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Am I double fermenting milk kefir correctly?

 
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Hi, you might remember me from the thread I made a few days ago. I decided to use the raw cow milk to make milk kefir. So I am double fermenting milk kefir for the first time and I require some assistance. I specifically want to know a few things. 1. Do I leave the lid on the jar sealed or unsealed? If I leave it sealed, do I have to unseal it periodically throughout the day? 2. Do I have to shake the jar multiple times throughout the day? If yes, how often? 3. I have seen some people put pieces of fruits like strawberries or lemon slices in the milk kefir and I have also seen people not put anything in it. Do I have to put a piece of fruit into the milk kefir before double fermenting? 4. What should it taste like after the double fermentation process is over? I heard it can taste like cheese and is creamy. 5. How long does the double fermented milk kefir last?
Staff note (jordan barton) :

The thread jonathan is refering to is...

https://permies.com/t/145152/kitchen/Raw-Milk-Constipation

 
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When I made kefir, I just added kefir grains to milk.  I'm not sure what you mean by "double" fermentation? Also, it looks like this is your first and only post, so I'm confused about the reference to a thread made previously.

I got some kefir grains from a person with a kefir practice, I put them in a jar and covered them with cool milk.  I kept them at 68-72F and to harvest the kefir I poured it through a sieve.

On the plus side, kefir is easier than yogurt - you don't have to heat up the milk before fermenting it.  On the minus side, I couldn't get my kids to eat it, so eventually I stopped.  
 
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Perhaps you are confusing water kefir with milk kefir? Water kefir is double fermented, the first time with just grains, water and sugar. The second ferment is when fruit, ginger etc is added for flavouring. Milk kefir is usually only fermented once and the grains strained out. If you strain off the whey before separating the grains, you will get a thicker yoghurt like consistency versus a runnier drink.
 
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Jonathan, welcome to Permies! I missed your first post. I'll have to take a look for it.

Milk kefir has been a staple in my diet for several years now, so I hope I can help answer your questions

Jonathan Wilson wrote:1. Do I leave the lid on the jar sealed or unsealed?


For the second ferment, leave the lid on the jar sealed. The process is anaerobic, so it doesn't need oxygen.

If I leave it sealed, do I have to unseal it periodically throughout the day?


The second ferment it to carbonate it, so you want to leave it sealed to prevent the fizz from escaping. When you start to see it bubbling, taste it to decide if it's done to your liking.

Do I have to shake the jar multiple times throughout the day? If yes, how often?


No. As far as I know, the shaking is to make sure the kefir grains mix well for a good first fermentation. Since they are removed before the second ferment, there's no need to shake the jar.

I have seen some people put pieces of fruits like strawberries or lemon slices in the milk kefir and I have also seen people not put anything in it. Do I have to put a piece of fruit into the milk kefir before double fermenting?


That's for flavoring, so it's completely up to you!

What should it taste like after the double fermentation process is over? I heard it can taste like cheese and is creamy.


I've never had it taste like cheese! Depending on the first ferment, it can be creamy, but it should have some zing due to the carbonation.

How long does the double fermented milk kefir last?


To me, it's best if consumed within about 24 hours. After that, it starts to get flat, but it's still edible. It will be a matter of personal taste preferences there.

Just have to keep in mind that kefir is a living food, so the results can sometimes be unpredictable. Have fun experimenting and let us know what you discover.
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