Kefir (and other fermented things)!


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Kefir (and other fermented things)!

Postby MEversbergII » Mar 31st, '14, 12:03

I was introduced to the idea of probiotic and prebiotic foods when I started reading into more health oriented things a few years back. The topic appealed to me because I was already aware of the idea of "good germs". I took to yogurt well enough, and started researching into what other cultures had, and where yogurt had it's origins, since lots of places seemed to consider it pretty ancestral.

I came across kefir, which sounded pretty appealing because it was similar to yogurt, a more powerfully probiotic beverage and was easier to make.

If this is your first time hearing of the stuff, it's basically a yogurt-like beverage, which is made using a blobby colony of bacteria and yeasts that look like this: Image

It's sour, slightly carbonated and is great in smoothies or on it's own if you like that kind of flavor.

I did yogurt making for a while but with my set up I'm pretty limited, and it takes a long time. I'd had off-the-shelf Kefir and it wasn't bad, so I thought I'd give it a go. It's real easy - pour milk on the grains and let it sit a day or so. The mixture will separate and that's how you know it's done. Mix it back up, strain out the grains and you are good to go.

Mine tend to go for 48 hours, largely out of habit. This makes it quite sour, and is actually starting to stress my grains because they've reproduced so much over the last couple months. Going to have to start gifting some out! After straining, I typically let it sit in another container for another two days for a smaller, secondary ferment. My other half is lactose intolerant, and this two phase process basically eliminates all of the lactose; certainly enough for her to hand it.

The grains will grow, and speed up the process if you don't increase the milk to match. It's lactic acid fermentation so you can use it or it's whey to make lacto-fermented other things. For example, I've successfully made sourdough bread by using kefir and flour. No starter required!

Good stuff, I recommend anyone give it a try.

M.
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Re: Kefir (and other fermented things)!

Postby .m. » Mar 31st, '14, 12:51

you can also make kefir in a fridge rather then in a room temperature, it slows down the whole process, so instead of a day it takes about a week. that is what i do, cause else i wouldnt be able to keep up with it. it also gives a bit more mellow and creamier result, in my opinion.
cheers!
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Re: Kefir (and other fermented things)!

Postby Muadeeb » Mar 31st, '14, 14:34

I make half sour pickles in the fridge every month or two via lactic acid fermentation. The colder air slows things down, but I have better luck than letting it do it's thing on the counter, where it could get into the 90s during the summer. Instead of 4 days it takes about 10, but still worth it.

Growing up in a Ukranian household, we always had the store bought kefir drink in the house. Kefir is the Russian word for yogurt.
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Re: Kefir (and other fermented things)!

Postby MIKE_B » Mar 31st, '14, 17:30

I used to ferment my own kefir and kombucha. Years and years ago I made my own ale.
I still make my own sauerkraut and kimchi and I got my own sourdough starter going a couple of months ago.
Fermented foods are good stuff!
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Re: Kefir (and other fermented things)!

Postby MEversbergII » Mar 31st, '14, 19:32

I actually decided to start some sourdough today, using a recipe I have calling for kefir. I typically try and steer clear of breads, but every so often I'll make some.

M.
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Re: Kefir (and other fermented things)!

Postby joelbct » Jun 14th, '14, 09:16

I first had Kombucha in 2006 in Oregon. It's become quite popular here in NYC, and I drink it pretty much daily.

I've been saving my empty GT's for bottling, going to Brooklyn Kombucha to buy a scoby, cloth, gallon glass pots any day now...

Should be a good use for some middling quality ~$3/oz Ceylon/Assam I have.
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Re: Kefir (and other fermented things)!

Postby MEversbergII » Jun 18th, '14, 09:02

Sadly, my kefir grains have died :(

Or, more accurately, some kind of bug managed to get through the cabinet door and the covers on all my jars and laid eggs in it. Fortunately, they (the larva and eggs) were very obvious as I went to go strain it, and none have made it into my actual stash.

Bummer!

M.
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Re: Kefir (and other fermented things)!

Postby jayinhk » Jun 18th, '14, 11:59

Meversberg I'm sorry for your loss. I believe I ate a couple of bugs this morning...extra protein. Woo hoo!

This is my fermented food of choice right now:

http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/vi ... ts-daikon/

We also make our own yogurt using store-bought as starter...works a treat in the fridge. I love ayran, kimchi and saeurkraut too. I haven't tried kefir or kombucha yet, but I would very much like to! :P
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Postby bonescwa » Jun 18th, '14, 14:18

I have a thick layer of some kind of organism in the bottom of my bottle of natural homemade apple cider vinegar. Is this good for anything except making more vinegar?
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Re: Kefir (and other fermented things)!

Postby MEversbergII » Jun 18th, '14, 14:37

Yeah, it was a huge bummer. Collectively, that was probably about $75 or more worth of grains I'd grown up from a mere tsp or two! Ah well.

I'm not sure it really counts as "fermented" though, if you use vinegar!

M.
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Re: Kefir (and other fermented things)!

Postby jayinhk » Jun 18th, '14, 22:19

Bones, you have yourself a scoby! ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCOBY

Vinegar is definitely a product of fermentation; I use fermented coconut or nipa palm sap (and drink it too, when it's alcoholic rather than vinegar) when I'm in the Philippines. I got to try some fresh stuff from a village in West Bengal earlier this year and LOVED it. My hosts wouldn't touch the stuff and said it smelled like urine. Fresh palm toddy is incredibly good for you!

Drinking a glass of this before breakfast...not something I've ever done before, but I bought some yesterday after a long while and this thread made me think of it. It's loaded with lactobacillus species...and at $2 for a quart bottle at the local discount store, well worth it!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makgeolli
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Re: Kefir (and other fermented things)!

Postby bonescwa » Jun 19th, '14, 00:35

jayinhk wrote:Bones, you have yourself a scoby! ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCOBY

Vinegar is definitely a product of fermentation; I use fermented coconut or nipa palm sap (and drink it too, when it's alcoholic rather than vinegar) when I'm in the Philippines. I got to try some fresh stuff from a village in West Bengal earlier this year and LOVED it. My hosts wouldn't touch the stuff and said it smelled like urine. Fresh palm toddy is incredibly good for you!

Drinking a glass of this before breakfast...not something I've ever done before, but I bought some yesterday after a long while and this thread made me think of it. It's loaded with lactobacillus species...and at $2 for a quart bottle at the local discount store, well worth it!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makgeolli

Cool, that's what I was hoping. I just wasn't sure if the same kind of stuff that makes vinegar also makes kombucha! I guess I'll give it a shot
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Re: Kefir (and other fermented things)!

Postby jayinhk » Jun 19th, '14, 00:52

Yep, apparently it is the same species. I'm going to have to try making some too!
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