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Getting Started with Kefir

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0 Responses to "Kefir"
  1. I am retired! I was! Thank you, Donna, for the last two going on three months. I have been fighting to get my health back. During this re cooperation my only alarm on my phone is for your Hay House Radio show. And my Sunday morning emails. So, for the last few months you have been in sync with me.
    Thursday I used my 100%can of pumpkin to make pumpkin bars. Then this morning you give me pumpkin recipes. Your the Best! Thanks again.

    • Awww thank you for hanging out with me! I love the feedback and please call in and talk to me on the radio. I’d love to give you a phone hug. Working on some cultured pumpkin bars myself!

  2. Can you use the liquid in the jars as a culture again for the next batch of veggies, or do you have to keep adding new water/starter culture?

    • You can reuse the liquid several times! The fresher the brine is, the more times you can reuse it.

  3. The beautiful photo ABOVE “Sodium nitrate and heavy metals” looks like something i might like to make. Can you tell me what it is?

    • Hi Kathy, this is a recipe that is coming out in Donna’s new book next year, so you’ll have to wait! (I’ll give you a hint.. it’s made with kefir cheese and a special raspberry jam)

  4. Could you please tell me how this compares as a probiotic source with kombucha? I have been making separately kombucha and a ‘ginger water’ (with apple cider vinegar and powdered ginger)… Maybe this will do for both! Thanks!

  5. Can you make this with honey? I make a drink with honey, kefir whey, ginger, and blended lemon.

  6. Have you tried culturing the thermophilic yogurt in an Instant Pot? I don’t have a yogurt maker, but I recently got a new Instant Pot with a yogurt setting and I’d like to try using it for that. I just wondered whether there were any special precautions or instructions for making yogurt in this appliance.

  7. I am wondering if I can make goat milk kefir using powdered goat milk. I can’t find raw goat milk in my area, so thought I would purchase organic powdered goats milk and then make my kefir from there. Wondering if that is possible. Thanks in advance for your help. Sharon, california

  8. Hello Donna,first off I want to tell you all your info has been great,and your video was so helpful.I have been drinking kefir for about 6 months now,which I was buying from a lady.I now have some of my own live grains and have made my own for 3 days now,with great success.My question to you is,I started with whole milk that has the highest fat content and I know it works the best to feed the kefir but the thought of drinking something with such a high fat content doesn’t really appeal that mush to me.I drink milk but it’s 1%.Does the kefir interact to the fat in the whole milk to make it healthier.The lady I was buying the kefir from must have used coconut milk because of the flovour of the kefir,do you recommend coconut milk and refresh the grains in whole milk every so often?In doing this will I take away some of the goodness from the kefir grains.Thanks so much Donna,Sincerely Lynn,Nova Scotia,Canada.

  9. Where in wicklow-Dublin can I buy a scoby.I’ve been buying mine from England. And not much success making kabucha. A mould grows after a few days ..can you help thanks

  10. Shelley’s recipe looks interesting – but I have not even tasted the cultured veges I refrigerated 3 years ago (still crunchy). I use Himalayan salt with dairy kefir whey as the starter. I have added dried shredded seaweed to some of my jars. A friend’s husband tried some of them and said they were the best he had tasted (my friend almost did not get any!) If I use Himalayan salt and packaged seaweed are the minerals still helpful?

  11. Hi Donna!

    I can’t purchase the Body Ecology Ancient Earth Minerals right now but am wondering if food grade Diatomaceous Earth would be a good substitute, as it’s a mineral and 89 % silica!

    Thanks so much, for all that you do! 🙂

  12. HI DONNA
    Im really excited about starting kefir – what I really want to do is make it thicker like yogurt.
    Is there a trick to that?

  13. Hi; about veggies; do you have “stats” for science-types like my son? Example: actual, tested nutritional value of raw carrots vs. nutritional value of fermented carrots.
    Also, about veggies, do the fermented vegetables have as much or more nutrition than the brine that is left in the jar? If that is the case, I’d like to drink brine shooters instead of eating vegetables.
    Have learned a lot from your books, videos and website. Thanks!!!! xxxx000

  14. I thought of another question about the kefir grains, regarding your revised instructions for the amount of grains to use when making a batch, I get that, there are variables that you have to adjust for. What about storing the grains in the fridge, has your recommendation for how much milk per tablespoon of grains for storage been revised as well? I’ve currently got about 3+ tablespoons in a quart of milk and I try to change that weekly.

    • That should be fine. However much milk you use on the counter to make kefir daily is what you should use and should last a week in your fridge. I always add a little extra just to be sure it has enough food.

  15. I have your books Donna and have learned so much – THANK YOU!! I was doing Kefir but have switched to fermenting numerous veggies which we enjoy even more – OH the flavors are fabulous and as a long-time ‘canner’ it’s fun to just make 1-2 quarts!! I have shared your books & website with many friends.

