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Messages - animaldoc

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Other Fermentables / Re: New to Kefir
« on: August 15, 2011, 06:29:31 PM »
I just got back from a 2 week vacation myself.  What I did was put my grains in fresh milk - about half of what my grains can "ferment"  in 18-24 hours -- and kept that in the fridge.  When I got home, I poured off that milk and discarded it -- there was no curd (I don't know if that's the right term  ??? ) formation.

Poured fresh milk on top, had fresh kefir the next day.

I have a large colony of grains now ..... may try to "freeze dry" some as a backup ...... unless anyone needs some fresh grains - I would be glad to share!

-- Scott

Other Fermentables / Re: Fermentation Temperature for Mead
« on: July 06, 2011, 09:11:11 PM »
Hey all,

  My house strain (almost exlcusive) is the Narbonne (Lalvin 71B). ..........  The biggest drawback is it's ability to consume sugar.


As in it consumes too much or it is inadequate in drying out the final product?

-- Scott

Other Fermentables / Re: New to Kefir
« on: July 06, 2011, 09:02:24 PM »
It is crazy stuff.  I made some cheese by straining the grains from day-old kefir (how do you separate the grains form the curd that formed?  For me it doesn't pass thru the strainer if I let the curd set up. .. .. ..) and let it continue to ripen for about 2 or 3 days until it completely separated from the whey then strained thru cheesecloth.

Wow -- tart!  As you said, not objectionable, kinda pleasant, but a little much for me.  Just not liking it enough.  Yet.  It's a taste that I think you have to develop a liking for, not something you will jump right into.

Gonna try it again with some less tart kefir.

May shift some of my grains over to water-kefir ....... coconut milk kefir looks interesting.

But I just ordered a bunch of stuff for regular cheese making ...... will probably expand in that direction first.

Other Fermentables / Re: New to Kefir
« on: June 23, 2011, 07:19:32 PM »
Capozzoli -

   You mentioned before that you were making Kefir cheese ...... did you strain the grains out then let the kefir age further or just take fresh kefir and cheesecloth/strain it?  or did you leave the grains in?

-- Scott

Other Fermentables / Re: New to Kefir
« on: June 23, 2011, 07:10:04 AM »
Hmmmmm .... kombucha looks interesting ........ I sense a new weird obsession on the horizon .........

Other Fermentables / Re: New to Kefir
« on: June 23, 2011, 06:43:15 AM »
I've had fun with it so far.  Probably about a month since I got my teaspoon of grains and they've definitely multiplied and gotten bigger...... I feel like I'm nurturing these grains in a very different way than I feel like I'm raising yeast .... I guess it's like kids, you get to watch them grow  ::)  They are a large heaping tablespoon now, several large grains 1-2 cm in diameter with a bunch of smaller grains.

I found the first few milk changes had very weird tastes ..... some of which I'm sure was related to the fact I didn't know what "real" kefir tasted like, some of which is probably related to the grain's development and adjusting to a new environment.  Now I'm getting fairly consistent flavor, ripening 2 cups of milk in 24 hours for a mildly flavored kefir and 36 hours for a more tart one.  I've found that at 36 hours I'm getting a marked curd separation from whey, and I don't like the texture as much (mmmm chunky).  So I try to remember to throw the jar in the fridge at 24 hours if I'm not going to separate the grains right away.

What I was wondering .... those of you who make kefir regularly ...... do you rinse your grains before transferring them to a new batch?  Sometimes they are completely encased in curd ........ if they separate cleanly, I just transfer them but if I can't isolate them by rolling them around in the strainer I'll rinse them with cold water.

-- Scott

Other Fermentables / Re: New to Kefir
« on: June 06, 2011, 04:41:46 PM »
As I said above, I got mine from real-man-of-genious on Amazon.   Took about a week to get, but it seems like they are good grains.  I am not sure where he got his originally though.

If you wait a month or so I'll send you some of mine :)

Other Fermentables / Re: New to Kefir
« on: June 01, 2011, 04:56:03 AM »

Now you have to check out Kombocha.

    One funky fermented thing at a time my wife already thinks I'm a little weird ........ and some of the things I make are more that a little gross  ;)

Thanks for the tips ......

Other Fermentables / Re: New to Kefir
« on: May 30, 2011, 07:20:04 PM »

you should sart out wit small amounts ofmilk, like about a half cup. The grains need to  "wake up" The first few batchs will be very strong and taste something like paint thinner. You can just toss the first few batches.

Once you get going add more milk. I use about three tablespoons of grains to make about a pint. It willbe a longtime before you end up with too many grains. Wait about a year beforeyou give some away or eat them.

Kefir is ifanately more probiotic then yogurt. I have a batch of kefir that has been aging in the cabinet for about four months. Atthe six month mark I am going to make cheese with it.

  Tossing the first few batches ..... I had heard that ...... the third batch tasted good.  I checked my batch this morning and it wasn't thick so I let it continue, and when I checked it tonight it was extremely thick.  Hopefully it'll taste good.

   That batch you have aging in the cabinet ....... what does it taste like when you let it continue to age?  Is the cheese going to taste like a lactic bomb?

