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Is there anybody out there who is or knows where to get free kefir grains or starter? Any info. is much appreciated.

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I have seen people start with a cup of their favorite plain yogurt from the grocery store. I plan on giving it a shot this week and maybe making some yogurt cheese.
Lorie - What kind of grains are you looking for "milk" or "water"?

Deb (debfroggie)
I'm not sure. I'm just getting started in the process of making kefir. Could you possibly provide me with some direction. And advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Lorie

Deb said:
Lorie - What kind of grains are you looking for "milk" or "water"?

Deb (debfroggie)
Lorie -

I have only been brewing "milk" kefir for about two months now with grains from two different sources. So far I have had great success and we make about a quart of fresh milk kefir every day.

You said you were just "getting started in the process of making kefir" – not sure exactly what that means or how much you know about making kefir, so I will start at the basics (as I understand them from my own personal experience) –

First, kefir is a living culture – it is a complex system of bacteria and yeasts. This is why you must have kefir grains to make kefir.

Second, there are two types of kefir – water kefir and milk kefir. Both are fermented drinks when brewed.

Water kefir has small transparent grains that ferment sweetened water. This drink can become effervescent. (I personally have not brewed this yet – I have grains coming to me in a few weeks from someone and will start brewing it then – so for now really can’t give any info on this one).

So far I have only brewed milk kefir, so that is the one I can tell you about (from my personal experience) –

Milk kefir has white or cream colored grains that look similar to cauliflower florets that ferment milk. The milk kefir grains ferment the milk and as it does the grains grow creating new grains in the process.

Making kefir is simple – put your grains and milk in a glass jar (I use a quart mason jar) and then let it ferment on your kitchen counter for 12 to 48 hours. Depending on how long you leave it to ferment will determine its taste and thickness. At 12 hours you have a thinner, sweeter kefir, where at 48 hours you will have a thicker and much sourer kefir - the longer you leave it, the sourer it will get. Temperature will also effect how quickly your grains work in your kefir - if your house is warmer (such as summertime) you kefir will ferment faster.

Once you have your kefir to the “taste” you want then strain the kefir liquid into a clean jar and store in the fridge. Next put your kefir grains in a clean jar with fresh milk and repeat the process you did with your first kefir batch, etc . . . Do this for each batch of kefir that you brew.

When using milk kefir grains you can use raw cow or goat milk or canned coconut milk (try to get a brand that does not have sugars and preservatives added). You can also use store-bought milk that is homogenized however DO NOT USE ultra-pasteurized milk as it has been processed with extremely high temps and will not feed your grains properly. You can make kefir with whole or low-fat milk.

When kefir is fermenting many times the grains will float to the top of the milk. To keep things “mixed” I gently swish the mixture in the jar several times throughout the brewing process (no need to open and stir).

When you strain your kefir grains into a new jar they many times will feel “slimy” or coated with a gel-like substance – this is normal and is known as “kefiran”. This is another reason why I swish the jar to help distribute the kefiran in the kefir while it brews.

Two things I was instructed on when making kefir –

1 = Make sure that everything you use with kefir is clean. Remember kefir is a living culture and you don’t want to contaminate it or kill it by not having clean hands or utensils, etc . . .

2 = Use only plastic utensils (no metal). (I did not want to use my plastic pasta strainer as it might have residual oil that would affect the outcome of my kefir.) I went to the “dollar store” and purchased an inexpensive strainer, spoons, measuring cup, and bowl that I use for kefir only.

Here Are A Couple Of Websites That Have Very Good Info On Brewing Kefir –

http://www.tammysrecipes.com/making_kefir

http://www.theprairiemom.com/index.php?pr=Dairy_Kefir (she also offers free grains – you pay shipping fee)


This Site Has An Instruction Video On Making Coconut Milk Kefir –

http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2010/03/how-to-make-coconut-mil...


These Sites Have Good Info Like Health Benefits, Etc -

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/Kefir-Grains-c37/ (best info with recipes, etc)

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/docs/Kefir_Recipe_eBook.pdf (recipe book)

http://www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/fermenting/index_kefir.shtml

http://www.kefir.net/intro.htm

http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html

http://www.homeandgardensite.com/lacto_fermenting.htm


Again, this is from my own personal experience brewing milk kefir - Hope this helps.

Deb (debfroggie)
Thank you SO much for all of this information, Deb. I have yet to read a more clear and informative post about kefir anywhere! Really, wow!
Cornelia -


Thanks for your kind words! Like I said, all the info I gave was from my personal experience, I am sure there is someone or a site out there that has more knowledge than me - but I thought I'd share what I have learned so far!

I have just started taking a class on cooking with fermentation, etc . . . We are making kefir, buttermilk, cheeses, kombucha, and baking many different things with sourdough, as well as other techniques on food preservation and techniques using fermentation as the "yeast" and the "preservative". Some of these things I know how to do, others I don't.

