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Troubleshooting Kefir

April 27, 2009

You didn’t ask, but I’m delivering anyway. Such is the nature of the blog.

Kefir is easy. But, as with all projects requiring fermentation, things can go awry. Here are some solutions to some of the problems you are most likely to encounter when making kefir.

When I tried to strain my kefir, it was really thick and it glopped out all over my counter.
Oh, how funny you should mention this, because the exact same thing happened to me. Maybe this problem is unique to those of us who use unhomogenized milk? Anyone who uses regular, homogenized milk want to weigh in? But mine gets much, much thicker on the top than on the bottom. So, I stir it up before I strain it, and then stir it as I pour it slowly through the strainer.

My kefir fermented faster than I can drink it. What should I do with the grains while I work on drinking all that stuff?
Cover them in milk, cover the jar, and stick them in the fridge. It will ferment the milk into kefir very very slowly, giving you time to drink what you’ve already got. Keep an eye on it and change the milk if it turns into kefir before you want to use the grains again.

My kefir used to take 24 hours to get to how I liked it. Now it’s too thick and sour after 24 hours.
This is because your kefir grains are growing! When you strain out the grains, does it look like there are more than there used to be? There are! You can either take some out and give them to a friend, or your dog, or your garbage disposal, or you can shorten the time that you ferment your kefir.

My kefir tastes bad.
I’ve heard tell that kefir tastes funny when you switch milks. Maybe you are using a different kind of milk than the person you got your kefir grains from, and the grains need time to get used to it. Or maybe you are fermenting it too long and it’s more sour and thick than you want it. Or maybe you just don’t like kefir. Uh-oh.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    June 9, 2009 6:01 am

    Thanks for the kefir making hints! Do you know if there is any way to make kefir from storebought kefir? I’m having problems finding kefir grains that aren’t crazy expensive or will take too long to ship. Thanks! 🙂

    • secretnatasha permalink*
      June 10, 2009 5:17 am

      You really do need the kefir grains, unfortunately. Keep trying!

  2. Sarah permalink
    June 10, 2009 6:03 am

    Okay, thanks. I ended up buy some grains on ebay. Hope they come soon and I can have some fresh kefir with a little agave nectar!

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