Just by chance I found a quart of milk kefir 2 days ago at the store. Is it possible for me to use this as a base for growing my own kefir grains?
By the way, Wild Fermentation was one of my winter reading projects this year. Thank-you, I made my own sauerkraut for the first time (although I was raised on the stuff).
Not Sandor, but maybe I can shed some light and he could agree or disagree...
Kota - I think, if you look on the label it will say 'pasteurized', so there's nothing living inside, these products are very similar to the Kefir/Yogurt starters, they work for a few times, but can not never establish. It should not be too hard for you to locate some healthy Milk Kefir grains, try Freecycle or Google ~ Kefir grains to see who has some available, I wouldn't be surprised, if you couldn't ask for them, here on the Permies site.
Brenda - Yes, Kefir is similar to yogurt that you usually drink or can be made thicker to eat with a spoon or further made into a soft cheese. There are two types of Kefir grains, Milk & Water. The milk grains are used to transform milk into Kefir or cheese. The water grains are used to transform flavored water or juice(s) into a natural effervescent 'soda-like' beverage. Both are wonderfully probiotic, some people claim that they are interchangeable, but I doubt it to be true...
Sandor Katz wrote:Commercial "kefir" in the U.S. is not made from kefir grains and will not generate kefir grains, though it is a cultured milk product and can be used to culture milk, but it will never generate grains. Kefir grains can be obtained commercially or from trading posts listed on my website http://wildfermentation.com (under fermentation resources). Kefir is similar to yogurt, but it is a distinctive microbial community and different from yogurt. Where yogurt can be solid, kefir is always a liquid (unless strained), and because it has yeast it can be slightly alcoholic and bubbly. Yum!
I dig on kefir but I really would have to try that...does not strike me as an appealing combination of flavors or attributes in any way.
none of the kefir I've had showed either of those qualities and you've piqued my interests.