That all sounds positive Marinet. If you aren’t familiar with the taste of homemade kefir, I guess it might be possible to think it ‘off’ when it is just tangy. The longer you ferment a batch the tangier it is and if you ferment in a lidded container, it even has a light effervescence on the tongue. It’s really only by experience and experimenting, that you will get to know the variations in the end product. I’d give the product produced this time a taste and if it’s okay, don’t worry about washing the grains, just keep going and enjoy our home fermented kefir.
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Thank you Sunny, I do appreciate your help. Happy to report that the second batch was full of deliciousness! Strained easily and it’s given me enough for several days so the grains are in milk in the fridge.
The sauerkraut I started last week also seems to be doing it’s thing, My kitchen is becoming a fermenting powerhouse! My son & daughter in law think I’m weird but it makes me happy 😍
Today, I moved my kraut from crock to jars. I set it up two weeks ago and checked it middle of last week and the taste was developing nicely. I had to remove a little scum at that time, but nothing major and nothing nasty looking. Today, the flavour was good and although it isn’t completely translucent, as it still has a good crunch and the taste is right, I decided to transfer it to two jars – to one I added some caraway seeds and the other some crushed dried chillies. Have them in the fridge now and will try them with a meal later in the week, once the added spices have had a chance to infuse a bit – it’s all quite exciting!
Thrilling reports, Mariet and Sunny. You’re inspiring me to give kefir a try despite my long-standing avoidance of milk. I can almost taste that tanginess just from your description, Mariet. 🙂
Sunny, congratulations on your kraut’s graduation day. I haven’t tried adding the spices at the refrigeration stage. I throw everything in before the ferment. I’m very curious to hear how well the flavor infuses during fridge week. I adore carraway in kraut, by the by. Every batch I’ve made I’ve added more each time. That’s another flavor I used to dislike that I now can’t get enough of, thank you BSD.
I’m so glad I started this thread – I will be using it for reference continually.
I’ve temporarily halted the sauerkraut consumption. The temperature of the room (16-17 degrees C) and the lack of space etc in a shared kitchen has made me realise this needs to be delayed until I have my own place.
However I’m still going with the kefir. I *think* I’m doing it right but… then I read something else and I get confused.
My kefir is thicker than milk and slightly tangy. So far so good. But then you guys talked about removing the whey… and now I have no idea all over again!! :-))
My grains have got huge – I need to split them I expect but at the moment my kefir sits for approx 24 hours in 16-17 degrees C (sometimes slightly warmer). Each time I harvest I wash the jar, add in my grains from the sieve and then add whole milk. Probably around 225ml at this point for approx 25g+ grains.
24 hours later I harvest – this involves:
– Removing the butter muslin that is held on with a rubber band
– Stirring the weird peaked gloopy white stuff with a little water separation
– Sieving it through a nylon sieve
– Putting the kefir in a sealed plastic box in the fridge for anything from 12-24 hours depending on when I decide to drink it
– Starting again
So… er, what’s the whey? Should I be removing it? Is any of the above wrong?
Thanks in advance
Relax Shanshu you are doing everything right. The whey referred to is when the mix has been left too long and the grains eat all the lactose and turn into a runny yellow water. That is whey. It is still edible although I give mine to my dogs. I also get an overabundance of grains sometimes and again feel them to my dogs. I have eaten them myself, but prefer the drink.
I hope this has helped.
What you described as ‘water’ is the whey Shanshu. The whey can be discarded, used to water outdoor plants, or it can be added to the fermentation liquid to ferment veggies – sauerkraut for instance. I personally prefer the thicker kefir which is what I produce and essentially I use this instead of yogurt. It’s all a matter of taste as to whether you prefer the thicker or thinner product and the way to get a runnier product is to increase the milk to grain ratio, or adjust the length of fermentation. I ferment for a minimum of 24hrs and use a generous 2tbsp of grains to approx. 250>350ml milk.
I actually like the texture and taste of the grains, so sometimes eat them, either on their own, or a few mixed into some of the thick kefir. You could also dry some, bag it up and freeze is, so that you have some to fall back on if something happens to your current grains. I keep two batches of grains – one working in the kitchen and one resting in the fridge. I swap these around every couple of weeks to make sure they are both kept active. if you have more grains than you know what to do with, why not see if you can share some with someone else.
