1

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Home-Made Kefir: safe? worth the hassle?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 26, 2012 at 7:24 PM

I was reading Chris Kresser's blog and he's promoting a 13 week course on fermenting things (like kefir).

http://nourishedkitchen.com/lp/get-cultured-pp/?AFFID=104664

40% discount code: blackfriday.

Being the lazy caveman that I am, I'm wondering if making kefir at home is worth the hassle and danger.

By danger I mean: what if I accidentally culture bad bacteria? I don't want to poison myself.

By hassle I mean: maintaining kefir cultures all the time, cleanup, etc.

I've been buying whole milk kefir at whole foods ($4 for 32 ounces).

I'd be making it just for me so there's not as big of an opportunity to save vs. if I had 4 people drinking it.

I suppose if I make it at home, I could experiment and use less sugar than what's in the commercial product.

All thoughts are welcome and appreciated.

Thanks, Mike

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on November 27, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Um, with all due respect to the person offering the $88 course, anybody capable of reading directions can make kefir. I invested about $12 for the grains, jars, and a nylon mesh strainer, but you can get grains free (ask friends or on Freecycle), and use old jars you have around, and a metal strainer is ok. I can't see spending $88 to learn: put grains in milk and stir. Wait until the whey begins to separate (how long depend on temperature), strain out the grains. Drink the kefir and repeat.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on November 27, 2012
at 11:32 AM

Thanks for the great info. I guess I shouldn't quit before I start. Since the course was on sale for $88 , and since its about to be winter and I will have some extra time, I will give it a shot!

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on November 26, 2012
at 08:41 PM

If I want to go away, I just pour some fresh milk over the grains and stick it in the fridge. It will hold it stable for a few weeks in the fridge. For a longer break, the grains can be frozen, but it's a bit of a gamble, I'm not positive they will be safe that way. My grains double in volume every week or so, so every month or so I put some "safety grains" in the freezer which will be my start of a new batch if something happens to my countertop grains. I also give away extras, so I can always ask one of those friends to give me some of their grains.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on November 26, 2012
at 08:23 PM

What happens if you want to go away for the weekend. Does this two jar assembly line break down? 5 minutes every day sounds like a big commitment :-)

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5 Answers

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2
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on November 26, 2012
at 08:15 PM

I make kefir at home, and it's really no hassle. I have "two jar system". That means, I ferment in a small, 1/2 qt jar, one cup of milk per day. I strain the daily batch of kefir into a larger 2 qt. jar that we store in the fridge and pour from for consumption.

Every night after dinner, I strain the new kefir into the larger jar, put the grains back in the fermentation jar and add fresh milk. That's it. 5 minutes, tops--most of that waiting for the thick kefir to get through the strainer. I switch out both jars about 1 x a week for clean, fresh jars, but I don't bother washing the fermentation jar in between daily batches--the residual kefir in that jar helps the new batch. The strainer and paddle I use get washed in hot, soapy water after each use. I cover the fermentation jar with a clean cloth, held in place by a lid band.

When there is a good acid balance in your kefir, the bad bacteria don't have a chance. I certainly haven't heard of any cases of kefir poisoning in the news.

Storebought kefir is made from a culture, not the live grains, and it doesn't have as broad a spectrum of beneficial bacteria and yeast that a good grain culture has. Plus, most store-bought stuff is full of thickeners and other ingredients that you don't need.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on November 26, 2012
at 08:41 PM

If I want to go away, I just pour some fresh milk over the grains and stick it in the fridge. It will hold it stable for a few weeks in the fridge. For a longer break, the grains can be frozen, but it's a bit of a gamble, I'm not positive they will be safe that way. My grains double in volume every week or so, so every month or so I put some "safety grains" in the freezer which will be my start of a new batch if something happens to my countertop grains. I also give away extras, so I can always ask one of those friends to give me some of their grains.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on November 27, 2012
at 11:32 AM

Thanks for the great info. I guess I shouldn't quit before I start. Since the course was on sale for $88 , and since its about to be winter and I will have some extra time, I will give it a shot!

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on November 27, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Um, with all due respect to the person offering the $88 course, anybody capable of reading directions can make kefir. I invested about $12 for the grains, jars, and a nylon mesh strainer, but you can get grains free (ask friends or on Freecycle), and use old jars you have around, and a metal strainer is ok. I can't see spending $88 to learn: put grains in milk and stir. Wait until the whey begins to separate (how long depend on temperature), strain out the grains. Drink the kefir and repeat.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on November 26, 2012
at 08:23 PM

What happens if you want to go away for the weekend. Does this two jar assembly line break down? 5 minutes every day sounds like a big commitment :-)

3
537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on November 26, 2012
at 08:22 PM

ive been doing kefir on my counter for a year. even when it tasted off i didn't get sick. i think the bacteria in kefir is so aggressive it eats anything else in your milk.

2
818c8993dadf1d4d4979d380d30ac049

on August 04, 2013
at 11:39 AM

The antibiotic industry has so scared us into germophobia, we forget that many antibiotics themselves are made by germs to protect themselves from each other. The pharmas just isolate, refine, and package them.

I had a batch of kefir I was making using real grains and organic milk, that I thought I had left for too long. Three jars of it (1.5 liters each) sat on top of the cabinet above my stove for over three weeks. I thought I'd have to chuck it. Shook it, smelled it, nothing seemed off. Just strained it, healthy looking grains. Sipped it. More tart than usual, but delicious. Euphorically so. THREE WEEKS! And no refrigeration! So yeah ... if you haven't tried it, don't just assume that things will go bad because that is what you have been taught. Not very scientific. I have a suspicion that Kefir is along the same spectrum as beer or wine. It may even last for months.

0
9d47b0b5fc2d88f3010757d97892ceaa

on August 04, 2013
at 03:18 PM

I tried Kefir a few times before i got the hang of it. The main drawback for me was the taste, i saw great health benefits but hated the taste. Now i use it to make smoothies i use a handful of frozen berries, half an banana and sometimes so egg yolks. Doing this also makes it more of a substantial and more worth the effort of making it. homemade is way better than store bought.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 14, 2013
at 12:45 AM

If you need some I have 4 different probiotics, water kefir, milk kefir, kombucha and jun scobies. My website is https://sites.google.com/site/desertoasisbuckeye/shopnow where you can order online. Let me know if you want to order some. I ship from Buckeye, AZ

Kate

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