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tcboweevil Posted - Feb 05 2015 : 10:42:22 AM
You may have all heard about kefir by now ( I am usually late on info and such) but if not, I'll share some info while I make butter with my mixer. I have live kefir grains that I use to make kefir and yogurt. It is the easiest way for me. If anyone would like some, they are free and shipping is is free too. It is easier to ship them in cool weather.

Kefir grains look like gelatinous cauliflower heads. I have used the same grains for so long now because they grow, multiply and I feed the old ones to the chickens or give them away.

I keep my grains in a quart glass jar, with 3/4 of it full of skim milk, and with a plastic lid on it. I leave it out on the counter in a warm place during winter and in a cool place during summer. If you have central air and heat, any constant room temperature spot will do.

Everyday, I add the cultured milk to a gallon of skimmed milk. The milk gets thick in the quart jar, so sometimes I add a little more milk, close it and shake it and then pour it into the gallon jar. Then I fill up the gallon jar with skim milk and leave it out to culture. It is usually overnight. In the morning, I put this gallon jar in the fridge to work later when I have time. It gets very thick, curd like.

In one night, the curd is very sweet and only needs 1/2 cup of sugar and a blending to be the best drinkable yogurt I've ever had. If I want thick, greek like yogurt, I line a colander with cheese cloth and let the whey drain out into a pot under the colander while in the fridge. That way it doesn't get sour. 1 tbsp. vanilla and 1/2 c sugar, blend well and great yogurt is made.

If I will be away, or not have milk, I put milk in the quart jar and put it in the fridge. It keeps the grain alive until I can culture again.

I use those gallon pickle jars, but you can buy nice gallon jars at an ace hardware. They order them and ship to the store for free. I only use skim milk because the cream cultures differently and favors yeast. The sugar in the milk favors lactic acid bacteria and curds the milk. If it sets out too long or too warm, it will separate into curds and whey. At this point it is very sour and I feed it to the chickens.

Sorry if I have been posting too much. I won't have this much time soon.

25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
GingerBKelly Posted - Oct 28 2016 : 07:46:21 AM
I realize I'm a little late on this topic, but if anyone has any Kefir grains they would like to share, I could use some. Mine went bad when we went off on vacation and I forgot about them in the fridge.
CloversMum Posted - Dec 13 2015 : 7:20:03 PM
I just posted a question regarding Clover in a different thread, but I'm sure hoping as the weaning continues that the milk production increases! And, I'm a big fan of yogurt ... I absolutely love Clover's milk made into Greek yogurt.

Tonight Clover only gave us 3/4 gallon with Humble nursing twice in the past 24 hours.
txbikergirl Posted - Dec 13 2015 : 4:13:22 PM
charlene hang in there, we went from 2 pints a day to 2 gallons a day in just 2 days. now the frig is overflowing. today i have two types of yogurt in the making, bavarian and villi, we'll see how they go. i love yogurt so much and it is so easy to make that i am loving it.
CloversMum Posted - Dec 13 2015 : 07:47:17 AM
I do understand just loving the straight fresh milk! I struggle to take out enough milk to make yogurt! I haven't made cheese yet (although I'm getting ready) as we don't seem to have the abundance of milk as do others yet. I'm hoping for a significant increase of production once Humble is weaned.

And, I've never had kefir straight ... always mix it into something! (cause I can't stand the taste of it straight either! Especially when I know how good fresh milk is!) I just want the additional nutritional benefits of the kefir. Kefir can actually help colonize your intestinal tract with the correct bacteria.

Now my own hubby won't touch the stuff ... so I'm impressed that yours even makes kefir!
txbikergirl Posted - Dec 13 2015 : 06:09:55 AM
hi charlene! lover boy is making kefir but i am enjoying my raw milk so much just haven't jumped on the band wagon. i keep saying i am going to be more open minded about it, but EVERY time i try a bit i just cringe. can't stand it. from what i hear it is a love/hate relationship with kefir, and i must be on the wrong side of the equation.
CloversMum Posted - Dec 12 2015 : 09:04:06 AM
Making kefir yet, Cindy? Just add some kefir to yogurt or a smoothie and then you really don't need to add any sweetener.
txbikergirl Posted - Oct 06 2015 : 1:47:42 PM
i must have missed this original post, but it never dawned on me to add sweetener to the kefir. don't know why, that is what i do to drinkable yogurt... will have to do this when we have enough milk for kefir!
maryjane Posted - Oct 06 2015 : 1:34:42 PM
It would be best if you introduced yourself on our welcome wagon and got to know people here first.
kefir Posted - Oct 06 2015 : 1:08:44 PM
Wow! I'd greatly appreciate a free shipment of your kefir grains. How should I go about that?
CloversMum Posted - Feb 11 2015 : 08:49:43 AM
Oh good to know...I have the gelatinous kefir grains so I'm good. The only time I ran into a problem was when I thought I had two jars of kefir and gave one to the chickens. They were very pleased, I was not as I discovered that I had just given my ONLY jar of kefir to my hens! I had to humbly ask for more kefir grains from my friend.
Mike Posted - Feb 10 2015 : 3:21:21 PM
Thanks for the kefir advice.. That stuff takes milk to new heights of wonderful. Cheese, kefir, yoghurt and raw milk.... anhh... burp..
tcboweevil Posted - Feb 10 2015 : 3:06:40 PM
Charlene, I posted this here to keep from hogging up the other topic. If you have grains, the cauliflower looking gelatinous kefir grains, then you can re use them forever. They will grow, and split into two cauliflowers and you can share.