   When you are making it for drinknig ...... how long do you let the pint sit at room temp before it is ready?  Do you ever age it in the refrigerator (ie does it progress to different flavors if refrigerated?) and if so do you keep it on the grains or filter out the grains to age/store?

   Thanks for the info!

Other Fermentables / Re: New to Kefir
« on: May 30, 2011, 10:50:51 AM »

Once I've got my yogurt, I cut it by 50% and add sugar and possibly a tiny bit of salt and some cardamon to make an Indian drink called lassi. If you want it sweeter, mix the yogurt with mango juice to make mango lassi. Very nice and refreshing on a hot day.

ooh that sounds good ...... what are you cutting it with?  Milk?

Other Fermentables / New to Kefir
« on: May 29, 2011, 07:32:12 PM »
In my curiosity regarding all things fermentable, I am both attracted and repulsed by Kefir.  I've read with interest the threads on the forum ..... and bought some at Whole Foods.

Now let me explain ...... sour milk is one of my most vomit-inducing sights and smells, let alone tastes.  When I find my son's sippy cup after three days under the couch it's all I can do not to add more chunks to the sink after I empty the cup.

So what would posess me to try this?  I dunno .... but that first sip was hard to stomach.  The second was merely awful.  But I was determined not to waste my money since you guys seem to enjoy it, so I added blueberries and blenderized it into a yougurt-like drink.  Not bad.  Managed to finish the rest of the bottle, and by the end it wasn't bad.  Bought my second bottle -- wildberry flavored this time -- and it was kinda tasty.

So I can make this at home?  Gotta try that!

Bought some grains on Amazon from real-man-of-genious and got a small plastic bag with a half of a teaspoon or so of gelatinous goop.  Put it in a cup of milk at room temperature for three days before I saw any thickening.  Nasty tasting -- sour verging on vomit-inducing.  Thought maybe too long fermenting and the milk kinda went bad.  Strained out the grains ... they seemed a little larger, so I put them into a new cup of milk.  Again about three days to see thickening and then it was practically cheese when I filtered it.  Gently smushed the cheese thru the strainer and fished out the grains, but them in a new cup of milk.  This time it only took 36 hours to thicken ....... refrigerated, strained, rinsed the cheese of the grains and they are probably about a tablespoon now.  And the Kefir?  Well ...... it tasted pretty darn good!  Just when I was about to give up too.

So I've got my tablespoon of grains in a cup and a half of milk, hoping for 24-36 hour fermentation.

Does this sound like I'm on the right track?  Is there anything I can be doing better?  What is the proportion of grains to milk -- can I ferement larger quantities or am I limited to making one daily drink at a time?  Do you ever end up with too many grains?

Thanks for introducing me to another fermentation project ....... my wife is slowly coming over to the dark side too, she's making home made yogurt (boy that yogurt maker looks like a good way to make a lacto starter for a Berliner Weisse ..... ;) )

-- animaldoc

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Best Brew Software??
« on: December 09, 2010, 09:55:38 PM »
Updates are only needed to fix problems.

Promash.  I just don't like the Beersmith layout.

-- Scott

The Pub / Re: Capazolli's Trip to South Carolina in 2011
« on: November 28, 2010, 04:12:32 PM »
Many people think that if you even whisper the D-word, the boogeyman is gonna jump through the computer monitor and hack away at you with an axe.

Only happens if you whisper it 3 times :D

Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 vs priming sugar
« on: October 23, 2010, 06:28:41 AM »
It's a great low-tech method for dispensing beer in the "cask" manner, but you have to consider the flavor life of the beer.  Real Ale - style dispensing allows air (oxyen=bad) into the cask as the beer is drawn out.  The flavor of the beer deteriorates after a certain amount of time being exposed to air (think air-pumped Sanke kegs of megaswill at a picinic) and the condition deteriorates as CO2 leaves solution in response to the decreased head pressure.

If you expect to go thru a full keg in 48 hours, you'll be fine.  Otherwise you will likely be dumping a large portion of your keg after a few days.

-- Scott

The Pub / Re: Distilling
« on: October 23, 2010, 06:22:47 AM »
Setting aside the cost of equipment (a sunk cost at this point) and the cost of my time (what else would I be doing?), I can definitely make 5 gallons of very good Belgian-style ale for MUCH cheaper than it would cost me to purchase 5 gallons of Belgian-style ale.  I brew mostly Belgians these days, but I'm pretty certain this would work out for just about ANY style.

   Aaah, but you cannot "set aside" these factors.  They *are* costs of production of your homebrew ....  you can choose to discount your time ("donate" it to the cause), but as I think was previously mentioned there is an "opportunity cost" -- something else you could be doing, possibly for profit ........ the cost of equipment can be amortized down fairly well but still has been offered up as $1 per 12oz ......

  ..... but these costs are part of what makes up the price of the commercial beer that you buy.  A direct comparison is not possible without factoring in these expenses.  What you are looking at is more the "marginal cost" - how much additional cost am I incurring to manufacture the next unit of product - which is simply the cost of the raw materials used in production if all additional expenses are fixed (ie you don't have to buy more equipment or hire another employee to make the next unit)

-- Scott

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