Very new to this and I started out making simple water kefir using Cultures for Health water kefir grains. Found those, glass jars, and fermentation lids at my local whole/natrual food store. It's going quite well; made a few batches and it turned out great!
Decided to take it up a notch and wanted to try some almond milk kefir recpies I found online. I'll explain how I made the batch and my questions will be at the bottom.
- Soaked raw almonds for over 24 hours in a tall plastic cup.
- Didn't have time to deal with it so I rinsed them and put them in the fridge for another 24+ hours.
- Ground up the almonds with the specified amount of water (sorry I can't get the link to the recpie right now).
- This produced a really nice, pure, almond milk... tastes amazing!
- Poured that into my nut milk bag and 'milked' it by hand into a tupperware container. Pretty sure my hands were... fairly clean =)
- Poured almost 2 cups of this almond milk into my jar.
- Added almost 3 tbl spoons of raw sugar (Sugar in the Raw).
- Put on the lid, popped in my bubbler, and set it in my cupboard.
- Room temp is about 65 to 70 degrees.
Checked on it the next morning and it had 'grown' up into the bubbler and was over flowing! Figured I had just over filled the jar. Took off the bubbler, rinsed it out, set aside. Through the hole in the top of the jar where the bubbler goes I held my finger over it so the kefir grains wouldn't pour out. Drained the jar so there was about an inch of headroom. Rinsed off the jar, put the bubbler back on, and put back in the cupboard.
Later that afternoon same thing happend! OK obviously my jar is too small. Wiped everything up, poured it into a cornel bowl, put a clean dish towel over top, and secured with a large rubber band.
Pulled it out the next day around noon thinking I'd have a tastey lunch treat! Wow... smelled very sour. I stired it gently with a spoon and touched my tounge to the spoon. No WAY I'm drinking that stuff! Tasted 10 times worse than it smelled. Well... ok... almond milk kefir fail.
Decided I'd just strain the grains out, rinse them off, and go back to simple water kefir. I have a nice, super fine, wire mesh strainer. it holds about a cup of stuff. I've used it several times when making water kefir and transfering the grains to the new jar. Based on that I expet to have a heaping pile of grains.
Poured some almond milk in and it filled the strainer quickly as this stuff was so coagulated and think. Gently ran a slow streem of water over the strainer to force out the crud and hopefully be left with my grains. Hmm... nothing left... ok the grains must be on the bottom of the bowl; that's fine.
Eventually went through the whole bowl... and was left with like 3 little weird looking grains. They weren't translucent like they were the other day and I'm missing like... 90+ % of them! Didn't want to even bother reusing them; they looked wierd, smelled weirder, and I had barely any left anyway.
What happend to my water kefir grains?!
How do you properly rinse grains?
Any ideas why the almond milk kefir was bunk?
My understanding is that though they are similar water and milk kefir grains are different and though some have success with using water kefir grains in milk they never work as well as they do in water. My milk kefir grains are usually congealed into a small mass while the water kefir grains are seperate and translucent, sometimes shaded to the color of the fruit I used. I'm by no means a kefir expert and have also had trouble making a palatable nut milk kefir. I'm curious to see what others have to say.
Our inability to change everything should not stop us from changing what we can.