Thyroid UK
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Idiots guide to kefir

So in an attempt to feel human again I have bought some kefir milk grains. I’m hoping eventually to stop taking any ppi’s that I currently take although I have a hiatus hernia so it might not happen but I’ll give it a go!

Can someone give me the idiots guide to using them please? I’ve put them in 300mls of organic semi skimmed milk so I hope that’s at least a good start x

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I think they are happier in full cream milk. Be interested in how you get on.

I am thinking of trying as I want to change over to A2 milk entirely.

a2milk.co.uk/about-a2-milk/

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I read somewhere they prefer semi skimmed but in my brain fog state I can’t remember why 😂

I’ll give it a go anyway, Ultimately it’s only going to cost me a few pints of milk if it doesn’t work properly the first few times x

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Semi-skimmed has more lactose, which they eat & ferment. However, if you want them to grow & be really happy, they like fat. I use unhomogenised as the caseine is altered by homogenisation. I'm not sure what effect this has on digestion & absorption, but prefer food that's less adulterated. Unhomogenised milk also allows the grains to live in the fatty layer when the fat rises. Try them on gold top milk should you want to share :) I'm planning to leave a small batch in a jar of single cream to see what happens.

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I use yemoos.com/pages/milk-kefir... for any troubleshooting issues.

If you've just got your grains, be aware that they will be horribly distressed from being starved, chilled, & bashed about by the postal service. Mine were disgusting for a week, & smelled like rancid yeast. It wasn't too nice for the week after, but I could force myself to drink the kefir. Once they'd been nurtured, they started to grow rapidly from 10g to 300g in a few months. They like unhomogenised full fat milk organic better than semiskimmed. The grains seem to eat the fat & leave me with skimmed kefir if I ferment it to long. When they ferment, the carbon dioxide they produce causes them to rise to the top of the jar where the milk fat floats, which makes them very happy & very reproductive. healthunlocked.com/healthye...

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Thank you, I’ll get full fat milk next time.

Would you suggest fermenting and throwing the milk away for the 1st week? I’m not sure I’m brave enough to drink it if it’s a bit yak, especially at the minute as I have constant nausea anyway.

I’m happy to just feed it for a week or so x

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You're welcome!

Smell it & if it tastes bad, throw it away & feed the grains again. As soon as it smells & tastes ok you can drink it.

How many grains did you buy, & what size are they? Are they fermenting & floating yet, or still sad at the bottom of the glass?

They're pretty robust, but stressed grains take a little coaxing. I came home after a week away & found one batch unfermented & frozen as I'd turned my fridge too low. They were as right as rain again after being left out overnight.

I took about 20 of my whoppas to my son's a few weeks ago. They were enough to ferment a litre of milk in 24 hours. :D

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I only bought a tiny amount 10 grams I think and they are just a few mm in size. At the minute they are looking very sad at the bottom of the jar I’m afraid but I’m not sure how long they were in the post. I’ve probably put a bit to much milk in with them being eager to get them going.

I’ll try to love and nurture them until they are happy.

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Too much milk is just more food than they can eat/ferment, so just change it regularly. The plan is to get your grains to become more dominant than the lactobacillus that turns milk sour. You have to help them get strong enough to inhibit the growth of bad bacteria, so the fresher the milk, the better

Are you keeping them slightly warm? Change their milk twice a day, not too cold, then try to keep them at blood temperature. If you don't have an airing cupboard, put them above several layers of towels on a warm radiator.

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They are on the kitchen windowsill at the min but I have a radiator with a wooden cover I can put them on. I’ll get some full fat milk tomorrow and change it. Can I warm the milk a little in the microwave or just leave it out of the fridge for an hour or so?

It’s like have a new pet. I keep watching to see if the do anything 😂

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Wouldn't that be a chilly place? I'm not sure if they like sunlight.

I was over the top cautious when I first fermented kefir from shop bought kefir, & boiled then cooled the milk. You could try doing that to destroy the milk's natural lactobacillus for a few days. This would stop the kefir having to compete for food. I stopped doing this when I bought grains as it destroys some of the nutrients in the milk, especially B12 that I need lots of. The kefir is robust enough to cope as long as the milk's fresh. I leave it out of the fridge for a while so it's not cold.

