Kefir Grain Forum
Kefir is a cultured milk beverage, the result of microbial action of a wide community of microorganisms present in kefir grains on milk. The microorganism are lodged in the grains in a polysaccharide matrix of "kefiran". The resulting beverage has a uniform creamy consistency, a slightly acidic taste caused mostly by lactic acid, some effervescence due to carbon dioxide and a minute (<2%) concentration of alcohol due to the action of yeast cells also present in the grains. Kefir also contains a variety of aromatic substances which give it a characteristic flavour. Microorganisms present in the grains are called probiotic because they are beneficial to human health. There are lactobacilli, such as Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus cellobiosus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Lactobacillus lactis, etc., lactococci, such as different subspecies of lactococci lactis, Streptococcus salivarius ssp. thermophilus, Leuconostoc mesenteroides and L. cremoris and a variety of yeasts (fungi), such as Kluyveromyces, Candida, Torulopsis, and Saccharomyces sp.
Experiments were performed by attempting to culture pure mixed starter cultures, prepared under labratory conditions from microbes isolated from kefir grains. After failing to propagate kefir grains from these pure cultures, the microbiologists turned to the Caucasians, asking them how or where they acquire or propagated their original kefir grains. The Caucasians simply replied with something like this...
"They were a gift from Allah, over 1,000 years ago"
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