After our adventures in Kefir making, Becky thought it would be a good idea to start making Kombucha. I have to say that I had no idea what it was.… And so it began.
Kombucha is a sweet tea which is left to ferment with the SCOBY and within two weeks turns into a another drink entirely which is highly beneficial to your body. HEALTHY OR NOT, IT TASTES AMAZING!
After Becky managed to get a free SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) from a friend, we were off and brewing. We are currently brewing our fourth batch of kombucha.
Our second batch caused some concern with the expected growth of a new SCOBY on the surface of the liquid. Each time a batch is brewed you end up with a new SCOBY. Becky’s approach is just to leave it alone and check it after two weeks, where as my approach is more of checking it four times a day to see what’s happening. My concern grew over what looked like abnormal SCOBY growth. Eventually I reached out to contact people wise in the ways of the SCOBY. They were both amazing and responded very quickly to the pictures I emailed to them.
As it turns out, the biggest thing that can ruin your batch is mold. But we did not have any, thankfully. After a minor relocation to a warmer part of the house things seemed to get back on track.
Here are the two resources who were so kind to help.
You say Kah-Fear…..I say Kef-her…..or, is it Key-fer?
Adventures in Kefir making!
Normally going to a stranger’s house to pick up a small ziplock bag of anything would be out of the question. But that’s what we did. Becky arranged everything about the deal online. My only contribution was to say “There’s no way in hell that you are going to a stranger’s house by yourself… I’ll drive!”
A few minutes later, a token amount of cash exchanged for a plastic baggie, we head straight home. “Let me see it, let me see it”I say. “Why do they call it kefir ‘grains’?”
And so it began….
Jump forward a few batches, a bit of uncertainty, and we think we got it all sorted out.
Kefir is fermented milk which is full of beneficial bacteria and yeast. It tastes similar to yogurt, but usually more tangy. It’s probiotic nature helps to maintain a healthy immune system and well-functioning digestive system. Kefir contains a higher amount of beneficial bacteria and yeasts than most yogurts. It’s also much easier to make.
They call it ‘grains’ because of the way they look.
It’s a SCOBY. This stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.
When added to milk, kefir grains feed on the lactose in the milk. The lactose provides nourishment and allows the grains to grow and multiply.
Some people will give away their excess grains to strangers. Becky found several sources of free Kefir grains, but with an 8 week waiting period. Becky, not one who likes to wait, found another source for $5.
Here is where she found it.
How to Make Milk Kefir
Step 1 – use 1 tablespoon kefir grains for each glass of milk
Step 2 – place in a mason jar with a cloth over the opening, or if using the lid, don’t tighten it as the kefir needs to breath.
Step 3 – let ferment for approximately 24hours if your home temperature is 20 degrees Celsius or higher. It will depend on the temperature of your home, our house is cooler and we fermented the milk for 36 hours. This is where some of our initial uncertainty resulted in unsuccessful attempts.
Step 4 – strain the grains out of your milk and place in another jar with some fresh milk to keep it alive. Place in the fridge until you are ready to make your next batch. Start using your kefir milk.
Avoid using metal utensils. Try to purchase a plastic strainer (yes, our picture above is with a metal strainer, but it has since been replaced)