I bought one of these Zimtal nut bags to use for Yogurt and Kefir cheese and after trying it I sent away for several more as these bags are fantastic. No, this is not a paid post, I just like them well enough to want to blog about how good they are. Yes, I could buy fabric and make straining bags, just as a I could have made my own cheese press, but I let someone else do the work on that too.
What you see here is the nut bag hanging from the handle on my kitchen cabinet holding soft cheese in the making while the whey drips down and collects in a bowl beneath. The culture mesolithic kefir and I have sent away for some live filmjolk yogurt starter, too. If you are unfamiliar with kefir, just do a search on it, but the short version is that it is a cultured milk beverage somewhat like a combination of yogurt and buttermilk, except with about 50 different beneficial bacteria instead of the few that are in most kinds of yogurt. It is an acquired taste. but I find it refreshing, delicious, and although it is a bit expensive to buy in a store, the starter grains reproduce themselves indefinitely so with a little care you can have all the kefir you want for the cost of milk.
I acquired the live kefir culture from Fusion Teas with a mixture of excitement and trepidation because although kefir and I go back a long ways in a love/love relationship, I never bought the "grains" before. They arrived fast and in great condition and their volume has doubled three times since the culture arrived two weeks ago. So far I have had no problem eating up the results of each day's work. The grains do the work, I just skim them out of the fermented milk once a day with a slotted (non-metal) spoon, put them in a pint or quart mason jar with a cup or so of regular storebought milk, cover with a plastic fermentation lid, of the same type that I use for sauerkraut ( Here ) and set them on a warm countertop out of direct sunlight. The next morning I gently shake the jar/s and if I'm home and think about it, I shake them a few more times during the day. After 24 hours I do it all over again with clean utensils.
The stuff that is left over after I lift the grains out each day is kefir and sometimes it is thicker than others. This sort of depends on how hot it was in the house that night and day and how much milk I poured over them. I flavor half of the kefir that I make each day and mix it smooth in my Ninja blender. The other half I pour into the nut bag to make a delicious soft cheese. I save the whey and use it in baked goods and soup or if I have enough saved up I make ricotta cheese out of it.
Once, for some reason, my kefir came out a bit thin, and stayed that way even after I set it out for an extra day, so I made lemon cheese out of it, but that is a story for another day.