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Thread: Kefir issues and questions. page

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    breadsauce's Avatar
    breadsauce is online now Senior Member
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    Kefir issues and questions.

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    Hi. I've been making kefir for a few weeks now, using raw milk. It comes out quite thick and tastes great.

    BUT - I had stopped dairy products (except butter and occasionally cream)a few years ago as I was convinced they made my asthma worse and were related to a digestive issue I had.

    I had read that lactose intolerant individuals could often cope well with kefir, especially if it was made with raw, unpasteurised milk.

    Well, for the first couple of days, I felt that the probiotic content was really helping sort out my stomach - but as time has gone on, I am getting stomach issues and my chest feels "tight" again.

    Can the kefir grains for my milk kefir be used to make coconut milk kefir, or will they die off? Can they be converted to water kefir - or is that a different grain entirely?

    And lastly, does water kefir contain the same range of good bugs as milk kefir? I am after the pro-biotics which I am hoping will sort out a long standing intermittent dicky tummy!!!

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    Valkyria's Avatar
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    Water kefir grains are different to milk kefir grains, but according to this website it is possible to transfer milk kefir grains to water. It's a very good website by the way with tons of information!

    It's also possible to make coconut kefir. I've done it myself in fact. Didn't like it so much myself, but the boyfriend preferred it to milk kefir.
    If you do transfer the kefir grains to a water or coconut milk it will take a little while for them to adjust.
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    OneDeltaTenTango is online now Senior Member
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    Mark had a post on making cocanut kefir about a month ago. From my reading, it takes a few days for the kefir grains to adjust to the coconut milk and it is advisable to return the grains to milk to revitalize them every so often (not sure how often). Thus far I have made coconut kefir successfully from powdered kefir culture. I have just received grains and are getting them going well in milk, but haven't tried them in coconut milk yet.

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    Milk grains and water grains are two different things. I"ve never seen milk grains successfully converted over to processing water. You can use the milk grains for coconut milk; or try a mix of rice and almond milk which can be very good.

    I doubt that your asthma is getting worse from the Kefir UNLESS your fermentation time is very low. I have asthma and milk products usually thicken the mucous in my lungs, as is true for most asthmatics. I've found that with Kefir, after a few months this thickening stopped, so I would encourage you to try to stick with it, but take breaks from it. You can pour some milk on your grains and keep them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks before changing the milk out.

    Also, make sure your primary (with grains) fermentation is at least 24 hours, and better for it to be closer to 36 hours. Then, take the strained Kefir, and let it ferment in the fridge for three or four more days before using it. Remember, the Kefir process is converting lactose (milk sugar) to lactase via fermentation. The longer the fermentation, the less lactose there is. Also, natural substances like Kefir, can take weeks or months before you notice a difference in your health. Be patient, consume less, and wait to see what happens. If you get too many Kefir grains, just put an ad for free grains on Craigslist and give some away!

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    loneviking, thanks very much for the above. I shall do exactly that and leave the kefir to ferment for 2 days, then a couple more days in the fridge.

    I now have 2 times as many grains as I began with so can make 2 lots=, staggered, so there is always a supply of well fermented kefir available..

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    Quote Originally Posted by breadsauce View Post
    loneviking, thanks very much for the above. I shall do exactly that and leave the kefir to ferment for 2 days, then a couple more days in the fridge.

    I now have 2 times as many grains as I began with so can make 2 lots=, staggered, so there is always a supply of well fermented kefir available..
    Good, and the way to tell if you have good fermentation is to see if there is a clear seperation between the curds and whey. The whey is an opaque liquid and the curds are thick. You can also take a sniff and see how things are progressing. What you should be smelling for good fermentation is a vinegary smell. That comes from the Aceter bacteria that are the last to get into the action in fermenting Kefir. So, it might be anywhere from 24 to 48 hours depending on temperature, elevation and type of milk. You can blend rice/almond and cow milk to make a mixed Kefir as well.

    And then, once strained, the Kefir should sit for another two to three days in the fridge. And you might have to drink small amounts until your body gets colonized and used to the kefir culture.

    Here's a good site for all things about kefir:

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    http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html

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