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Live foods - kefir, kombucha, yogurt and the like
Sat 7-Sep-13
11:35 am
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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How is it going, Sue? I think I've got the hang of the coconut kefir now, it took me a while to get it working right. Now I put it in the fridge once it's gone far enough and warm the strained kefir over a bowl of hot water to mix the coconut fat back in before I use it.

My water kefir, which had been looking poorly is reproducing at an alarming rate - I suddenly have cupfuls of crystals and have had to remove a great deal. Overnight the remaining crystals have increased again. The difference has come about through changing from our tap water to bottled mineral water, and omitting the raisins and lemon. Now I'm using half bottled and half cooled, boiled tap water with half brown and half white sugar and it's still working extremely well. I shall continue to experiment but what on earth will I do with all my excess crystals?

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Sat 7-Sep-13
12:01 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Possibly offer them up to others who suffer from IBS or similar?

Well done, Ruthie, on all your efforts to get it right ...

My kefir is still sitting in the freezer - I was so put off by the 'rancid'-type flavour, I can't bring myself to try again. Not yet, anyway! whistle

"How do you spell 'Love'?" (Piglet). 

"You don't spell it, you feel it" (Pooh).

 'A hug,' said Pooh 'is always the right size!' 

Sat 7-Sep-13
12:06 pm
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ep
Bulgaria

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Dr Who is on his way.....big_laughbig_laugh

Who lives long sees much : The diary of my life in Bulgaria

Sat 7-Sep-13
2:18 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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I'd gladly give it away but I can't find any takers. I've just looked at it again and the jar is filling - it's like some alien monster intent on taking over the world! Thank goodness the Dr is on his way... big_laugh

(Better put it back on tap water to curb its enthusiasm!)

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Sat 7-Sep-13
3:27 pm
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Sooliz
Somerset

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Hi Ruthie wave

I had the kefir for about 5 days running.  After the first couple of days, I realised one of the reasons I wasn't at all keen on the taste was that it SMELT off, which I think contributed a lot to how it tasted....it was turning my stomach before I even took a sip!  Putting the glass in the fridge after it had been standing on the worktop doing its business for 3 or 4 hours seemed to solve that.  I discovered it tasted best if I just covered the grains with ordinary milk, topping up the other 2/3 of the glass with coconut milk.  When I came to sieve and drink it, I added about a teaspoonful of vanilla extract.....it made quite a nice drink which I had for breakfast.

However, after 3 or 4 days I was getting a stomach upset every morning shortly after drinking it.  I know the kefir is supposed to be very good for your digestion, but I wonder whether my stomach needed some time to get used to it?  It may not have been the kefir, of course......my diabetes medication quite often, ahem, gives me stomach gripes, putting it delicately embarassedwhistle.  And I've been under a lot of stress lately, which always affects my digestive system.  So I felt it prudent to lay off the kefir for a week or two, so have simply covered the grains with milk and put it in a sealed pot in the fridge.  I'll have another go at it next week I think. 

Ruthie, if you fancy sending me some of the water kefir grains, I'd gladly pay postage and packing costs.  My milk kefir grains arrived in a brown envelope......the grains inside were packed and sealed in a series of plastic bags, 4 or 5 in total - it was like pass the parcel unwrapping it all big_laugh.  If you're agreeable to sending me some, i'll email you my address.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Sun 8-Sep-13
11:30 am
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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Ew... kefir shouldn't smell off. Perhaps it wasn't really working the first few days? Mine just smells like yoghurt and has the same slightly sour taste.

The water kefir is going quite mad. Quick, send me your address! Have you looked into the sugar content of water kefir? As I understand it the sugar is mostly consumed and what's left is fructose but you'd better find out if it's okay for you.

Have you seen this site? If you haven't already, have a trawl through all his stuff, he has masses of info.

