtaining some additional milk kefir grains from a few other sources and combining them all together. My impression from Dom's site was that if any of the particular grains were lacking in one or more yeasts/bacteria/etc, that they could get 'recolonized' from being in kefir containing those items.
That should work great for WK, not much residue to clog like MK. I've got some plastic lids, in different hole sizes. I tried sprouting but it was a pain, so those sprouting lids just sat in my cabinet. Thanks for reminding me of them.

I might actually be able to use the large hole lid for MK after all, but I like my fine mesh strainer, because it "homogenizes" the curdled kefir back into something drinkable, by combining it back with the whey that tried to separate.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:24 PM   #154
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Too bad Dom has messed his reputation up! I guess his site is still there with info?

Water kefir is like sweet water. I like mine flat! I mix concentrated tea in it for sweet tea, especially the Mango Peach from Lipton Yummm! I also put lemon juice in it for lemonade. Have made it fizz_ 24 hour ferment B4 bottling with flavor, but I am happy with my tea & lemonade. I have too much to drink daily & since my gut is better I am just not hungry! Guess the nutrients are getting absorbed!

Long day ahead.... Enjoy the rest of the nigt!
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:47 PM   #155
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Yes Dom's site is still up. Some of the fragments I read said something about Dom got bit by a dog and got really sick and was in the hospital for quite a while. Someone mentioned they thought he lost all his batches of WKG and MKG due to lack of maintenance. I guess people were upset because supposedly the Western Union payments were being accepted OK, but they wouldn't hear back from him.

I got a fairly large mesh stainless steel strainer and used that for the kefir today. Dom seemed to indicate stainless steel is OK, but metals like brass, copper, etc., are not because they will leach into the kefir due to its acidity.

WKG with coconut water turned out great! It's very unique and super fizzy. Now second fermenting some WKG and MKG with added bee pollen and some cinnamon.

Now to research the difference if any between WKG and MKG....

No, it appears WKG (Dom calls them SKG, sugar kefir grains) are not the same as MKG. He did some experiments transferring the MKG to water and SKG to milk but it seems they are different. He indicates some strains of bacteria may be missing or different between the two.

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Old 09-28-2011, 05:05 PM   #156
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Thanks for checking on this! I know they both work & since they culture in different mediums! I would have supposed they might have similar propeies. Since we do both I guess we are covered.

I have been drinking TMKG since arrival & forgot the 3 qt in fridge. I opened 1 and it sent the ring flying across the room & the top straight up to the ceiling. Do you think ot kept fermenting???? Maybe????

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Old 09-28-2011, 05:16 PM   #157
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Wow yes it does sound like it must have kept on fermenting! I have noticed some pressure buildup in mine but usually I don't tighten the lids down super tight. Because I had a few lids ruined on the kimchi because the pressure just bent the lid in the corner so it could escape.

I just started a batch of the MKG and TMKG mixed together to see what happens.

From reading Dom's stuff it also seems the way the yeasts and bacteria structure themselves to make the grains is different between WKG and MKG.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:30 PM   #158
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Do you think I could take apples, maybe mash them to make a must, and ferment those with WKG?
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:12 PM   #159
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I don't know what a must is- but I would guess you could ferment most any sweet juice with WKG but NOT ACIDIC FRUIT JUICE. Don't know what would be different about lemons but they say nit to use oranges, tangerines etc. Give it a try with extras! Let us know. I know when I put 4T of my sour cherry juice concentrate in WK (1ltr) it effervesed like champagne!

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:03 AM   #160
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Hmmmm! Have to be live grains!
Hello, iamfaithful, how exciting! Especially at the thought of grains all the way from Tibet! Probiotic drinks are heavily advertised here, but I believe that they are very heavily sugared, so I've never really seen the point! The best-seller is called Yakult.

I will google "kefir" and have a read. I've just moved to a town with a marvellous Health Food Shop - haven't been in there yet; but might now have a wander round just in case.

(... Never, never in my whole life have I heard anybody say "Wiz and enjoy!" But it's a remarkable phrase! )

We're having a mini-heatwave here! After a truly dreary summer, people are wandering around in shorts looking utterly bemused. Just for a week, the forecasters say.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:53 AM   #161
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Hi miss.amaryllis! Kefir is a wonderful healthful and delicious beverage. Yes, it does have to be the live 'grains' for best results. The powders are not at all the same even though they say 'kefir'. Most commercial kefirs are made that way, rather than with live grains. If you google Doms Kefir you will find his site with tons of great info about it.

