Well, if I'd only known, I just needed to stir the kefir that looked like yogurt and I would have had my first batch from the new kefir grains. Stirring it breaks it up to where the kefir is the consistency of buttermilk. I did stir this morning's batch and strained it. It tasted fine. I have a tablespoon of grains and they seem to 'kefir' 2 glasses of milk in about 18 hours. After straining out the grains (using a (OMG don't tell anybody) stainless steel sieve), I put them in a clean quart jar and added 3 cups of milk this time. I want to see if I can get the kefir to take 24 hours to finish instead of 18 hrs. The ideal will be to get it down to 12 hours or so, whereby you make up the kefir at night and it is ready to use in the morning.
Supposedly you should not use metal spoons, sieves or anything metal around your kefir grains, but I had little choice as the plastic strainer I received with the kefir grains is woefully inadequate (about 2 1/2" wide). I'm waiting for my 7 inch plastic sieve to arrive from Amazon. I placed the drained kefir in a plastic kefir quart bottle along with the last of the store bought kefir. When I had some ice cold kefir this afternoon from the bottle, it was good - tart and tangy. I do believe I am on my way now to making kefir on a regular basis.
If you are wondering how kefir tastes, I would describe it as drinking smooth, slightly effervescent cottage cheese. Sound weird? Yes, but it is really good and helps a great deal with my allergies and lactose intolerance. If you are having digestive issues, kefir may hold the key!