Friends have been asking me about kefir grains what are they, where do they come from, what are they for? I came across them just trying to learn to make cheese and they gave me some in the class so really got lucky. Well when I needed more I found http://www.culturesforhealth.com sells them and they explain everything you need to know about them:
THE TWO TYPES OF KEFIR
There are two different types of kefir. Milk kefir, a probiotic beverage, is fairly well-known, and can be found in many grocery stores.
Each type of kefir has unique characteristics and is made slightly differently. If you’re looking to add probiotics to your daily routine, see which of these fermented beverages is best for you!
HOW KEFIR IS MADE
Milk Kefir is made with cow milk, goat milk, or coconut milk. It may also be made with other non-dairy milks, though results may be inconsistent. You will also need a starter culture, such as Milk Kefir Grains or a powdered Kefir Starter Culture.
Water Kefir is made with sugar water, fruit juice, or coconut water. Water kefir also requires a starter culture. You can use a Kefir Starter Culture or Water Kefir Grains, depending on how often you want to make water kefir.
WHAT KEFIR CONTAINS
Milk Kefir Grains are a traditional reusable starter culture used to make a probiotic-rich beverage with live active yeast and bacteria. Our Milk Kefir Grains are propagated in organic milk.
Water Kefir Grains are a traditional reusable starter culture used to make a dairy-free cultured beverage with live active yeast and bacteria. Our Water Kefir Grains are grown in organic sugar and filtered water.
HOW KEFIR TASTES
Milk Kefir tastes like a cultured milk. The taste of any particular batch depends on the level of fermentation. Well-fermented kefir can have a strong sour or tart taste and can even be a bit carbonated. Shorter fermentation can yield a more mild flavor.
Water Kefir tends to have a sweet, slightly fermented flavor. Most people prefer flavored water kefir.
HOW KEFIR IS FLAVORED
Milk Kefir can be flavored by blending in fresh or frozen fruit, flavor extracts such as vanilla, sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, stevia and more. Some people choose to ferment milk kefir a second time to enhance the flavor.
Water Kefir can be flavored using fresh or dried fruit, flavor extracts such as vanilla, fruit juice, or even herbs.
OTHER WAYS TO USE KEFIR
Milk Kefir grains can be used to inoculate cream to make cultured butter or kefir cream. Extra milk kefir grains may be used as starter culture for fermenting vegetables. Extra milk kefir can be used for sourdough or to soak flour before baking.
Water Kefir can be added to non-dairy milk to make a non-dairy kefir (use ¼ cup water kefir in 2-3 cups non-dairy milk). Extra water kefir grains may be used as starter culture for fermenting vegetables. Extra water kefir can be used as a booster for making gluten-free sourdough starter.