Kefir

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Kefir

Postby Pepper Pig » February 22nd, 2018, 2:51 pm

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?
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Re: Kefir

Postby TeresaFoodie » February 22nd, 2018, 4:24 pm

No experience at all, but interested to see what others say as I had never heard of it until now.
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Re: Kefir

Postby Cinnamon Sally » February 22nd, 2018, 4:44 pm

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.
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Re: Kefir

Postby suffolk » February 22nd, 2018, 5:52 pm

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.
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Re: Kefir

Postby Herbidacious » February 22nd, 2018, 9:30 pm

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.
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Re: Kefir

Postby StokeySue » February 22nd, 2018, 11:42 pm

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
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Re: Kefir

Postby Herbidacious » February 23rd, 2018, 3:16 pm

The stuff I had was a bit fizzy!
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Re: Kefir

Postby suffolk » February 23rd, 2018, 4:02 pm

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:
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Re: Kefir

Postby Herbidacious » February 23rd, 2018, 8:43 pm

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...)
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Re: Kefir

Postby karadekoolaid » February 23rd, 2018, 9:43 pm

I have absolutely no idea what it is!
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Re: Kefir

Postby StokeySue » February 24th, 2018, 10:22 am

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
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Re: Kefir

Postby suffolk » February 24th, 2018, 10:23 am

I suppose if the fermentation is still active there's no avoiding the fizz ...
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Re: Kefir

Postby PatsyMFagan » February 25th, 2018, 4:52 pm

: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.
Last edited by PatsyMFagan on February 25th, 2018, 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kefir

Postby Pepper Pig » February 25th, 2018, 7:05 pm

I think Patsy wins the Olympic Gold! 8-) 8-) 8-)
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Re: Kefir

Postby PatsyMFagan » February 25th, 2018, 8:00 pm

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:
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Re: Kefir

Postby KC2 » February 26th, 2018, 10:40 am

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:
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Re: Kefir

Postby PatsyMFagan » February 26th, 2018, 2:19 pm

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.
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Re: Kefir

Postby KC2 » February 26th, 2018, 4:18 pm

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!
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Re: Kefir

Postby PatsyMFagan » February 26th, 2018, 5:36 pm

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 :(
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Re: Kefir

Postby KC2 » February 26th, 2018, 5:53 pm

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:
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Re: Kefir

Postby Badger's mate » February 27th, 2018, 8:30 am

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
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Re: Kefir

Postby PatsyMFagan » February 27th, 2018, 10:52 am

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. ;)
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Re: Kefir

Postby scullion » April 24th, 2018, 12:02 pm

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.
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Re: Kefir

Postby PatsyMFagan » April 26th, 2018, 9:43 am

scullion wrote: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.


Certainly Scully ... pm me your address. Unlike yogurt, you can't make kefir from kefir, you need the grains which are strained and used over and over again, but more can be made in 24 hours if left on the counter top overnight. :tu:
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Re: Kefir

Postby scullion » April 26th, 2018, 4:28 pm

thank you so much. i have pm'd you my address.
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Re: Kefir

Postby KC2 » September 16th, 2018, 9:16 pm

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 :(


Hi Patsy, I've just reread this thread as I have found a source of ready made kefir. However, I see from your earlier post that the bought stuff is pasteurised, so I guess won't have the probiotics etc as in the home-made one. I've just been on 2 weeks' antibiotics so have been eating kefir for breakfast, and now realise it probably wasn't doing me any good! Oh dear.

Do you still have some grains to spare? If you have, I'll pm you my address, after your kind offer earlier this year!
Cheers!
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Re: Kefir

Postby StokeySue » September 16th, 2018, 10:16 pm

I don’t think all bought kefir is pasteurised - like yogurt, much of it says “live” or natural somewhere on the package - the one Ocado sell for instance is described as having live cultures so check the label
https://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/The-Collective-Kefir-Natural-Cultured-Milk-Drink/410577011?ULP_CAMPAIGN_ID=52&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvbO64cXA3QIVQb7tCh3LRQKGEAQYAiABEgKdMfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CJPEhOfFwN0CFUZj0wodzxcJ4A
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Re: Kefir

Postby KC2 » September 17th, 2018, 9:28 am

The Polish one I have got describes it as Natural Polski Kefir
and the ingredients are Pasteurised Milk, Skimmed Milk Powder, Starter Culture and Kefir yeast.

