I just started making my own kefir at home and it sounds like a strange question but how do I know if I have made kefir and that I am not just drinking spoiled milk? I fermented my first batch for 24 hours at room temperature and at the end, there were many miniature curds throughout it with a slightly thick consistency. I tasted it and it was quite good, slightly sour but tasty. Does any kefir veterans have any tips?
I've been making kefir for years and yours sounds perfect! Experiment with temperature and airtightness; differences in refridgerating/leaving out on the counter loosely or tightly covered will give you variations in effervescence and thickness. Sometimes I like mine more sour, sometimes less, and sometimes the time of year and changes in the ambient temperature of my kitchen make me change my methods. You'll also get different results using goat or cow's milk, full fat or otherwise. They are versatile and rather hardy little grains.
The miniature curds and thick consistency is how kefir is supposed to look like. I often ferment for 36 - 48 hours in cooler area of my house, cause I like it more sour. Sometimes it separates, but I just stir it and drink.
Some answers, some questions.
I always rinse them because I found a thickier kefir being produced if I make it partially in the fridge, or including the "storing milk" in the next batch and now I'm wondering whether that thickness is sour milk, so just in case I rinse the grains throughly on a plastic strainer to make sure no old milk remains hidden in there.
Usually I store it about two weeks, in a closed-but-non-air-tight container and now it then it starts getting a "cheesy" flavor. So it is possible than "some" spoiled kefir gives that flavor, but since it's just a little, you can't tell YET it's bad. It's like some under-skin tickling: it's definitely pain, but in so few cells, that you can't call it "pain".
I stored another batch before, about two months or more, and it ended up cheesy consistency but vinegary flavor. I didn't like it but it was certainly something others eat (like strawberry double fermented kefir, that tastes to beer or cider, but in my head is rotten strawberry. Certainly liked by others)
So is that flavor like starting-to-become-cheese safe?
Was that extra thickening bad?
My kefir grew so much that another reason I make it partially in the fridge is because it foams soo fast hehe.
Now, I can tell fresh kefir by the whey going above and the creamy part to the bottom. As far as the creamy part floats, it tastes great for me, that I don't like sourness.
I assume that means the kefir died. I know there will be no benefit from living bacteria, but what about all the other chemicals left behind?
Is it bad? good?
One whiff will tell you if it's kefir or spoiled milk--very different. Kefir IS thick and chunky. Give it a stir before straining, NEVER rinse your grains unless switching types of milk. The kefir clinging to the grains helps the next batch ferment.
Is there anyone here that would be willing to share some kefir grains? I would like to try them I used to have water kefir and my roommates through them away thinking it was something bad so sad... If anyone could help I would much appreciated if anybody has extra to give or donate. Thanks Denise
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