  16. can too much kefir, kombucha and kraut be consumed in a day? Sometimes I drink a quart of kombucha, a cup or more of milk kefir and about a cup of kraut> My kefir is made from milk that I milk from my Pygmy goat.

  17. I was wondering about the yeast growing on top of the vegetables. I guess it’s been too hot. After scooping off the top veg, can I rinse the rest of them off and just store them in fresh water?

  18. I am currently have an issue with my Kombucha. I think I waited too long between batches. My scoby came out very thin. I was using rooibos tea. It did ferment after the 10 days so I started a new batch right away with about 4 cups of starter tea, rooibos again. It’s fermentation seems to be going very slowly and the scoby is again very thin. Do I need to try a batch with black tea or do I need to just get a new scoby and starter tea?

  19. So if non-dairy milk always separates then does that mean you have to taste test to know if it is done because you can’t tell if the separation is from over ferment or the typical separation of the water from the nut solids? I always make my Kefir with canned coconut milk and this has always been a tricky part for me.

  20. Hi Donna:

    Love your web site, I send it to new people all the time. I trust you and fully respect you. That is huge.

    My question to you, my daughter 31yrs. gets bladder infections all the time. She is susceptible to them, can kombucha irritate it?

  21. I’m about ready to give up on making my own Kefir and buying it in the supermarket. It grows so rapidly into curds and whey that I have 2 jars stored in the fridge with the surplus. What am I doing wrong? …. and it has such a strong sour smell my son can’t come in the kitchen after I have uncapped the jar. It is also pretty sour tasting so I don’t enjoy drinking it at all. I also wonder if I’m doing harm to myself rather than good??? I’ve been doing it the opposite to what you have written. I have usually a half jar of the fermented Kefir and add very little milk. Do I start from scratch by taking 1 tbsp of the fermented Kefir and adding 1 cup of milk as you suggest and always keep it to that ratio. My kitchen is probably in the mid-70’s. I keep it in a glass jar with a loose lid. Guess I just can’t seem to get the hang of it. Is it supposed to taste sweet? – not sour, watery and effervescent!!!! Any help is appreciated.

  22. Thanks Donna,
    You’ve cleared up a few niggling questions in my mind. I love your books and info.

  23. Hi Donna,
    A friend gave me some kefir grains and I followed the instructions on page 53 of your book Cultured Food for Health, where it says 1 tablespoon of kefir grains per 3 cups of milk. I checked tonight and the milk has not changed much at all in 24 hours. I wanted to find out what I did wrong so I went to your website. There I found the kefir making video and the instructions in the video were different. It was indicated that you use 1 tablespoon of kefir grains to 1 cup of milk. Which one is the correct one? I am not sure about leaving the mixture on the counter (now 26hrs) so I will put it in the fridge until I hear back.

    • It really depends on how warm your house is. Let it sit out till it ferments. When it takes longer than 24 hours you can know to reduce the milk and remember that you’re grains will grow and need more milk in the future. Take it out of the fridge and let it keep fermenting until its tart tasting, and then you’ll know it’s done. It’s okay if it’s taking longer but next time you can reduce the milk down to 2 cups or less. It’s really an unique thing to do. Each home is different depending on temperature. Check out this video for more help. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqDYJfoiDFc

  24. Kefir has been a blessing to me and my husband. It eliminated his acid reflux and my digestive problems. We make it everyday. When a friend or family member tells us they are having any type of digestive problem, we recommend kefir. We also give them our kefir to use and if they want to make it we give them grains and teach them. We are learning to make dishes with kefir cheese and my husband and I drink the whey after we work out. Kefir is a great food. Your website has been so helpful, and I learned all about it and got my original grains from you. I can’t thank you enough! One question: is it possible to make kefir with reconstituted dry milk?

  25. Thank you for this article, Donna! I have some pretty nasty bruises from a car accident and I tried putting coconut oil on them. The bruises on my arms have really lightened up in the last 24 hours. It’s really amazing! Again, thank you for the article! I never would’ve thought to do this!

  26. I use coconut oil in my cats food. My cat had severe stomatitis and nothing was working. I started researching on what cats can consume. So I started using the coconut oil along with turmeric in his food. My cat went from having to have his food puréed at every meal to eating solid food again. He no longer salivates either which was his bodies was to cooling down the inflammation in his mouth. So now I do this at every meal to keep his condition at bay.

  27. Donna, Just to be clear, I just made the cultured tomatoes in a 1/2 gallon jar as described and followed directions as I interpreted them. The recipe says to “add the kefir whey and cover with water, leaving an inch or two at the top.” So after chopping & mixing, I poured a LOT of water in the jar on top of the half-filled jar of tomatoes/basil/kefir whey to get to the 2″ mark at the top. Is this what the recipe meant? Nervous I blew it already. There’s so much water on top…

  28. I know you mentioned previously that Kefir can repopulate the good bacteria in your gut, but in the article you mention that after 1-2 weeks of not consuming these foods your body revolts. Can these foods permanently re-colonize your gut (making lasting change) or is it temporary only while you consume these foods?

