anyone make kefir?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Al. Countryboy, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    About a month ago after seeing a post about kefir, I did some reading on kefir, the benifits of using it and how it was made. Does any of you make kefir? Do you like the taste? Is it hard to make? Anyone have any kefir grains that they would like to share? I think that I might like to give this ferminted drink a try after my girls kid in just a little over a month. :)
     
  2. shelbynteg

    shelbynteg Well-Known Member

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    We culture goat milk for our daily kefir, its a real treat. Very tart, like plain yogurt, but fizzy (if we're lucky). Lots of people make smoothies with them, or sweeten it with fruit, something like that. We sell our excess grains, pm me if you're interested.
     

  3. alpinegoatgirl

    alpinegoatgirl Member

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    We make kefir and LOVE it, but we don't use grains. We tried that and never got the hang of it; I'm not sure what we did wrong.

    We use actual kefir to start it; just like yogurt. Infact we make it in our yogurt maker as well. Its not hard to make :)
     
  4. I just ordered some kefir grains from Hoeggers supply that should be here anyday. We are going to try it. I have bought some kefir from a health food store that wasn't real good but just like buying goats milk from a store, it never tastes like it does from your own goats at home.

    Marla
     
  5. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your help. Gives me some more indeas and ways of making it.

    Dear Heart's in dixie, Quess what the temp. is going to be here today? Close to 70 degrees. We will have these temps. for nearly a week with lows in the low 50's. Of coarse the rain is on its way and then a cool front behind that. Just thought you guys would like to know.
    I did get my root cellar finished in late summer and it is doing very good. It took quite some time for temps. to cool down inside and had to leave the door cracked where it would cool down. The temp. seems to stay in the upper 40's to low 50's now. Potatoes are doing very good, still have a few cherry tomatoes that are slowly getting ripe and still have peppers that are good. Maybe someday in the near future I can get pictures posted.
     
  6. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    Dear Alpinegoatgirl, did you start your first kefir from the kefir that you bought from the health food store and use it as a starter? I don't think that anyone answered my guestion about if they used raw milk or pasturized it when they make kefir.
     
  7. Ark

    Ark Well-Known Member

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    When we make our kefir using pasteurized cow milk, it doesn't taste near as good as when we use raw fresh goat milk. I also dont like the consistency when using the pasteurized cow milk, but when I dont have enough goat milk, then I figure that is the best thing I can do to the "store bought poison". :haha:
    I HATE for my kids to have to drink the store bought stuff, so I give them kefir instead. They LOVE it with a frozen banana blended into it. In fact, they dont think their day is complete without a kefir smoothie. I noticed they sell kefir smoothies at HEB now... wonder what those taste like? And if they are as full of the good stuff?

    It is very easy to make.
    I just pour the fresh goat milk in on the grains in a quart jar daily. Strain off the previous day's kefir first, obviously! :)
     
  8. TwoAcresAndAGoat

    TwoAcresAndAGoat Well-Known Member

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    I have been raising kifer from kifer grains for 3 years now. I use fresh goat milk. I have reciently given all my excess kifer grains away and since the girls are dry right now I woun't have more for a few months.

    Anything you ever wanted to know about kifer can be found on Dom's kifer site at
    http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html
    and FAQ at
    http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html#Links


    The kifer grains you get from Hoggers will be dry grains and will need some tender care to get them up and running.
    Quoted from Dom's Kifer site
    http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html#resting-kefir-gains


    <<First reconstitute dry kefir grains by placing the dry grains in a jar with the addition of a glass of fresh milk. Activate by renewing the milk daily after straining that batch, whether the milk has coagulated or not. Do not drink this milk until it produces a clean sour aroma. Reconstituting dry grains may take between four days and in some cases up to one and a half weeks to occur. When the milk starts to coagulate within 24 hours, producing a clean sour aroma, with a hint of fresh yeast, your grains have reactivated and are rearing to go!