However, if you have a powder, culture starter, then that is actually dehydrated kefir and can be reused about 7 times before it loses it's probiotic zeal. If you use the powder, and reuse the resulting kefir for too long, it will just separate into curds and whey and taste yeasty.

I hope this helps.
CloversMum Posted - Feb 08 2015 : 7:10:56 PM
Thank you, Theresa, for your wisdom. MaryJane shared some of her precious thermized Jersey milk with me today and I'm making kefir with some of it!

And, Mike, I'm also very glad to hear that Valerie is doing better...that was scary just to read about it! Your new babies are pretty cute too!
Mike Posted - Feb 07 2015 : 11:41:38 PM
Thank you Theresa:)
Valerie is grateful to you and others who expressed concern. That was a nasty one. Whew.....

Little piggies are doing fine!

Oh, that is the right address.
tcboweevil Posted - Feb 07 2015 : 6:49:18 PM
You are welcome, Janet. I hope it cultures too.

Mike, I am sending some on Monday. Is the address on your email the best one to use? As cool as it is, the grains should ship just fine.

The piggies are too cute. Pleas tell Valerie hi from us down here. I am glad she is ok.
NellieBelle Posted - Feb 07 2015 : 6:38:27 PM
Oh Mike and Valerie, that's as cute as can be. Everything went alright it appears. That's just heartwarming. Thanks for posting the picture. Hello Theresa, I was outside much of the day too. It was beautiful. Yes, the Kefir culture was powder and I got it from Cultures for Health. I'm hoping it will do what it does for everyone else. My house is pretty cool so it may not be warm enough for it to activate. Thanks for the link too. I can always try that if this doesn't work. Thanks again Theresa.
Mike Posted - Feb 07 2015 : 6:25:48 PM
Ms. Weevil, you need some Mulefoot piggies!!

Can I get some Kefir grains? Please??

Mike Posted - Feb 07 2015 : 6:22:30 PM
These piglets are an hour old....eight little piggies! Mulefoots. Valerie is one very happy piggie-mamma!
tcboweevil Posted - Feb 07 2015 : 6:15:55 PM
Janet, I picture you making EVERYTHING an adventure. You words read like that. If you need grains they are yours. As well as anyone else here.

There is a culture that is a powder that you mix in your milk and it kefirs over night. It is nice and thick. Then you use a cup of that kefir and add it too a quart of milk and that will culture. You just keep doing that over again for about 7 times and then you will need a new packet.

It seems that you have dehydrated kefir grains and they should revive the way you are doing it. The milk is safe to drink at any of these phases it just doesn't taste like kefir and the texture is not right. It sounds like your having fun.
NellieBelle Posted - Feb 07 2015 : 5:58:08 PM
I did use culture and the instructions had me add it to cold "pasteurized", but I used thermized milk. Left if overnight. Then this morning the instructions said to pour the milk through a strainer and put the "grains" into a glass of fresh milk. I used thermized milk again and it's sitting on the counter until tomorrow morning now. I hope this works. If not I may be asking for some grains if you still have them. This is interesting, fascinating ordeal. I know, I live a boring life. LOL.
tcboweevil Posted - Feb 07 2015 : 5:24:14 PM
I just wanted to add that the reason I mostly use raw milk is to save time and have a large quantity of kefir on hand.
tcboweevil Posted - Feb 07 2015 : 5:21:45 PM
Charlene, using raw milk competes with the symbiotic balance of the kefir. Raw milk has competing enzymes and lactic strains. When I heat my milk and cool it before adding my grains, my kefir tastes delicious, is creamy, and consistent. Also my grains grow huge in heat treated milk. More sugar for the kefir and less competition for the kefir grains. Even pasteurized milk becomes a live food again when cultured with kefir. I hope this helps.
tcboweevil Posted - Feb 07 2015 : 5:17:57 PM
Janet, I am sorry I am so late. Outside all day. It was wonderful. I thought you had culture. I didn't realize you had dehydrated grains. So, yes throw out that milk. I feed it to chickens and to the cats. I would keep the grains in a pint of milk and change to a fresh pint everyday until the milk cultures (thickens) in 12 to 24 hours. Sometimes it takes about 4 days before it starts to thicken in a day. As long as the milk stays liquid after 24 hours, it is not kefir and will not taste good. Once the milk thickens in a day, I would increase the amount of milk to a quart. Then you will have authentic tasting kefir. Shake the jar to loosen the kefir grains and strain with a colander to save your grains. The thick milk is kefir and the strained grains should go into your jar and refill I rinse my jar and lid with warm water to keep it from smelling yeasty. I also use skimmed milk.
CloversMum Posted - Feb 07 2015 : 2:47:42 PM
I have kefir right now in my fridge from raw milk...I've always made it with raw milk and it seems to be fine. What problems have others had using raw milk with their kefir? Just maybe I'm doing something wrong?
NellieBelle Posted - Feb 07 2015 : 09:54:34 AM
Okay, thank you, Ashley. I thermized the milk that I started with, and now I have the hydrated, reactivated grains in the fresh thermized milk, sitting out on counter. I will discard the first milk. Thank you so much for the information.