I want to produce kefir at home for personal consumption but I don't know where to find kefir grains. Any ideas?
Some of my friends buy commercial kefirs. Do commercial kefirs in the market have the same quality as the ones produced at home?
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Kefir grains are like sourdough starters - just not as common. It's kind of cheating to buy them- you get them from other people that are throwing away their extra.
I got mine many years ago by finding a community mailing list and sending emails to a bunch of people asking to share. Unfortunately I have since lost the community that I used.
Has some info including links to a couple Yahoo newsgroups where you could ask for grains.
Alternatively- if you find yourself near Austin Tx. send me a note and I'll save some for you. It requires advanced notice to save the extra grains.
If all else fails you can buy them on ebay as well.
As for your quality question. It's difficult to compare homemade and commercial kefir. The commercial kefir that I have access to is very mild and sweet. I like my homemade kefir much more tart and yeasty.
All in all it's a lot like making yogurt or homemade buttermilk. You can't necessarily get better than the good commercial products but
Here is a source for organic kefir grains.