I just made some delicious kefir yesterday using one of Dom's recipes. I took about 1/2 gallon kefir I had in the fridge for about a week that hadn't yet kefired thick. Then I strained out the grains, and added some bee pollen and cinnamon. Then I let it sit out overnight at room temp. In the morning, it was fizzy and absolutely delicious. Definitely going to do more kefir experimenting.

Also SKG sugar kefir grains (aka WKG water kefir grains) can be used to make some delicious beverages.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:21 PM   #162
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Kefir straining woes. I strained out my kefir for the first time yesterday, to discover I had only two good size grains left! I had probably 1/3 cup originally but I kept accidentally eating them and borrowing them to make smaller batch jars to take to work and then eating those. Today I could barely get my grains out because it kefired up thick, and it would not even go through a coarse strainer.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:48 PM   #163
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Hello, iamfaithful, how exciting! Especially at the thought of grains all the way from Tibet! Probiotic drinks are heavily advertised here, but I believe that they are very heavily sugared, so I've never really seen the point! The best-seller is called Yakult.

I will google "kefir" and have a read. I've just moved to a town with a marvellous Health Food Shop - haven't been in there yet; but might now have a wander round just in case.

(... Never, never in my whole life have I heard anybody say "Wiz and enjoy!" But it's a remarkable phrase! )

We're having a mini-heatwave here! After a truly dreary summer, people are wandering around in shorts looking utterly bemused. Just for a week, the forecasters say.
FYI - Kefir is more of a prebiotic than a probiotic as it actually replenishes the "gut". I like to say unlike probiotics Kefir moves in & sets up housekeeping driving out room for bad bacteria. I feel so alive inside!!!

I understand "Wiz & Enjoy" The Galoping Gormet uses it all the time! & I'm not from England

I am happy to see you here! I think the USPS has flat rate international boxes-Porcupine can you checkthat forme? Please?

If so I can prolly send you grains & a SCOBY + starter tea for Kombucha if you are interested. Let us know! OK google Kombucha & find our thread here...

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Old 09-29-2011, 07:53 PM   #164
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Kefir straining woes. I strained out my kefir for the first time yesterday, to discover I had only two good size grains left! I had probably 1/3 cup originally but I kept accidentally eating them and borrowing them to make smaller batch jars to take to work and then eating those. Today I could barely get my grains out because it kefired up thick, and it would not even go through a coarsestrainer.
OK- time for me to send you some more! I still have pl enty. If the kefir won't let go of the grains- try putting in some fresh milk & rinsing them around. You can always use the rinse milk to rekefir it will just have a head start.

How soon do you need them - gota quit munching til you grow them a while. When you bring your jar home- bring the grain in it! this young man!

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Old 09-30-2011, 06:04 AM   #165
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Great info thanks faithful! Yes I USPS does offer flat rate boxes for international. It looks like Priority Mail small flat rate box to England is $13.25 but says it is 6-10 days delivery. I didn't see any Express Mail flat rate boxes, but a flat rate envelope to England is $29.95 with delivery 3-5 business days it says.

Actually I think that is why my kefir got more mellow and 'normal' over time, because I was getting the quantity of grains decreased in it. The two good size grains seem to be making it perfectly. I think I have two more large grains in two 'sub jars' for the office that I didn't eat yet. But if you have some extras I would not be averse to adding them to the collection!

I have your box all packed up with the whey protein and some other things, now I just need to weight it and leave it at the collection box!

I also have some coming from someone who claims that their family had them in the Ukraine 50 years ago and he brought some back with him on a recent visit and is culturing them. I have a couple other ones coming, my thoughts being of creating a kefir 'super strain' by combining them all together. That was basically how Dom ended up with what he had, he said by combining about 12 different sources.

I now have some 2 day aged kefir at room temp and it is pretty good. I put in some cinnamon and bee pollen. It gets very liquidy and watery and fizzy. Much easier to drink than the super thick curds right after fermentation.

I tried putting my grains in some very loose weave cheesecloth. Dom had that idea on his site, then he says you can just pull out the bag with tongs and put it into the new batch of milk. I hope it works OK, my stuff looked as loose weave as what he showed. I cannot strain it even with a fairly coarse stainless steel mesh; it just will not go through, which makes it very hard to recover the grains, especially the smaller ones.

Idea: How about beet kvass made with WKG/SKG either instead of or in addition to whey? It seems like it would work!