Hope with the info offered by Nonna and myself, you’re feeling more confident in the way your producing kefir.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Definitely sounds like I’m starting to get on top of this.
Okay so I’ve been stirring in the whey before I strain. From now on I will drain that off when there is some. Previously I stirred it in – out of interest what effect would that have?
Stirring in will make the kefir runner, pouring the whey off will leave you with a thicker product. You’ll find if you just tip everything from your jar into the sieve most of the whey will drain away and then you can use a wooden/plastic spoon to stir the rest so that the thick kefir goes through the mesh, leaving behind your grains. I usually do the initial tip of jar contents into sieve over the sink, allow it to drain for a minute and then do the stirring over a bowl to catch the kefir.
Thank you for the tip SunnyB (and Nonna and Esnecca and everyone else – sorry I’m on my phone so it’s not easy to track).
I’m now feeling much more confident! It occurred to me having never tried kefir before making it that I had no idea if what I made was even right but it seems as though I’m on the right path.
Ok – I’m just off to drain my whey and ‘harvest’
Thought you all might enjoy this: in the Saveur newsletter feed today
A LIVING LARDER: THE JOYS OF FERMENTATION
“When Cortney Burns moved east from San Francisco to build a restaurant in the Massachusetts woods, she brought along the key building blocks of complex flavor: a pantry full of funky, fermenting things.”
“More often than not, making food that feels good involves something fermented. Burns’ first excursions into brining and pickling were driven by medicinal concerns, not culinary ones. Five or so years ago, a doctor suggested she experiment with the practice to improve her health. “I started trying out all these different things, and in the process realized how much flavor was in it,” says Burns. She found the ancestral quality of the tradition alluring; she recalled her grandmother’s exceptional borscht, and how she fermented the beets that went into it. “It’s a tapestry of curiosity, information, and experience,” says the chef.”
Her Fermenting Tips (& links to fermented ingredient recipes at bottom)
Fermentation intimidates people. Encouraging, rather than inhibiting, the growth of microorganisms just goes against so much of modern kitchen training. But Burns’ first piece of advice for the novice fermenter is to relax and trust yourself. People have been doing this stuff for thousands of years, she points out, just by “burying shit in the ground.” And while most cooks have been brought up to feel that leaving ingredients for long periods at room temperature is a recipe for instant death, she says she has never heard of anyone getting so much as an upset stomach from a fermented vegetable.
Still, there is a right and a wrong way. Fermenting sauerkraut, pickles, and other vegetables is an anaerobic process, which means air is the enemy. You’ll want to avoid oxygen by submerging raw vegetables in brine in a crock. All you need is an open vessel (preferably glass or ceramic), a lid that fits inside, and a weight to go on top. Fill the crock with vegetables and brine and use the lid and weight to keep the vegetables submerged. A large dish, a small plate, and a jug of water work well, but TSM Products makes a handsomely old-fashioned ceramic crock with perfectly sized weights—it’s available for about $50 online.
The exact brine will depend on the recipe—olives need much more salt than cucumbers, and cabbage contains enough water that you usually don’t need to add any water—but a 2 percent brine, about one tablespoon of kosher salt for every cup of water, is a good all-purpose starter for most vegetables.
At that point, leave your ferment in a dark place at room temperature, and taste as it gets sour. If mold forms, simply scrape it away. “Trust your nose,” Burns says. “When something’s off, it’s obvious.”
Seed Crackers with Lacto-Fermented Brine » https://www.saveur.com/seed-crackers-lacto-fermented-brine-recipe
Base Brine for Fermented Vegetables » https://www.saveur.com/base-brine-fermented-vegetables-recipe
More fabulous recipesfrom Luvtcook! I know this is a silly question but what is lacto fermented brine?
It’s the brine left over from a ferment. The process of vegetable fermentation creates living cultures of lactobacilli, as opposed to say, alcoholic fermentation. Lactobacilli are the probiotic powerhouses that make fermented foods so good for you.
LTC, I am making those fantastic seed crackers this weekend. Minus the cilantro. 😉
Thanks. I am waiting for my kimchi crock to arrive!
