Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Experimentation in Fermentation: Second Ferment of Store Bought Milk Kefir

I don't really make New Year's Resolutions, but the coming of the new year does lend itself to trying new things for me.

As anyone who follows my Facebook page might have seen, I have been considering kefir recently.  I love the idea of creating a more diverse and healthy microbiome.  I don't think there are any downsides to that.

There are two kinds of kefir - milk kefir, and water kefir.  Each has a different culture of lovely probiotics to offer, and from what I have read, have different benefits.  I have bought milk kefir from the store before, and The Boy liked it, but The Girl was not a fan.  I thought it was a little too tart.  I would rather buy plain milk kefir instead of flavored, because we don't need the extra sugar.

While doing some searches on kefir, I stumbled upon CulturedFoodLife, which talked about doing a second ferment to take the tang out of it and flavor it nicely.  I decided to give it a try.

I put a container of plain store bought kefir into a jar, along with a sliced orange and a splash of vanilla extract, and left it out on the counter overnight.  In the morning, I put it in the fridge, and once it was chilled, I tried some with some of my latest batch of homemade granola.

I loved it!  It was lightly orange flavored - and less vanilla.  I would like to try sticking a whole vanilla bean into it, or using more vanilla extract, so that it has more of a "creamsicle" taste. It remains to be seen if The Girl likes it, and I think it would be lovely with just a little bit of honey.. the second ferment did reduce some of the tang.

Coming soon - experimentation with water kefir!  I ordered Water Kefir Grains, and they should be arriving by this weekend.  As long as I don't kill them (like I killed my sourdough), I think it will be fun!

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