I have some WKG I started last night with noni juice, maple syrup, molasses, coconut water, and I forget what all else I put in there.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:33 AM   #166
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FYI - Kefir is more of a prebiotic than a probiotic as it actually replenishes the "gut". I like to say unlike probiotics Kefir moves in & sets up housekeeping driving out room for bad bacteria. I feel so alive inside!!!

I understand "Wiz & Enjoy" The Galoping Gormet uses it all the time! & I'm not from England

I am happy to see you here! I think the USPS has flat rate international boxes-Porcupine can you checkthat forme? Please?

If so I can prolly send you grains & a SCOBY + starter tea for Kombucha if you are interested. Let us know! OK google Kombucha & find our thread here...
How kind you are, Faithful! I shall read up more about the kefir and maybe plan to make some as a future project - in which case I'll get back to you and plead for the grains! As my grandbaby is due on Wednesday, I can tell that I shall be so preoccupied at the cribside! I note the postage and packing charge - that's not bad, is it?

The kefir seems to be so good for you!

The Galloping Gourmet! Hey, I can just remember him on the telly in the early Sixties, astonishing my parents' generation by cooking with wine, cream and butter. His recipes seemed wildly extravagant. But wasn't/isn't he a New Zealander? His accent seemed very charming. Perhaps he meant

"Whizz (in a blender) and enjoy (it)!

Could be it's a New Zealand expression? A few years ago, there was a trend for waiters to bring your meal to the restaurant table exclaiming "Enjoy!" But this has largely died out, as it's rather annoying.

Anyway, you must be a "whizz" (informal use of word = outstandingly able) at making kefir!
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:55 AM   #167
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Congratulations on your grandbaby! Yes faithful is very kind and helpful! If you check out Dom's Kefir (google search), his site is packed with info about kefir benefits. It's really quite amazing. I was surprised I had never heard of it before. We also brew kombucha which is very healthful.

One thing that really intrigues me about kefir, both sugar and milk kefir, is that you can add various herbs, fruits, bee pollen, and other things to it, and through the fermentation, the nutrients in those items increases and becomes more available as the bacteria and yeast process it! All the while greatly reducing the sugar content so that is so much the more low carb friendly!

Also it seems the yeast and bacteria may form unique compounds from those ingredients that you would not find or obtain separately. I wll definitely be devoting some time to researching this. I have obtained some of just about every herb Dom mentions on his site from PennHerb in PA for experimentation in the kefir. The one I am having great difficulty in locating in bulk is the rhododendron caucasicum 'snow rose' Dom talks about here: http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/...ditional-kefir

Milk kefir grains can be used in water, but they will likely stop growing (but may if switched back to milk within a few weeks). Dom says MKG need galactose to propogate, which they make by breaking down the lactose in the milk.

Hm...I think my problem for straining is letting it ferment too long, and not using a large enough strainer. I'll try Dom's tips: http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kef...html#straining

Last edited by porcupine73; 09-30-2011 at 07:41 AM.. Reason: MKG in water
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:23 AM   #168
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Miss, I am not as adventuresome as out Beloved Porcupine-just old & settled into usual things. However I love Kefir smoothies! Fibro Fighta (another site) puts cinnamon, cardimon, nutmeg & anise in hers! I have been doing that every morning & today decided to microplane my cinnamon...WOW! Better flavor!

I don't think personally I would venture my MKG in water base. I told you I am kinda a purest! But today I got some of the coconut from AM (most of the AM are in lesser affluent areas-mine isnt- but I don't have a farmer ) & put it in my Vanilla Chi! Tall about good & creamy. Tried whipping some without success. I decided to put a couple MKG in it & see what happens. Will let you know tomorrow. Here they go- plop, plop did you hear them go in?

Should we start a coconut thread or repoen an old one? Porcupine can you see if there is a good one that should be revived like the KT thread was? I have trouble from my phone & you are so terrific at this stuff! What did this old lady do with out you

Shipping to England is not bad... Much less expensive than buying cultures & shipping. Donno know of anyone in England with WKG or MKG but maybe SCOBYs. Then there is the trying to find someone.... Awe! I think they will ship OK!

Porcupine, I am so much enjoying my TMKG every day! Really need to use up some of the UASMK I have in fridge. I now have a tablespoon of grains! So tickled! Will be intersted on how your new super grains come along. Maybe someday you will be the "Porcupine Kefir Gru of the USA".

