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Old 08-22-2011, 05:34 PM   #1
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Kefir Fermenters Unite!

Who ferments or brews kefir? What are your best kefir brewing tips? Where did you get your grains? Do you have a unique strain to share?

I ordered some kefir starter from wildernessfamilynaturals and it is supposed to arrive in a couple days. I have a few gallons of fresh raw cow's milk left that I am going to try using it on to brew some kefir. Does it taste anything like clabbered milk? I like that.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:47 PM   #2
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Great Title!!!
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:06 PM   #3
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Yep! Great title & comments! Well done!

Porcupine ~ I am so glad you are on our team!

I hope you have good luck with your MK grains. I wish I had access to raw milk... Closest place for me is 90 mile round trip... So I have to be happy with store bought.

Tried organic but it was ultra pasturized & it didn't work for kefir or yogurt very well... Then went to skim for kefir...better..2% very good... Now I am working on 4% & an extra second ferment.

My grains both WK & MK were dehydrated & I will NEVER get anything that way again. They just don't work right!

So after several months I have live grains coming from Sandy (LCF) & will send some to Metqa. We will all be working with good grains so if yours have a problem we will be able to help you when ours XX (multiply=grow). Hope everyones grows well!

I gave up, kinda, on my WK cause they XX skow & dont fizz. I am, guaranteed these new ones will... Sandy gets some of them for the MK she "gifted"... Such fun!

I do like my flat WK though, I make tea:
4 bags green tea
2 bags flavored tea (I like Celeste Seasoning peach)
Steep in 3-4 cups water & let cool
Add enough WK to make almost a gallon!

Cool drink & no one knows it is healthy except the grankids! They love it & no added sugar!

Thumbs tired! Metqa asked about MK fermenting. Sandy has an interesting way. Hopefully she will chime in.

I will share a little tomorrow.

LCF! Ya'll are terrific!
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:07 AM   #4
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Great, thanks for the info.

I'm not sure how the kefir starter powder from wildernessfamilynaturals will turn out. I bought it there because it was a recommended source in Eat Fat Lose Fat. It says it can be used in milk or coconut water. I will seek live grains if these don't work well. There's some interesting ones from Tibet mentioned in the book Wild Fermentation.

I think in Eat Fat Lose Fat it says not to use ultrapasteurized for fermenting because the super high temperatures do quite a bit of damage to the milk.

I was fortunate to find a source for raw grass fed cow's milk about 30 miles from home. I know of a place in PA that is more of a co-op that will ship raw milks, cheeses, and other products anywhere in the U.S., but they're not always accepting new members, and it can get pricey at $40/yr membership then at least $12 ice and box charge then shipping on top of that.

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The diet is only an instrument; you have to want to use it. ... It is necessary for you to have respect for your body for you to use this tool [the Atkins' Diet]. It's the only body you'll be issued. You've got to spend the rest of your life in it. You must treat it like your greatest possession; you must become a kind of "health nut." -- Robert C. Atkins, M.D.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:31 AM   #5
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Sweetie, it is my understanding that the powders are not a growing reproductive organism like the grains. They only are good for a few uses. I may be wrong but you know where to find us should you need grains!

Would love to have some Tibet MKG but that is a dream- I read about them too in WF book.

Later I will post a smoothie I make from MK it is way good & I guess maybe it might be what store kefir is like... Never paid $5 for a pint so donno.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:47 AM   #6
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Thanks for starting up this thread. I use about 1/2 2% milk and half 1/2 & 1/2. I like to cut down on carbs anywhere I can and we like it really creamy. Our dog loves it too!!
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:46 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info. I will try just a small jar with the kefir powder to see if it turns out or not. It has a procedure to 'activate' it and it claims it has about 7 strains of bacteria in it, so I'll have to see if this one is any good. If it doesn't work I know where to look for some live grains I'll eventually be looking to get some of the Tibetan grains, so if I find it and get it going I can send you some. Maybe gemcultures sells it I haven't looked.

Would store bought kefir work as a kefir starter do you think?