Kefir was one I have never done before. Two different people in the course offered me kefir grains so I went ahead and took them even though the instruction for them is not for a couple months. I had to do a lot of research and wrote via web back and forth to a couple of ladies who have done this successfully. I have only been brewing kefir for about 2 months now - but have been quite successful with it.

The only problem is - kefir grains need to be tended on a regular basis which means you get fresh kefir on a regular basis, sometimes faster than you can consume it. My goal now is to continue to figure out how to use it in my everyday cooking as not to waste any. So far I have learned that I can use it to soak grains and flours in - that has been very helpful.

We use to use buttermilk a lot but now the kefir has replaced the need for it. Anyway, it has been a fun venture!

Also - another gal told me a good place to look for kefir grains or kombucha scobies is on Craigslist. Many times people will give these free. You can look for them in your area and see if someone has any that you can just go pick up. Other people will sometimes offer them for free but charge for the shipping cost to get them to you.

My first set of kefir grains I got for free but paid the shipping fee - @ $5.00.

Then a lady offered me some kefir grains and sent them to me free as well as whole wheat sourdough starter - very nice of her!

My kombucha scoby I have was free but paid shipping on it - @$6.00.

And right now I have a guy who is sending me several different types of sourdough starters for free. Plus I have gotten to know several "friends" in the process!!

Fun - Fun - Fun!!!

Deb (debfroggie)
Hi, I am new to making kefir and would like to know where to get the grains. Your reply to Lori was great. I learned a lot. I am also new to homegrown forum, so I don't know if I'm in the right place to ask how to get grains. If I'm not in the right place can you direct me?

Deb said:
Lorie -

I have only been brewing "milk" kefir for about two months now with grains from two different sources. So far I have had great success and we make about a quart of fresh milk kefir every day.

You said you were just "getting started in the process of making kefir" – not sure exactly what that means or how much you know about making kefir, so I will start at the basics (as I understand them from my own personal experience) –

First, kefir is a living culture – it is a complex system of bacteria and yeasts. This is why you must have kefir grains to make kefir.

Second, there are two types of kefir – water kefir and milk kefir. Both are fermented drinks when brewed.

Water kefir has small transparent grains that ferment sweetened water. This drink can become effervescent. (I personally have not brewed this yet – I have grains coming to me in a few weeks from someone and will start brewing it then – so for now really can’t give any info on this one).

So far I have only brewed milk kefir, so that is the one I can tell you about (from my personal experience) –

Milk kefir has white or cream colored grains that look similar to cauliflower florets that ferment milk. The milk kefir grains ferment the milk and as it does the grains grow creating new grains in the process.

Making kefir is simple – put your grains and milk in a glass jar (I use a quart mason jar) and then let it ferment on your kitchen counter for 12 to 48 hours. Depending on how long you leave it to ferment will determine its taste and thickness. At 12 hours you have a thinner, sweeter kefir, where at 48 hours you will have a thicker and much sourer kefir - the longer you leave it, the sourer it will get. Temperature will also effect how quickly your grains work in your kefir - if your house is warmer (such as summertime) you kefir will ferment faster.

Once you have your kefir to the “taste” you want then strain the kefir liquid into a clean jar and store in the fridge. Next put your kefir grains in a clean jar with fresh milk and repeat the process you did with your first kefir batch, etc . . . Do this for each batch of kefir that you brew.

When using milk kefir grains you can use raw cow or goat milk or canned coconut milk (try to get a brand that does not have sugars and preservatives added). You can also use store-bought milk that is homogenized however DO NOT USE ultra-pasteurized milk as it has been processed with extremely high temps and will not feed your grains properly. You can make kefir with whole or low-fat milk.

When kefir is fermenting many times the grains will float to the top of the milk. To keep things “mixed” I gently swish the mixture in the jar several times throughout the brewing process (no need to open and stir).

When you strain your kefir grains into a new jar they many times will feel “slimy” or coated with a gel-like substance – this is normal and is known as “kefiran”. This is another reason why I swish the jar to help distribute the kefiran in the kefir while it brews.

Two things I was instructed on when making kefir –

1 = Make sure that everything you use with kefir is clean. Remember kefir is a living culture and you don’t want to contaminate it or kill it by not having clean hands or utensils, etc . . .

2 = Use only plastic utensils (no metal). (I did not want to use my plastic pasta strainer as it might have residual oil that would affect the outcome of my kefir.) I went to the “dollar store” and purchased an inexpensive strainer, spoons, measuring cup, and bowl that I use for kefir only.

Here Are A Couple Of Websites That Have Very Good Info On Brewing Kefir –

http://www.tammysrecipes.com/making_kefir

http://www.theprairiemom.com/index.php?pr=Dairy_Kefir (she also offers free grains – you pay shipping fee)


This Site Has An Instruction Video On Making Coconut Milk Kefir –

http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2010/03/how-to-make-coconut-mil...