    NOTES: When activating dehydrated kefir grains, for the first few days the milk will go through some unusual stages, regarding its appearance and aroma. The milk will initially produce a predominance of friendly yeast activity, evident as "froth" or "foam" forming on the surface of the milk. Yeast activity may reach a peak after three to 5 days, then begin to subside as consecutive batches are cultured thereafter. As consecutive batches are cultured, the microflora should find a balance between the bacteria and yeast components, which kefir grains can achieve quite naturally on their own. This may take between one to two weeks.

    Growth rate of kefir grains may not be evident, in some cases, until the third week. The grains should become whiter in colour after each consecutive batch. Any yellow or yellow-pink-brown grains that don't have an elastic property, should be removed from the batch after the forth week. These are non propagable grains [do not grow], the portion of which is determined by length and storage conditions of dehydrated grains.

    Non propagable grains disintegrate, when squeezed between two clean fingers, having the texture similar to a cheddar cheese. Whereas propagable grains are white and elastic with a slightly slimy feel [Kefiran], felt when gently squeezing a grain between two clean fingers.>>
     
  9. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    If you purchase 'grains' from some place like Hoeggers, I think you will get some powdered stuff. That isn't the real thing. Kefir grains look like rubbery cauliflower, and stretch like those rubbery stretchy toys you can buy (the ones you throw on the wall, and they stick if they hit right, LOL!). They are also very chewy if you happen to get one in your glass of kefir, which is why I use the blender and make smoothies!

    I use raw goat milk. I have used purchased cow milk, and may have to for a couple of months this winter while my doe is dry, if I can't find another milker before then. It works, but the kefir grains adapt to the type of milk you are using, and it takes them a little while to re-adapt to a new type. Then when the goats are milking again, the kefir grains have to adapt again.

    I don't know how anyone could possibly mess kefir up, as long as you start with the grains, and not with the dry powdered stuff. I bring my milk in in a quart jar, use a fork to fish the grains out of the older of the two jars I keep sitting on the counter, put them in the fresh, warm milk that I just brought in, and put the old jar in the fridge. Other than once or twice getting the jars mixed up, and putting the fresh jar in the fridge instead of the old one, the process has worked absolutely perfectly from day one. Doesn't matter what temperature the room is, kefir will 'make' in a cool room or a warm one (it'll be a little slower at cooler temperatures, is all). You don't have to sterilize the milk before hand, and the product is always consistent. I usually have several jars in the fridge, so by the time we use one the kefir has had a full day out on the counter, then usually another full day in the fridge, and sometimes two or three days. But when we had lots of milk coming in, I've had it keep for a couple of weeks, and I'm sure it would have kept longer. I've only tried one kind of cheese with kefir, the kind where you just drain it until it gets thick -- have had the draining cheese out on the counter, covered by a muslin cloth, for twenty-four hours and then in the fridge for another twenty-four or more hours, and it doesn't spoil. It might get a little more tart.

    I haven't had kefir from the store, so don't know how the flavor compares. It took us a while, probably about a month, to get used to it. It's *very* tangy, and stays that way even if you add quite a bit of sweetener to it. It has a yeasty odor, something like a sourdough crock. And sometimes it's fizzy, though not very often. It grows on you, and now I miss it if we decide to have something other than smoothies for breakfast. My mother and grandmother tasted it, but they won't drink it -- I stuck with it because I was tired of how finicky yogurt is about temperatures, and tired of having to keep buying new starter. Kefir grains will keep going forever, and it is about the least finicky dairy product I've ever heard of.

    I do have kefir grains to spare (they grow, so you need to get rid of some once in a while -- I usually just leave some in the smoothies and blend them up), but it sounds like there is someone closer to you who has some, and they really shouldn't spend too much time in the mail.

    Kathleen
     
  10. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the good posts. Kathleen your post was great. Don't see how anyone could get side tracked with that info. Will check with one of those earlier posts about getting some grains. Will give it a try in a little over a month when my girls get started milking again. :)
     
  11. seahealth

    seahealth Well-Known Member

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    this is a very interesting post...... I wonder why the kefir in the stores is so expensive? I would love to have it on a regular basis - but don't have the budget for buying it. I will keep this info in the back of my mind for when a time comes that I can use it.