One young Catholic family on a Journey towards Intentional and Communal Sustainability. One Artist, one full time Mama and two babies, we'll tell you about all our successes, and failures, as we try to make it in our overly Consumeristic society on just the bare necessities.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Logan's Kefir Tips

Logan, you're the star of a blog again!

Logan is a good friend of mine, and one of the several people who have told me that they can't post comments.  Luckily for me, she has my email address!  So I am going to share her wonderful kefir tips with you!  After a good hour conversation with her, and studying these tips, I seem to have my kefir working properly.  We switched to using local organic pasteurized milk for milk kefir for the time being since I was having so much trouble and didn't want to "waste" my good, expensive raw milk.  But I just did a batch with raw, that's how confident I am in my technique now.  THANKS LOGAN!!!  YOU ROCK! (By the way, Logan is the proud mother of 5 -yes, 5!- children under the age of 4, so the fact that she found time to have an hour long conversation with me AND send me this wonderful email is amazing!)

Hey Britt, Here are the complete troubleshooting tips that came with my kefir.  They have the range of things that can go wrong.  I also don't care that much for straight up plain kefir, so I mix mine with flavored stevia drops.  They are kinda expensive but a little goes a really long way so its more economical than on first glance.  All italicized comments below are mine. (The Red is me-Britt)

good luck,


Kefir is too fluid or Sweet 

Possible causes: The kefir grains were old; Fermentation temp was too low;  The Milk was too hot and the ferment was damaged; Fermentation time was too short; inhibition of the microorganisms; or it was exposed to too much air. 

Tips:  Use grains more frequently and store properly; Observe temp and times carefully; rinse equipment with clear boiling water before use; keep container closed as much as possible.

Taste is too sour

Possible causes:  Fermentation temp was too high; the lactic acid bacteria develop faster and dominate.  The yeasts are inferior which results in an absence of CO2 production. I suspect this is the problem you are having, a hard to remedy one too in the summer, I suggest next time you go too long just let it go a bit longer until it separates and make kefir cheese  *see below or make smoothies with it where you can hide the taste with sweet fruit
Tips:  Carefully observe fermentation time indicated in order to allow the yeasts to promote the metabolic process sufficiently.

Unusual taste and/or surface mold

Possible causes: The undesired breakdown of the milk components due to the possible presence f foreign microorganisms resulting from unclean working procedure.  Sources of contamination:  Insufficiently heated milk, water, air, unclean equipment.

Tips:  Prepare kefir under sanitary conditions to prevent contamination by foreign bacteria. Rinse equipment with boiling water, avoid long exposure to air.  If this happens dispose of batch! Do not consume defective batch. Start a new batch with clean grains. (whoops!  This is exactly what I did!  Good thing I got new grains!)

Separated into curds and whey
Possible causes: Fermentation temp was too high.  Fermentation time was too long.

Tips:  Run through a cheesecloth and make kefir cheese. Kefir cheese is one of the best tasting soft cheese in my opinion, I think the closest tasting to store bought cream cheese, we throw ours in the food processor with garlic, salt, dill, to make a yummy spread. I agree- I like to make mine into ranch dip, which is very similar, only I add a tablespoon of homemade mayo, and some onions or onion powder as well.

1 comment:

  1. Seller talks about growing kefir is like art, but the kefir that i got from him was flat. After readind on "DOM'S KEFIR" site i believe the grain was squeezed by the "Seller" ouch !