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Kefir

PostPosted: February 22nd, 2018, 2:51 pm
by Pepper Pig
It’s a hot topic in The Archers and I noticed that Waitrose are promoting a brand of Quark kefir. Susan Carter aside, does anyone have any experience of kefir?

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 22nd, 2018, 4:24 pm
by TeresaFoodie
No experience at all, but interested to see what others say as I had never heard of it until now.

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 22nd, 2018, 4:44 pm
by Cinnamon Sally
I have unsuccessfully tried, on three occasions, to make Signe Johansen's Kefir Sourdough. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=CJc ... gh&f=false

The first time, I went around all the healthfood shops I could think of to find kefir milk. Eventually found it after hours of zig zagging the city, only to then discover loads of it in Tesco the next day. Anyway, the starter just didn;t get going at all. Discussing this at work, I found out that a colleague swears by kefir, cultivating her own grains and using it for all sorts of things, so she started bringing me milk. On both subsequent occasions, my starter grew and bubbled nicely but the bread turned out flat as a pancake upon baking. I'm not giving up though. Fourth time will be the charm!

I've tried drinking the milk - like a very sour yoghurt - I wouldn't actively seek it out but nor would I actively avoid it.

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 22nd, 2018, 5:52 pm
by suffolk
DS brought me some kefir back from one of his Russian trips ......... I think it must be an acquired taste ........... but to be fair the trip in his luggage probably didn't do it any favours. :lol: He said he enjoyed it when he had it over there and certainly all the Russian women I know are enthusiastic about its health giving properties.

I'll keep my eye open for it here and give it another go.

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 22nd, 2018, 9:30 pm
by Herbidacious
My mother (!) kept going on about it. She has a younger friend who drinks it and bought her some. My mother wasn't keen, she told me, after I'd bought some. It's alright... ;) I am sure they sell it in Sainsburys.

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 22nd, 2018, 11:42 pm
by StokeySue
They sell ready made kefir in Whole Foods Market, and occasionally hand out sample s to taste

It's fine, very similar to cultured buttermilk IMHO, so I've not bothered to buy any, as if I want to cook with it buttermilk is cheaper, I don't really want to drini it, and for breakfast etc. I'd just as soon have yogurt which is also much cheaper

I'm sure they sell it in many shops, but WFM were kind enough to give me free samples :D

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 23rd, 2018, 3:16 pm
by Herbidacious
The stuff I had was a bit fizzy!

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 23rd, 2018, 4:02 pm
by suffolk
Herbidacious wrote:The stuff I had was a bit fizzy!


So was the stuff I had ...... DS said that's how it's supposed to be.
A Russian Gardeners World member (well, Irish chap living in Russia) says that everyone always has a big bottle of kefir in their fridge ... the women all love it for its health giving properties and he (and he's pretty sure most of the men) avoid it if their wives let them :lol:

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 23rd, 2018, 8:43 pm
by Herbidacious
I did think it was suppose to be fizzy, but Sue's comment about buttermilk made me doubt myself :)

They do sell it in Sainsbury's. Also in out Turkish supermarket (where they sell everything...)

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 23rd, 2018, 9:43 pm
by karadekoolaid
I have absolutely no idea what it is!

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 24th, 2018, 10:22 am
by StokeySue
Kefir is a form of fernented milk now being touted as a "superfood"

I don't think it's always fizzy? It probably depends on the strain of culture and of course if you are buying ready made whether it it packaged to retain the fizz

Fizzy milky or yogurty drink doesn't really appeal to me :sprout:

Found a good explanation here of what kefir is and how it is made, no mention of fizz
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-kefir

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 24th, 2018, 10:23 am
by suffolk
I suppose if the fermentation is still active there's no avoiding the fizz ...

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 25th, 2018, 4:52 pm
by PatsyMFagan
:wave: (hands up smiley) ... I have been making my own kefir for a couple of months now. There is another member on this board who gave me some of her grains. It first came to my notice in an episode of 'Trust me I'm a Doctor' ... They tested kefir against live yogurt and something else, to see which was best for encouraging good gut microbiome .... and kefir won. It has a larger variety of bacteria that survives the body's digestive process. Most of the 'probiotics' in the sweetened drinks are destroyed by the time it gets into the gut.

I have bought ready made kefir (in a Polish food shop on the way home from when a few of us met up in Oriental supermarket a few months ago) and also found some culture in H&B that you mix with milk... but the ready made stuff is pasteurised and so the culture has to be added back in. So making your own is the way to go. You need to google the history of kefir, but it is grown from grains that look a bit like rice pudding... you put a spoonful of grains into a quantity of milk (preferably whole, not semi/skimmed) and overnight you have a jar of kefir. The taste is sour, sometimes a bit fizzy and not to everyone's taste, but I don't dislike it. I have strained a quantity to make a kefir cheese, but that wasn't a success although the whey went into a seeded loaf I made. Other enthusiasts make sourdough bread and I think kefir may be used for that, but I don't make much bread these days, as I am the only one to eat it.