E, they do sound good, don’t they. I don’t have any fermented pickles but expect that sauerkraut juice would work equally well. Let me know how they turn out.
Was trolling Saveur a bit more and stumbled onto this….maybe a future project….making our own red wine vinegar.
More adventures in fermentation.
BY RACHEL KHONG SAVEUR DECEMBER 14, 2017
“Recently, I was sitting in my kitchen, idly reading the back of a vinegar bottle, when something caught my eye. The label said the vinegar was brewed using the “Orleans method” of vinegar making. This was no ordinary bottle of vinegar; it was my favorite vinegar, made by a company called Katz. Based in Napa, California, Katz makes artisanal vinegars so delicious and complex—they have a residual sweetness and add intriguing depth to salads—that when I moved away from California for a short spell, I could find no equal and mail-ordered them out of desperation.”
“So I called the man behind the vinegar, Albert Katz himself, to ask for advice. Back in the 1980s and early ’90s, Katz was a Bay Area chef influenced by Alice Waters and the Slow Food movement. “We didn’t have any real domestically produced vinegar,” Katz explained. “The traditional methods just weren’t being used anymore, or very often.” One thing led to another, and Katz began making his own. And what makes Katz’s vinegar so good? A traditional, unhurried fermentation followed by aging. “We extract a lot of flavor from our vinegars,” Katz explains. “I want vinegar to be seen as something more than just acid, something that has nuances of flavor.”
“This way of making vinegar is achievable by anyone. “For the person who’s making it just for their home, they have a lot of latitude because they can focus on quality,” rather than speed and efficiencies of scale, explains Lawrence Diggs, who runs both the website vinegarman.com and the International Vinegar Museum in Roslyn, South Dakota. He’s also the author of Vinegar: The User-Friendly Standard Text Reference and Guide to Appreciating, Making, and Enjoying Vinegar. “If you drink a certain kind of wine, that can become your house vinegar,” Diggs says, “and it will give a signature to your food.”
“The formula for vinegar is simple: You need an alcohol, you need oxygen, and you need the presence of bacteria—called Acetobacter—that turn that alcohol into acetic acid. By flushing wine with oxygen using centrifugal pumps (not unlike the device gurgling away in an aquarium), and keeping the wine at a high temperature, commercial vinegar makers can transform wine in just a day. The Orleans method, by contrast, is slow. It’s named after the town of Orléans, France, on the Loire River. When wine soured on the boat trips there, the Orléanais turned it into vinegar, and Orléans became a vinegar center.”
According to Diggs, making vinegar is relatively easy, and largely hands-off. “Wine, beer, most alcoholic beverages want to be vinegar.”
So I called the man behind the vinegar, Albert Katz himself, to ask for advice. Back in the 1980s and early ’90s, Katz was a Bay Area chef influenced by Alice Waters and the Slow Food movement. “We didn’t have any real domestically produced vinegar,” Katz explained. “The traditional methods just weren’t being used anymore, or very often.” One thing led to another, and Katz began making his own. And what makes Katz’s vinegar so good? A traditional, unhurried fermentation followed by aging. “We extract a lot of flavor from our vinegars,” Katz explains. “I want vinegar to be seen as something more than just acid, something that has nuances of flavor.”
This way of making vinegar is achievable by anyone. “For the person who’s making it just for their home, they have a lot of latitude because they can focus on quality,” rather than speed and efficiencies of scale, explains Lawrence Diggs,. “If you drink a certain kind of wine, that can become your house vinegar,” Diggs says, “and it will give a signature to your food.”
Vinegar is easy to make, but it’s not always simple. The fermentation should happen slowly, but not too slowly, which gives acetic acid the chance to chemically react with alcohol and form ethyl acetate, a chemical that smells like nail polish. Mold can flourish, as can vinegar flies and worms (also called vinegar eels, disgustingly). Sulfites, added to wine as a preservative, to slow the transformation of wine to vinegar, can be a problem if vinegar is what you want. Katz says it’s not all that straightforward, and he arrived at his techniques after years of trial and error. Diggs, though, is encouraging. “It’s such a cheap date,” he says. “If you fail, don’t worry about it. Try it again.”
