Getting More From Your Kefir
Second Ferment Your Kefir
Many years ago I discovered a way to make kefir not only taste better but also increase the nutrients in it. It is the only way that I make my kefir now because it is so delicious. The process is called second-fermenting. I have to admit that the reason I second fermented my kefir is that it tasted so much better.
Nutrients and the vitamins will skyrocket!
Second-fermented kefir will have more nutrients and the vitamins will skyrocket! This is due to the prebiotics in the added fruits or vegetables. When you add a new fuel source for the microbes in kefir, they begin to grow and multiply which increases all the vitamins and especially the folic acid, but it is the taste that makes me do it again and again. It takes away the super-sharp sourness and mellows out the flavors. Everybody I have taught to second ferment has continued to do so because it tastes so superior to regular kefir. If you second ferment with a lemon or orange peel, or a million other foods, it will flavor the kefir and make it taste unique and delicious. I got this information from the kefir guru, Dom, who resides in the beautiful land of Australia. When it comes to kefir, he is the man. Nobody knows more about kefir than Dom. I even bought grains from him many years ago and still use them to this day. He said that second fermenting kefir takes away some of the sourness. It also increases certain B vitamins, like folic acid, and makes the calcium and magnesium more bioavailable which means that your body can take it in and use it immediately. Basically, it is predigested and loaded with enzymes.
- Make your kefir using the basic technique, removing the grains afterward.
- Place the kefir in a jar with a lid.
- Take the prebiotic item you want to ferment with (choose from items below or experiment) and place in your jar with your kefir. Remember, less is more. Too much fruit can cause your kefir to separate and taste bitter. One small peel of lemon or one slice of fruit is plenty for your jar. You can serve it with extra fruit once it's done second fermenting.
- Leave the jar on your counter for 1 to 4 hours or (up to a half day), then place the kefir in your refrigerator. It is now ready to eat and enjoy. If the kefir separates into whey a little this is fine, and you can then place it in the fridge. If you want less separation, then ferment for only an hour or two and then place it in the fridge to slowly ferment a bit longer.
- I leave the fruit in the jar and just keep adding kefir to it until it starts to get soft and begins to fall apart, then I will add fresh fruit and second ferment again.
This kefir, flavored with lemon or orange, is so yummy. It is lighter and creamier than kefir made with the basic recipe and has a little more carbonation. The taste is worth the extra fermenting and the nutrients skyrocket.
A lot of people I know will ferment kefir for long periods, leaving their grains in the kefir for days. Although this is not a bad thing, it makes for super sour kefir and can diminish the probiotics. As the microbes run out of food they can die, so longer is not always better unless you're giving them another food source as accomplished by second fermenting.