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 25th, 2018, 7:05 pm
by Pepper Pig
I think Patsy wins the Olympic Gold! 8-) 8-) 8-)

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 25th, 2018, 8:00 pm
by PatsyMFagan
It is so easy ... I drink the previous day's ferment while I am prepping the next one: Strain the ferment, put the grains back into the jar/jug you are using, pour on the required amount of milk (1 tablespoon of grains to about 300 ml of milk), cover with muslin to enable gases to escape and leave somewhere out of sunlight at room temperature, no heating of milk as you do for yogurt, no special equipment :tu:

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 26th, 2018, 10:40 am
by KC2
PatsyMFagan wrote:It is so easy ... I drink the previous day's ferment while I am prepping the next one: Strain the ferment, put the grains back into the jar/jug you are using, pour on the required amount of milk (1 tablespoon of grains to about 300 ml of milk), cover with muslin to enable gases to escape and leave somewhere out of sunlight at room temperature, no heating of milk as you do for yogurt, no special equipment :tu:


Do you actually like it or do you tolerate it because of its health-giving properties? My sister has been a great believer in it for years and has always made her own.
I haven't tried it for ages but I suspect I'd possibly want to add something sweet to it, although I do like plain yogurt, creme fraiche, sour cream etc.

"Room temperature" might be a problem for us here overnight ;) I was given an amaryllis a couple of months before Christmas so that it would be flowering on the day. I dutifully planted it and kept it downstairs. Nothing happened until I had to move it upstairs when we had guests coming for supper and I had to tidy up downstairs. Suddenly it sprouted - I can only imagine it was the temperature. I kept it upstairs and it had some spectacular flowers but then committed hari-kiri by throwing itself off the shelf it was on one night. So that was the end of that :lol:

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 26th, 2018, 2:19 pm
by PatsyMFagan
Well, it doesn't taste remotely like a chocolate milkshake ;) :lol: so, I suppose I drink it only because I think it is good for me. You really have to get past the sourness/slight fizziness ;) Others sweeten theirs before drinking, but as sugar is meant to be contra indicated for the health giving properties, I drink it neat. I can't say I love it, but tolerate it ;)

As far as 'room temperature' do you mean yours is too warm or too cool ? It can be fermented in the fridge if the room is too warm, but this does mean it takes a couple of days instead of 24 hours .. If it is too warm it will over ferment, but probably OK after 12 hours. It's very much suck it and see ... and make it to your own taste.

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 26th, 2018, 4:18 pm
by KC2
PatsyMFagan wrote:As far as 'room temperature' do you mean yours is too warm or too cool ? It can be fermented in the fridge if the room is too warm, but this does mean it takes a couple of days instead of 24 hours .. If it is too warm it will over ferment, but probably OK after 12 hours. It's very much suck it and see ... and make it to your own taste.


Ah that's interesting, thanks Patsy, it definitely wouldn't be too warm, but if it likes the cold then that is all for the better!

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 26th, 2018, 5:36 pm
by PatsyMFagan
My last comment seems to have disappeared ... it was to ask if you already had a source of the grains, if not I could send you some, but not to buy them online :(

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 26th, 2018, 5:53 pm
by KC2
PatsyMFagan wrote:My last comment seems to have disappeared ... it was to ask if you already had a source of the grains, if not I could send you some, but not to buy them online :(

Weird how that happens!

That's a super kind offer, thanks :) And for the warning not to get them online.

I just read on StokeySue's link that you have to be careful with probiotics if you have a compromised immune system, which I have, so I'll do a bit of research and pm you :tu:

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 27th, 2018, 8:30 am
by Badger's mate
In the destructions for my IP there's a paragraph on how to make Jiu Niang. This is (apparently) a Korean product made by fermenting glutinous rice. It's done in the IP using the Yogurt function

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: February 27th, 2018, 10:52 am
by PatsyMFagan
I found this on that link:

Kefir is a cultured, fermented milk drink, originally from the mountainous region that divides Asia and Europe. It is similar to yogurt – but a drink, with a tart, sour taste and a slight ‘fizz’. This is due to carbon dioxide – the end product of the fermentation process. The length of the fermentation time will affect the taste. Kefir is a good source of calcium and is rich in probiotic bacteria.

Mine seems to taste slightly different every day, but not so much that I can't drink it. ;)

Re: Kefir

PostPosted: April 24th, 2018, 12:02 pm
by scullion
i bought a small bottle a few days ago and have looked online to see if it's worth trying to make some from what's left in the bottle - then i remembered your offer patsy and wondered whether you would have any grains to spare that i may have, please. if not, no worries. i'll still see if the dregs will do anything.