Thus advised, I set about making my own vinegar. I bought sulfite-free wine and glass jars. I secured paper towels over the top of my jars (Diggs says fruit flies can get in through cheesecloth) and said a prayer to ward off vinegar eels. My jars are now sitting in the linen closet—waiting, like me, to become their very best selves.
RED WINE VINEGAR
This is a first-timer’s batch using canning jars. (To make vinegar in larger quantities for more gifts, use a 5-gallon food-safe container).
Whatever vessel you use, never fill it more than halfway to allow air to circulate. For best results, choose a wine with low alcohol and NO added sulfites, and an unpasteurized starter vinegar like Bragg apple cider.
MAKES 6 1/4 CUPS
2 750-ml bottles red wine, preferably 10%–12% alcohol by volume
1⁄2 cup unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s recommended)
In 2 half-gallon canning jars, divide the wine. Add ¼ cup vinegar and ½ cup water (LTC I would think this needs to be distilled so as to have no chlorine to kill the bacteria) to each. Cover tightly with a lid and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Remove the lids and place a paper towel over each jar. Screw the rings on top to secure, or use a tight-fitting rubber band.
Label the jars with a start date and store in a dark place, ideally 68°–75°. For the next 2 days, replace the lids and shake each jar once a day. Cover with a paper towel after each time. After that, let rest with the paper towel for 2–3 weeks or up to 2 months, tasting with a clean spoon after 1 week and intermittently throughout. If too strong, dilute with up to 1 cup water (LTC again, I would think distilled water) and shake vigorously every other day.
Transfer vinegar to smaller, airtight bottles for giving if desired. Continue to store in a cool place for 6–8 months.
Decided to have a go at rehydrating and reactivating some of my dried and frozen kefir grains. I need to know if they are still viable as I want to take some to Turkey, so I can make my own kefir while I’m there. They are in milk in the usual corner of the kitchen I use when fermenting kefir and I’m now waiting to see what happens. Will report back once I know how well this has worked – or not.
Okay, well the rehydrating/reactivating of the dried and frozen kefir grains is not going so well. So far two failed tries and they are now in their third lot of milk, but I’m not too hopeful at the moment. They have definitely plumped up a bit, but still seem a rather yellowish and not as fleshy as they should be, so I haven’t given up yet. At the moment they are definitely not fermenting as they should, but I’ll give it a few more tries. However if they prove not to be viable, I’ll have to have a rethink on what to do about grains to take to Turkey. In which case I’ll probably be seeking suggestions and advice from all you keen fermenters.
SunnyB…sometime when they have been frozen or dried they need a bit longer to recover. I would just feed them for a while then try fermenting. That’s what I did. Hope it works.
Thanks for that Mary. In this situation, when feeding, is it best to refresh the milk more frequently that you would when fermenting? I’ve been leaving them for a similar period as I would when fermenting, but I guess may be they need the milk refreshed more often at the moment – your thoughts much appreciated.
I gave them more than they needed and left them to multiply. When that happened I added a little milk and refrigerated them, but made the Kefir as usual. Good luck.
Thanks again Mary, I’ll persist and see how they go. Hopefully with a bit of TLC they will come right. Will let you know how it goes.
Just thought I’d report back in re: sauerkraut and reactivating kefir grains. Had some of my sauerkraut last night with dinner – a little from both jars. Really liked both, although I think I perhaps over did the salting a little. Flavour is good though and I can’t choose which I prefer, the one with added caraway or the one with the crushed dried chillies – very happy with both. In both cases the flavour comes through well.
As for reactivating the kefir grains, it seems to be progressing. I left the jar in the fridge from 23rd until this morning, when I brought it into the warm kitchen. As it is only a small quantity, it didn’t take long for it to react and I harvested a little kefir from it this afternoon. The grains are looking good, more like they should, although the end product is still not quite there yet. Am not done yet though and am still persisting, as I think they are heading in the right direction and with luck they will be completely okay and fermenting properly again soon.
Hi all, back for more advice if you’ll be so kind.
I’m not sure about my kefir. I reduced the amount of milk to 200ml to 1tblspn grains and am checking it after 24 hours. It’s thickened and doesn’t smell off but every time there is a yellow/pink bloom over the top. I would be inclined to let it go for an extra 24 hours because although it’s thick there is virtually no tang to it, it’s pretty bland & tasteless, not how it was to start off with. If I leave it, though, the yellow/pink layer spreads down into the kefir and I’m not sure if it’s normal or harmful.
