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Milk Kefir - Regularly fermenting in fridge

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:19 am
by kefir_14

I have some Milk Kefir grains and at first I was fermented at room temperature for 24 hours but I was not able to keep up with the supply.

I have started fermenting in the fridge for up to about a week at a time. It seems to work but I’m wondering if it is ok to keep doing this or whether it is detrimental to the grains or the balance of the culture?

I like the idea of fermenting once or twice a week rather than every day.

Also what is the recommended ratio of milk to grains?


Re: Milk Kefir - Regularly fermenting in fridge

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:35 am
by baerdric
I'm interested in the answer to this too. I don't need a quart of kefir every day.

Re: Milk Kefir - Regularly fermenting in fridge

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:15 pm
by dri
Always fermenting in the fridge will skew the biodiversity of your grains as some strains do better at cooler temperatures. Likely it will produce thicker kefir as yeasts are more impacted by the temps than bacteria. But I've had some grains in my fridge (my backup grains) for over18 months and they still are fermenting fine. I change the milk once a week and have 4-6 tablespoons of grains (2-3 grains for me) and a pint of milk. In a week is very think kefir but not yet separated. Sometimes there is a little separation right around the grains so I try to shake them once during the week.

For something intermediate you might try a mix, putting it out at night one day and then in the fridge until its finished, or even putting it out until its kefir then putting it in the fridge until its time for the next batch. While I do 1/2 a quart a day, that is still what I do often so I can blend a big batch of kefir mousse less frequently making 2-3 quarts at a time and then put the second ferments and the original grains back in the fridge in new milk.

Re: Milk Kefir - Regularly fermenting in fridge

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:54 am
by kefir_14
Thanks for your helpful reply.

The kefir is getting quite fizzy with grains and foaming (curds?) on top even overnight when fermented at room temperature (roughly 12 hours? / winter).
Not sure if this is due to regularly fermenting in the fridge. I did one batch outside of the fridge and it was still very fizzy. Not sure if it is an issue... it still tastes nice and I don’t mind a little bit of effervescence but it is quite a lot until I let it sit in the fridge for a bit.

I might try doing some smaller daily batches outside of the fridge. Approximately how many grams or measure teaspoons/tablespoons of grains would I use to ferment say 1/2 cup milk, or at most a cup of milk?


Re: Milk Kefir - Regularly fermenting in fridge

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:22 am
by dri
Fizzy is normal for Kefir, especially if you use a tight lid. If you want less fizzy, don't make it tight.

Not sure if you are seeing curds/whey.. is there clear liquid and harder chunks (like cottage cheese) or just a light foam. Pics can help us understand.

Yeast increases fizz but normally it is less active if you ferment in the fridge. If it smells very yeasty you can reduce that a bit by letting a batch overferment, say 72 hours, which drives the ph low and reduces the yeast more than the bacteria.

But if in 12hrs it is separating, that suggest you have more grains than you need. Try 1/3 or 1/2 of your grains, even if that means cutting one grain into pieces. I only use 1 grain at a time, but my grains grow large (upto a 1-cup in size), e.g. see my video

Re: Milk Kefir - Regularly fermenting in fridge

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:32 am
by kefir_14
Thanks for the replies.

It often looks foamy with the Kefir grains floating on top and the cream seperated and surrounding the grains but not the very obvious separation of curds and whey like I’ve seen in some photos.

Some photos from an earlier batch:

Photo 1
0F0AC38F-5A17-4595-9D00-67AAE779CEEC.jpeg (57.18 KiB) Viewed 17656 times

Photo 2
6B7049D9-E698-446E-AFFB-65BC7259BE0E.jpeg (77.82 KiB) Viewed 17656 times

The past 2 or 3 batches have not been pleasant anymore. They are thin with a bitter aftertaste and not as sour as before. I actually don’t mind very sour kefir but I don’t like the bitterness that has started to occur lately so I ditched the milk Kefir.

I have been mostly fermenting in the fridge so I tried a room temperature ferment overnight and it was just as bad possibly slightly worse in regard to the bitter aftertaste but it is probably just getting worse with each batch lately. One of the fridge ferments I taste tested after 2 days and it was still slightly ‘sweet’ / normal milk tasting but with a bitter aftertaste starting to appear. Normally I leave it in the fridge for about a week.

I’m thinking maybe I should try rinsing the Kefir grains with filtered water and doing some small batches at room temperate? I’ll try 1 or 2 tablespoons grains with 1 cup milk?
I’m using goat milk.

Many thanks for your help.

Re: Milk Kefir - Regularly fermenting in fridge

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:20 am
by alisoncc
Photo 2 looks like one heck of a lot of grains. I tend to keep mine down to just sufficient to fit into a normal tablespoon, fermenting 400ml of milk overnight. If the "lump" is getting too large then I will cut it in half and dispose of one half.

Re: Milk Kefir - Regularly fermenting in fridge

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:25 am
by dri
Agree with the above post.. looks like a lot of grains. Might want to cut buack and it explains th slowly it gotten bad as they grains keep growing. If you are just starting, I recommend splitting a secondary jar of backup grains. which stay in the fridge, and occasionally get the milk changed. Or you can give some to a friend.

It also looks a bit yeasty which generates more foam. You might try to reduce the yeastiness by putting them in a jar and letting it significantly over-ferment, say doing 72hrs on the counter.. it will become very separated curds/whey) then put it in the fridge for 2 days. This will drop the ph to about 3.4 (which limits/ kill some the yeasts). Then separate grains curds and whey (the curds can be used to make a kefir cheese which makes a nice spread for veggies or crackers). You can use the whey to ferment other things (e.g. adding it to juice) or to soak oats.

Re: Milk Kefir - Regularly fermenting in fridge

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:43 pm
by Deena
I’ve been fermenting my milk kefir in the fridge all summer
( I live in Australia) we have had a horrific summer with temps up,to
Mine has been fermenting in about 4 days in the fridge.
I was givin my grains and left in the dark how or what to do with them apart from the oblivious and to not use anything metal
When I was first given the grains almost a year ago ,my first batch tasted / smelt like mature cheese ...blah ..didn’t like the taste at all
so I washed the grains in water ,I’m a member of a homemakers type forum .,members were horrified ..but they continued to work / grow
to this day with out the horrible mature cheese taste
My current lot of grains I’m using have way to many grain for the amount of milk .,again I’m using a mason quart size jar a blue one so it doesn’t get mixed up with a veggie jar
I was given about two tablespoons of grains originally now I have 4 jars
of frozen grains as well as way to many in my fresh lot
I quite often do a second ferment with my milk kefir I partially like the fizz / tang a fresh slice of orange gives it so that’s mainly what I use for a change from plain

Re: Milk Kefir - Regularly fermenting in fridge

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:39 pm
by baerdric
OK, I think this might be my problem, the photos look just like what I get. I just posted a question about it.

So as I understand it, the ratio of yeast to bacteria is too heavy on the yeast side, and over fermenting can force that down a little by changing the pH?

Also, I seem to have many smaller grains than some people are describing, all about 1/2 inch diameter or smaller. Maybe 15 grains per heaping tablespoon.

I came right at the best moment, both of the top questions apply to my situation...