It's a very tasty & nutritious pet! ;) Someone said it was like caring for a tamagotchi. I'll get out of bed in the night to make sure it's in the fridge when the weather's hot, or out of the fridge now it's cold. I've even put it inside my jumper with a jacket on to ferment it faster. All worthwhile, though! :D

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I’m not going to go that far! I can just imagine the look on my husbands face 😂

I’m just going to tuck them up for the night though x

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How will they grow if you don't love them?

They like a soft blankie & a lullaby! ;)

Goddnight tiny grains, sleep well! x

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🤣🤣🤣

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They don't need to be that warm. They used to be kept in a ?goat skin bag strapped to a camel or a horse in the day and kept near the campfire at night. They do fine just at room temperature. No need for airing cupboards (do people still have those now there are condensing boilers?)

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Mine wouldn't be happy on a cold window ledge, especially newly starved stressed grains that need a little coaxing to perform. The heat from a camel or horse would probably be similar to up my jumper. ;)

Half of my active tummy beasts are doing nicely on top of my espresso machine cup warmer, as my kitchen is a nippy 15 degrees.

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15 degrees!!!! If my heating isn’t on at least 20 I’m freezing ❄️

The hubby walks round in a tshirt when it’s -25 out so obviously this really pleases him 😂

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Ps I’ve had a little chat with them this morning and will be giving them fresh milk soon x

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Yay! :D

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Dead boiler! :'( Worse as my electric blanket failed two nights ago. :'( :'( :'( Thanks to TUK, THs, & having newly found magical self-heating properties, a hot drink warms me up nicely!!! :D

Hyper hubby?

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Noooo that would be me round to the mothers until it was fixed!

On a good not though I’ve just checked on those little grains and they are happily floating at the top of a nice thick jar of milk. I’m assuming this is a good sign x

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Mine’s a b**** so the cold is preferable!

That’s a very good sign! 😀🥛😀x

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😂

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Mine are Ok in my kitchen which is usually about 55-60 (don't do Celsius - too old!). I used to keep them on the window ledge (good double glazing) but I now have too many chilli plants and tomatoes, so no space. They also survived my caravan (only heated for a few hours in the evening) in November and December, although they did grow more slowly, so I think once they are happy, they put up with a lot.

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The batch in my fridge tick over, but don’t ferment as far as producing carbon dioxide. Some of the microorganisms seem to tolerate cold & freezing, & others being warm. It seems to vary in texture & taste between seasons, & varies according to grain size & age. Small broken up grains make thicker kefir.

I’m amazed at how wonderful they are. 😀

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I’ve just changed there milk and they’ve grown, just a little but definitely plumper. I’m a very happy mummy!

My daughter asked if I was going slightly mad when I spoke to them and said they need a name 😂

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Congratulations!!! 😀

Mine are my Tummy Beasts!

I forget my own name, so couldn’t remember them individually. ;)

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Glad it’s not just me then 😂

I just hope I can drink this now x

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I've been making kefir dfor over 10 years now. Just get a glass jar (i use an old instant coffee jar from the 1980s), clean it with very hot water, allow to cool and then fill about two thirds with milk. Pu tin grains and rest lid on top of jar so no dirt gets itn. Grains produce gas so don't screw the lid on or you might end up with a broken jar.

If the grains were dehydrated whne you go them, they'll take a few changes to milk before the kefir is any good - it'll be very gassy. If they were forzen, they should work pretty much right away. Too hot will kill them (as in cooking), too cold (fridge) will stop them growing (useful if you go on holiday).

Leave jar somewhere at room temperature for 24-48 hours, then, using a plastic strainer, strain the contents of the jar into a jug. You'll be left with the grains in the sieve, but you might need to stir the contents of the sieve a bit with a plastic spoon. Don't be too rough with the grains, think of them as living things.

People disagree about things like washing grains. Usually it is not necessary. You don't even need to wash the jar every time.

I've found good results from all types of milk including skimmed, but generally use semi-skimmed goat.

This is ancient site that I learned from: users.chariot.net.au/~dna/M...

users.chariot.net.au/~dna/k...

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Thank you x

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I occasionally give mine a wee rinse in fresh milk when I split them up.

I’ve not looked at that website, but will do. I like the info on Yemoos.

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Dont forget you can use coconut milk or other nut milks but not soya and always use plastic/wood/glass with the kefir - no metal.

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Thank you x

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I use a stainless steel strainer, & mine don’t seem to mind. I think metal isn’t so good for prolonged contact during fermentation.

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Hi BadHare, I was advised not to use metal so have never done so. Hope your kefir stays 'good'.

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