How do I know my kefir grains are working

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How do I know my kefir grains are working

Postby jeri on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:34 am

I am brand new at making kefir.

I have bought kefir grains on ebay/ I have tried making it twice (added the grains to raw milk (cow's) then leaving it about 12 hours) but both times the milk has completely separated. How do i know if it is just that I left it too long or if the kefir is not working (ie.died on transit) and i have milk that has gone off?

Is raw cow's milk ok to use?

Please help!

Thanks,
Jeri
jeri
 
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Re: How do I know my kefir grains are working

Postby Tim Hall on Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:19 am

Raw cow's milk should be fine. Depending on how old the milk is, it may have begun to sour on it's own causing it to curdle rapidly with the kefir. Kefir that sits for a long time or ferments at a high temp will eventually completely separate into curd and whey.

What kind of temps are you fermenting at? Are you fermenting in a sealed (air-tight) container? Are you getting any effervescence at all?
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Re: How do I know my kefir grains are working

Postby jeri on Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:35 am

I am fermenting at around upper 20'C or lower 30'C. In an open jar with a cloth on top. The last one i did i left for around 21 hours and it was fairly solid when i tipped it up. It hadn't separated into curds and whey at all. It doesn't taste bad but I have tried kefir once and i don't think it tastes like that either. The milk was brand new from the shop yesterday.
jeri
 
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Re: How do I know my kefir grains are working

Postby Tim Hall on Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:19 am

Ok, I think the problem is you're overfermenting the kefir. Upper 20's, lower 30's is pretty warm. The fermentation will go faster the higher the temperature.

Try reducing the amount of time you ferment (as low as 4 hours) or try finding a cooler spot (I realize this may not be practical). If you ferment in a closed container, you should get some light carbonation.

Also it may take a little time for your mother culture to adjust to the new milk source. Sometimes the ferments do funky things for the first few batches when switching to a new source of milk.
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