Making homemade kefir is back! I was prompted to revisit this culinary delight by a colleague who asked if I knew where to get kefir grains. Apparently, I have a bit of a reputation for imbibing in the finer bacterial concoctions of life (smile). The farm where I get lovely ferments like ginger lemon kombucha, jalapeno sauerkraut, honey mustard kimchi and prepared kefir also have kefir grains available and I obtained some for my colleague and kept a few for myself. I also gave him a jar of my favorite South River Miso Garlic Red Pepper.
My kefir making is off to a good start. I am doing an initial ferment, removing the grains, and letting the milk undergo a secondary ferment. I had forgotten the nice pop of tart kefir after a secondary ferment. The internet is full of websites and videos on kefir making however the fellow that I learned from and who was an expert resource before kefir and our gut bacteria were “in” is Dom and How-To Make Kefir and Recipes. It is pretty cool that fermentation and eating cultured foods are becoming more mainstream.
CFUs is a term that was developed and is used in the probiotic industry to indicate the number of LIVE bacteria in a finished product. CFUs stands for “colony forming units.” This term is used to denote how many bacteria in probiotics are able to divide and form colonies. If probiotic bacteria is able to colonize, it is considered alive. By comparison, here are some estimates of CFU’s in common ferments that can be made at home:
Kefir: 27.7 billion CFU (Colony Forming Units) per 1 cup serving
Kimchi: 2.6 billion CFU per 1/2 cup serving
Yogurt: 3.6 billion CFU per 1 cup serving
Miso: 54.1 thousand CFU per 1 tbsp serving
Sauerkraut: 195.2 million CFU per 1/2 cup serving
Kombucha: 23.1 million CFU per 1 cup serving
More to come…..