Friday, April 2

Bottling Kefir "Pop"

I've decided that I really like kefir. Both milk and water kefir. I have to be more careful with milk kefir because it becomes sour much more quickly than water kefir does. But it does make a good tangy drink. I've been adding fruit to mine to make it more palatable and it will be a while before I even try to give any to my DH. However, when it is too sour for me to drink, I use it for soaking. I love it when healthy things have more than one use!

- Side question- Could I use water kefir to soak things? Is it as helpful digestive as milk kefir? Is it as healthful?

Moving on, I love water kefir, it is really tolerant of things that you do- like forget it for a while. Lately I've been distracted by school and baby stuff so cultures and kitchen have been on hold for a while. My water kefir is so fogiving as long as i refrigerate it.
I recently took a batch of kefir juice to two different parties. It was a big hit at both where plenty of people (and kids) at the combination of the too who eat Standard American Diet. At one party I brought the Kefir (Raspberry Apple) in a 1/2 gallon mason jar, but to the other I contained it in a pitcher. For my own use I have decided that if I can, I like to put it into screw-top glass soda bottles.  (I prefer these because they fit on the kitchen shelf with my glasses.) I use a funnel to get the kefir in once it is mixed. After which I cap them, often using a towel to hold tight. Then, I leave them on my counter top for about a day (when it is cold in the house sometimes it goes two). I like to do a two part kefir to one part juice ratio for most juices. This also enables the kefir to eat the juice's sugars without making it too tart. They do become carbonated, so I always open them over the sink if they have been sitting for more than a day. I have not taken enough notes to find out exactly what time and ratio and whatnot equals what result (note that Kelly suggests 18 hrs), I also try to store them in the cardboard carrier. They do start to hiss if they are ultra-ultra carbonated, which is a serious warning to let out some "steam" and refrigerate them immediately if they are capped properly. This I know from experience because one exploded on me. The picture above shows what happened to the bottle. Since it was in a carrier, there was no glass anywhere else, the kefir created a little sticky mess, but significantly less than I anticipated when I discovered the explosion which occurred while the house was unoccupied. 

Let it be noted that I have found a new favorite mixture- Strawberry Lemonade! I love real strawberry lemonade which is nigh impossible to get anymore. (Though really Applebees does have a version that I enjoy). I avoid lemonade when we do go out because usually it is powdered junk full of imitation flavored high fructose corn syrup.  Sadly, lately I have been craving some. (That and I am too cheap to buy lemons). Though this is not quite the quality of my dad's really strawberry lemonade [made with 1 cup freshly juiced (not crushed) local lemons (usually thawed from when we home froze it), 1 cup white sugar, 1 gallon water, and crushed and sugared fresh strawberries].  This is pretty good. It is dark since I tried the kefir with rapadura instead of evaporated can juice. It has (when the quart was about full) roughly a quarter cup of lemon juice (I didn't measure I poured and tasted) and cut strawberries in their juice (thawed from this summer when I cut and froze them). I think that it will taste better with kefir made from cane juice so I did half and half for the batch that I will be making tonight or tomorrow morning. You can see the strawberries in the jar on the left which I used for a glass. One of the best parts was eating the strawberries when the juice was gone. It was fantastic.
[By the way Mom, this is really easy. I'm hopping that when you visit you can make kefir if I am incapable. It will be on preferred help list.]
 If you are wondering about why or the safety of this venture, check out Kelly the Kitchen Kop's posts on kefir. She is the one who got me started. By clicking on her name you can see the post about how the amount of alcohol that the product contains is extremely negligible. 
Have a blessed Good Friday and Easter!

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