That’s the first thing. The second concerns the sauerkraut I am trying to make. It’s been a month and nothing much is happening at all. It’s not mouldy, it’s still just cabbage in salty water. No tang, no sharpness. I rubbed the salt into the shredded cabbage assiduously when I was preparing it, the cabbage released a lot of juice. AM I just being impatient? My kitchen is still sitting at about 20-26degC over the 24 hour day. I’d welcome any thoughts.
Have tried a web search re: the bloom on the kefir, but so far have come up empty handed and this is not something I have had an issue with myself. And sadly I can’t help re: sauerkraut either, as I have only recently ventured into that arena, so have no real experience to draw on. Hope that someone else will be able to offer you some solid advice soon, Mariet and I’ll be interested to read that as well.
Hope you get a real answer soon.
Have finally called curtains on trying to revive the dried and frozen kefir grains. They tried, but were not being productive after three weeks and didn’t look like they were going to pick up, so have given it up as a bad job. Bit disappointing, but they had been dried and frozen about seven or eight months ago, so probably too long ago for them to still be viable. The experience is still valuable though.
Was reading an article about kefir, which said large grains produce quite a grainy kefir, which mine were. It went on to said that you get a much creamier product if the grains are small and suggested if your grains are large, you can give them a quick whizz in a blender to chop them up. So, I took stainless steel scissors to mine to snip them into smaller pieces and low and behold, a much creamier product – very pleased!
I didn’t know that. Thank you SunnyB. Worth remembering.
No, it was news to me too, but certainly seems to be true. Quite a lot of my grains had got really chunky and the kefir was quite grainy. Chopping them seems to be producing a more pleasantly creamy and smooth kefir.
My kimchi is on day 2 and it’s looking great.
I know there are comments about not using tap water for the brining but I live in east London and used Thames Water tap water and it’s worked out for me. I did however follow the advice on using sea salt rather than tsble salt.
I watched a bunch of videos and read some recipes. In the end I basically used the Jamie Oliver approach by chopping the cabbage into 4cm pieces rather than leaving whole leaves. Unlike his approach I didn’t add water to the cabbage during brining I just mixed the salt in to Cabbage in a big pot and left it. I think chopping into smaller pieces of cabbage speeds up the salting as I only left it for an hour and the cabbage was pretty floppy. I rinsed it off pretty well but tasted the cabbage too to check the taste not too salty.
I didn’t have prawn paste but I did use fish sauce.
I got most of the stuff I needed from Waitrose but had to get the chilli flakes off the internet.
I found that a one litre kilner jar will fit one cabbage plus other veg.
I had to add some boiled and cooled tap water to the jars on day two as the fermentation gas caused the veg to stick out of the liquid otherwise.
I tasted it tonight and it needs a bit more time as I think I’ll l like a stronger flavour.
Anyway it was easy-peasy.
So glad I found this thread – I’ve just started on my first batch of kefir this morning. I’ve been looking into it to help with my peri-menopause and ordered some online and since ordering over the last week both my daughter and husband have had the most horrendous stomach bug and I’m hopeful the kefir will help all of us .
I so far have not suffered from the bug and have been thinking it has been down to me doing BSD and IF – for precautionary measures I have extended my fast and now onto 36 hours fingers crossed this helps me escape this nasty bug.
Hope that the kimchi is a great success Johno. I tried it once but wasn’t too successful, however, I have since made sauerkraut and that worked well, so I’ll be having another go at kimchi at some point.
Hope the kefir will help on all fronts, Oh2bthin – keep us posted. Well done on a full 36hrs fasting, my max to date is only 20. Not sure that fasting will necessarily help keep the ‘bug’ at bay, but let’s hope you manage to avoid it. Best of luck with it all.
Had a bit of the kimchi tonight with some steak and veg.
This is day 9 of 800cals (I’m not diabetic) so the kimchi is a nice addition.
Might try kefir next.
Reading all these recipes is inspiring me. I have never tried kimchi but I am now going to try it.
