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Thread: Kefir help, calling all Kefir experts! page

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    JonnyH's Avatar
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    Kefir help, calling all Kefir experts!

    Primal Fuel
    Hi

    I have recently(6-8 weeks) started using Milk Kefir using raw milk, I make a batch every day, leaving it for 48hours at room temp, then refrigerating for a further 24 hours before consuming, as per several recomendations.

    The strained Kefir was nice, smelt a bit vinegary, but not much else, and I had no problems with it at all. I drank about 3/4 pint a day. But a few days ago the strained Kefir has started to smell really bad, like really sour milk, a sicky type smell. It's ok to drink, doesnt taste any differant, but I've had a really bad stomach the last few days, had a bout of diarhhoe(not had that for years and years!).

    I havent altered my diet in any other way recently, so can only put the bad stomach down to the Kefir, which, as I said, has started to smell really bad.

    Has anyone else experienced this using Kefir? should the Kefir smell bad like that or have they gone off? if they go off that is?!

    Any advice/help would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    sarahmasteller's Avatar
    sarahmasteller is offline Senior Member
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    Well I'm no expert but I used to make milk kefir (just gotten out of the habit lately) Questions...have the kefir grains multiplied and have you therefore been using a bigger amount of grains each time you do a new batch? I don't know how large a batch you do, but I did a medium jar on the counter and started with only maybe a TB of the kefir grains, when there got to me too many, I would freeze some in an ice cube tray with raw milk and save them for later use. I used to leave mine on the counter for anywhere up to a week I think and it didn't smell very good, however I made smoothies with frozen fruit and possible some maple syrup added so I didn't really taste all that "sourness". If it seems to be upsetting your stomach though, I would just scale down your consumption for a while and then maybe gradually work your way back up. The batch could just be getting too strong, even if the temperature has been getting warmer where you are, it requires less time for the grains to work their magic. If the kefir looks normal it's unlikely it "went bad"? Does yours get to the point where it thickens up or it has just been more sour than you would like it? Mine was always pretty thick by the time I strained it and it always smelled sour so I guess I was used to it. . . but hopefully others can chime in who are more experienced than me...

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    JonnyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarahmasteller View Post
    Well I'm no expert but I used to make milk kefir (just gotten out of the habit lately) Questions...have the kefir grains multiplied and have you therefore been using a bigger amount of grains each time you do a new batch? I don't know how large a batch you do, but I did a medium jar on the counter and started with only maybe a TB of the kefir grains, when there got to me too many, I would freeze some in an ice cube tray with raw milk and save them for later use. I used to leave mine on the counter for anywhere up to a week I think and it didn't smell very good, however I made smoothies with frozen fruit and possible some maple syrup added so I didn't really taste all that "sourness". If it seems to be upsetting your stomach though, I would just scale down your consumption for a while and then maybe gradually work your way back up. The batch could just be getting too strong, even if the temperature has been getting warmer where you are, it requires less time for the grains to work their magic. If the kefir looks normal it's unlikely it "went bad"? Does yours get to the point where it thickens up or it has just been more sour than you would like it? Mine was always pretty thick by the time I strained it and it always smelled sour so I guess I was used to it. . . but hopefully others can chime in who are more experienced than me...
    Hi

    Many thanks for your reply, the grains have mulitplied a lot, I started off using 1 pint glass, now I use 3, the grains fill up maybe 1/5 to 1/4 of the pint glass, and I fill it to 3/4 full with milk, is this too many grains?
    The temperature isn't really any warmer, lots of rain here at the moment, though it's middle of summer!
    My Kefir goes thick pretty quickly, it ends up a big mass of thick yellow curd like substance which I have to mix up prior to straining, they have always done that, nothing mew there.
    I think I'll ditch the batches I have, and start some more batches with less grains and see what happens.

    Again, thanks for your reply.

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    breadsauce's Avatar
    breadsauce is online now Senior Member
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    Johnny H, I made milk kefir using raw milk - didn't get the sour smell, but it DID begin upsetting my stomach, when the whole point of making / drinking it was to IMPROVE my insides! So I stopped doing that (I've kept the grains fed and alive in the fridge) and started water kefir.

    So far, all is well and I love it. Also - it is much cheaper as there is no milk to buy!

    As to why it might begin to smell sour though... Did you keep the jar you made it in scrupulously clean, or did you just wipe it round the neck and top inside of the jar, as I read to do on a few kefir sites? I tried the latter and found that there was a small layer of creamy stuff accumulated around the top of where the liquid in the jar was, which could go a bit "rich", so I started washing / drying the jar.
    Last edited by breadsauce; 06-18-2011 at 06:20 AM. Reason: Typos!

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    JonnyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by breadsauce View Post
    Johnny H, I made milk kefir using raw milk - didn't get the sour smell, but it DID begin upsetting my stomach, when the whole point of making / drinking it was to IMPROVE my insides! So I stopped doing that (I've kept the grains fed and alive in the fridge) and started water kefir.

    So far, all is well and I love it. Also - it is much cheaper as there is no milk to buy!

    As to why it might begin to smell sour though... Did you keep the jar you made it in scrupulously clean, or did you just wipe it round the neck and top inside of the jar, as I read to do on a few kefir sites? I tried the latter and found that there was a small layer of creamy stuff accumulated around the top of where the liquid in the jar was, which could go a bit "rich", so I started washing / drying the jar.
    Hi Breadsauce

    Thanks for reply, never tried water kefir, do I need differant grains for that or can I use the milk grains?
    I always wash the glass in hot soapy water, rinsed in cold before drying.

    I started using the kefir to try and help my insides, and have definitely felt improvements, more regular and easier bowel movements. All was going well till a few days ago!

    Cheers.

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    The grains are different - I got mine from eBay and they are great. Instructions come with them. I dissolve up to 3 tablespoons of organic sugar in hot water, wait for it to cool, then add the rest of the water (to half fill a large jar). I add the grains, a slice of lemon and a couple of "coins" of fresh ginger and leave it to ferment for between 2 and 4 days - I like to wait until the sweetness has virtually gone then I know the sugar is used up!

    It seems to keep for days in the fridge when bottled - by which time the next batch is ready.

    This is only the 4th brew going now though so there is plenty of time to go wrong! I was told to put an organic dried apricot in which I did the 1st two times but it n]made it taste of apricot - and sweeter.

    I also read to put in the shell of an egg, washed, for extra minerals. I'm sure that works, as the shell comes out soft!!

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    Per your question about that many grains being too much for that amount of milk - I don't necessarily think so but that's of course up to your taste. More grains would usually equal less time on the counter if you want consistent results (or of course you take some grains out then obviously you would leave it out longer), so it just is dependent on your liking. It seems there are no hard and fast rules as far as ratios go. Good recommendation breadsauce, lots of people have not heard of water kefir and certainly some would like that even better than milk kefir

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