Yep long ferment makes it tight! Separates a lot too! My TMKG do fine in a cup for 24 hours @ 72° prox... But the USAMKG need less in a qt & a 12/12 ferment- then longer without the grains! Let me know how the cheese cloth bag works.

(BTW- spigot didn't fit so will be sending back in next pkg with Kimchi & coconut milk. However, I fixed my other one (yeah)
a put a sack on the inside spigot- KT thread....haha)

Porcupine will earmark MKG to go to you! Youneed plenty to experiment! I am happy with my TMKG! TY!

Got to go drywakk! Have a Blessed day everyone!

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Old 09-30-2011, 09:01 AM   #169
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My Continuus batch lost it's fizz. I think I didn't ferment the first batch long enough so it set it back when I added it to the 2F jar. It was thin and not very sour and had no fizz. So I'm leaving my 2F jar out and putting my 1F jar in the fridge, after 8 hours counter time, to go a bit longer.

My 1F jar's milk is already seperating so I need to slow it down, my 2F jar is too thin so I'm leaving it out to culture more and thicken up. I'll need to tranfer them to new jars in a few days cause the milk residue is building on the side of the glass, but I hope to have it back fizzing like soda by then!

Funny thing, when I got the store kefir, I liked it, and I whizzed it with strawberries and liked it ( even though I don't care for strawberry ice-cream, strawberry milkshakes, nor strawberry yogurt) but with the home make kefir, even though I know I'd like it with strawberry whizzed in, I keep drinking it all down before I can get a chance to add anything. I like it just as it is!!! My Milk Soda!
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:50 AM   #170
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Interesting notes on the fizz. I've noticed the longer I leave my 2F jar out, the thinner it gets. The longer I leave my 1F jar out, the thicker it seems to get.

There does seem to be so many things that can be added in the 2F such as berries, herbs, etc.

It's great making our own kefir from grains! I was reading on Dom's that nearly all storebought is not produced from grains, but rather a commercial starter that does not have all the components and benefits of true kefir grains.

My goal in attempting the super strain is to be sure that all possible good bacteria/yeasts/etc are in the super strain when it is finished. There are certain bacteria/yeasts/etc that are required for the grains to XX, but the non-essential ones it is possible in any given strain that they are missing or greatly subdued.

One risk could be contamination in the super strain. If I receive any that are contaminated with yogurt cultures such as viili, caspian sea, etc., I will have to figure that out.

Super strain goal timeline to edible kefir produced from it is November 1, 2011. At this point it will consist of grains collected from about 9 different sources. If this works out and I can get them to XX well they will certainly be available to share!

I find it really interesting that the kefir grains promote only the healthful and beneficial organisms and seem to crowd out or eliminate putrefying elements.

Finishing off 1/2 quart of 2F at days with bee pollen and cinnamon and immature coconut chunks. Not too bad. I like it better at room temp than refrigerated so I will be attempting to not refrigerate my 2F anymore.

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Old 09-30-2011, 10:20 AM   #171
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Will let you know tomorrow. Here they go- plop, plop did you hear them go in?

Should we start a coconut thread or repoen an old one?
We could start a new one, or I just brought back this one (and a few others unrelated to coconut): http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/or...-new-post.html

Hope your drywall and painting is going well!
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:41 PM   #172
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Interesting notes on the fizz. I've noticed the longer I leave my 2F jar out, the thinner it gets. The longer I leave my 1F jar out, the thicker it seems to get.
Ooohhh! I hadn't considered that. So I might be good to let the 1F get thicker so that I can let the 2F culture longer without thinning, I like it thick actually, didn't know till I got a gloppy batch and strained it and it was thick like cream. Thick AND fizzy. Really funny combination.

Your super Grain project is fascinating. Will you culture the grains seperately and then add the together?

I'm thinking if I tried it:
For each different strain of grain received, it'd have it's own ferment jar, A, B, X, Y to keep them uncontaminated and pure of their original strain.

Then I'd combine, in a separate jar, only two at a time, X and Y, A and B,

then I'd watch XY batch and AB batch, and if they cultured healthfully then combine the two together ABXY. Or maybe Not, that's too fast. Maybe ABX, ABY XYA, and XYB,

Or maybe I should First do XY and AB, then Switch to XA and YB, then XB and YA, just to make sure none of the strains are competing with each other individually before putting them into the second wave of ABX, ABY, XYA and XYB,

that way if early on, X didn't culture properly with Y, then I'd try AX and AY and BX and BY and whichever ones of those didn't culture would be the one out, then there is less chance of contaminating a whole batch.

