Kefir And Secondary Fermentation

Discussion in 'Yoghurt, Kefir' started by Jib, Jun 21, 2020.

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  1. Jib

    Jib Member

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    Just throwing this out here: I've been "secondary fermenting" my kefir, and it results in a very noticeably milder kefir. Less tartness/acidic bite, more mellow. Almost like a very, very faint cheese-like flavor, with very little acidic bite. Secondary fermentation = letting the strained, completed kefir sit in a separate container, without kefir grains, at room temperature for something like 6 to 12 hours.

    I brewed kefir for a few days, enough to almost fill a 1 gallon jug. And my strategy now is I make a quart of kefir daily, and use about a quart daily. Sometimes more. I use what I need from the jug, then replenish with fresh kefir.

    The result is an ongoing "secondary fermented" kefir. I alternate between keeping this giant jug either on the countertop or in the fridge. It isn't an exact science on my part.

    But I never drink freshly strained kefir. It all goes into the 'master jug' first, mixed up, and then used, usually after at least several hours of sitting on the countertop, or overnight in the fridge.

    I'm well aware that kefir is not Peat friendly. Lactic acid, bacteria....all no-no's according to Peat's research. However, my gas and bloating is just about completely gone after switching from plain milk to kefir. So for now, I'm sticking with that. I think the nutrients in milk are valuable enough that dealing with some lactic acid and bacteria may be completely worth it, compared to not having dairy at all.

    Another option I've considered is pre-treating milk with lactase enzyme, such as dissolving lactase liquid or pills in a gallon of milk and letting it sit for a few days.

    Much more expensive than kefir grains, although no lactic acid or probiotics. Have not tried that yet. Of course you could also simply take Lactaid pills before drinking milk like a normal person, though 'normal people' don't drink the quantities of milk often recommended here, e.g. an upwards of one half-gallon daily.

    So as a "middle of the road" approach, I'm thinking about secondary fermented kefir. I haven't researched this yet, but I am very curious about how secondary fermentation mellows the flavor so much. I wonder if the lactic acid is converted into another acid, or makes the kefir safer to consume in any way, shape, or form.

    It certainly tastes that way. It's much more pleasant to drink. We can get so caught up in research that we ignore our own instincts and firsthand experiences. I think that's a mistake. So I'm trusting myself on this one, and will only drink secondary fermented kefir, as fresh kefir is actually pretty disagreeable to me. Too sour, too tart, almost feels like drinking it is a punishment. Secondary fermented plain kefir is pretty enjoyable however.

    It's very likely that 'secondary fermented' kefir was the traditional way to consume kefir as well. My guess is bags full of large amounts of kefir were simply replenished periodically with fresh milk. The result would be you'd have very 'old,' mellowed kefir always in the mix. The whole point was preservation to begin with, so the idea of consuming fresh kefir when you could just as easily consume fresh milk does not make much sense to me. It's likely that small groups of people drank from the same container of kefir, which would always have "old" kefir in the mix.

    Perhaps people even had their fill of fresh milk and then whatever was left over went into the kefir brew.

    Just a theory. But I think intuition is important here. And again...it tastes much better to me, more palatable, more enjoyable, and perhaps that should be trusted.

    So take this under advisement if you're making your own kefir. Definitely worth trying. I recently started brewing kefir again (did it for years a long time ago), but only over the past few weeks have experimented with this 'secondary fermentation.' Much to my surprise, it makes plain kefir taste quite good. Whether or not it's actually healthier is debatable, but going by my taste buds, it's better for me.

    Not something I've seen discussed here, so figured I'd make a thread dedicated to it. FWIW my gas and bloating from plain milk have all but disappeared with the switch to kefir. Lactic acid and bacteria get a hugely bad rap here, but the calcium and protein in milk is so hugely beneficial, I'd argue that kefir is the lesser of two evils, compared to omitting dairy from the diet completely. I'd say it's at least worth experimenting with if you absolutely do not tolerate milk at all, to see if having it in a fermented, predigested form agrees with you.
     
  2. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    Nice! I have been toying the idea of testing kefir to see how it goes. Ordered some grains and going to give it a good run.

    "Secondary fermentation" was mentioned here: Homogenized milk and KEFIR grains
     
  3. TheBeard

    TheBeard Member

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    Add salt to it to make Aran, it's delicious
     
  4. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    Thanks! Are you consuming kefir/Aran?
     
  5. TheBeard

    TheBeard Member

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    Yes, I drink raw milk, and raw milk kefir that I ferment myself.
    Adding salt to them has been a game changer both for taste and the way I feel
     
  6. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    Excellent. Appreciate your input. :hattip
     
  7. pauljacob

    pauljacob Member

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    I thought the water that separates from the Kefir was Whey. Or is it called Lactic acid?
     
  8. alephx

    alephx Member

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    Interesting, it sounds a bit like a food from Mexico, Jocoque (think it was developed by the Lebanese community back home). It is usually eaten with salt, olive oil, some cilantro finely chopped onion. I'll try looking for Aran here in the US or if you know any other name?
    Jocoque - Wikipedia
     
  9. TheBeard

    TheBeard Member

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    I don't know, I'm not from the US.
    Not everyone on the internet is :)
     
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