It has a warning that: Due to natural live bacteria and yeast fermentation some blown packaging will occur. To preserve natural flavour and avoid additional fermentation keep refrigerated below 8 degrees C.
And it's true the bottle was slightly blown and it didn't sit flat until I'd opened it ... so perhaps it is live!
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Re: Kefir

Postby StokeySue » September 17th, 2018, 9:44 am

Yes, that would make sense
Pasteurise the milk to remove unwanted bacteria then add a controlled culture to make kefir with precisely the population of friendly :wave: bacteria required, no point in pasteurising again
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Re: Kefir

Postby KC2 » September 17th, 2018, 11:06 am

Good, I'm glad it seems to be the right thing. So hopefully it's been replacing what the antibiotic has been destroying!

That means that I don't need to ask Patsy to post me the grains :lol: Less bother :D
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Re: Kefir

Postby StokeySue » September 17th, 2018, 11:11 am

It’s the 3 days or so after you take antibiotics that are critical as the gut flora sorts itself out again
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Re: Kefir

Postby PatsyMFagan » September 17th, 2018, 11:41 am

Once your kefir grains have fermented the milk, the grains are strained out and used for the next batch. This is known as the first ferment. The resultant kefir is then best kept in the fridge but can carry on fermenting. You can tell this as a) it separates and b) it sometimes 'burps' when you unscrew the lid of the container you are storing it in. This is known as a second ferment. When you ferment the grains in the milk, it needs a covering that allows the gases to escape .. (a coffee filter or muslin usually.


I think I have read somewhere that you shouldn't drink (live) kefir while you are actually taking antibiotics … something to do with it being counter productive ??? But I may be wrong :?
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Re: Kefir

Postby StokeySue » September 17th, 2018, 11:51 am

I can’t see it doing any harm, just a bit of a waste of the friendly bacteria as the antibiotics will kill them off, but that’s an educated guess
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Re: Kefir

Postby KC2 » September 17th, 2018, 1:42 pm

StokeySue wrote:It’s the 3 days or so after you take antibiotics that are critical as the gut flora sorts itself out again

Good, I actually started the kefir during my second week (I had an abscess in my mouth and am having the root canal done on Friday :()

PatsyMFagan wrote:Once your kefir grains have fermented the milk, the grains are strained out and used for the next batch. This is known as the first ferment. The resultant kefir is then best kept in the fridge but can carry on fermenting. You can tell this as a) it separates and b) it sometimes 'burps' when you unscrew the lid of the container you are storing it in. This is known as a second ferment. When you ferment the grains in the milk, it needs a covering that allows the gases to escape .. (a coffee filter or muslin usually.


Ah that's interesting, the one I bought definitely "burps" a bit when I open the lid. I always shake it before opening as I figured it was good to mix it all up! It's not in a see-through bottle so I don't know if it's been separating. Some thick stuff seems to accumulate around the neck of the bottle.

It says that it should be consumed within 2 days of opening but a kg lasts me quite a bit longer. This particular make seems to be measured in kg rather than ml.
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Re: Kefir

Postby PatsyMFagan » September 18th, 2018, 8:00 am

The home made kefir lasts much longer than 2 days … a lot of us make more than we can drink in a day (usually about 200ml) and keep the rest in the fridge. I guess the shop bought stuff has to, by law have a use by date. HM kefir is also much cheaper … only the cost of full fat milk ;)
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Re: Kefir

Postby suffolk » September 18th, 2018, 8:45 am

I buy Arla organic kefir in 1 litre cartons ... I bought the last one on ... maybe Friday? it has a BB date until 29/9 and says once opened it should be consumed within 6 days ... but I've kept it longer and IME it's been fine.
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Re: Kefir

Postby KC2 » September 18th, 2018, 9:34 am

yes, Suffs and Patsy, that was my feeling too, glad to see I'm not alone in that!
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Re: Kefir

Postby suffolk » September 22nd, 2018, 10:43 am

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I use buttermilk (with cream of tartar and bicarb) when making scones.

Anybody ever tried using kefir instead of buttermilk ... I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work can you?
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Re: Kefir

Postby scullion » September 22nd, 2018, 12:26 pm

if i have any spare i'll have a go. i would imagine the acidity would do the business in scones although the thickness of the kefir may have an effect.
i have an excuse to make scones seeing i've got rather a lot of jam - and some clotted cream.
i used a surplus of kefir i'd accrued in place of yoghurt in a curry a few weeks back. i considered that it was close enough to make no odds.
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