Ripening kefir simply mean to allow the fresh made kefir (contains no grains) to sit at mild ambient temperature between 12'C - 22'C (53'F - 71'F) for an extra 1 - 2 days. During this process Folacin (folic acid) should increase by some 117% to possibly 125% compared to the amount of folic acid found in the original fresh milk. There are other B group vitamins that increase during ripening, while a few B vitamins are found in slightly less amount, which is desirable for the low carbohydrate diet, be it for reasons other than Diabetes. Another point to consider is the reduction of milk fat and cholesterol content of milk through the process of ripening.
Other properties of ripening, which involves the sequence or the evolution of the microflora, as the maturing kefir encourages certain strains of organisms to proliferate, or triggered into propagation, due to conditions and byproducts produced by specific strains of organisms, over time. With this, one may find a unique beneficial value of matured kefir, due to a distinctive compound and microbial signature [nutritionally inclusive] to that of freshly strained kefir.
The people of Caucasus often ripened, or brewed larger volumes of liquid kefir for some days before consuming the beverage. The fresh root of the Snow Rose [Rhododendron caucasicum], a native non-toxic rhododendron specie to the area, is said to have been added and brewed with liquid-kefir [and left to ripen]. The sweet root of Snow Rose contains antioxidants, which prevents the oxidation of milk fat during the ripening process. The root of Snow Rose also contains numerous beneficial properties that are leached into the kefir through ripening. This may further extend on the antioxidants produced naturally through the process of kefir fermentation, such as citric acid, the content of which increases during the ripening process of kefir, and which retards the oxidation of milk fat. There is also another powerful antioxidant found only in kefir, which exists as charged molecules. This antioxidant is thought among the scientific community who have studied the molecules, to be among the more promising antioxidant, especially in the prevention of degenerative diseases of the brain, such as dementia, Huntington's disease and Alzheimer etc. It has been found that the antioxidant of kefir, is easily absorbed into the blood and reaches the brain quite effectively.
We may extend on this practice, for specific herbs may be added with liquid-kefir, and brewed together to mature. Such procedures can be taken advantage of, in order to tailor-brew a specific kefir, intended for specific conditions. As an example, to relieve flatulence and to fortify gastric function, Caraway, Fennel and Anise seed and Cinnamon bark, can be ground to a course powder, and added to fresh kefir, and then ripened at room temperature for 1 to 2 days, or longer fermented under airlock. This form of kefir may be highly recommended for the prevention of, or the control of Diabetes especially Diabetes mellitus, due to the beneficial property of Cinnamon bark for Diabetics. Another example is to ripen kefir for say 3 days either in the fridge, or at room temperature, with the addition of freshly bruised or pounded fresh Turmeric root, Ginger root, Corn silk, dry Olive and Buchu leafs. This may assist in the prevention of, or as part treatment for cancer, to relieve prostate problems in men, Interstitial Cystitis in women including bladder infection and gastric dysfunction in both sexes. The addition of fresh, dry Goji Berries or the natural juice added to liquid kefir, and brewed for 1 to 2 days at room temperature or in the fridge, can be of great benefit. There is beginning to be more understanding of how brewing specific herbs, the process of which increases the effect of the therapeutic property of those herbs, while reducing to the point of eliminating many nutrient-locking or nutrient-binding agents found among the vegetative kingdom, such as phytates and oxalates.
Brewing herbs with kefir can improve Bio-Availability of Phyto-Active compounds of Herbs
Concoctions such as the above, can be prepared to amplify the anti-candidiasis property of kefir. The therapeutic benefits of such kefir-herbal concoctions, may be amplified even further with the addition of Vitamin C and fresh kefir grains, blended together in a food processor to prepare a smoothie; a smooth, creamy beverage with desirable consistency and flavour. As an example, 1/4-cup fresh milk kefir-grains and 500mg Vitamin C blended with 1-cup strained herbal-kefir, prepared just before consumption. I have discovered that such concoctions have a desirable effect for gastric problems, including irritable bowel disease, liver problems due to hepatic infection such as Hepatitis C Infection. This is through personal experience, and I believe that long term use of such concoctions is the main factor for a spontaneous cure of Hepatitis C in my case, including Ulcerative Colitis [UC] in 1999. Even though current orthodox medics believe that one goes into remission from UC, my particular case raised some interest among my Dr and his peers, for a recent colonoscopy found no evidence of the disease. This can only assume a complete cure, even though my current Dr who is a specialist in gastroenterology, suggests that I may never have had UC in the first place [And of course he would come to this conclusion, for a cure from UC goes against his medical training]. However, 2 independent diagnosis 10 years prior by 2 of his medical peers both of whom are extensively experienced gastroenterologists, and who both found that I did indeed have Ulcerative Colitis of the sigmoid colon, can not be easily dismissed.
Enhancing a distinctive feeling of well-being usually results shortly after consuming such concoctions. For me, this clearly demonstrates an enhancement of improved immune function, in correlation with an increase in serotonin and possibly other yet-to-be-discovered feel-good factors.