How to Make Goat Milk Kefir
The process of making a new batch of Kefir milk will take less than 20 minutes. It will become a daily chore so get used to it. I like 24 hour Kefir so depending on when you start, it will be ready around the same time next day. Kefir Milk can be ready in 12 hours if kept at its optimum fermenting temperature of 20 - 24 degrees centigrade. Warmer it will take quicker, cooler it will take longer. Also the amount of Kefir Grains you are using will also determine when your Kefir is ready. The approx. ratio is 1 full Tbs. of Kefir grains per cup of milk or 1 part Kefir grains to 7 parts milk. I am currently at batch number 35 and my Kefir grains have since multiplied at least four times since I received them a month ago. Also the taste of my Kefir milk has adjusted to my way of fermenting as the taste from batch 1 to this batch number 30 has greatly improved. I believe my little family of microbes are happy with their life. With the extra Kefir Grains that grow, you can either give them away to others or eat them or mix them in a smoothie. They are VERY good for you this way as well. Anyhow, let's get started.
First get you goat milk out the fridge and warm it up to room temperature. I am using 3 cups of goat milk in a saucepan and warming it up to about 20 degrees centigrade or so around (70 degrees F.). I use a digital thermometer to know when I am there. If you don't have a way of measuring the temperature then just let the milk sit for a little while or place pot in some luke warm water. Once the milk is ready to remove from the heat source put it aside aside till later.
Now prepare your utensils which are a large bowl to catch the strained Kefir, a plastic sieve (strainer) and a wooden spoon. Also have some bottled or non-chlorintated water available as well. Apparently stainless steel can be used nowadays but I would rather go with the old trusted method and use non metal utensils. Do not use any other metal but stainless steel if you go the metal route. It will kill your little family of good bacteria.
Get your Kefir that is ready to be strained. You can see the curds have separated from the whey. The whey being the clearish liquid.
Open the jar lid and gently stir the contents with your wooden spoon. This will make it easier to strain.
After stirring take out your wooden spoon and place aside. Make sure there are no little Kefir grains stuck on the spoon. As the Kefir grains multiply over time you will find tiny little ones.
Now pour all the contents into the strainer.
While it is straining move your bowl aside and take your empty used Kefir jar and clean it out GOOD. This is important as we do not want to contaminate the next batch and possibly kill off the microbes. If you do drop some Kefir Grains then pick them up and rinse them it off good with the non chlorinated water or bottled water that you have on hand then add back into the batch.
*** MAKE SURE the jar is not too hot from you washing it. If it is you may damage your Kefir Grains when you go to put them back in the clean jar. So rinse the jar with warm to cold water. Now your jar is ready for the next batch of Kefir Grains.
You will notice that most of the liquid has drained off the Kefir Grains but there is a lot of creamy thicker stuff still on the Kefir Grains. Just move the Kefir grains around gently by scraping the bottom around the Kefir grains with your wooden spoon allowing the rest of the thicker Kefir liquid to fall through the strainer. Then all that will be left is the Kefir Grains with a little of the creamy translucent stuff still clinging on. You want it like this. I do not wash my Kefir grains after making a batch. In fact I may never. If you were going from goat milk to cow milk or some other medium where the Kefir Grains will work then I would rinse them off with the bottled water. Also transferring the continuing fermenting Kefir into the next batch helps everything move right along.
At this point start scooping out the Kefir grains and put them into the clean jar beside your bowl. Be careful not to drop any on the floor or anywhere that is dirty. If you do then you will have to rinse those grains in NON chlorinated water. Now pour back in about about 1/8th of a cup of the Kefir milk back into the empty jar. This will help the fermentation process for the next batch.
Now pour in you room temperature milk into the jar. The Kefir grains will immediately float on top. This is a good sign as damaged milk Kefir grains will sink.
Now cover the jar and put aside till you are ready to start over again. As time goes by you can see the milk fermenting. I like to move the jar back and forth during the 24 hours a bit. This will allow the Kefir grains to mix in well. If you leave the jar without moving that is also fine as well. It is all about experimentation. So now with tomorrow's Kefir fermenting away in peace, it is time for today's batch.
Give it a stir.
I like to have a my morning glass of Kefir milk from the new batch.
I pour the rest of the Kefir milk into an empty clean milk jug or if you have some left over from the previous day then just add to that. I like to label everything with dates. I do that with a piece of masking tape with the date of the first batch was added to the bottle. I start into a clean bottle every 6 days. So come the fifth day I drink today's batch with parts of the previous 5 batches. Kefir milk will last this way a long time if it does not get contaminated. This is how it was stored in the old days before fridges. Not in plastic bottles of course but wooden sealed caskets. Remember to keep the lid loose if storing on the counter. You will need to tighten the lid and shake it a few times a day then release the lid again to let the fermenting pressure out.
