I have been making kefir with pasteurized milk without any problem. However, I have not been successful making kefir with raw milk . Its seems the micro-organisms in kefir grains were out-competed by the bacteria in raw milk. As a result, the fermentation product did not taste or smell like typical kefir and gave me diarrhea each time I tried it. I don't want to risking damaging the nutrients by briefly heating the raw milk first. Anyone with experience making raw milk kefir please enlighten me.
I got the raw milk from a local farm and was told I could store it in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. I always started the kefir culture the day I received the milk and have increased the amount of kefir grains in raw milk. Unfortunately that did not change the result.
Liv Smith wrote:In my experience, the grains will need some time to adjust. Discard the first one or two batches, until you get one that has a pleasant smell and taste.
If you don’t want to waste milk, maybe start with a very small amount, say 1 tsp grains into a cup of milk.
And hopefully, the milk you’re getting/buying from that farm lasts more than 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator. If not, I would NOT use it!
I agree with the last statement here. Raw milk should be good for about a week (not that it will last that long without being consumed). I buy one too two gallons on Saturday and there is never any that goes bad over the week of drinking it.
I have had a difficult time acclimating grains when I make milk kefir too. They are picky and like consistency, but I have never had any home made kefir make me ill. A few times it's not tasted perfect but still consumable.
What if you used a mix of pasteurized and raw to get the grains used to the raw before phasing out the pasteurized stuff?
I have no practical experience to base this on, but it seems like it would work.
Just staring out with kefir myself, and I'd love to do a whole milk version, but alas I am suburban with no access to fresh real milk. Otherwise I'd try it out myself and report back. ;-)
I have only ever made kefir with raw milk for the past 8 years and every winter, I have to switch to pasteurised milk while the cows have a rest. The culture slows down but the taste does become milder (less sharp and not as yeasty) when grown in pasteurised whole milk. I notice that the grains don’t multiple as prolifically in pasteurised milk and when I switch back to raw milk, they take a few weeks to settle back. Agree with the other posters that your raw milk should be good for up to 10 days before it starts to go off. How long have you been making kefir, perhaps your tastes buds are not accustomised to the taste of kefir made with raw milk? The longer that you allow the grains to ferment, the stronger the taste - I leave mine until the mixture separates and you can see the whey split, the consistency is like junket.
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