I have been keen to try making some milk kefir, where milk is fermented with colony of bacteria and yeast to produce a yogurty and apparently highly probiotic drink. The choices to get started are either to buy sachets of a powdered formula, which must be similar to the dried yeast I use for homebrewing, or to get some live kefir grains, lumps of coagulated material which start the reaction. My reading suggests that the sachets allow a certain amount of reuse but you need to keep buying new ones while a small number of grains can be farmed to keep a supply going for life. The latter sounds like a win for long-term cost and also for reducing the amount of packaging and transport so that is what I wanted.
This week I tracked down a local place to get some grains via the Gumtree website and last night I went to collect them. Gumtree suggests meeting in a public place, so that’s why I was hanging around outside the Tesco on Abingdon Road, trying not to look too suspicious. I’d taken precautions, like only carrying the money I needed and checking in with Jane by phone but it turned out to go smoothly and it was off back home with a small sachet containing a thick liquid.
That’s now sitting in a covered glass of milk in the kitchen – not too much as I get the initial colony up to size. Now I need to keep any eye on it and I should soon have a regular flow of production. I hope I like the stuff! However, a quick taste of what was left in the sachet suggests that won’t be a problem!