I have recently returned from India where I was introduced to a wonderful drink called kombucha which is fermented tea. I loved it so much I am trying to make some back in England. When I looked up the recipes it required a scoby which really threw me till I discovered that stood for Symbiotic community fo bacteria and yeast. The first batch is in the airing cupboard looks to be doing nicely. Will let you know how it goes on
Hi everyone. I’m new to BSD and new to fermentation as well.
I’ve been culturing my own kefir for a few weeks so will enjoy reading about how to sort out those kefir grains!
And I made my own sauerkraut using some salt and kefir whey.
Eager to use the 1 cup or so of whey for my next project. Possibly: fermented eggs!
Update on my adventures with Kefir – we all love it and won’t be without it now 🙂
It’s grown so much and I’m going to try making them smaller and creamer as suggested by SunnyB. I got a great recipe on line to make a garlic dip with it, will be trying it later this week to have with our burger in a bowl dinner.
I managed to extend my fast to 40.5hours was delighted that I managed but in all fairness was definitely spurred on to go as long as I could to avoid/reduce the chance of catching the stomach bug that both husband & daughter had. I am pleased to report that I didn’t catch it! Husband is convinced the Kefir soothed him after 5 days of the bug so a massive hit in our house.
Wow, fermented eggs, MarianneA – that sounds challenging. Glad the kefir is going well for both you and Oh2bthin, glad that you avoided the stomach bug too.
I’m about to go away on a seven day road trip and have decided to take live kefir grains with me. This could become quite challenging, but I’m hoping that they will survive with just a couple of milk changes, as we are staying in hotels. I’ll be leaving a batch refrigerated at home which again, I am hoping will survive my extended absence. They managed well last year, but we are away a little longer this trip.
Anyway, keep fermenting everyone and I’ll be very interest to read how the eggs work out, MarianneA.
I hope they thrive during the trip Sunny, and that you enjoy your time in Turkey.
My grains seem to have settled in and are now growing at a prodigious rate, doubled in size in the last week or so and turn the glass of milk into kefir in 12 hours instead of 24. It makes me very happy, after a rocky start with kefir.
I had to throw away my first attempt at sauerkraut; after 6 summery weeks on the back deck it was still just sitting in salty water. I googled it and I think I inhibited fermentation with too much salt. So with my second attempt I weighed the salt carefully to make sure the solution would be 2-2.5% saline, it’s been only 2 weeks but the cabbage seems to be changing colour & becoming a little translucent One thing, should there be gases from the fermentation that need to be released? Because there doesn’t seem to be any. It didn’t occur to me to use the whey from kefir or my yoghurt, idiot that I am, maybe that would kick start the fermentation.
I never rinse my grains (in my whole 4 weeks or so of experience). They’re multiplying!
I found a great way to strain the grains. An aeropress without the filter!! The round plastic strainer is perfect.
So much leftover whey. I’ll use it for my next batch of sauerkraut. Can I use the saurkraut juice for fermenting the next batch?
Sunny, no eggs yet!
Kefir grains sometimes need rinsing if they become too claggy and no longer ferment properly. If rinsing becomes necessary, use bottle water and never chlorinated tap water. I’ve had my grains on the go for close to a year now I think and have only had to rinse them twice.
Found a recipe on line for the fermented eggs and will give them a try while I’m away, assuming the kefir grains survive the trip and can provide me with the necessary whey.
Forgot to say, Mariet, that fermentation does usually produce gas by it’s very nature. It may just be that the level of gas being produced by your sauerkraut is not high enough yet to be very noticeable. Hope it works okay this time.
SunnyB I too am going away next week and was wondering what to do with my kefir – I’m not brave enough to take them with me. Do I rest them in milk in the fridge? We are going away on Monday and back Saturday night.
Yes that’s right, put them in plenty of milk and put the jar in the fridge and they’ll be fine. I left mine like that for several weeks to no ill effect, so they’ll be fine for a week.
Hi all. A few nights ago I set up a big jar of beet kvass and a smaller jar of eggs to ferment. First time trying both and they’ll take a few more days.
I’m in a regular routine of setting up my kefir every night, straining the old and adding new milk for my next batch.
I wish I had more use for the whey. I have plenty of sauerkraut and I should start experimenting with adding it to foods. I’ve added it to salads and it’s fine – zips the flavor right up.
