Discussion in 'Diet and Nutrition' started by Harald Motz, Jan 16, 2016.
Some more info:
Difference Between Kefir and Yogurt | Kefir vs. Yogurt - Which is Better?
@Harald Motz I used to drink a few glasses of water kefir every day. You're right, they grow exponentially and it didn't take long to have enough for me, the wife and the remaining 6 kids in the house. But I think I may have had too much of it over a long period. I have some problems with IBS and I think the large quantities of kefir that I was drinking made it worse.
You can experiment with your fermentation style. I do about 12 hours on the countertop at room temperatures, then say a few days in the refrigerator in a different jar. The grains definitely grow over time, you can pull them apart, eat them, add them to smoothies, give them away, etc. if they start to take over. They are kind of like a pet, just feed them milk and they keep growing.
If you are too lazy to make cheese out of it (as I definitely am), many Eastern European grocery stores sell different kinds of so called Farmers Cheese which is basically cheese made out of Kefir, very probiotic. For Americans, it is kind of like Philly Cream Cheese but not quite as spreadable. Some varieties are made in the US, some imported from Russia, good stuff to have around. I think it is considered too ethnic to sell in mainstream US grocery stores.
Instead of water kefir, you can also make beet kvass, basically chop up some beets coarsely (if too small will ferment too much) and put in a jar with salt, let ferment three weeks or more and you have your kvass. It's definitely fermented and takes an advanced palate to enjoy.
@Harald Motz, I've heard mixed things about washing off the grains with water. The substance which builds up over the grains protects them, washing them off with water strikes me as unnecessary and stressful to the grains. I've never really cleaned my fermentation jar either.
@Jeff Cowan : thanks for your hints. The last few cycles I did not wash the cultures. The kefir seems to taste a bit more mild, less sour.
I've been making Kefir for about 10 years or so. I had milk Kefir and water Kefir at one stage but the water Kefir propagated so fast it was threatening to take over the house like it did with Ali.
I make mine in an unsealed jar and just fish the grains out with a large spoon that has holes in it and transfer them to another jar. I use a stainless steel spoon and I've never had any problems.
When my first child was born we lived in a mouldy house and he got a severe respiratory infection and we nearly lost him. So when my next son was born I cultured some of my wife's breast milk with kefir grains and gave that to him at 2 days of age, and he seems to be immune to everything. I can't prove it was because of the Kefir but a healthy GI tract is largely where our immunity comes from, so it certainly didn't hurt.
One of the best sites I've seen about Kefir is Dom's Kefir site. There's a few spelling and grammatical errors and the site is ancient, so it's not layed out very well but there's tons of info about Kefir there that you won't find anywhere else. That also where my Kefir grains came from.
Dom's All About Kefir in-site
And an excerpt from that site about an early attempt to acquire Kefir grains. I don't know if the story is true, but it certainly is interesting.
In the early 1900s, the All-Russian Physicians' Society contacted two Blandovs brothers, who owned a cheese factory in the northern Caucasus Mountains. The society asked the two brothers for their help to obtain the kefir culture. The brothers decided to take on the challenge, and planned to use one of their employees, a beautiful young woman named Irina Sakharova, to coax a Caucasian prince, Bek-Mirza Barchorov into giving her some kefir grains. Irina indeed dazzled the prince with her beauty, but the prince refused to give her any of his precious probiotic-jewels, possibly due to strong religious beliefs.
However, the beauty-dazzled prince wasn't willing to giving up Irina, so he instructed some of his men to kidnap her as she returned home. Against her will, the men brought Irina back to the prince's courtyard, where the prince, hoping to win her love, proposed her hand in marriage, however, Irina understandably refused. The Blandovs brothers eventually rescued Irina from the clutches of the prince. Then, backed by the two brothers, Irina brought her case against the prince to the Czar's court. The prince offered Irina gold and jewels as reparation for the crimes done against her, but she refused his offer. Instead, as a settlement of her suit against Prince Bek-Mirza Barchorov, Irina demanded, and received, probiotic jewels [kefir grains] instead. In late 1908, Irina Sakharova brought the first amounts of kefir to Moscow, where it was used medicinally in lung sanatoriums as part-treatment for tuberculosis with good success.
Kefir grains feed off the lactose. If you let it ferment long enough it will break down all the lactose and then turn to any other sugars. Not being intolerant myself, I wouldn't be afraid to drink it if I was. Also, it reduces the glycemic index of milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. for anyone concerned with insulin sensitivity.
Not to mention all the digestive benefits, why wouldn't everyone ferment with kefir. I am also interested in SCOBY (a bacteria that feeds off other sugars such as fructose, sucrose, glucose) and is what makes Kombucha.
Interesting, right now playing with fermented ginger ale.
EDIT: first batch died :-(
Thought I would give this thread a bump.
I have been drinking kefir everyday for the last 6 weeks or so.
The first week and a half I did suffer from the side effects of some kind of intestinal Armageddon but eventually the kefir won and since then I have to say I have just generally been feeling full of good health.
Any other regular consumers out there? And do you make your own? Much difference between shop bought and home grown?
I'm tempted to make my own but we have so many Eastern European grocery stores near us that it is easy to come by. Also I have no idea how you would know if you got good quality grains?
Regular consumer? Yes, small amount almost every morning. I buy a brand called Lifeline, I think, and in Greek style so higher fat. I perhaps 1/4 cup with about 3 tblsp if homemade nut butter that's mostly almonds and call that breakfast.
Thanks to this thread I've bought the kit to start making my own yoghurt. I eat quite a bit of full fat yoghurt (with walnuts and a little honey) and the waste of the pots has been a bit annoying. Making your own in a vacuum flask is incredibly simple, and you get the freshest stuff possible
We made our own for years. Dead simple, and very rewarding.
Started brewing my own kefir now.
First few batches tasted foul (got used in protein shakes) but things are smoothing out nicely now. I'm struggling with fermentation rate at room temperature - clearly keep my house too cold but airing cupboard seems to work OK. Starting to see some evidence of grains multiplying.
Started making my own kefir too. These days I eat it with my protein shakes. It has been a few months now. My friend gave me two tablespoons or so of kefir grains which have grown almost 10 times as much. They are always active and gave me excellent results every time. I am hooked to it. Last batch, I made kefir and let it ferment more keeping it at the room temperature for one more day. I am thinking of making kefir cheese one of these days. YouTube has plenty of instructional videos.
I made my own water kefir earlier this year, but for some reason at the end it wasn't tasting good. Smell wasn't very good either. I don't know if I did something wrong or what.
@Tarzan you have some experience with water kefir. Can you give me a few tips?
Is there a recommended limit of consumption for kefir per day? Is it harmful if one drinks it too much?
If you spend too much time on the toilet, drink less of it. That’s about the only guideline. It is dairy, and many adults are bothered by took much diary.
Well... I believe Kefir is lactose free so if a person is lactose intolerant it becomes an option for them.
I was discussing kefir with my surgeon the other day. In her experience (anecdotal) people she sees with a wide range of gastrointestinal issues report lessening of their symptoms by consuming it on a daily basis.
OK. Thanks. I am making a lot, hence drinking a lot. Nothing bad so far.
Until i managed to kill off my grains by washing in tap water my kefir was coming out perfect and tart.
Now when I got new grains from somebody i am getting something more like cottage chease type of flavor.
Doesn't matter how long i keep it going - it comes out more like a chease rather than the flavor you would expect from kefir - sour.
Could somebody tell me if they know a trick to get it to be tart as I'm at a loss.
Separate names with a comma.