Kefir

25 November 2010 § 4 Comments

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Kefir ready to be poured, kefir grains are swimming on the top by fabrivelas on Zooomr

I got my milk kefir grains on 4 Nov 2010 from one source and on 11 Nov 2010 from another source. They came from sources in Belgium, Australia and Spain, but have been cultured in Belgium for a while. My milk kefir grains are growing relatively fast. I already gave half of them away to a colleague. If I find a way to send them I’ll send some to friends.

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Close-up of a small kefir grain by fabrivelas on Zooomr

At the moment I make 500 ml each day, but if they keep growing I need more than ½ litre or have shorter milk changes. At the moment I am trying to have a rotation of 2 kefir containers going: I take half of the kefir out of each and refill with fresh milk every other day on alternate days, so far I have been using organic cow’s milk, either raw or pasteurised and either full or half fat, depending on what kind of milk I find. My method of making kefir still has to be improved, though.

At the moment I am experimenting with hermetically closing my container, last week I left it open, and it seems that it does not make a huge difference. If I want to stick to my half litre measure, I will have to give away or eat half of my grains every week, so that I have a nice not too fermented kefir after 24 hours.

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Another close-up by fabrivelas on Zooomr

Filtering the kefir grains is not easy because of the curd substance adhering to the grains, so if a strainer is used it has to be shaken quite vigourously, or a wooden spoon or your hand has to be used to stir the grains in the strainer. Shaking the container with the kefir before straining helps, too. There are lots of videos on youtube explaining this.

UPDATE spring 2012
Of course this first batch died in the summer 2011 because of my carelessness, but meanwhile, over Christmas 2011, I got new grains from Canada, that were bought in Germany and I improved my kefir making method: Now I am making a small amount of kefir (100 to 200 ml) for 24 hours outside the fridge with the kefir grains and 24 hours inside the fridge without the grains. I have the kefir jars always closed, never open. I never shake the glass jars. This gives a well tasting kefir. I don’t strain the kefir anymore, I stir and then I just take out the largest kefir grain and re-use it. The smaller pieces that stay I drink with the liquid. At one point I only had 12 very small pieces. Then I used a colander with 4 mm sized holes to strain the kefir.

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