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Old 02-24-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
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Making Kefir with pasteurized milk?

I want to make kefir. I know how to make it and have to buy kefir grains first. But many people make kefir with pasteurized milk (instead of unpasteurized milk), which I assume is not as healthy, since pasteurization kils off the living bacteria. So what's the point of making kefir for health reasons when using pasteurized milk?

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Old 02-24-2009, 07:27 PM   #2
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pasteurization kills off pathogens, not all bacteria. if all bacteria was killed off, the milk would never spoil (that's why irradiated milk can sit out on the shelf at the grocery store and not be refrigerated). you want to consume pasteurized milk so as to avoid unpleasant things like bovine tuberculosis and listeriosis. the healthy bacteria you want to consume in "living" dairy products like kefir are totally different bacteria indeed!
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:34 PM   #3
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Thanks fireweaver, but I still wonder if kefir from pasteurized milk has all the health benefits from real kefir (made from unpasteurized milk).. hopefully we have a kefir expert here.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:28 AM   #4
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don't know a thing about kefir, but am a long time yogurt maker, which I think is a related process.

Pasturization kills off ALL bacteria. Milk is only the medium to make the kefir/yogurt. You want to level the playing field by starting with a sterile medium, as much as possible, to grow the desired bacteria (kefir/yogurt). You can make kefir with unpasturized milk, but I would not advise it, because you will be incubating all bacteria present. Drink raw milk for the benefits of raw milk. Make kefir/yogurt with pastsurized milk for the benefits of those bacteria. But don't mix the two. I successfully make yogurt with the same starter culture for 10 months every year, because I am careful to start with a sterile medium with every batch of yogurt.

Does that answer your question?
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:39 AM   #5
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^^ yes, it is now clear and makes sense, thanks bethzaring.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:23 AM   #6
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So basically, making kefir with pasteurized milk is useless. You have to take the pasteurized milk, add the desired bacterial cultures, and then add the cultured/pasteurized milk to the kefir grains. That's the only way to get the benefits of the necessary "good" bacteria our digestive tract needs.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about kefir and many companies do not make kefir properly because all they use is pasteurized milk.
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:46 PM   #7
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Smile Further on kefir.

I have also researched that adding the cultures after doesn't provide all the necessary bacteria our system needs. The only way to do that is to use whole, unpasteurized milk. This is the way kefir was originally made and continues to be made by many small makers and peoples overseas.

We can make kefir here this way if we join small farm coops and get our milk whole and unpasteurized. It is perfectly safe as the cows are healthy. People have been doing this for many years without any problems. Up until WWII milk was unpasteurized in North America.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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Well...I seem to have stumbled onto a hornet's nest with this topic. Maybe I just haven't been payin' much attention.
Let me just say that I grew up drinking raw milk. Drank it everyday for as far back as I can remember, up until I was 16-17 years old. There was a family down the road who had a few milking cows, which is how we came by the milk. We did have some store bought milk, but that was only once or twice a month when my mom, my grandma, and my aunt would pile us all into the car to make the monthly pilgrimage to town to pick up some items that we couldn't or didn't have or make on our own.
Those folks finally got rid of their milking cows and we haven't raw milk since.
I have a soft spot in my heart and memory for the taste of that milk way back then. This thread got me to wonderin' if raw milk could be purchased legally in this state. A quick look at google revealed that there is a mountain of controversy over the production and sale of raw milk. I suppose it has been an issue for a long time, and I will be the first to admit that while I try to keep up with current events, I miss a lot of stuff.
Despite the government's stance, (and I understand the possible dangers of consuming raw milk) I find myself in the camp of the raw milk producers, users, and consumers on this issue.
Maybe it's just the rebel in me that causes me to occasionally view some aspects of the government's regulation of our lives with a degree of disdain.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:27 PM   #9
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I've only made kefir with raw milk (when I lived in Germany). Let me know how it works with pasteurized milk. I too am in the raw milk camp.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoot View Post
Well...I seem to have stumbled onto a hornet's nest with this topic. Maybe I just haven't been payin' much attention.
Let me just say that I grew up drinking raw milk. Drank it everyday for as far back as I can remember, up until I was 16-17 years old. There was a family down the road who had a few milking cows, which is how we came by the milk. We did have some store bought milk, but that was only once or twice a month when my mom, my grandma, and my aunt would pile us all into the car to make the monthly pilgrimage to town to pick up some items that we couldn't or didn't have or make on our own.
Those folks finally got rid of their milking cows and we haven't raw milk since.
I have a soft spot in my heart and memory for the taste of that milk way back then. This thread got me to wonderin' if raw milk could be purchased legally in this state. A quick look at google revealed that there is a mountain of controversy over the production and sale of raw milk. I suppose it has been an issue for a long time, and I will be the first to admit that while I try to keep up with current events, I miss a lot of stuff.
Despite the government's stance, (and I understand the possible dangers of consuming raw milk) I find myself in the camp of the raw milk producers, users, and consumers on this issue.
Maybe it's just the rebel in me that causes me to occasionally view some aspects of the government's regulation of our lives with a degree of disdain.
I have to agree. Although with the state of the cows in the commercial milk industry due to unbridled use of growth hormones and antibiotics it is a necessity to pasteurize the milk in large industries. The cows' utters are usually horribly infected with bacteria. Small farmers have healthy cows and maintain their health without the use of growth hormones and a slew of antibiotics.

When I came to Canada and my mom gave me milk I immediately gagged and almost threw up. I haven't been able to drink milk since as in Hungary as a child we all had our own pigs and cows or someone else did and I was used to drinking raw milk, which was delicious. That is why in the near future I want to become a member of a small coop to get raw milk and to make kefir the proper way.
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