From this point you will have to decide which way you want to keep your Kefir milk. Some people prefer to put it in the fridge. If you do then tighten the lid on the Kefir milk and place in fridge and enjoy when you want. I leave my Kefir milk out at room temperature and let it go into secondary fermentation. This way you increase the good stuff in the Kefir milk. Make sure you have read about the Power of Microbes on my blog at kefirgrains.info.
Don't forget to wash your utensils so they are ready for tomorrow
What is a Kefir Milk Drink?
The Kefir Grains I am using and talking about at the moment are Milk Kefir Grains from Russia. There are also Water Kefir Grains. Those can be used in water, coconut water etc. I plan on introducing water Kefir Grains into my diet in addition to the Milk Kefir Grains. I will talk more about that later.
Kefir Milk is a cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your “inner ecosystem.” More nutritious and therapeutic than yogurt it supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins. Traditional Kefir is easily prepared at home just as it has been for many centuries by the ancients of the Caucasus Mountains in Russia. Fresh, non-pasteurized or pasteurized full-cream, low fat or non-fat milk. Kefir may be consumed right away or store in a sealed bottle and refrigerate for a day or two and serve chilled. Another option is to ripen liquid Kefir at room temperature for a day or more. It can then be refrigerated for longer storage or served as you wish. Ripening or secondary fermentation at room temperature improves flavor and increases nutritional value. Vitamins B6, B3 and B9 [folic acid] increases greatly during storage due to bio-synthesis of those vitamins mostly by yeasts of Kefir grain organisms.
How does it Taste?
If you like plain Yogurt or ButterMilk or Sour Cream you will love Kefir. Some of my friends squirm when they have a cup but they get it into them because they know the benefits of the Kefir Milk. At times the drink can be slightly effervescent depending on how you make it. I like it that way as well. You acquire a taste for it over time. For those that cannot deal with the taste or for other reasons do not want to use milk, then Water Kefir Grains will another choice. I will be posting about those shortly. and another kefir i like is coconut water kefir.
Just remember, Drinking Kefir Milk made from Live Kefir Grains gives you a super dose of probiotics. Better than any store bought Yogurt or pill.
Kefir Milk, Gaps Diet and a Decent Poop
I have been asked to post about what I eat so I have chosen today’s menu.
Cup of fresh water. I then Juice:
4 carrots, 2 Apples , 1/2 Beet (raw)
With that I take 4 capsules of pharmaceutical grade fish oil for the Omega-3 and anti-inflammatory effects and 1 capsule of Cod Liver Oil for the Vitamin A. About 30 minutes later I eat about 1/2 cup of Sierra Mixed Nuts. I grind them down.
I feel quite satisfied till noon.
I make my Kefir Milk Drink and drink it then or have made it earlier and cooled it. Either way I drink it for Lunch. After that I will have a cup of Fish Broth or Beef Broth made by myself. In the broth I will add two egg Yolks. Stir it up and it tastes very good.
In the afternoon:
I may have more nuts mixed with dried cranberrys
In the evening:
I may cook some meat in my broth or some fish in the fish broth. I now stay away from all processed foods and canned foods and cheese. Unsalted butter is okay. I eat fruit completely apart from meats as the digestive juices are much different when it comes to digesting them. Something I used to ignore.
As you can see by the above I am utilizing the GAPS diet with my own. Since I started this a week ago I have been having a regular bowel movement rated at 4, (see chart below). I am amazed because up until last week I have been taking ground flax seeds and metamucil tring to have a regular bowel movement. I know the above style diet is not for everyone but when you become sick and your only pleasure left in life is having a decent dump from a digestive system that finally works a lot better than it used to thanks to the magic healing of Tibetan Mushrooms, (Kefir Grains), then that is my current passion in life.
Anyhow Kefir Milk for their probiotics is where to start if you are just getting into this. Do your own research on the diet you want to go along with your Kefir diet. It all depends on what ails you.
A Guide to Bowel Movements - The Bristol Stool Chart.
There are seven types of stools (faeces) according to the Bristol Stool Chart. The Bristol Stool Chart or Bristol Stool Scale is a medical aid designed to classify faeces into seven groups.
So what should my stools look like?
The type of stool or faeces depends on the time it spends in the colon. After you pass faeces, what you see in the toilet bowl is basically the result of your diet, fluids, medications and lifestyle. You can use the Bristol Stool Chart to check what your stools are telling you.
The Bristol Stool Chart shows seven categories of stool. Every person will have different bowel habits, but the important thing is that your stools are soft and easy to pass – like types 3 and 4.
Type 1–2 indicate constipation
Type 3–4 are ideal stools as they are easier to pass, and
Type 5–7 may indicate Diarrhea and urgency.