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Sun 8-Sep-13
6:04 pm
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Sooliz
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Thanks Ruthie, had a really busy weekend and am completely knackered, having an early night so will email you tomorrow big_hug

I've bookmarked that website, thanks.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Thu 12-Sep-13
1:42 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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The water kefir is on its way to you Sue. Any other takers? It's so happy now that it's doubling every two days! Next job for Google, what can you do with excess kefir? It seems a shame to just compost it. I think I get a fizzier drink when I use bottled water that's quite hard. Our Cornish water is too soft, it doesn't like it as much. I shall have to look into adding ground eggshells and see if that works.

I've taken to writing down when I tend to the kefirs and kombucha and I see it's high time I drew off some more kombucha for bottling.

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Fri 13-Sep-13
9:35 am
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Sooliz
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Ooh, present in the post from Ruthie......my first lot of kefir water crystals now resting after their postal journey in a jug of sugar water.  Let's hope I'm successful with it! (well, that I like the taste! whistle).

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Fri 13-Sep-13
11:04 am
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Fingers crossed, indeed.

I'll try that again!

Sun 15-Sep-13
5:19 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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So how is the water kefir doing, Sue?

You can experiment with different sugars. I think it really likes the dark organic sugar best but I like the lighter taste of white sugar. We take turns while I experiment. I've been adding ginger and a little extra sugar when I bottle it.

I'm going to be away for four days so the kefirs will have to rest in the fridge. The kombucha will be alright, I'll draw some off before I go.

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Sun 15-Sep-13
5:34 pm
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Sooliz
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It seems to be doing very well Ruthie.  I haven't tried it yet - thought I'd give it a few days to settle into its new home first (which may have been the mistake I made with the milk kefir....not allowing it enough time to settle).

Hope you have a nice time away.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Sun 15-Sep-13
5:46 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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Taste it. It should be less sugary than it was and if it tastes more tart than sweet then it's ready to drink. I do mine every 48 hours but ran out of bottles this week. So I added more sugar and kept it another 24 hours and it was fine. Just don't let it starve.

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Wed 25-Sep-13
9:01 am
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Rob12
London, UK

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How is everyone doing with the Kefir experiment? 

 

Also, what impact is it having on your digestion and/or health?  Reading online it has a very good track record for resolving various ailments (especially hypertension and excemas).

 

I am still making my regular goats milk yoghurt but have moved from full-cream to semi-skimmed milk.  As the family is now enjoying it as well (it is sweet enough to drink neat) I am culturing two litres of milk every Saturday. 

 

If you have had inconsistent results culturing yoghurt, the best advice I found was on an American site - since I have been following this guide my batches have been excellent and much thicker than before.

 

The advise was to heat the milk to 180F then cool to 115F and add the culture, then keep somewhere warm for 8 hours.  The exact temperatures seem to be the key. 

 

Before I heated to simmering, cooled to room temperature, added the starter culture and kept it warm overnight and the results were patchy at best.

 

Also, instead of trying to culture a continuous line of yoghurt - i.e. using a small amount of home cultured yoghurt to start off the next batch, I have frozen in ice trays the parent batch (St. Helen's Farm Goats Milk Yogurt) and use this as a ratio of 1 cube per 500ml milk.  That seems to work a treat producing a very thick (gloopy) yoghurt in even semi-skimmed milk.

Wed 25-Sep-13
9:29 am
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Sooliz
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I'm having a bit of trouble with my kefirs, actually.  The milk kefir I've given up with, I binned it.  The water kefir is doing incredibly well - too well, in fact, it's multiplying at an alarming rate, I now have half a jugful of the crystals eeekeeek

The trouble is with me......I just can't get used to the taste.  I didn't really like the milk one at all, no matter what I put in to flavour it.  The water one is far too sweet for my taste (as i'm diabetic and haven't had sugary drinks for getting on for 2 years now, I find it excessively sweet, even with plenty of lemon juice.

And I don't know if this is related to the kefir (seems odd if it is), but since I've been drinking the stuff I've been getting stomach upsets....which seem to settle down if I don't drink it for a day or two.  Perhaps my gut needs more time to get used to the good bacteria, I don't know.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

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