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Buy Fresh or Dried kefir grains ? Buy Kefir powder ? Which Kefir to buy ?

Choosing a Kefir Culture

Kefir is one of the absolute superstars of health food, Kefir grains are an amazing combination of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in an absolute matrix of proteins, lipids and sugars. This symbiotic matrix, (or SCOBY) forms "grains" that resemble cauliflower.

Extremely beneficial even for those who are lactose intolerant and used in different parts of the World, it has recently caught on as a significantly important health food. But for those looking for kefir grains online would be faced with a choice to make. Whether to purchase from sites selling ‘living’ kefir or dried/dehydrated kefir grains. To figure this out you need to ask yourself

  1. What types of kefir grains would I require ?
  2. Where to buy kefir grains ?

For you to best answer the above questions, here is a quick overview on Kefir Grains to help you make the most suitable decision.

There are 2 types of Kefir available on the market

Milk Kefir Grains: A naturally occurring organism, Milk Kefir Grains originated in the Caucasus. These are white, resemble cottage cheese and have a gluey feel. It feeds on the lactose.

Water Kefir Grains: Water Kefir Grains come from the Meso-America. Water grains are translucent, resemble cauliflower and easily break apart under pressure. It feeds on sugar.

Now we come to the choice between Fresh and Dried Kefir Grains

When it comes to Fresh Kefir Grains, these gain re-balance quickly and within a few days of arriving on shipment begin producing drinkable probiotic kefir! An excellent option but only if you live within Europe and are able to immediately attend to these.

Otherwise, Dried Kefir Grains are a greater choice for you! A perfect solution if the grains are likely to be in transit internationally, this will ensure the grains is not damaged. However, these would take way longer to activate – maybe a week or more and adjust the symbiotic balance till the time frame in which it can produce a drinkable kefir beverage. This also gives the scope of a better shelf life. Of the two kind of Kefir Grains (i.e. Milk and Water) Water Kefir Grains are more difficult to revive from a dried state and may take way longer given that these are comparatively fragile.

A quick reconnaissance of some companies and websites that sell different types of kefir grain has led to the following compilation to help you further:

  1. Website: Kefirshop.eu

This particular website, selling Live and Fresh Kefir cultures which they are sure will last a lifetime with proper care; maintain that the kefir grains are real grains maintained on organic milk very unlike the pre-packaged kefir starters, such as Yogourmet or Body Ecology stocked and sold elsewhere. They also assure that the kefir grains retailed from their website are ready to use straight out of the packet with absolutely no failed productions or waiting several rounds for the kefir grains ( referring to both milk or water types) to become ‘active’ again.

The benefits listed by the said website are as follows:
  • Different types of kefir to choose from
  • Fresh and Active Milk and Water Kefir Grains
  • Starters Cultures
  • Ready to use
  • First batch of Kefir would be ready within 24-48 hours
The limitations listed on the same are as follows:
  • The fresh and active kefir grains cannot be shipped to international destinations. This is due to the fresh nature of Kefir cultures.

2. Website: Kefir-online.com

Of their stock, this particular website explains that each sachet of kefir powder (and other starter cultures) can be used an average of 7 times each. It further shares that six tablespoons of previous batch will ferment 1 liter of milk. The benefits mentioned by the website is the sheer convenience and the fact that it is great for short time usage.

The limitations associated with Freeze Dried Starter Cultures are :
  • These are isolated lab grown cultures
  • Not only is repurchase required, it also has limited usage

Overall it may be a good idea to invest in fresh and active kefir grains for long term usage.

All about making kefir with a freeze-dried starter

All about kefir starter cultures

Kefir is a probiotic drink which is well known for its various health benefits. The healing qualities of kefir have been known since the ancient times. It is a traditional health drink that is recommended to everyone. Many people prepare kefir at home. The trick with making kefir at home is using the proper starter culture. The starter culture is nothing but the kefir grains which are a combination of acetic acid bacteria, lactic acid microorganisms and some beneficial yeast that work in a symbiotic relationship with each other. The metabolic product that results due to the fermentation of these organisms is responsible for the probiotic quality of the kefir.

The probiotic organisms that are found in kefir live inside the intestine of human beings and protect the body from several harmful pathogens. In this way, the body is detoxified and the immune system is strengthened.

The ingredients of the starter culture:

The organisms that constitute the starter culture are Lactococcus species, Lactobacillus species, Saccharomyces species and Candida species.