These Sites Have Good Info Like Health Benefits, Etc -

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/Kefir-Grains-c37/ (best info with recipes, etc)

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/docs/Kefir_Recipe_eBook.pdf (recipe book)

http://www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/fermenting/index_kefir.shtml

http://www.kefir.net/intro.htm

http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html

http://www.homeandgardensite.com/lacto_fermenting.htm


Again, this is from my own personal experience brewing milk kefir - Hope this helps.

Deb (debfroggie)
Hi Irene,
This is a question that comes up pretty frequently, so try searching "kefir" in the search field at the top right of any page. Folks recommend checking Craigslist, making your own from a store-bought batch, and here is a site that claims to have sources of kefir grains around the world.
Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!



Irene Mistretta said:
Hi, I am new to making kefir and would like to know where to get the grains. Your reply to Lori was great. I learned a lot. I am also new to homegrown forum, so I don't know if I'm in the right place to ask how to get grains. If I'm not in the right place can you direct me?

Deb said:
Lorie -

I have only been brewing "milk" kefir for about two months now with grains from two different sources. So far I have had great success and we make about a quart of fresh milk kefir every day.

You said you were just "getting started in the process of making kefir" – not sure exactly what that means or how much you know about making kefir, so I will start at the basics (as I understand them from my own personal experience) –

First, kefir is a living culture – it is a complex system of bacteria and yeasts. This is why you must have kefir grains to make kefir.

Second, there are two types of kefir – water kefir and milk kefir. Both are fermented drinks when brewed.

Water kefir has small transparent grains that ferment sweetened water. This drink can become effervescent. (I personally have not brewed this yet – I have grains coming to me in a few weeks from someone and will start brewing it then – so for now really can’t give any info on this one).

So far I have only brewed milk kefir, so that is the one I can tell you about (from my personal experience) –

Milk kefir has white or cream colored grains that look similar to cauliflower florets that ferment milk. The milk kefir grains ferment the milk and as it does the grains grow creating new grains in the process.

Making kefir is simple – put your grains and milk in a glass jar (I use a quart mason jar) and then let it ferment on your kitchen counter for 12 to 48 hours. Depending on how long you leave it to ferment will determine its taste and thickness. At 12 hours you have a thinner, sweeter kefir, where at 48 hours you will have a thicker and much sourer kefir - the longer you leave it, the sourer it will get. Temperature will also effect how quickly your grains work in your kefir - if your house is warmer (such as summertime) you kefir will ferment faster.

Once you have your kefir to the “taste” you want then strain the kefir liquid into a clean jar and store in the fridge. Next put your kefir grains in a clean jar with fresh milk and repeat the process you did with your first kefir batch, etc . . . Do this for each batch of kefir that you brew.

When using milk kefir grains you can use raw cow or goat milk or canned coconut milk (try to get a brand that does not have sugars and preservatives added). You can also use store-bought milk that is homogenized however DO NOT USE ultra-pasteurized milk as it has been processed with extremely high temps and will not feed your grains properly. You can make kefir with whole or low-fat milk.

When kefir is fermenting many times the grains will float to the top of the milk. To keep things “mixed” I gently swish the mixture in the jar several times throughout the brewing process (no need to open and stir).

When you strain your kefir grains into a new jar they many times will feel “slimy” or coated with a gel-like substance – this is normal and is known as “kefiran”. This is another reason why I swish the jar to help distribute the kefiran in the kefir while it brews.

Two things I was instructed on when making kefir –

1 = Make sure that everything you use with kefir is clean. Remember kefir is a living culture and you don’t want to contaminate it or kill it by not having clean hands or utensils, etc . . .

2 = Use only plastic utensils (no metal). (I did not want to use my plastic pasta strainer as it might have residual oil that would affect the outcome of my kefir.) I went to the “dollar store” and purchased an inexpensive strainer, spoons, measuring cup, and bowl that I use for kefir only.

Here Are A Couple Of Websites That Have Very Good Info On Brewing Kefir –

http://www.tammysrecipes.com/making_kefir

http://www.theprairiemom.com/index.php?pr=Dairy_Kefir (she also offers free grains – you pay shipping fee)


This Site Has An Instruction Video On Making Coconut Milk Kefir –

http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2010/03/how-to-make-coconut-mil...


These Sites Have Good Info Like Health Benefits, Etc -

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/Kefir-Grains-c37/ (best info with recipes, etc)

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/docs/Kefir_Recipe_eBook.pdf (recipe book)

http://www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/fermenting/index_kefir.shtml

http://www.kefir.net/intro.htm

http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html

http://www.homeandgardensite.com/lacto_fermenting.htm


Again, this is from my own personal experience brewing milk kefir - Hope this helps.

Deb (debfroggie)

Hi Deb,

I am searching for milk kefir grains.If you can help me it 'll be a very great favor.

If anyone can share some kefir grains it ll be an immense help.

Please mail me at ghoshsukanya83@gmail.com if you can post me some.

 

Regards,

Sukanya

Deb said:

Lorie - What kind of grains are you looking for "milk" or "water"?

Deb (debfroggie)

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