Author Topic: New to Kefir  (Read 3031 times)

Offline animaldoc

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Re: New to Kefir
« Reply #15 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

Offline animaldoc

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Re: New to Kefir
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2011, 07:10:04 AM »
Hmmmmm .... kombucha looks interesting ........ I sense a new weird obsession on the horizon .........

Offline hubie

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Re: New to Kefir
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2011, 04:55:15 PM »
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.

I was just reading on this topic last night.  One view (Dom's) is here:  http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html#washing-grains

Offline capozzoli

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Re: New to Kefir
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2011, 05:46:30 PM »
animaldoc, If at any time your kefir separates dont worry, it is common. To fix it, strain out the grains and then pour the strained kefir into a bowl. Take a whisk and beat as you would eggs. it will emulsify and go back together. Sometimes I age mine to the point where you can actually see clear liquid on the bottom. I decant the solids off of this liquid then whisk it. It makes for a thicker kefir more simular to the consistency of yogurt. Great on fruit. 

Try this too, after the kefir is fermented whisk it with a little water and sugar. It will be much thinner. Then close a lid on it tightly.  Check it in twenty four hours. The bacteria in the kefir will begin to eat the sugar and produce co2. After pour it into a bowl, then whisk it vigorously incorporating air into it, it will froth up and get a head. Very agreeable.

I mixed some with sugar and water and bottled. Made great milk soda but one of the easy cap bottles had a release and kefir soda was all over the fridge. Haven figured out a way to control that.
Beer, its whats for dinner.

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Offline animaldoc

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Re: New to Kefir
« Reply #19 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
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 07:21:29 PM by animaldoc »

Offline capozzoli

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Re: New to Kefir
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2011, 04:57:47 PM »
Sorry for not checking back in here.

I took the grains out. after a few weeks. The milk solids separated completely and looks like feta cheese floating in brine. It just separates coagulates on its own.  

I strained it through a cheese cloth and Jared it up and stored in the fridge. Im not gonna dry it.

It is kinda spreadable and similar in texture to soft goats cheese. It is very strong and sour in flavor but agreeable. If you like strong cheese you will like kefir cheese. If not you will hate it.

I may try some other kefir cheeses. They are good for you.

Crazy stuff this kefir. I have had it in the cabinet for several months and it did not go bad. I have had some in the fridge for a year and it is still good.

It is not only fermented milk but it is preserved. It amazes me.
Beer, its whats for dinner.

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Offline animaldoc

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Re: New to Kefir
« Reply #21 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.

Offline hubie

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Re: New to Kefir
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2011, 07:27:16 PM »
I'm going to have 2 to 3 weeks where I won't be able to do anything with my kefir grains.  How do you store your grains long-term?  Should I put them in fresh milk and just put them in the fridge?  I've also heard of putting them in a 50/50 mixture of milk and water; something about not letting the pH get too low or something, but that might have been in the context of really long-term storage.

Offline animaldoc

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Re: New to Kefir
« Reply #23 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

Offline capozzoli

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Re: New to Kefir
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2011, 07:16:54 PM »
Yep, pour some milk on them and store them in the fridge. The cold will slow down the fermentation process. If you are gonna store them long term, do the same thing just change the milk out every couple of months or so.

But in the cabinet is fine. I have done some long term ferments at room temp and both the kefir and the grains were fine.

I made a thicker sour cream type kefir recently. I added a bunch of powder milk to regular milk. The end result was pretty thick, almost spreadable. But it was hard to retrieve the grains out of the thicker stuff.
Beer, its whats for dinner.

http://theholyravioli.blogspot.com/

http:// www.thecapo.us