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Old 08-23-2011, 08:48 AM   #8
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I dont' think so because it's not the substrate that is the living creatures but the grains themselves. I guess unlike kombucha where the bacteria actually live in the liquid, it seems the grains stay together in a colony.

I'd be afraid to try because the whereas a bad batch of kombucha is just sweet moldy water, a bad batch of milk kefir seems like it could smell pretty awful!
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metqa View Post
I dont' think so because it's not the substrate that is the living creatures but the grains themselves. I guess unlike kombucha where the bacteria actually live in the liquid, it seems the grains stay together in a colony.

I'd be afraid to try because the whereas a bad batch of kombucha is just sweet moldy water, a bad batch of milk kefir seems like it could smell pretty awful!
Ah thanks for the info. So I am thinking this kefir powder might brew some sort of beverage, but it is probably not real/true kefir then, at least not kefir grain based kefir. Yes there is nothing quite like the smell of milk gone wrong!

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Old 08-23-2011, 01:21 PM   #10
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Milk Kefir & Raw Milk

YES! Raw milk can be used in MK! & as Sandy does, it can be left to ferment with the grains 1-3 days & after the grains are removed one expert on MK said he NEVER refrigerates his. Frankly, I like mine cold.

Porcupine, it may be that the powder can not use raw milk... When the ones we get tomorrow XX (multiply) I will be happy to "gift" some upon request.

If ya'll want just Google raw milk & milk kefir... You will even find a University of U-Tube showing raw milk being used.

A lot of companies give disclaimers re: raw milk to keep them from being sued.

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Old 08-23-2011, 01:23 PM   #11
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LBKKF-898

LBKKF - 898 Nice touch! Is that us? If so I want logo too!

???? What is the significance of 898 ?????
Or does it just look ?

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Old 08-23-2011, 01:42 PM   #12
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Favorite MK

8oz or so MK
1/4 tsp or so Truvia
6 frozen Raspberries
(or a few pieces of your fav fruit)
a squirt of vanilla (I keep some in a small squeeze bottle.

Blend & drink

I put 1 tbsp oat brand in mine
You could leave out fruit etc & put in your protein powder.

Got to get a computer & android phone January 2012
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porcupine73 View Post
Thanks for the info. I will try just a small jar with the kefir powder to see if it turns out or not. It has a procedure to 'activate' it and it claims it has about 7 strains of bacteria in it, so I'll have to see if this one is any good. If it doesn't work I know where to look for some live grains I'll eventually be looking to get some of the Tibetan grains, so if I find it and get it going I can send you some. Maybe gemcultures sells it I haven't looked.

Would store bought kefir work as a kefir starter do you think?

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Procedure to "activate" OK it has been dehydrated...

Only 7 strains?? Kefir should have 30+

My Kefir grains were dehydrated & came packed in powdered milk. They have been kefiring for 3 months & have only gotten to 1 tsp !

WK grains same way - slooow growth & NO FIZZ! I am OK with no fizz cause how I mostly use it (gramma drinks it plain with her Rx - she is so old her inteatinal flora is all but dead from antibiotics) - but they are posed ta fizzzzzz!

That is why I ordered FRESH LIVE Ones & got Live MK grains coming too this week! Then I can "gift" healthier grains!

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Old 08-23-2011, 04:20 PM   #14
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Excellent, I'm pleased raw milk can be used to brew kefir. It sounds like you have grains on the way! I'll be looking around, maybe if I can find a good Tibetan kefir grain and get it going we could do some trading!

LBKKF 898 - Local Brotherhood of Kombucha and Kefir Fermenters I just made it up; I'm not sure why. It's supposed to be like a union, but of brewers. 898 doesn't really mean anything, I just added it to make it more union like. Maybe it was the unite! title that got it going haha. Hm...maybe it does need a logo if it catches on.

I will check out the youtube videos on brewing!

Does anyone here brew beet kvass? I made some but I'm not sure if it came out right.

The powder I have coming says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildernessfamilynaturals
Kefir is a natural probiotic drink. The "normal flora" in kefir is made of very strong strains of micro organisms. It is a natural way to add good bacteria to the digestive system. These packets contain bacteria that thrive in dairy, using up most of the lactose and other milk sugars while partially digesting the proteins. These strong bacterial strains will, also, culture coconut water from young coconuts, fruit juices and rice, soy or almond milk.

