I really want to start using kefir as my health is down at the moment after years of antibiotics and a poor diet. I wish to start following a new healthy life focusing only in nutrition and holistic health, and exercise. But i can??t take milk, and the only kefir grains i could get are milk grains. My question is if i only put them on milk for growth, can i use the excess grains for water kefir brewing? Can i put the same milk kefir grains into water? I've read about it and supposedly they will stop growing on water, which is fine, but will they keep their probiotic properties and transfer it to the fermented water? Will they be able to continue to live and transfer their properties to the water for a long period of time and successive batches since they have stopped growing, or will they die eventually? Is the resulting brewing less beneficial than if i had used proper water kefir grains? Thanks in advance to anyone who answers and sorry for the long post
asked byJoo_1 (20)
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on July 26, 2012
at 12:29 AM
Dom's kefir site is the most comprehensive I've seen: http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html
Transferring Milk Kefir-Grains to a Sugar/Water Media
In early 1980, I discovered that traditional milk kefir-grains may be transferred to a sugar/water media, to produce a variation of Kefir d'acqua or water-kefir, with similar qualities as a brew prepared with traditional SKG. I've also discovered that alternative sugars may be used including maltose and honey e.g., which may either replace or be included with cane-sugar [sucrose]. Dry fruits or fresh fruits or the juice of fresh fruit may also be included. Fresh of dry herbs or herbal teas may be used as part ingredient [see Kefir d'erba medica, a herbal kefir at my kefir making web page for details and recipes]. When transferring milk kefir-grains to a sugar/water-media for the first time, there is an initial lag phase [unbalanced growth] lasting about 4 days. During this phase, little activity is evident as the organisms stop reproducing while they fatten up by storing energy, until the organisms adjust metabolic pathways so as to be able to utilize the new source of energy [different forms of sugar and concentrations of, over lactose found in dairy milk]. However, after about the third or so batch onward, it should take 24 to 48 hours to culture a ready-to-drink form of water kefir beverage prepared with milk kefir-grains.
When traditional milk kefir-grains are transferred to a sugar/water-media, after 1 to 2 weeks of consecutive 24 to 48 hour preparations, the grains may not readily revert back to prepare a suitable milk-kefir right away on transferring the grains back to dairy milk. It is highly likely that the grains become non-propagable [they stop growing] after a few weeks or longer of being brewed in a sugar/water recipe. This is due to a missing bacterial component such as the all important encapsulated Lb. kefiranofaciens. This component is damaged after transferring milk kefir-grains to a sugar/water media, if cultured over extensive periods. This is because the organisms responsible for propagation of milk kefir-grains, lack the essential mono-saccharide Galactose, which the organisms synthesize by breaking down lactose [Lactose is a disaccharide meaning 2 sugars, made up of Glucose and Galactose. Sucrose is also a disaccharide, but is constituted as Glucose and Fructose and does not contain Galactose]. Although, on transferring the grains back to milk, I've observed after about 2 months of culturing daily cycles of raw [personal preference], whole fresh milk, the grains eventually produced a form of milk-kefir with a reasonable good texture and flavour. However so, the culture milk-product lacked viscosity of traditional milk-kefir prepared with propagable milk kefir-grains. This may be due to the fact that the grains remained non-propagable throughout the culture-process, and in essence the bacterial component responsible for viscosity by the production of kefiran, was missing. These specific milk kefir-grains were previously cultured in a media consisting of water/malt/sucrose/dry fig over a 4 month period, prior to transferring the grains back to milk, to perform the experiment.
on July 25, 2012
at 11:51 PM
If I'm not mistaken... You can use milk grains to make water kefir but the lose their strength. The need to be "fed" milk to rejuvenate. Look at the Cultures for Health web site. Watch the milk kefir video. You can also purchase water kefir grains there. IDK if they ship to Portugal though...
on July 25, 2012
at 05:40 PM
Yes, milk grains can be converted to water grains, but I don't think they last as long. At first, the milk grains may take longer to ferment than water grains would.
You can buy them freeze dried. Which country are you in? I'm pretty sure if you're in the USA or Europe it should be no problem to get a hold of them freeze dried.
on July 25, 2012
at 05:14 PM
on March 14, 2013
at 12:49 AM
Yes you can convert milk kefir grains to water kefir grains but over time they will become strained. I have extra water kefir grains I can send you.
I have 4 different probiotics, water kefir, milk kefir, kombucha and jun scobies. My website is where you can order online. Let me know if you want to order some.