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Firmer Kefir

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  • Firmer Kefir

    Im very into Kefir but would really like a firmer product without pouring off the whey as I understand that part has lots of the probiotics in it.
    Any ideas on how I can achieve this?
    Or what I can do with the whey if I pour it off? I dont like drinking the whey as it is as Im not keen on the taste!
    I'm not a complete idiot! There's parts missing!!

  • #2
    I presume you are making it yourself then with your own kefir grains? What I do is ferment about 16 oz milk (roughly 500 ml) into kefir and then pour that into a larger container in the fridge for storage. My container in the fridge holds about 50 oz so I keep about 3 batches in the fridge. In the fridge, the kefir undergoes a slower secondary fermentation which thickens it up. Stir with a wood spoon before serving. Once I get that container full, I'll drink about 16oz a day and then continually refill it up with new kefir I am making so it always stays roughly full.

    Kefir making can be tricky, seasons impact how fast the milk ferments and if it over ferments the end product can be runny; it can also be runny if it under ferments. There is a definite Goldilocks thing going on with my kefir. Grains can grow rapidly at some times, you may have to cull some off and eat them or give them away since the milk can ferment too fast. I'll usually keep my grains in the 16oz fermenting container in the fridge over night, then take them out first thing in the morning to ferment from say 6 am to 8 pm. For now this works, but with my grains growing, I'll have to shorten the time, get rid of some grains, etc. I'm constantly rejiggering something in the kefir making variables.

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    • #3
      Thanks JeffC!
      Ive not done a secondary ferment, I'll try that. Its possible I have too many grains too.
      Roughly how much grains would you add per pint of milk?
      I have about 2 tablespoons full. Is this too many do you think?
      I'm not a complete idiot! There's parts missing!!

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      • #4
        Right now I probably have 3 TBSP. I was told that 1 TBSP is optimal for 1 cup (half pint) for a 20 to 24 hour ferment. I have too many grains for a 24 hour ferment now, I'm trying to give some away. I think it ferments faster in warmer weather too. I think 2 TBSP should be about right for a 24 hour ferment, if it starts to separate too much between solids and whey then you know you have fermented too much, you just want to see a few small whey pockets but you can always drink it anyway. You can always freeze or just eat your grains if you have too many, I know they are great to eat, loads of probiotics and a neutral taste, kind of like an extra soft flavorless gummy bear.

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        • #5
          This cite where I bought my grains has a good FAQ. Yemoos Nourishing Cultures | FAQ: Preparation & Supplies-Milk Kefir

          Here is what they say about the ratio of grains to milk:

          How much or how little milk (and grains) can be used?

          Kefir starting out (after being stressed during mailing or from being dried) will usually ferment
          between a 1:6 - 1:8 ratio. This means 1 tablespoon grains will ferment about 1/2 cup milk, and in
          time it will increase to about 1:12 (1 tablespoon grains in 3/4 cup milk) to even 1:32 or more (1
          tablespoon grains in 2 cups milk). Try using a ratio of grains to milk of about 1:7 - 1:15 for colder
          climates and 1:20 to 1:60 for warmer climates once they are strong and balanced. Not all kefir is
          the same; some kefir grains will ferment a glass of milk much quicker than others. We have seen
          some grains so sluggish it took a cup of grains to ferment 2 cups of milk in 24 hours. Both have
          benefits - if you have fast grains, you will need less and it could possibly ferment in about 12 hours
          (especially in the summer). On the other hand, if you have slow grains, you can use more, and
          have kefir every 24 hours (easier to keep up with). As long as they are growing and producing kefir
          out of milk, the speed and strength is more of just the character of the particular grain you have,
          and not something to worry about either way. If your kefir is too sour or separating far before your
          usual straining time, simply adjust to less grains, or more milk. If you use too much milk, the milk
          can go off before the kefir grains have a chance to ferment it though, so be sure to understand how
          much it can do, and gradually increase from there. To get lots of kefir quickly with just a few grains
          simply keep adding milk without straining. The finished kefir will act as somewhat of a starter
          along with the grains, quickly turning each addition of milk to kefir. For example, with 1 tablespoon
          of kefir, you may pour in 2 cups of milk, wait 24 hours, add in another 4-5 cups milk, then in about
          12 hours you can top it off with another 9 cups of milk and you will have a gallon of kefir in just
          about 2-3 days. When kefir is fermented with a higher grain to milk ratio, it will have more acetic
          acid, less lactose sugar and it will be more sour. Kefir fermented with less grains will be more
          mild, have more lactose sugar, and more lactic acid (vs the acetic acid).

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