Storing the starter culture:

Here are some of the ways by which you can store the starter culture:

  1. The temperature at which the culture is stored should be between 0-10 degree Celsius.
  2. Each box of the starter culture can contain up to ten small 1 gram foil-packets of culture.
  3. Once you open a foil-packet, you should not store back the remaining culture.

Steps for preparing kefir:

  1. You best use pasteurized milk for preparing kefir. In case you decide to use raw milk, you must heat it at 63 degree Celsius and then cool it down to about 24 degree Celsius.
  2. You should add the starter culture to the milk and then stir it properly.
  3. After stirring it well, you should keep the mixture undisturbed at 24-29 degree Celsius for 14-16 hours.
  4. Lastly, put the mixture in the refrigerator until it cools down to 10 degree Celsius. Don’t stir the mixture.

After following the simple four steps, you will get the final product called kefir. The quality of the kefir depends largely upon the milk that you are using. The milk should be fresh and pasteurized. If you are not satisfied with the final product, then you can use another brand of milk.

If you are thinking of preparing kefir many times, then you can use the final product as the starter culture. You can add about 2 tablespoons of the final product in 1 liter of milk. In this case, it would take 2-3 hours less for fermentation.

Where to buy Kefir grains ?

Where to get Kefir Grains ?

Kefir is a cultured milk product which has a huge range of health benefits. It is a creamy product containing a refreshing flavor and a sour tart. It contains plenty of beneficial yeasts and probiotic bacteria that contribute to the several health benefits that kefir boasts of. Kefir is made with kefir grains which are gelatinous yellow or white particles.

What are kefir grains?

Kefir grains contain a mixture of yeast or bacteria clumped together with complex sugars and milk proteins called caseins. The size of the kefir grain ranges from the size of a wheat grain to the size of a hazelnut. The kefir grains properly ferment the milk to produce the cultured product called kefir.

People often get confused about where to buy kefir grains. This is because the kefir grains are not frequently available in both stores and online. There are very few trustworthy sources which sell Kefir grains on the internet. One of the trustworthy sources is Kefirshop.eu. Kefirshop.eu sells fresh an dehydrated kefir grains of good quality. The best thing about Kefishop.eu is that it ships its products internationally. The price of grains that Kefirshop.eu sell is also quite affordable.

Where can you buy the best fresh kefir grains?

You can go for fresh kefir grains instead of dehydrated kefir grains if you are living in the Europe. This is because you can use the kefir grains immediately after you get them in the mail after a few days. Kefirshop.eu sells fresh kefir grains of a nice quality. One to two tablespoons of kefir grains would be more than enough for you to start making your own kefir.

Live kefir grains are sold at Kefirshop.eu are vacuum-sealed with air and well-packed. Thus, you would be happy to find the grains in a usable and intact condition when they arrive. Many sellers do not seal the grains properly and therefore, due to poor packaging, they are hardly of any use.

Where can you buy the best dehydrated kefir grains?

If you do not need the kefir grains for immediate use, then you can go for dehydrated kefir grains instead of fresh grains. Kefishop.eu provides the best quality dehydrated kefir grains. The additional thing that you have to do with the dehydrated grains is the process of rehydration. However there is nothing to worry much as the seller would provide you with instructions.

You can get a reasonable quantity of kefir grains within ten euros from Kefirshop.eu. The shipping time is acceptable and the Kefirshop.eu only charge a small extra amount for shipping. The packaging of Kefirshop.eu is definitely worth applauding as they pack the kefir grains in a bubble envelope, after sealing the grains in a plastic bag. Whenever you purchase kefir grains from Kefirshop.eu, you would get an instruction page, which you can follow to prepare the kefir.

What is a freeze-dried kefir starter ?

Many people choose a freeze-dried kefir starter instead of fresh or dehydrated kefir grains. Generally the people who do not have the time to make new batches of kefir every few days choose this option of freeze-dried starter. They are available in powder form. Though they are not actual kefir grains, the freeze-dried starter is a convenient option for people who want to enjoy kefir made at home once in awhile. This is the perfect solution where they don’t need to maintain the kefir grains. The best freeze-dried starter can be obtained from the Kefirshop.eu.

There are also some other sources where you can buy kefir grains such as KefirLady and Cultures of Health. However the grains are expensive and the packaging is not too good.

Fresh water kefir grains

Fresh water kefir grains