Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kefir!

After much exploring and listening I have decided to try kefir.

What is kefir you ask? (From Dom)

Kefir is a refreshing cultured-milk beverage which originated in the northern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains, believed to date back at least 1,000 years. The tribes-folk of this particular region who possibly developed kefir by shear accident consumed the nutritious beverage in large quantities. These people were renowned for longevity, living long, healthy lives with little to no known disease. An active life span of over one hundred years was common for folks living in the region where kefir was cultured and liberally consumed as part of a staple diet.
Kefir has a uniform, slightly creamy consistency, a sour refreshing flavor, with a slight subtle aroma of fresh yeast [or a very subtle beer-like aroma]. Kefir also has a slightest hint of a natural effervescent zesty tang. Rounding this off, kefir contains about .08 to .1% alcohol is a realistic figure for 1-day cultured kefir.

How to make: (instructions from a fellow homesteader)

What I do is put fresh milk and grains in a mason jar, cover with a
double layer of muslin that has a rubber band around it, and let it sit
24 hours on top of my fridge. The next night I take off the muslin, put
a water tight lid on, give the jar a good shaking, then use a slotted
spoon to fish the grains out of the milk. It takes a bit of fishing, as
they float all over, but I find it easier (less to clean up) than using
a strainer. The grains go directly into a clean jar - pour in milk,
cover and rubber band, put back on top of fridge. Repeat the next
night.

How to take a break! (instructions from a fellow homesteader)

You can take a rest from making kefir by putting the grains in milk and
putting the jar in the fridge. Replace the milk every week or so. You
can also keep back up grains in the freezer, for in case something
happens to your grains (I accidentally poured mine down the sink once, I
thought they were yogurt gone bad and didn't realize what it was until I
saw the bumpy grains in the drain - boy, was I glad I had some
backups!). Put what you want to use as backups in a freezable
container, add some milk, let it freeze, then add more milk and freeze.
The reason to add milk twice is because kefir grains often float, and if
you freeze it, then add more milk, it covers up any parts that might be
exposed. Both refrigerating and freezing will cause your grains to
"hibernate" and it will usually take a couple of 24 hours cycles before
you get nice, creamy kefir again. If it has been very cold when they
are mailed, it may take them a little while to wake up as well. As far
as I know, you can use the kefir that is made while they are waking up,
but it won't be as nice a texture.

So instead of buying those over priced online grains that may or may not be good, i found a fellow homesteader who had plenty to spare. I sent 5$ (just enough to cover express shipping) and i will be receiving my grains after my vacation around the 20th-25th! I'm excited!

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