What you receive.
One package of Milk Kefir Grains (also referred to as kefir seeds)
Our Kefir Grains are harvested the morning we ship. They are given a milk bath to rinse off the Curds. A little milk remains on the grains. This provides nutrients for their journey. In transit they may become flatten out, become "smashed" or look mushy (due to the milk residue. They are good, no worries. Our Kefir Grains are very resilient to Heat & Cold and transit workers. Kefir Grains are viable and actually ferment in temperatures ranging form 41F to 138F. We have a 30 day guarantee.
A teaspoon of kefir grains / seeds (roughly 5 grams). Depending upon how active the kefir grains/seeds are one teaspoon may produce 1-2 cups of kefir. To produce 1 cup (250 ml) of Kefir it takes about 2-5% kefir grains/seeds at a proportion of 2–5% grains-to-milk.
Our Kefir Simple Start Guide. Please follow our method if you wish to confirm that our Kefir grains - seeds are working or not. Please do not discard until you have emailed or texted our support 919-518-3336. Please include a picture, type of milk, and what you have experienced so far.
What is kefir?
Kefir GRAINS or seeds, as they’re sometimes called, contain Billions of probiotic lactobacillus bacteria per gram that form small clusters or colonies of Grains (seeds) that have been used for centuries to make our food safe & healthy. There are roughly 5 grams per teaspoon. In shipping the clusters may break apart or flatten out.
Kefir GRAINS (seeds) are like pieces of rice or popcorn. or small pieces of very tiny cauliflower kefir Grains / seeds ferment milk into kefir.
KEFIR is the fermented milk
Kefir is the process of fermentation. Zymurgy. The last word in the dictionary. For example. You have an apple. You make Apple Juice. You set the Apple Juice out for a few days and it becomes Apple Cider. You leave the apple cider set out for longer time and it becomes Apple Vinegar. You can leave Apple Vinegar out longer and the eventually becomes water that may go bad. It all depends upon your Kodak moment.
Kefir Grains ferment milk and kefirs it. A drinkable yogurt. Leaving it go longer turns it into Curds then Curds and Whey. Curds and Whey, then more Whey, and Curds turns into Cheese. The variables are TIME, TEMPERATURE, TYPE OF MILK, RATIO OF GRAINS TO MILK. And when you decide what it is that you want.
Kefir is not yogurt. Kefir is not spoonable. Although there are recipes to make your kefir thicker, the typical kefir recipe produces a drink a bit thicker than milk but less thick than a milk shake. Slightly sour. The main sign that your Kefir is Ready when it sticks to the side of the glass. Normally Kefir will remain in this stage for a few days. The longer the ferment the more sour. Kefir that is fermented longer - past the Kefir stage becomes Curds and then Whey and the longer Curds and Whey is fermented the more whey. Curds and Whey is how cheese is made. The more Whey (which by the way is a complete protein and very healthy; sold in its dry form at health food stores) the more sour AND the more it STINKS, and taste more yeasty. The appearance of "too much whey" is considered "over-fermented", unless of course you're making cheese. Don't toss out, retrieve the Kefir Grains and start a fresh batch this time be sure not to let it go so long. (refer to the variables listed above), or text/email us with a picture and your concerns. We're here to help.
Which is the Best Milk to Use for the healthiest Kefir?
For your first ferment AVOID Raw Milk as raw milk contains its own peculiar micro-organism which may compete with our specific strain of Kefir. - always -AVOID Ultra-Pasteurized as it produces inconsistent and unpredictable results.
The very simple basic recipe is to open the package of Kefir Grains and pour the contents into 8 ounces of fresh whole pasteurized milk, stir, cover with a cloth or coffee filter, secure with a rubber band, set in a warm place (76.6F ideal) and wait. Cold weather takes longer, hot weather shorter. If you have any concerns email us or text us a picture.
Please note The First Time and anytime there is any change in routine there is what is referred to as a Lag Time. A little longer time may be necessary as adjustments by the probiotics are made. Please be patience.
Most folks drink their kefir before there is any separation into Curds + Whey. Both Curds and Whey have value. Curds are sweeter and has casein, the fats, while Whey is bitter and has more minerals and complete proteins, having all 19 essential amino acids. Both have reduced the lactose (milk sugar) ( To retrieve the grains from the curds, first stir (while whey is still in the jar) then strain and pour fresh milk over the curds + grains , repeating with the same milk if need be. You can recycle this milk into your next ferment. Do not try to remove all the curds from the grains (unless you plan of storing them) Curds help the Grains grow. Grains + curds can go into the next ferment.
(after removing the grains) If the Kefir its too sour to drink, you can save and use in baking (great for sour dough bread) or you can mix with fruit, herbs, spices and make a smoothie. Bananas works wonderfully. You can do a Second Ferment. Simply add fresh milk to the Sour kefir (without the grains), enough to sweeten it some, and leave on the counter to ferment a bit longer. You can add fruits, spices, etc to the Second Ferment as well.
BLOG Milk Kefir: Care and Feeding and what can go wrong
visit our Kefir Support Page. https://www.happyherbalist.com/kefir-support-page/
Free eBooks on all our ProBiotics available. https://www.happyherbalist.com/books/
HappyHerbalist.com. text support 919-518-3336 or email HappyHerbalist@me.com.