Our Kefir Culture Starter contains the following probiotic organisms: Lactococus lactis subsp. Lactis, Lactococus lactis subsp. Cremoris, Lactococus lactis subsp. Diacetylactis, Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. Cremoris, Lactobacillus kefyr, Kliyveromyces marxianus var. marxainus, Saccharomyces unisporus. One box of kefir starter contains 6 individual packets. Each packet can be used for up to 7 generations of cultured milk and a limitless number of generations for fermented juices.

Refrigerate Wilderness Family Naturals Kefir Culture Starter packets until they are ready for use. They will generally keep for approximately two years when refrigerated.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:38 PM   #15
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Yes, Kvass in fridge! I have a new recipe to try when this runs out. This is OK but need something better & found 1 to try. Do you want it oe want to wait til I experiment?

When you find the Tibetan grains-I want to be 1st in line please. A what you have coming is not the live growing grains but will get you through til the ones Sandy sends grow enough to send you some. I am going to send 1/2 to Metqa roght off the bat cause she is starting a small jar & I have some now that don't XX fast but kefir well.

So, til Tibet arrives you will be good. You may want to PM me your mailing info sometime. I kppe things like that in my phone. I am on FB if you want to friend...

got ot get a puter - too many typos using thumbs on tiny buttons plus I can't upload picts! UGH

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Old 08-23-2011, 05:55 PM   #16
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What is the best kvass supposed to come out like? In mine, I can see some of the color got drawn out of the beets, and it tastes like beets but tangy and almost burns the lips just a little bit. It has tiny bit of bubbliness and a few bubbles on the top. I'm just hoping it is alright to drink. I had about 1/2 cup a few hours ago and I didn't get sick (yet!) ahha. I used 3 beets coarsely chopped, put 1 tbsp celtic sea salt, the beets, 1/4 cup whey (extracted from Dannon yogurt), and let it sit on top of the fridge for 2 days then refrigerated. I will send you my address for your phone!
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porcupine73 View Post
What is the best kvass supposed to come out like? In mine, I can see some of the color got drawn out of the beets, and it tastes like beets but tangy and almost burns the lips just a little bit. It has tiny bit of bubbliness and a few bubbles on the top. I'm just hoping it is alright to drink. I had about 1/2 cup a few hours ago and I didn't get sick (yet!) ahha. I used 3 beets coarsely chopped, put 1 tbsp celtic sea salt, the beets, 1/4 cup whey (extracted from Dannon yogurt), and let it sit on top of the fridge for 2 days then refrigerated. I will send you my address for your phone!
Yes, yours is good! Mine is a little salty for me and I used 1 tbsp for a gallon...salt sensitive lil ol me....

I juiced my beets A added back in, really didn't get firment I wanted. Got an idea (we need a lightbulb character) I think I will take it out of fridge, add some Kefir whey & let ferment a few days! Hmmmmm... Maybe I will add some onion powder .... Naw I can add but can't take out & I have a 1/2 gallon.

will let you know what happensJ
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:06 AM   #18
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Hey that's great, thanks for the info. Let me know how your latest brew turns out! I had some more of the beet kvass this morning. I guess I was just expecting it to taste far worse than it does based on the description in the book. It doesn't taste bad at all.

Eat Fat Lose Fat said to only coarsely chop the beets, it said if the beets are grated or finely chopped the ferment will tend to produce alcohol?

I was looking around for the Tibetan milk kefir grains. I didn't find too much yet, but I saw someone is selling XX's from what they claim is Tibetan milk kefir grains they ordered from an organic producer in Russia. They have a few positive reviews for sales of it.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:09 AM   #19
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Hmmmm! Have to be live grains! Just got the shipment from sjl330 & they are beautiful! Thanks Sandy!!!