Wow, This sounds like fun!!!

Last edited by metqa; 09-30-2011 at 02:45 PM..
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:54 PM   #173
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neither of you know it but you BOTH have a mixed culture. M & N so as to not get confused with ABXY.... I added my rehudrated grains to the ones from Sandy. & I added your SCOBY to mine to make a totally different one.

But Porcupine the ones I send to you will be N the ones from Sandy. I have kept them separate .
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:11 PM   #174
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I was gonna use M & N as an example but I kept typing M&M and I started wanting candy!
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:21 PM   #175
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Mmm M&M grains that would be tasty! M, N or M&N would be fine! I actually had a bit more grains that I thought, or maybe they XX'd already more in this last batch. The loose weave cheesecloth pouch method worked out great. I just pulled out the pouch with the grains intact and it had kefired up like normal, and no straining problems that way!

I cut the pouch open just to see how things looked. I only remembered seeing two large mother grains in it when I tied it last night. But today there were the two big mothers, plus two smaller ones and a 'pancake' one. Maybe I just didn't see them before or these things are XX'ing fast.

Hm...not sure about how to handle all the different grains for creating the 'super grain'. Since there will be plenty adequate amounts of grains, I will probably store a small amount of each grain separately in a small jar with milk in the fridge, so as to have a separate backup of each in case something does go wrong. But otherwise I think I'll just add the rest together all at once. The daily milk changes for 6-8 separate grains is going to be too time intensive for me to do for very long.

The 'stinky' milk the first few days of culturing in a new milk or after receiving them is supposedly from the yeasts being overly active. Once everything balances out and the bacteria get active it settles down.

My 2F jar for day 3 tasted exactly like it did on day 2. So it seems in one day it goes from the thick output from the 1F to a very liquidy and fizzy liquid with noticable separation of whey on day 2.

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Old 09-30-2011, 05:41 PM   #176
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Quote:
The 'stinky' milk the first few days of culturing in a new milk or after receiving them is supposedly from the yeasts being overly active. Once everything balances out and the bacteria get active it settles down.
Oh, I remember that. I changed the milk several times for a few days before I could bring myself to taste test it. cause it was funny smelling and lumpy
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:54 PM   #177
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haha yes! Mine smelled like acetone the first few batches.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:01 PM   #178
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I must be lucky or a dead taste & smell system because I have never had a bad batch of either kind of kefir. Ya'll are getting too complcated for me. XY AB F1 F2 My head is swimming! I am so happy fo you youngsters that can keep things straight with all this techy stuff! Be glad & take carw of your brains so your thought process doent get cobbwebs like mine.

I am reallly pumped about something though - you still with us Miss.A? My TMKG floated today! I thought I had the jar with the coconut milk in it & saw a glob on the top- thinking something was wrong I reached clean fingers into it to feel the substance. The grains were all lumped together & fell apart in my fingers. I thought "Oh NO! The coconut milk destroyed the grains."

Then I popped my fingers into my mouth & realized it was plain milk & the kefir grains were now floating as they should! I checked my CM & the grains & they were fine.

I am so proud of these tiny grains I got from Porcupine! Went from about 1/8 tsp to a tsp and now almost a Tbsp & floating like big boys! How cool! Can't wait for the "Super Grains"!

Ya'll are so much fun! Stick with us Miss.A we have fun here!
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:17 PM   #179
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That's great faithful! Some of my TMKG floated a while back but then I accidentally ate them because I wasn't used to them being at the top. I wasn't completely sure how much grains I got into your jar because it was the creamy part and I just poured until the jar was full. I now have my USMKG and the TMKG mixed together and they seem to be playing very well together!

The first batches don't always smell funky; I guess it just depends on how different the conditions are from what they are used to (i.e. type of milk, temperature, how long since cultured, etc).

The super grains project goal is to bring together all the possible yeasts/bacteria into a single strain. It will probably only make a difference if some of the grains do not have bacteria/yeasts/etc that happen to be in the other strains, although there might be slight differences to how the organisms have structured themselves between the different grains. All these strains are coming cultured in cow's milk; I suppose it is possible there might be some yeasts/bacteria that might do better in other milk such as goat's milk.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:24 PM   #180
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O O O O !!! Does your farmer have a goat?
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