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KEFIR - who makes it, drinks it, and/or feeds it to their chickens?

post #1 of 126
Thread Starter 

KEFIR - who makes it, drinks it, and/or feeds it to their chickens?
What do you think of it?
How do you make it?
Do you have any recipes?


I had never heard of kefir until last week.  I began investigating, and a member of BYC sent me a generous amount of kefir grains.
Then vmdanielsen sent me the following KISS (keep it simple, stupid) instructions.  Using them I've made several batches.  I doubt that I will ever bother to make yogurt again:
 
"I put milk (I do use organic milk) in a very clean mason jar (just out of the dishwasher or cleaned with hot soapy water and rinsed thoroughly).  I don't sterilize, but remember that you don't want to grow other things.  I put [kefir grains and] a couple cups of milk in. Stir gently with plastic or wooden spoon.  I've been told not to use stainless steel, but that is what I use.  Don't be confused,  It's WAY easy!  I leave it on the counter with a paper towel wrapped around the top, secured with a rubber band.  It's ready the next day.  If I don't use it it will get thick.  I then scoop out the grain start a new batch.  If it is really thick I add more milk, stir gently, then remove grain.  Chooks love it at all stages.  I think it will also grow in fridge, but it may take longer.  After you do it a couple of times you will know just how you like yours.  Good luck! Remember....this is not an exact science! It is easier than yogurt because there is no cooking.
Just keep things clean and enjoy.  You may think I am hung up on clean, but as I regularly also make kombucha and have grown unwanted things, I've become a bit of a stickler about cleaning before hand.
Ginny"
********************
Here are three web sites I found interesting.  I might not ever make yogurt again:
1.   http://www.kefir.net/kefiryogurt.htm
Both kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products...
...but they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that reside there.  But kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match..."
2.  http://www.kefir.biz/history.htm
History of Kefir   
Kefir is a fermented milk similar to yoghurt.
It is one of the oldest cultured milk products in existence, enjoying widespread popularity in Russia and the Caucasus. The history of kefir making and the legends connected to this amazing food are described below..."
3.    http://coproweb.free.fr/kefiranglais.htm 
Kefir's History
Kefir dates back many centuries to the shepherds of the Caucasus mountains. They discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into an effervescent beverage.
In the Caucasian Mountains, legend has it that the resulting kefir "grains (not really a true grain) were a gift to Orthodox people from Mohammed, who instructed them on how to use the grains. Mohammed strictly forbade them from giving away the secret of kefir preparation to other people, or pass anyone kefir grains, because they would lose their "magic strength." The legend explains why kefir grains and the method for kefir preparation have been surrounded by mystery for so long...


Edited by joebryant - 11/23/10 at 3:15pm
Breathes there a woman with soul so dead who never once looked up and said,
"Gee, what can I do for Joe Bryant today."

The best laid plans of mice and men go oft' awry.
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Breathes there a woman with soul so dead who never once looked up and said,
"Gee, what can I do for Joe Bryant today."

The best laid plans of mice and men go oft' awry.
Reply
post #2 of 126

I make water kefir... Does that count..
The grains are clearish.. They go in sugar water with the fruit of your choice.. (things like apples and raisins)..

the chickens eat the extra grains and the fruit after I strain and bottle it for us..big_smile

My birds also get Kombucha instead of AVC, also the extra mothers which are kind of tough and leather like.  I cut them into little chunks and the chickens eat them like they are steak.. (they go nuts!)

I personally am convinced that Probiotics such as Milk Kefir, water kefir, kombucha and yogurt boost hens health and vigor.. thus boosting egg production..big_smile

I personally avoid chemicals, antibiotics and so forth... And only use the "anti's" as a very last resort... I am big on the PRO biotics...

ON

"Nothing is lost, nothing is created ... all is transformed. Nothing is the prey of death. All is the prey of life."-- Antoine Béchamp

The "blues"  Ameraucana and Marans
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"Nothing is lost, nothing is created ... all is transformed. Nothing is the prey of death. All is the prey of life."-- Antoine Béchamp

The "blues"  Ameraucana and Marans
Reply
post #3 of 126

We make it, eat it, and feed it to our chickens.
I also make various forms of cheese with it.

This site is my go to for recipes.
http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefir_cheese.html
The straightjacket dip is out of this world good.


Edited by PaulaJoAnne - 11/23/10 at 6:56pm
post #4 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulaJoAnne 

We make it, eat it, and feed it to our chickens.
I also make various forms of cheese with it.


Please share the cheese recipies..
big_smile
ON

"Nothing is lost, nothing is created ... all is transformed. Nothing is the prey of death. All is the prey of life."-- Antoine Béchamp

The "blues"  Ameraucana and Marans
Reply
"Nothing is lost, nothing is created ... all is transformed. Nothing is the prey of death. All is the prey of life."-- Antoine Béchamp

The "blues"  Ameraucana and Marans
Reply
post #5 of 126

The link is above. They are rather wordy, so I'd rather not copy paste.

post #6 of 126

Oh Ya.. Dom's site... Great info there!  (I got a lot of ideas for water kefir from that site.)

I got "hooked up" with a source for "real" milk... So I want to expand my knowledge on fermented/cultured dairy products...big_smile

ON

"Nothing is lost, nothing is created ... all is transformed. Nothing is the prey of death. All is the prey of life."-- Antoine Béchamp

The "blues"  Ameraucana and Marans
Reply
"Nothing is lost, nothing is created ... all is transformed. Nothing is the prey of death. All is the prey of life."-- Antoine Béchamp

The "blues"  Ameraucana and Marans
Reply
post #7 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Organics North 

I got "hooked up" with a source for "real" milk... So I want to expand my knowledge on fermented/cultured dairy products...


Sandor Katz raves about the Swedish equivalent of kefir in his book "Wild Fermentation." While I've never tried filmjolk, I love kefir but never thought about feeding it to the chickens! They do get nonfat plain yogurt though.

post #8 of 126

caf

Did you use raw organic milk or pasterized organic milk?


Edited by patman75 - 11/23/10 at 8:42pm

Loving my mixed flock. 

How I beat feather picking. http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=6586027#p6586027

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Loving my mixed flock. 

How I beat feather picking. http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=6586027#p6586027

Reply
post #9 of 126

I have a question about this. I do drink Kefir I get at the store but would like to make my own. How did you all go about getting your grains. I know a couple sites where I can buy them but it seems like just random people making a site. One even said to only send cash. I don't know these people or how they do things.  I have some " how clean is it" issues of my own.  I know it sounds stupid. I buy it from the store and I don't know how clean their facilities are either but I guess I have that false assurance buying at the grocery brings. So how do you guys deal with that.

Mother of 4, teacher of 2,  Raise chickens, ducks, geese, goats and YAY I finally have my dairy cow. I am addicted to finances and getting great deals. I enjoy sharing this with others, especially family. I actually enjoy doing taxes and have taught others to do their own.  I craft a little, sew a little, and read alot.  One upon a time people thought there was a chance I would be meek, quiet,...

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Mother of 4, teacher of 2,  Raise chickens, ducks, geese, goats and YAY I finally have my dairy cow. I am addicted to finances and getting great deals. I enjoy sharing this with others, especially family. I actually enjoy doing taxes and have taught others to do their own.  I craft a little, sew a little, and read alot.  One upon a time people thought there was a chance I would be meek, quiet,...

Reply
post #10 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by patman75 

caf

Did you use raw organic milk or pasterized organic milk?


Raw. Pasturized will not give you a full kefir, as its a dead liquid, so nothing for the grains to really grow on.

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