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Water Kefir...Please Help.

Water Kefir...Please Help.

Old 01-13-2021, 07:59 PM
  #11  
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Tropit, you gave me inspiration and made me thaw out my milk kefir bugs. I was worried about whether they had survived the 4 or 5 year frozen rest I had given them. I warmed them up on my counter for several hours and then put some 2% milk on them. Left them in the fridge overnight, and then put them on my counter next to a salt lamp. Two days later I had curds and whey. I disposed of that first batch, rinsed my bugs and started another pint next to the salt lamp. Hoping for good kefir tomorrow. I may still order some water grains just to have an alternative taste sometimes.
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:10 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by SusieQOH View Post
tropit- I mentioned this to my husband, who is a food scientist and he said you may not have it in a warm enough place.
I think he's right. They sat in an area that was just barely warm enough, around 65-70 f. Our weather warmed up this week and now my bottles are all bubbling away. The water kefir tastes wonderful! It's kind of like kombucha, but without that tea taste and without the caffeine. It tastes sort of like a fizzy lemonade, but not too sweet. WW says that one cup is 0 points. I like that!
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Barb in Louisiana View Post
Tropit, you gave me inspiration and made me thaw out my milk kefir bugs. I was worried about whether they had survived the 4 or 5 year frozen rest I had given them. I warmed them up on my counter for several hours and then put some 2% milk on them. Left them in the fridge overnight, and then put them on my counter next to a salt lamp. Two days later I had curds and whey. I disposed of that first batch, rinsed my bugs and started another pint next to the salt lamp. Hoping for good kefir tomorrow. I may still order some water grains just to have an alternative taste sometimes.
Barb, I'm so glad to help you get started. I love, love, love experimenting in my kitchen with interesting foods. I'm glad that you've caught the bug.

Although, I haven't made milk kefir in many years, I'm thinking that you may have one of two problems...either your kefir grains are no longer viable, or that lamp may have made them too warm. You can get these small thermometer strips that adhere to a jar, which can help you know what temp your kefir is at, just at a glance. They're super cheap and can go stay on the jar when it goes through the dishwasher. One place that you can find them is at https://shop.culturesforhealth.com/p...mp-thermometer . They may not be the cheapest place, but I know that they carry them. I have 2 strips now, but want to get some more.
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:18 AM
  #14  
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I've been experimenting with different flavors of water kefir. I've decided that I don't like the fresh strawberries in it. It tastes weird to me, like half rotten strawberries. It's drinkable with a couple of squeezes of fresh lime, but I don't think I make that recipe again.

I do like the lemon, lime, ginger flavor...a lot! It's so refreshing! I added some fresh blueberries to a couple of the bottles and it made the WK pink, but didn't add much to the flavor.

I'm going to try adding some vanilla extract to a couple of bottles, for a, "cream soda," taste. We'll see how that works out. I also have some root beer herbs that I could add.
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Old 01-19-2021, 08:49 PM
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My Bugs (aka Milk Grains) are good! They are making Milk Kefir like crazy. I am using 2% milk and sit the jar next to a salt lamp I have sitting on my counter. It's just enough warmth that I am at curds and whey within 2 full days, so at 1.5 days, if the kefir is getting thick, I move it to the refrigerator where the bugs finish their job. My Ninja blender makes a healthy drink with mixed berries & kefir and a bit of ice. I started with this years ago trying to get my whole digestive and elimination system in order. Then I got busy and forgot about making this wonderful morning drink. Now, it's time to get back on track.
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Barb in Louisiana View Post
My Bugs (aka Milk Grains) are good! They are making Milk Kefir like crazy. I am using 2% milk and sit the jar next to a salt lamp I have sitting on my counter. It's just enough warmth that I am at curds and whey within 2 full days, so at 1.5 days, if the kefir is getting thick, I move it to the refrigerator where the bugs finish their job. My Ninja blender makes a healthy drink with mixed berries & kefir and a bit of ice. I started with this years ago trying to get my whole digestive and elimination system in order. Then I got busy and forgot about making this wonderful morning drink. Now, it's time to get back on track.
Yay!!! It sounds like you have real production line going now. My kitchen counters are filled with empty bottles and jars, along with jars of all of the various stages of water kefir. It's getting crowded...LOL. It looks like a crazy, mad woman's laboratory. I'm going for trying the vanilla flavor today.
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:37 AM
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The one drawback I see to starting a water kefir project is the cost of the kefir grains. (Around $25.) Now that I've made some water kefir, I have to say that it tastes very similar to the ginger bug fermented drinks. Ginger bug ferments use the very same process, except they are started with some grated, fresh ginger, sugar and water, instead of kefir grains, sugar and water. Fresh ginger way less expensive and far more available than buying water kefir grains. They may even have exactly the same result as the ginger. I'd like to know exactly what species of yeasts are produced when making each of the products. They may be the same thing. Curious minds want to know.
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Old 01-24-2021, 11:21 AM
  #18  
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One thing that I would like to mention before I get everyone enthusiastic over fermenting foods and drinks, is a word about sanitation. While the yeasts and beneficial bacteria that develop with fermenting foods are good for you, there are other microbes that are not. Therefore, it is mandatory that you sanitize your bottles, jars and equipment that you use and store your ferments in a safe place, away from any possibly harmful influences s/a garbage bins, moldy window sills, etc. It's probably also a good idea to boil your water first before using it in a recipe.

I always wash my glassware thoroughly and then use the sanitizing cycle of the dishwasher to finalize the wash. I also boil my jars/bottles for at least 20 minutes before I fill them. There's also a product called Star San which is used by brewers and cheese makers that will get your equipment sani-clean.

This is a really important step, especially if you are using animal milk products, which, if not properly handled, can cause some deadly bacteria such as listeria to develop.
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Old 01-28-2021, 10:35 AM
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Thumbs up on the vanilla flavor! It tastes like vanilla yogurt. Next on the agenda, mango and root beer.
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