My biggest question is: Can kefir grains "go bad"? If they can go bad, how can you tell? When we moved our farm I didn't have the time to deal with babysitting kefir so I put my grains in the freezer. Now that we are settled I took them out and put them in some fresh milk. It took much longer than normal for the milk to get thick. Before I moved it would get thick within a day. This time it took a couple of days on the counter. The temps were maybe in the 70's in the house, a bit cooler at night. I've just strained off the grains and put them in some more fresh milk. I noticed they are very slimy. When you move them around you can see a big slimy string attaching one grain to the other. Mine were never slimy like this before. Is slimy kefir grains normal?
Slime is normal and good with kefir. Slime is the kefirin. The grains may need some time to "wake up" again and work like they used to. Just keep giving them fresh milk until they work again like normal. 70 degrees is fine for them, but the grains will work faster at a warmer temperature, around 80 degrees.
I agree completely with Lezlie - good advice. Kefiran is the potent stuff. gpod slime. Give your grains 10 days to refresh and revitalize and you should be back in full action.
The temp in our house greatly affects how quickly the kefir sets. Can vary between 12 h rs - almost 2 days. I've also noticed that the fat content of what ever I'm fermenting affects timing, too. Heavy cream takes the longest but oh my, it is better than chocolate........
Thanks. Even with the second change of milk it has set up a lot quicker and like it did before I put it in the freezer. Now I have to go strain out the grains again. Kids are after me for some "smoothie". I add a tiny bit of sugar and some vanilla and the kids go bonkers over it.
my kids will not touch it the way yours will - but they will drink it if I make chocolate milk using 1/2 kefir and 1/2 milk. I've also been known to blend up some instant horchata using a powdered mix and kefir - yummy. Great to make creamy popsicles, too!
Mine were never the same after freezing. I also as a test purchased the culture, they do not grow into the healthy alive kefir that starts give you. I give kefir starts away to my customers, which of course in turn they purchase more milk
Working with kefir now for sometime, really makes you realize all the money folks are wasteing on probiotics. It's a racket that really isn't even beneficial.
Of all the things natural etc...that I have done or sold over the years, kefir is the one that really has done miricles for my customers and myself. When I don't have time for all the kefir (when the does are dry) I put most of it in the fridge, then just rinse it and put new milk it in once a month. But I always make time to make a kefir smoothy each morning. Vicki
Did you keep using yours after they were frozen or did you find some other grains to use? How had they changed?
2nd batch was nice and thick. 3rd batch was really watery but the fizz has started to come back. On the 3rd batch I did add some more milk half a day after I had transfered those grains to the fresh milk. Maybe that made a difference. Temps are much hotter as well. I'm just figuring it needs some time to stableize.
I haven't really noticed a huge difference healthwise after drinking kefir for a while. But then I think we live a pretty healthy lifestyle anyways. I have, however, noticed that my body really craves it. The same goes for the kids. If we go a day without having a glass we really notice missing it.
Sorry Heather, after freezing mine last year, from December through March, they were never the same, sort of see thru and never really imparted much to the milk. I will start a new each year, actually hoping to keep mine going for myself personally with frozen milk. Vicki
It is also a source for some "high bred" grains of great potency and hardiness. You can get on the Yahoo kefir list, and the moderator there, Basirah, is Dom's USA source of kefir grains. He has experimented and "bred" them the way livestock breeders do with livestock.
Dom also gives storage instructions for keeping your grains when you are not making kefir.
Kefir has made a great difference in our health. In particular, we do not get stomach viruses any more. My skin tone improved noticeably and my hair thickened and got more shine.