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Help! Kefir Grains?

Discussion in 'Lovely Grub' started by Macaroon, May 29, 2017.

  1. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    I'm guessing, hoping, that more than a few here who culture and use Kefir at home and could perhaps let me have some starter grains. I've had the same strain for a good few years now,
    but have had a guest in the house for a few days who is not a user and has helpfully deposited my starter grains onto the compost heap and I'm afraid they're now beyond use.

    If there's anybody out there who could spare me a handfull of decent quality grains to start a new culture I'd be very grateful; Kefir seems to be superfood of the moment and a lot of people
    have jumped on the bandwagon and I'm afraid I just don't seem to be able to find a supplier I'd be confident of getting a good strain from.

    I'm quite prepared to buy, trade and cover postage of course.........Maybe a member from Georgia would have the real deal? :cool:
     
  2. neoaliphant

    neoaliphant Nomad

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    Hi
    my wife has kefir grains, milk ones, you can have for postage cover... tablespoon enuff??
     
  3. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    Oh boy, you're a saviour.......a tablespoon would be great to get going again, it'll soon multiply; I'll be happy to cover your postage and very happy to give something in trade if there's anything you need that I have or can get.

    Let me have your Paypal details and I'll send something over to cover the postage, and thank you very much for the generous offer :)
     
  4. TeeDee

    TeeDee Full Member

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    Ive heard of Kefir before and it does interest me but what do you feel are the main benefits of consuming it?
     
  5. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    The first thing I'll say is that apart from any health benefits the stuff just tastes great; like a mildly fizzy but much more complex yoghurt, goes well with fruit and some savouries, too.

    I, and other members of my family, are very prone to diverticulitis which is an extremely inconvenient and sometimes very painful condition of the bowel. I drink a glass of Kefir first thing in the morning each day and while I stick to that routine I never have the slightest problem with it; as soon as I miss it for a day or two (travel, visiting family etc.) the symptoms are back and there's no mistaking it. Forty eight hours after getting back to it all is hunky-dory again. I take a fair bit of medication which is very bad indeed for the whole gastro-intestinal system and I seem to have escaped all the usual consequences of the meds.

    I was advised a long time before it became fashionable that it would be extremely beneficial for my system as a whole to be consuming as many naturally fermented foods as possible and to be consuming them on a regular basis as part of my diet. I started then (10 yrs ago?) to bake and eat sourdough bread, have a bowl of Miso soup every day and to get the Kefir thing going, and I've never felt better. Regular as clockwork and I can eat pretty much what I like to eat without consequences.

    It seems that naturally fermented food supplies the good bacteria needed for good health in a way that all those sugar-laden pro biotic drink things claim to but don't, and also crucially makes the nutrients in the rest of your diet bio available in a way that they normally aren't.

    I'm no food fad fanatic, in fact I'm a confirmed sceptic when it comes to all the superfood faddy nonsense that does the rounds more and more, but the fermented foods that I eat taste great and without any shadow of a doubt make me feel much better in a way so obvious that I'd be a fool to ignore the facts.
     
    #5 Macaroon, May 29, 2017
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  6. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    Astonishing, and typical of BcUK; forty eight hours after my original post appealing for help was put up I've received a lovely little bundle of healthy grains in the post. They are now in a clean jar with some of the best milk I can source hereabouts and hopefully about to start a new culture to replace the one I lost.

    I have to thank neoaliphant of this parish, and Mrs. n as well for showing such thoughtfullness and being kind enough to have taken the time to do this for me.

    I'll report on the degree of success in forty eight to seventy two hours, by which time I'll know whether they like their new home and are willing to perform :cool:
     
  7. neoaliphant

    neoaliphant Nomad

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    :)

    Your welcome
    Mrs N says good luck...

    I have mine as a fruit smoothy every so often, i dont like yoghurt but kefir tastes better,
     
    #7 neoaliphant, May 31, 2017
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  8. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    Well, I'd never heard of it up until now, but having to take Omeprazole daily, and suffering IBS sometimes, I think I'll give it a go. Breakfast for me at the moment is kiwi, blueberries, banana, Chia seed, and live yogurt. Sometimes with a handful of granola to keep me going longer.