I scrolled to the first page of this thread. Thank you all for posting recipes! I think a kefir onion dip would be outstanding with well caramelized onions. I’ve been drinking my kefir straight and wouldn’t mind incorporating it into some recipes.
Update: I like the fermented eggs — my husband hates them! He said they were rubbery in texture and tasted vinegary. I think they tasted great, like a deviled egg.
The beet kvass: I hope this is good for you because the taste is not great.
Trying my hand with fermenting blueberries. I have so much leftover whey from making kefir every day and I strained some.
Thanks for the update on the fermented eggs MarrianeA, I love pickled eggs, so will definitely be giving these a try and will be very interested to taste the results. Will hopefully be able to set these up in the next couple of days.
Wanted to report on road tripping some of my kefir grains across Europe to Turkey for seven days, without needing to ‘harvest’ along the way. As we were travelling daily and staying overnight in hotels, I wanted to keep things as simple as I could. So, this is how I did it:
Night before leaving, I harvested, divided my grains with a leave at home batch (which was put in a 2Lt kilner with milk, leaving a good air space) and this was put in the bottom of the fridge, and a take away batch (which I put in very cold milk in a wide necked bottle and stored overnight in fridge). I put a wine cooler sleeve in the freezer, so that I could use this to help keep the grains cool en route.
On the first morning, I put the bottle of grains to travel in the wine cooler sleeve and wrapped it in a carrier bag, to protect from any leakage. As we traveled through Europe, I kept both the bottle of grains and the wine cooler as cold as possible, according to the situation presented. As often as I could – at least once, if not twice daily I strained the grains out of the solution – to do this I used cheese cloth secured with a rubber (elastic) band over the neck of the bottle, to drain off the liquids and if necessary, when things had become a bit too gloopy I added mineral water to wash away any residue, before adding more fresh cold milk.
Some days things got a little messy, but it was always manageable. The easy days were when there was a simple way to keep everything very cold, like the night we spent at a beautiful little hotel at the foot of Mont Blanc, when I left bottle and wine sleeve in their carrier bag laying across the windscreen wipers.
Anyway, upshot is that I have arrived with live and active batch of kefir grains with me here in Turkey, merrily producing lovely kefir. It’s taken them a few days to settle down, but I think this is partly due to the occasions I had to wash them with mineral water whilst in transit.
Overall, I’m very happy with the result, even though it was a bit stressful along the way.
Thank you for that SunnyB. They are well travelled Kefir Grains. Have a lovely time in Turkey.
Lots of Love
SunnyB, I find it very inspiring that you are taking your kefir grains on the road!!
I’m cowardly. I’ve had customs agents open bottles of toiletries that I’ve had in my checked luggage. I’d hate to have them open a bottle of culting kefir and leave it to soil my other belongings.
Have a wonderful trip!
So, I find that I am needing to give away some of my grains. There is a facebook group for sharing and I have a few takers.
I’m in NYC, and if there’s anyone nearby, I’d be happy to share.
Brilliant demo of how to make kimchi but I gasped in horror when she killed al those good little bacteria by cooking them!
Since this thread has become somewhat dormant, hoping a few kefir makers actually see it.
Have been making my own sauerkraut for a couple years now, but buying my kefir ready made as was not sure I wanted to babysit something so much. So finally took the plunge and bought some grains that arrived today and have transfered them to their first bottle of milk.
After reading instructions in the net, says to only use glass bottles to make the kefir.
Being a lazy gal always looking for the easier way…..wondered why glass? Would it not be possible to simply buy a fresh bottle of milk (in a plastic bottle) and add the kefir grains to that rather than transfering to glass jars?
My big purchase was only 1 teaspoon of grains which now has a full 12 oz of milk to swim in so I imaging it will take 48 or so for the grains to get over their 2 day jouney in the mail and wake up….and start growing in all that milk.
Have put the milk with kefir in a dark cubbard with a cheese cloth over the top secured with a rubber band. Prefer the fizzier kefir, so if I am reading earlier comments correctly, putting a tight fitting lid that traps the carbination will give a fizzier drink? I assume you need to leave adequate head space. Will try that once I am sure the kefir grains have been activated and are thriving.
Recommendations and or comfirnation that I am doing this correctly would be most appreciated (hoping Sunny or Mary sees this post).