Got my Kefir on

by Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Posted on Mar 5, 12:58 AM in and . No comments.

I finally went and got myself some Kefir grains so I can try out homemade brewing of the stuff.

Kefir? You ask. Kefir is pretty much a fermented milk drink. (I am using milk Kefir, although there is a”water” version of it as well.).

When you hear fermented milk drink, basically think ….probiotic drink.

You make Kefir by adding Kefir “grains” to milk and letting the magic happen. These “grains” aren’t grains at all. They are a little live culture, (bacteria and yeasts – sounds appealing, no?), which when added to milk, cause fermentation to occur. During this fermentation process, probiotic bacteria build up to produce a sour milky drink full of the good stuff.

So what’s the point?

Probiotics are the good guys. These “good bacteria” can re-establish good healthy cultures in the gut and can have a role in improving immunity, (possibly), digestion and general well-being. The best known benefit is that they are likely to help with gastrointestinal issues (IBS, bloating).
There are all sorts of claims being made about Kefir, and we do need some more studies on this to make any of these claims, but I thought I’d give it a whirl and let you know how I feel in a few months’ time.

So, making the stuff.

Making milk Kefir isn’t difficult, even for me in the ugly kitchen. It’s simply a matter of adding the grains to milk in a lovely big jar and leaving, covered, at room temperature for around 24 hours or so until the culture does its magic and Kefir in the consistency you desire appears. (Basically, in the early days, it will start to look like separated milk).

This has been interesting with a lot of pointing and “what IS that stuff?” coming from the family.

The next step is to strain the fluid into a bottle of jar- (this is your drink) – and then pop the grains back into another milk formula for the next batch.

I have made 2 batches so far. I’m not sure if I have the timing right, and the hot Queensland temperatures probably don’t help, but so far it’s looking a bit chunky and “curds and whey” like. This makes the texture a bit “grainy” too. I gather that after a few trials, I will be able to make a buttermilk consistency. The taste is fine for me, like a mild sour milky/yoghurt flavour. You can flavour the Kefir but I won’t move onto that until I get the consistency right.
Maybe today I will strain the mixture a bit earlier, due to the heat. In the meantime, I have a little bottle of Kefir to enjoy.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

Tags: Fermentation, Ibs, Kefir, Probiotic

About the author

Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Anne is a Health Professions Council (HPC) registered dietitian (RD), an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD- Australia), a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and of The Dietetics Association of Australia.

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