Kefir

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Kefir

Postby jegreen » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:22 am

This is the first thing I've ever bought from Kickstarter from a company called Kefirko. It arrived in January about 2 years late and I've been testing this out since then.

Kefir is basically a type of supercharged yoghurt, very rich in probiotics and nutrients. The health claims are quite fantastic so that it up to interpretation but the bottom line is that it's supposed to be good for you. It's usually a lot thinner in consistency like a drinking yoghurt, naturally carbonated and also more sour. Therefore it doesn't taste great plain but I've gotten used to it. It can be traced backed thousands of years to Russia where they made this in animal skins as a way to preserve milk.

The starter culture is called a grain and resembling pieces of rubbery cauliflower and it consists of a symbiotic community of bacteria and yeasts that converts and thickens the milk. These grains grow over time and break off and form new grains. I've found that they can double in volume over about 3 weeks if given enough fresh milk. What is interesting is that the grains cannot be grown from scratch and always need to come from a mother culture. Therefore these grains have kept growing and multiplying for thousands of years and are now found all over the world.
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Re: Kefir

Postby jegreen » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:26 am

Basically you take a teaspoon of grains to 250ml of full cream milk and leave it at room temperature for 24 hours. Then you stir and strain the grains out and add to more fresh milk again. The fermented milk that was made is then put into the fridge for another 24 hours and is then ready to drink.

In the pictures below there is a shot of the grains, and then a pic of the new 500ml batch with it's fresh milk. Bascially you just need a jar that can breath and keep fruit flies out. It just sits on the counter and I'll see what it looks like tomorrow.

I'll add to this topic as I go through a full cycle, and also show how to make cheese (more like cottage cheese) and also how to slow down the fermentation as it gets exhausting (and expensive) to keep having to go through so much milk.
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Re: Kefir

Postby Bundubeard » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:09 am

Supercharge those 'good' stomach bugs! We have some in the fridge also! We make 3 liters at a time, love cutting fruit into mine! You can also try and make water kefir, here you can also add some 'nice stuff' though, berries, cinnamon, honey, but early stages rather then when ready for consumption as with the milk kefir. It goes fizzy and very lekka when chilled down. We also have a scoby making our first batch of blacktea/mint Kombucha now, it think its pretty much the same thing, only the culture differs?
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Re: Kefir

Postby Bundubeard » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:21 am

Find yourself a dairy that sells off tap, we have one close to us where we buy raw milk at R7 per litre, such a blessing to be able to go through milk at the pace that we do, my kids behave like young calves at times!
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Re: Kefir

Postby deepsouth » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:56 am

Check out BrewCraft and brewmart , they sell kefir starters, also cheese making stuff.

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Re: Kefir

Postby jegreen » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:10 pm

Bundubeard wrote:Supercharge those 'good' stomach bugs! We have some in the fridge also! We make 3 liters at a time, love cutting fruit into mine! You can also try and make water kefir, here you can also add some 'nice stuff' though, berries, cinnamon, honey, but early stages rather then when ready for consumption as with the milk kefir. It goes fizzy and very lekka when chilled down. We also have a scoby making our first batch of blacktea/mint Kombucha now, it think its pretty much the same thing, only the culture differs?


I don't quite see the point of water kefir yet, but I've never tried it so maybe it's great. Your suggestions on additions make it sound like something tasty.
Do you use the same grains? I've given some grains away but they just seem to be growing to quickly. I put them in a ziploc bag in the freezer with some milk for a month now and defrosted and after the 2nd batch they're back up to speed.

I saw Kombucha at a market yesterday for R50 per 500ml. Insane for what is basically tea and sugar water. I made Kombucha last here for a few weeks but chucked everything away once I had 5 litres of the stuff in fridge and wasn't drinking it fast enough. I'd bought a finished bottle at an organic store in our town, added it to my black tea mix, and within a week had a solid scoby from scratch. One of the easiest things to make and seems pretty foolproof.

Also fermented up some apple cider vinegar for my mom when I saw what she was paying for the good commercial stuff, but that was less successful as I think the store bought stuff was pasteurised and didn't give a good starter.
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Re: Kefir

Postby jegreen » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:28 pm

deepsouth wrote:Check out BrewCraft and brewmart , they sell kefir starters, also cheese making stuff.

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Had a look and some good stuff there. I did the cheese kit thing last year and was fun to have fresh made mozarella when friends came over. Their kefir small scale kits are basically what I've got now, but they've got good equipment to scale up volume easily. Luckily I've never had a desire to try beer making, and my wine making attempts convinced me to leave it to the professionals. Squashing grapes with your feet and throwing everything into a barrel to spontaneously ferment does not result in a winner!
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Re: Kefir

Postby Bundubeard » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:15 pm

Same grains, gives quite a buzz also, much like home made ginger beer, there were some raisins/sultanas in that specific batch, and we were not following recipes as such, just 'moer by' and see what transpires, my mom who is now living with us has the experience with all of this, we just consume as it gets send our way :D
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