Water Kefir has white film and big bubbles- help!

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Water Kefir has white film and big bubbles- help!

Postby dnsumm1 on Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:23 pm

Hello fellow fermenters!

A little help with my water kefir would be appreciated! I'm new to this but learning. My water kefir has been getting an icky white film after about the 3rd batch and this time it had big bubbles that formed in the film. Some details I hope will help:

+ I got a set of grains from a friend & about the third batch they developed a whiteish film. I bought another set of grains from a completely different source and when they arrived I put the first set to rest in the fridge after some online research said this could help... This batch was put in a new jar but I have used the same spoons, funnel & strainer. (washed with hot water and vinegar)
+ My recipe has been 1 tbsp of panela (dehydrated cane juice sugar) and 1 c of filtered water for each tbsp of grains with a few raisins and some lemon. Since I now have 4-5 tbsp of grains I am making a quart of kefir with about 18 raisins and half a peeled lemon.
+ My second set has now developed the same film as the first- this to me says either it's normal or I'm doing something wrong.
+ The batches with a film have been fine (even good) to taste up until today- this last batch came out very bitter- not sour, bitter. I have been letting the kefir ferment approximately 36 hours each time. This is the first time it has ever been bitter.
+Despite the icky film my grains are definitely multiplying well.
+ I am also fermenting kombucha and sourdough & apple cider vinegar in my kitchen though they are all separated by about 5 ft. My kitchen can get up to 80 on a hot day but usually is between 70-75.

Your help and input on this problem is much appreciated! I really like my water kefir but the film is definitely off-putting and the bitter flavor was not good. I'm attaching a photo of this last white film bitter batch.

water kefir small.png
water kefir small.png (163.71 KiB) Viewed 274 times


Merry Christmas!
dnsumm1
 
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Re: Water Kefir has white film and big bubbles- help!

Postby cerbu on Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:08 am

the bitterness is from the kham yeast, use a tighter lid , less raisins
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Re: Water Kefir has white film and big bubbles- help!

Postby dnsumm1 on Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:11 am

cerbu wrote:the bitterness is from the kham yeast, use a tighter lid , less raisins


Tighter lid how? I've been only using a coffee filter with a rubber band. From what I've read anerobic fermentation with kefir is less effective and not as healthy for the grains long term?

Less raisins is easy. I'll try that. Any thoughts on the white film though? Is that normal?
dnsumm1
 
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Re: Water Kefir has white film and big bubbles- help!

Postby cerbu on Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:56 am

I never had kham over wk,but is normal in open vessel ferments, strain it first with a fine mesh. I'm not saying to make it anaerobic , just a lid over the filter, resting , not tightly screwed,oxygen will still be present in small amounts. Real anaerobic is with seal and airlock.Look through this guide also, maybe helps
https://wellness-drinks.de/en/water-kef ... ewing.html
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Re: Water Kefir has white film and big bubbles- help!

Postby dnsumm1 on Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:52 pm

Cerbu thank you for the less raisins idea- I just harvested the next batch from those grains and there was no film at all. It did get to the perfect level of sourness in only 20 hours though and the icky film happened at the almost 48 hour mark... I think my grains are super happy and active and with that many raisins things just got a little crazy? I haven't rinsed or changed anything other than increasing my sugar and reducing my raisins to about 5 instead of the 18-25ish (small handful) I was doing. I'm very pleased so far with that tweak- glad to know my grains aren't sick!

Thanks!
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