Kefir problems – newbie

  • posted by tamathews01

    I was inspired to try some kefir from the supermarket, bio-tifuls specifically. Which i loved, delicious as well as healthy.

    So i decided to try making my own, which has been a disaster so far.

    I bought the grains online. Every evening i sieve out the grains, drink the ‘kefir’, clean the jar, then put the grains back with another 250ml of full fat cows milk.
    I thought if i kept doing this they would slowly grow until there was enough to ferment a batch and they have grow considerably, easily tripled in size by now.

    But the kefir hasn’t thickened at any stage. It went from tasting like just milk, to milk with a tang, then eventually to what tastes like sour, fizzy milk. Disgusting. Most material online suggests if it doesn’t thicken it means it has gone past that stage and separated into curds and whey but it hasn’t. I have been throwing grains out the last few days to reduce the rate it ferments, which has reduced the sourness, but it hasn’t thickened at all. I have had the grains 10 days now.

    Were they bad grains? Or was I mislead by the commercial product into thinking I could get thick kefir at home when it isn’t possible.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, the company I bought them from were not useful at all when it came to advice.

  • posted by recoveringfatty

    Hi tamatthews01
    If you’ve only had your grains 10 days and they have tripled in size any you are throwing them away that is an impressive rate of growth (faster than I’ve witnessed!) so I’d think they are happy. Rather than throwing away excess grains you can eat them (I do this whenever I have spare)
    I don’t think you are letting it ferment long enough.
    To get thicker Kefir you may want to try letting it ferment longer, you still strain every day like you are doing but then put the Kefir back in a jar (leave the lid loose to let the gas out if you don’t like the fizz) and let it ferment another 12-28 hours (temp dependent) It should thicken (keep giving it a shake to check), mine still thickens even in the fridge. If I want really thick Kefir (similar to Greek Yogurt to eat with a spoon I let it ferment until it completely separates and then strain it in a fine sieve to remove the Whey, and eat the remaining thick Kefir.
    How many grains do you have to ferment the 250ml of milk? I have approx. 1 teaspoon full of gains which ferments approx 300ml of milk in less than 24 hours at room temp.

    Hope that helps

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