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Make Probiotic Drinks...

Quick Summary: 
The way to make the most powerful fermented drinks is to use living kefir grains. We have experimented with  living kefir grains using soy, coconut, almond and cow milk.

Living Kefir Grains...
To get good results, we found living kefir grains require special tools, more preparation and more care than other fermented drinks, such as Kombucha.  We also found them to be extremely powerful.  We talk more about them in this article:


Make Probiotic Drinks by Fermenting Tea Instead of Milk...
Long before we started fermenting kefir, we had the good fortune to get some some scobies that are used in making the fermented tea known as Kombucha.  We started using them to make our own Kombucha. We talk more about them in this article:
 Kombucha...Anyone? 

Get Started Today With Kefir Crystals...
We started making kefir with kefir crystals before we began using live kefir grains.  The kefir crystal method is faster and easier than using live kefir grains, but does not yield nearly as powerful of a drink. It's very easy and for those who want to get started fast into home kefir making, we recommend it.

Preparation...
First we obtained a one-half-gallon size of the refrigerated version of a soy, coconut or almond milk that is plain, unflavored, sugar-free and non-GMO.

(We did not understand the importance of it at the time, but a GMO free brand is strongly recommended. *see below) 
  • We then bought a package of  kefir crystals.   
  • We opened the beverage carton and poured in one of the six starter packets that comes in a single box of the crystals. (Kefir crystals are available at www.amazon.com.)
  • We replaced the cap on the carton and shook it up.
  • We left the container in a warm spot. We did not heat it on a stove--too much heat will kill the probiotics in the kefir crystals.
  • We placed it under a focused desk lamp to keep it warm in the winter.  We had success with that and then started using a standard heating pad.  In the summer we  just let it stand at room temperature. We let the mixture stand for 12 to 18 hours in the winter, less in the summer. Periodically, we would shake it.
  • After the allotted time, we opened the container. We poured a small amount into a glass and looked for small "curds" or lumps like you see in cottage cheese.  If these were present, then our beverage was ready.
  • We always refrigerated after fermenting.
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Tips....
We have experimented with the fermentation time by going longer. We find we  need to with coconut milk, but the longer we have an opened product unrefrigerated, the less time we have to use it before it spoils. Using the heating pad and fermenting for 12-18 hours, or at room temperature and less time in the summer, then refrigerating, has yielded us a drink that lasts for a good week or more.  We also have had one of the cartons we used break open and create a mess, so we often use a large one-gallon glass container.

Why we Use Non-GMO...
(*The havoc GMO foods could play on the gut flora has been detailed in an extraordinary interview with microbial soil ecologist, Dr. Don Huber at www.Mercola.com. Given this interview, we have decided it's better to work toward good flora by using non-GMO products. We look for the non-GMO label on all foods and drinks.  Full Interview with Dr. Huber here: The Hidden Epidemic Destroying Your Gut Flora)

(Disclaimer: The above is a description of our own experience making a homemade drink. It is strictly our own experience and does not reflect the official view of persons, product-makers, service providers or advertisers cited in the article or appearing elsewhere on this website. It is not being offered as medical advice or cure. Attempts to make this drink on your own are done so at your own risk. We cannot be responsible for the outcome of someone making their own homemade drink. Our intention is to inform and to do no harm. Persons with health issues should seek out qualified professionals to discuss health care options.)

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