She sent so many that I have enough to keep some for me send Metqa a bunch & YOU get yours now! So PM me the infor cause they are sesting in cold milk to slow them down & will go USPS Priority mail TODAY! Hopefully you will get on Fri.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:35 PM   #20
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We have live grains that we got from Your Family Cow Fresh Raw Milk a few years ago. Still going strong and they make great kefir.
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:13 PM   #21
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Thanks for the information! It will be great for everyone looking for living reains because dehydrated grains of any kind just don't cut the mustard.

SheriFf - do you also Kombucha? We have a great thread going...
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:53 PM   #22
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Thanks for the info SheriF! They have a nice web site, I really like it.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:38 PM   #23
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They were really nice and sent instructions with the grains. I wish I was closer to them - they have a lot of good food for sale! :-)
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:43 PM   #24
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Yes I looked on the map, they're not super far from me, but it would be a bit of a long trip to make repeatedly.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:46 AM   #25
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WK just fizzed!!!


I put ginger in a plastic bottle & added WK...left it out for ??? days! Bottle was tight.

Put it in the fridge & forgot it was there. Picture is on FB - not friended yet find me please (faithful to Jesus)- it is the only way I can show you the pictures I take til I get a puter next year.

It is way good but I am still partial to my GBP! Now I know I can get anything to fizz! fruit flavors are next
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:27 AM   #26
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The ginger sounds good! The pics look interesting.

Thanks for sending the kefir grains! I finished the first quart. I never had kefir before so I wasn't sure what to expect. It was different. I wasn't sure about it at first, because it smelled a little weird, but it tastes pretty good!

Those MK grains are XX'ing like crazy! I put them into a whole gallon of milk yesterday and they are really XX'ing and liking it!

The tibetan eBay grains the seller said would ship today (Monday) so I should be able to check them out and see how they XX in a couple days! Then if they're good / different / XX well I can certainly send you some!
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:47 PM   #27
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Porcupine nice pict!

I have so much kefir in my fridge I had to put them in 16 oz of milk & refrigerate them for a few days so I could get caught up on drinking!

THANKS SANDY! We will probably have enough to supply everyone at LCF with MK grains thanks to you! Mine that I kept have already tripled.

Will be nice to find out if Metqa is gettin run over with them... Have you got dad to try it yer?

A quart only takes a few grains! Yep! We could do a gallon a day! But what to do with that much for one person!

Porcupine & Metqa, I have some really great WK grains! Sandy I will send yours tomorrow! Learned how to ship WKG! Helps when pros send them. So. Porcupine, observe so you can teach us how to send live MKG please.

I figured out WKG to get them carbonated!

DONT let them kefir all the sugar out!

I put mine in white sugar with a pinch of salt (for the
grains) Often I will use Demacara. Let them ferment for 24-36 hours til still a tad sweet.

When you bottle,be sure to mix in any "sediment (tiny kefir bits) that make it through the plastic strainer, so they get into each bottle if bottling more than 1. Bottle in tight capped bottles (like you do for kombucha) with any flavor fruit juice (1tb/16oz if using concentrate) & let it ferment for several days! Wallah! Soda pop for the kiddos!

I habe some with 1/2 tsp pure vanila for 16oz going right now- Cream Soda!

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Old 08-29-2011, 06:51 PM   #28
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Kefir Smoothies

Cold Milk Kefir
Truvia or your choice of sweetners
Splash of vanilla extract
A few berries or a couple pieces of fruit
(BEST IF FROZEN)
If you eat oat brand this is a good time to add it!

IF I was from England, I would say "Wiz & enjoy!"
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:10 PM   #29
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Faithful, you make me feel like a proud momma about my healthy growing MK grains, lol. I'm so glad they shipped well and are behaving and growing well for you too.

That cream soda sounds very delicious!! I can't wait to try that one.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:31 PM   #30
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Sandy, your babies are in 3 different states!

I will send WKG off tomorrow! Glad I learned the "trick"! The ones I got Fri doubled already so sending you 1/2.

Just an FYI for Kefir fermenters!
If you get too many grains & can't "gift them" you can add to smoothies & milk shakes or blend them in a quick salad dressing to use right a way- maybe just use as a topper & let your guests & family wonder what goodies your sneaking into their food

Maybe give grains a quick roll in sugar & top a desert with WK grains? Maybe?

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