    I'm just researching how it's made and used, and trying to find the right grains to start it off. I see what you mean about sourcing grains, there are a lot of companies out there.

    My Polish neighbours had an earthenware pot in the kitchen that they allowed milk to ferment in, I wonder if that's a similar thing?
     
  9. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Wikipedia has a good write-up. Very interesting bacteria/yeast community.
     
  10. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Yes, that is what they have been creating, or old fashioned Youghurt.
    I suffer from IBS, Diverticulosis and an unspecified, IBS non related thin intestine irritation/inflammation.
    Kefir helps.

    I wish I could make my own, as one liter Kefir costs me 8 USD here.....
     
  11. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    That's exactly what they're making, the old myth about the people of the Caucusus region living to one hundred and eleventy five 'cause they eat a lot of live yoghurt? it's Kefir they've been eating/drinking and it's widespread throughout that region and what we now think of as Eastern Europe; Your description of your symptoms mirror mine to a large degree and this stuff seems to have alleviated all of that. I had twelve years of Omeprazole to deal with the effects of other meds, once I started using Kefir I was able to stop it within a week and haven't looked back since.

    When you look at the map of where this is used, then overlay one of where the population has no gut problems, guess what you find?

    I really, really don't want to sound evangelistic - just try it and see.
     
  12. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Kefir can be made on Low Fat milk - runny
    Full Fat milk - thick
    Milk with cream - very thick and creamy.

    Science had debunked the idea about the beneficial bacteria, but in this case I think the research is faulty.

    I am brought up on Kefir, Youghurt and the Swedish Filmjolk.

    Mum used to make her own Kefir as it was unavailable in Sweden until the late 70's.
     
  13. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    I will. Due to gastric reflux etc, I'd tended to keep dairy products to a minimum. The Omeprazole sorted that ok, but I don't want to be on it daily when the problem is a gut thing.

    Looking on the Wiki page, there's a big list of fermented milk products.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kefir
     
  14. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    If you put around 200 ml of the one you're buying in a clean jar, then heat 1 litre of the best milk you can source to 30-34 deg.C, add the two together and then leave, lidded, at about 20-25 deg.C for 36 hours you will clone the Kefir you now buy, but it won't, as far as I know, develope and mature like a culture with grains will; but still Kefir of the same quality that you now pay for but only the price of the milk. You can do this ad infinitum, and if the stuff you're using is good then you have the solution........I hope you'll try it and let us know.
     
  15. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Do not forget that sauerkraut is very beneficial too.
    Not in the traditional British cuisine today, but easy to get.
     
  16. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I certainly will.
    Will start tonight. Need to buy some milk though. Organic if I can.
    We do not use milk in our household ( Cholesterol for wife, lactose intolerance for me)
    Thank you for the idea!

     
  17. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    A wee update on this one - I've just started the third batch from the grains I was gifted by neoaliphant and Mrs. n, and they've been really lovely, even the first batch was delicious so you must be keeping yours in tip-top condition.

    I was fearing a nightmare, having to get started again but I can't believe how seamless it's all been, so heartfelt thanks for taking the trouble to get them to me :).

    When they are established and multiplying strongly I'll be only too happy to gift some on to anybody else that'd like to give it a try...................................
     
  18. Herbalist1

    Herbalist1 Settler

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    Hi Macaroon,
    glad to hear you're back up and running again.
    Ive been keen to give kefir a go for quite a while but like you, was unsure where to source good quality grains - it seems to have become a big business with lots of suppliers but it is hard to know the quality of the strains they supply.

    Thanks for the offer of gifting on grains. I'd like to take you up on that, if I may, once yours are happily multiplying.
    and like you, I'd be more than happy to cover postage, or even a trade if there is anything you're after.
    Many thanks.
     
  19. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    Is there any way of storing the grains, say if we were on holiday for a week or more?

    Also, does anyone have any recommendations as to where is best to buy good grains? Do they differ much?
     
  20. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    I'll be in touch as soon as there are enough to pass on and you'll be welcome to them; you're right, you just wouldn't believe how the commercial big boys have got hold of this and we all know how much you can trust the commercial food producers, eh?
     

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