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Old 08-30-2010, 08:11 AM   #1
Clodfobble
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Kefir

Well, there's no turning back now. I have officially crossed well beyond the dirty-hippie line, and started making my own kefir at home.

Realistically, it was a financial decision more than anything: in an ideal world, the amount of probiotics my children could benefit from would run $200 a month just by themselves, and we have other meds we have to buy. But if I can grow it myself for next to nothing, at a potency 2-3 times higher than even $200 could buy me...

Anyway, the thing that sealed the deal for us is I learned of the existence of water kefir, which is a different combination of species that thrive happily on plain sugar water, rather than dairy. (I know you can also grow traditional kefir in coconut water, but we've got coconut allergies to contend with, nevermind the inherent problems of dairy.) My first batch took 5 days to properly ferment, which I was told to expect since the grains had to go dormant after not being fed for a couple days in the mail. But my second batch is doing quite well, and I'm looking to strain it at the 2-day mark. And the grains themselves are already starting to grow too, which is very exciting.

I haven't given any to the kids yet, I want to go through several more batches and make sure I'm doing everything right before I subject them to anything. But I've been drinking my first batch, and it's pretty good. Well, it's still very sugary since it only got half-assed fermentation, so maybe that's helping my impression of it. But in the meantime, my second batch is being flavored with dried cherries (recommended to pick up the fermentation pace if they're being slow to wake up,) so I'm looking forward to the results of that.

Mr. Clod is openly disgusted by this whole thing.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:38 AM   #2
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Tell him it's beer.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:59 AM   #3
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WOW - more amazement at the mighty Clodfobble.

I know nothing of this Kefir - just be careful...
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:26 AM   #4
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I have not heard of Kefir before, either, but it sounds interesting. Will be a while before I'm bold enough to experiment with fermented milk products, but I hope you keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:51 PM   #5
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You don't have to do it yourself, you can buy commercially-made kefir that's as safe as, for example, commercially-made yogurt. (The drawback being that it has about the same probiotic content of commercially-made yogurt, which is a tiny fraction of what the 24-hour fermented product you could make at home will have.) Nowadays you don't even have to go to Whole Foods, you can probably find it at your regular grocery store.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:18 PM   #6
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Yep. The local Jewel has Kefir.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:33 PM   #7
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Kefir. Stop making me learn stuff.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:41 PM   #8
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I was making goat milk kefir last year but I never got used to the flavor, maybe I'll try again.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:49 PM   #9
Clodfobble
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Yeah, goat milk's already pretty tart to begin with, I can't even drink it straight without fermentation (though I love goat yogurt if I can drip it first to remove some tartness.) You can always blend sweeter flavors in with it though, fruits or honey or something. Even with the water kefir, which is less sour than milk kefir, I'm finding I like it better with a little fruit juice added to take the edge off.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:53 PM   #10
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Imma try that.
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:19 PM   #11
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I thought kefir was a racist term.
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