3

votes

Water kefir...cheesy smell?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 19, 2012 at 4:10 AM

I received some water kefir grains in the mail recently, and they smelled pretty cheesy. Is this a bad thing? I've never had water kefir before, so I'm not sure how it should smell.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 20, 2012
at 05:12 AM

Totally agree! SAD soda is awful. So cloyingly sweet. Love my kefir! (I think I'm a fanatic...)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:27 AM

I drank the "plain" and I still drink small amounts several times per week during my daily kefir chores. Today, for example, I drank 4 or 5 swallows of the plain this morning and a bottle of 1.3 cups chilled-and-fizzy blueberry kefir this afternoon. They both tasted good to me so I know things are good. Tomorrow I probably won't drink any kefir at all.

1ab7ccb9520dddd0777db88e74ca0bed

(870)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:18 AM

So did you just drink "plain" water kefir while starting out? I haven't added any flavoring yet.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 19, 2012
at 07:11 PM

@TeaElf, I did try some kombucha and I'm seriously tempted as I think I'd like it even more in the heat of summer. I'll have to try orange since I used to love orange soda. I was afraid in the early days that oj might make me vulnerable to SAD soda again but that's not going to happen. Kefir/kombucha is BETTER!

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 19, 2012
at 07:08 PM

Nance - blueberry is delicious! I also love it made from oj, because in my pre-paleo days I guzzled orange juice, not realizing the sugar hit. So this way I get a low-sugar, fizzy orange "soda" that fills my need for juice. I also like apple cider kefir - has that hard cider taste, reminds me of New England. Have you tried kombucha yet? That's my next probiotic project. Want to totally diversify the critters I ingest. "Need moar bugs!" ;)

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 19, 2012
at 06:59 PM

Oh yes, good advice! Nance is right - small doses to start. When I first started drinking kefir I loved the taste so much I was immediately drinking two or more cups a day. Bad idea! It made me painfully bloated. But after following nance's advice, I can now drink my daily glass happily.

1ab7ccb9520dddd0777db88e74ca0bed

(870)

on March 19, 2012
at 04:49 PM

Thanks, I was feeding them sugar water yesterday and changed it this morning. There was still a noticeable cheese smell, but much less than when I first got them. Hopefully it's gone with the next few days because I'm ready to try it.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 19, 2012
at 03:50 PM

Too late! Great answer and I agree with everything you said. Grains need to rest and recombine after transit/refrigeration. Happy grains smell/taste mildly sweet but it may take a few feedings. What flavors, if any, are you making now, TeaElf? I'm still calling blueberry my fave.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 19, 2012
at 03:48 PM

Too late! Great answer and I agree with everything you said. Happy grains smell/taste mildly sweet. What flavors, if any, are you making now? I'm still calling blueberry my fave.

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3 Answers

3
Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 19, 2012
at 08:14 AM

When live kefir grains are shipped, the balance of which microorganisms are dominant changes, usually resulting in unpleasant odors. It's temporary. Let them run through a few days' worth of batches, and don't drink the kefir until it smells 'right' to you, because it will taste nasty. You will know when it's re-balanced; the taste and smell will be wholesome.

If you received dried grains, they do smell cheesy. Once they've been reconstituted and have a few days to recover, that smell will go away.

Drinking the kefir that will result from the first few batches won't hurt you, but it won't taste good. If you had dairy kefir grains, the first few batches could give you a stomach ache due to bacteria present in the milk not being suppressed by the unbalanced grains.

Here is a link to the most comprehensive kefir site on the net: http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html#Kefir-d-acqua

Nance is our local water kefir expert; I'm sure she will weigh in on this question too. Good luck and enjoy your kefir! :)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 19, 2012
at 03:50 PM

Too late! Great answer and I agree with everything you said. Grains need to rest and recombine after transit/refrigeration. Happy grains smell/taste mildly sweet but it may take a few feedings. What flavors, if any, are you making now, TeaElf? I'm still calling blueberry my fave.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 19, 2012
at 03:48 PM

Too late! Great answer and I agree with everything you said. Happy grains smell/taste mildly sweet. What flavors, if any, are you making now? I'm still calling blueberry my fave.

1ab7ccb9520dddd0777db88e74ca0bed

(870)

on March 19, 2012
at 04:49 PM

Thanks, I was feeding them sugar water yesterday and changed it this morning. There was still a noticeable cheese smell, but much less than when I first got them. Hopefully it's gone with the next few days because I'm ready to try it.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 19, 2012
at 07:08 PM

Nance - blueberry is delicious! I also love it made from oj, because in my pre-paleo days I guzzled orange juice, not realizing the sugar hit. So this way I get a low-sugar, fizzy orange "soda" that fills my need for juice. I also like apple cider kefir - has that hard cider taste, reminds me of New England. Have you tried kombucha yet? That's my next probiotic project. Want to totally diversify the critters I ingest. "Need moar bugs!" ;)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 19, 2012
at 07:11 PM

@TeaElf, I did try some kombucha and I'm seriously tempted as I think I'd like it even more in the heat of summer. I'll have to try orange since I used to love orange soda. I was afraid in the early days that oj might make me vulnerable to SAD soda again but that's not going to happen. Kefir/kombucha is BETTER!

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 20, 2012
at 05:12 AM

Totally agree! SAD soda is awful. So cloyingly sweet. Love my kefir! (I think I'm a fanatic...)

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 19, 2012
at 06:25 PM

TeaElf gave a terrific answer to the question you asked and I will add a bonus suggestion--start with small doses.

I started by drinking a tablespoon--which was hard for me because I felt like I was "wasting" the rest--and that was PLENTY. I definitely felt something going on in my gut and would probably have had diarrhea or something if I'd started with larger doses.

For the first few days, I added only another tablespoon (day 2: morning and afternoon, day 3: 2 in the am and 1 in the aft, etc.) but after that added 1/2 cup per day. By the 2-week mark, I was using fruit juice to make carbonated fruit sodas (a second brewing of kefir/juice without the grains) and drinking a whole bottle per day. The key is being patient those first few days so your gut can adjust comfortably.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 19, 2012
at 06:59 PM

Oh yes, good advice! Nance is right - small doses to start. When I first started drinking kefir I loved the taste so much I was immediately drinking two or more cups a day. Bad idea! It made me painfully bloated. But after following nance's advice, I can now drink my daily glass happily.

1ab7ccb9520dddd0777db88e74ca0bed

(870)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:18 AM

So did you just drink "plain" water kefir while starting out? I haven't added any flavoring yet.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:27 AM

I drank the "plain" and I still drink small amounts several times per week during my daily kefir chores. Today, for example, I drank 4 or 5 swallows of the plain this morning and a bottle of 1.3 cups chilled-and-fizzy blueberry kefir this afternoon. They both tasted good to me so I know things are good. Tomorrow I probably won't drink any kefir at all.

1
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on March 19, 2012
at 01:35 PM

txrandom,

Here is some good info on water kefir:

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/water-kefir-frequently-asked-questions-faq

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