I wrote this a few months ago. I do want to add to this; there are some special probiotics like Megaspore Biotic and Perscript assit that work differently than fermented foods and can be extremely valuable to use in addition to fermented foods.
This following will teach you how to make home made Kefir, which is a cultured / fermented product, kind of like Yogurt, but many times more potent. It’s been excellent for helping heal my digestive system.
Want the ultimate Probiotic? Read this:
Fermented foods are an excellent source of Probiotics, which are far more potent than those found in any pill or powder. One of the most potent medical grade probiotics on the market (The probiotic I’m referring to here is prescribed by doctors and costs about $100 a month, almost all other Probiotics have far lower counts than this) has 450 billion live bacteria per packet in it. Compare this to even a small glass of fresh milk kefir which many estimates place at 10 trillion live bacteria or greater.
Let me tell you a little more about how you make milk kefir. To make milk kefir you need two things; Milk and Kefir grains. Keifr grains are not grains like cereal grains (So there is no gluten in them), they are small clumps of friendly bacteria and yeast. You use a fairly small amount of these grains in milk to inoculate the milk and help it grow and ferment into Kefir.
The process is quite simple, I’ll walk you though step by step:
1. Acquire Kefir grains. You can get dried grains from many health food stores and groceries. I strongly suggest you get live fresh grains if you can. You may be able to find live fresh grains on CraigsList for free or for a small fee. You can also find them on ebay. They are tough and tend to ship well. I bought a batch of grains from an organic dairy in Alaska via ebay and they arrived here in Wisconsin just fine. I bought a fairly large starter amount of grains and paid around $20 with shipping. You don’t need to get this much unless you are making a lot of milk Kefir.
2. If you purchased dried grains, follow the directions that came with them to wake the grains back up. If you have fresh grains, then your ready to get started. Get a clean jar, I use half gallon, but you can use smaller. Whatever size you use, do NOT fill beyond 3/4 full. When the kefir ferments, it will expand some.
3. Next, place your grains loose in the jar, then fill with milk until about 3/4 full. If you only purchased a small amount of grains, you may need to use less milk. I would start with the amount the seller / provider of the grains suggests, as I’ve seen some strains of grains that vary a lot in how potent they are.
A note about milk: Using raw milk is ideal. It starts with more good live bacteria and if the raw milk is from grass fed animals, it will have much more K2 in it, which is very good for the gut. Store bought milk will also work. I suggest using full fat milk, but 1% will probably also work. I suggest buying the best milk you can afford.
4. Cover the jar with cheese cloth (at walmart in the craft section you can get a huge pack of cheese cloth for a few dollars) and a rubber band.
5. Place the jar in an average temperature room, such as the kitchen. Many people suggest allowing the milk to ferment for no more than 24 hours. I suggest that you allow it to ferment for a minimum of 48 hours, and 72 if the room is cooler.
Why do I suggest a long ferment time? 3 reason:
A: When you ferment for 48 hours or longer virtually all of the lactose in the milk is consumed by the good bacteria. Thus avoiding problems for people who have problems with lactose.
B: When you ferment for 48 hours or longer you allow enough time for the protein in the milk to be denatured, thus many people who have problems with milk due to the protein in it will still do just fine with 48 hours Kefir.
C: Longer ferment times help give you as much good bacteria as possible in the finished Kefir.
6. After your kefir has sat on the counter at room temperature for 48 to 72 hours, it is time to strain. Make sure you have a nylon mesh strainer (You can find these at walmart for a few dollars). Now use a bowl with the strainer over it. Pour the milk kefir and grains into the strainer. You will need to use a spatula, spoon or fork to work the grains around and help separate them from the finished kefir. (plastic tools are suggested for contact with the kefir, though stainless steel is likely fine)
7. Put the grains back into the jar (or a clean jar if you like) and refill with milk and start the process over as described in step 2.
8. Pour your fresh kefir into a glass jar and put a lid on it and place it into the fridge.
You can consume your kefir at any time. I prefer to add a couple ounces of juice to it for flavor.
I suggest you start with drinking small amounts as you may have a reaction to the large amount of good bacteria.
It is normal when you consume a produce with this much good bacteria in it to have more frequent bowel movements.
As noted above, most people who can tolerate kefir due to the fermentation process, even people who don’t usually do well with dairy. If you have a true dairy allergy (rare) then you probably should not consume kefir, or if you do so, make sure to do it with proper medical guidance.
The grains are tough and will live forever if cared for. Not only that, they will grow over time. Milk that is higher in fat tends to make them grow faster.
Now you have an excellent probotic that you can consume every day and all it costs you is the milk you use and a little bit of time.
If you tried commercial kefir and it didn’t work well for you, I encourage you to try making your own. More store bought kefir isn’t fermented nearly long enough to remove the lactose or denature the proteins.
It has more probiotics in it than any pill you can buy.
Good Luck and let me know if you have any questions.
“Kefir in a glass” by Quijote at Russian Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons –https://commons.wikimedia.org/wi…/File:Kefir_in_a_glass.JPG…