I’ve been making kefir for three months now! Exactly three months today. 😀 I did better than I (or anyone in my family) can imagine! I remember the first day I brought the small pack of 8 tablespoons home, and dad was giving me death stares along the lines of “I am not going to help you take care of them”.
Haha, but that Aquarian parent is apparently very curious and interested in the whole process. He was supportive to the extent of digging up all the glass bottles he could find around the house, and then followed on to shopping for massive ones. To give you a sense of scale, I only asked for 2nos x 2litres bottles to be in exact proportion with those starter 8 tablespoons. They were only in their first time of first fermentation (meaning, the first day in their sugars!) and Dad was shopping for 4-litre and 8-litre jars already!! I had to remind him, “we don’t know how this even tastes yet, it is too early to start industrializing … “
But up till now, he has still kept to his stance of not helping me taking of them. Other than burping the bottles. 😀 He has been in charge of the flavours though – he would buy different types of fruits to try. By far, the best flavour was strawberry, followed by grapes (white followed by red), and then apple. Not sure if his interest is dwindling though, I have been using canned fruits the previous two rounds! But canned lychees and canned longans taste not bad, but not exactly to the taste of Oliver’s.
Our favourite pitted fruits did not go well with kefir at all. Peach and mango were total fails. Now he wants to try durian… yikes. I’m going to get limes and peppermints to attempt a mojito kefir later today.
Three months of experimentations = many trials and errors. Fortunately not that many errors. We are now testing out the fermentation time. It looks like we can only choose between fizziness or stinkiness. Dad does not like the sour smell that comes with fermentation, so we tried cutting down the hours in room temperature. Smells much better when reduced! Then Mom starts to complain it is bland, because it lacks the fizziness characteristic of the Pop Juice (Oliver named it that!). Oliver also finds it bland. Oliver is the boss of Pop Juice because it is only because he likes it that we are all keeping up with the production. haha. So yes, we are still tackling the dilemma of which is more important, and at the same time testing out in more refined timing in our attempts to find that perfect balance.
Did I forget to mention why I started writing about this kefir production? Kefir is this microorganism(s?) made up of strains of “good” bacteria and yeast. We have been using this as a replacement probiotics for the Yakult/Vitagen that the babies were previously drinking. So we feed the kefir grains sugar syrup (haha, the type and proportion of sugar was a few weeks of experimentation too!) and they in turn aerate the liquids in a fermentation process. So we end up with soda-like fizzy drink filled with probiotics and flavoured with multi-vitamins. Well, we don’t eat the fruits, otherwise we would having enjoying fibres too.
I would consider this a symbiotic process, because the kefir grains got to gain too! They gain size and numbers! From the 8 tablespoons I started with, they multiply at a rate of 30% volume at every round of fermentation! We have been giving them away…
It is really cool. If everything in this world can function in a closed loop like this; and if we be less fussy and eat up the fruits, it will not only be closed loop but also zero waste; then it would be an ideal concepts of win-win situations. 😀 Hahaha.
Next up, must find applicable situations to apply this concept. ❤