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It's about two weeks that I make Kefir at home. I started with three mid-size Kefir grains, and now I have six ones (three of them are really big)

Now my friends get interested in making Kefir too. But I don't have enough Kefir grains to share with them.

Is there any quick method for cloning Kefir grains? For example, keeping them in warmer place, giving them richer milk, or something like that?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The kefir grains are a culture of bacteria and yeast that are active at near-room temperatures. Their ideal temperature is 71F (22C). Below this and they will grow too slowly. Above this temperature, up to 86F, for extensive periods the grains will be damaged.

http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefir-faq.html#temperature

Building the grains takes time- there's no way around it.

You can keep the grains at exactly 71F to maximize their growth. You can also change the milk often and keep the milk to grain ratio high to ensure that the milk doesn't acidify too quickly and the grains stay active.

You may see an improvement using organic milk as it won't have residual antibiotics in it.

http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefir-faq.html#growthrate

I have not read anywhere of a way to modify the milk itself to encourage growth. You might experiment with adding a small amount of milk powder to make the milk more nutritionally dense but my gut feeling is that this would have a negligible effect if any.

I'm afraid your friends are just going to have to wait patiently.

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Links you provided said that using Raw Milk will increase the grow rate, because they don't have antibiotics. Also it mentioned that using low grain-to-milk ratios may increase the grow speed (probably because grains gain more nutrients) I'm going to try them! –  Aidin Apr 5 '12 at 2:55
    
@Aidin- it's true. The link does say that. I apologize it didn't occur to me to include those. Adding to the answer. –  Sobachatina Apr 5 '12 at 13:53
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For good milk kefir grain growth use a shallow wide container to grow your kefir grains. This will give each of the grains more access to feed on the milk instead of clumping up at the top of a narrow jar and only a few being free in the milk. You can also stir the culturing kefir a few times during the day dispersing the kefir grains through the milk. Don't skimp on the quantity of milk used. Milk kefir grains love Full cream milk. and yes, raw organic full cream milk grows the best milk kefir grains.

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I have got a jar of kefir going that is made with whole milk powder. The grains seem to grow a lot faster then even with whole milk from the farmer. Try it, you don't have much to loose.

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I made mine grow by adding it to half and half milk and then to cream. Alternated this and the tiny little grains were swollen like cauliflower pieces.

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