    • It really depends on what your eating in addition to theses foods. You’re microbes can shift depending on the types of prebiotics you feed them and also what your diet over all looks like. Lots of prebiotics are the key then your bacteria grows and crowds out the other bacteria and pathogens. They can change quite quickly but if depends on your diet over all.

  29. Many readers complain of mushy vegetables. I have been putting an oak leaf in each jar (if jar is big, I use 2). I keep a jar of oak leaves in salty water in my fridge to use when I need them. The oak leaf seems to keep the veggies crisp. Have you tried this?

  30. I have some fermented garlic in the fridge that I did approximately four months ago. Can I use that brine as my culture starter for this tomato basil brushcetta recipe?

    • Thats really a longtime and you won’t have a lot of strength in your starter to make a new batch. You can try it and see how it goes but you might not have as many probiotics since its been so long.

  31. My water kefir and Kombucha are side by side and I noticed a thin “scoby” in my kefir. I don’t really care because they are both delicious but, will this negatively impact either one? 😳

  32. Just a question, I brew my kobucha and milk kefir side by side on the top of my fridge. Is this okay or could they taint each other? I use a paper towel and elastic over each of them.

  33. Hi Donna, Thank you for sharing your recipes and wisdom of cultured foods with us. I am second fermenting my Kombucha with bottled cherry juice. It has an unappetizing odor, and I am not sure if it is bad. What might have went wrong?

    • I’m not sure how many carbs the juice had. It was 100% tart cherry juice – 365 brand organic. I had forgotten to put a lid on the jar (I had covered it with a paper towel and I didn’t put enough cherry juice in it. The next day when I realized this, I added the appropriate amount of juice and put a lid on the jar.

  34. We keep missing her window for bottling and we end up vinegar. Can I use the vinegar as started with my scoby for a new batch?

    Thanks a bunch!

  35. Thank you for this helpful article and the other helpful questions and comments it has inspired.
    My SCOBY is currently in the fridge, between batches, and the jar got pushed too far back and partially froze. Will SCOBY survive freezing?

    • Hi John! Cloudy is usually fine! It usually comes from the type of sugar you are using and there is a small amount of cloudiness cause by natural fermentation. You may also need to clean out your vessel. If you have a lot of yeast strings in your brew it will be more cloudy. The yeast strings are fine though 🙂
      ~Maci The Team at CFL

  36. My kombucha doesn’t have a lot of fizz to it. Am I doing something wrong? I usually brew it for about 7 or 8 days. Also, I use 4 black tea bags and 2 green bags to 12 cups water. What is a good combination to use; also what is another good flavor

    • Hi Peggy,
      We have a few blogs on go to help with fizziness but first I would reccomend adding more tea bags. I usually add at 4 or 5. It will create a better flavor as well. Also make a note that your 1st ferment Kombucha will not have much fizz to it at all. If you really want fizz you need to 2nd ferment and the best way to get fizz on a 2nd ferment is 2 oz of juice to 14 oz of kombucha in a brew safe bottle and ferment again for 3-10 days depending how warm your house is and make sure that your kombucha is just a tiny tiny bit sweet before you bottle it for 2nd ferment. If your kombucha is very sour or overly vinegary it wont create much fizz in the bottle. ~Maci The Team at CFL

  37. I keep getting a papery thin layer… not a scoby. Im pretty experienced as i have been fermenting for approx 4 years. Its not cold and it still tasted fine but the scoby or layer was so thin it falls apart in my hands as i try to lift it out the jar. I ended up tossing the brew and start again using a spare scoby i had but had the same issue. After a few fails i decided to start a fresh and grow my own scoby from store bought. I think my brew was contaminated or maybe something environmental or maybe the balance of bacteria was effected some how? Have you had this issue before?

  38. Thank you, very reassuring. My second batch has a strange looking SCOBY. I have been wondering if I should throw it out. I think I will wait and see if it gets fuzzy. I was also doing pickles and Sauerkraut and kimchi in same back bedroom although a crossed the room. P S bought your book Cultured Food for Health. Love it.

  39. I’m on my fourth batch since getting my Scoby from you. It’s turned out perfect everything. I’ve been making it in a gall I n size ball jar with a plastic spickot. I can smell and taste the alcohol fermentation each time, I really didn’t expect it. 😆 I can only drink it before bedtime, it puts me to sleep. My new Scoby (s) are quite large. I’ve also been making milk Keefer and cultured Vegy’s. My milk Keefer has the carbonation in it after I refrigerate it for a day. I wish I had known about using the whey for culturing before, I’ve been making Greek yogurt for several years and always poured it down the drain and used some on my face. 😉

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