When making Kefir:

Are we feeding ourselves Kefir?

Or:

Are we feeding our Kefir Grains Milk?

Seems like silly questions, but they are questions with an important purpose. Sometimes we humans get a bit arrogant over controling our surroundings. It is easy to become very self focused when making Kefir. It has been observed that such a perspective regarding Kefir Grains creates a mental barrier to solving simple Kefir making problems.

It is better to take the persective that Kefir making is the act of feeding a living "pet", a pet that provides you food in return.

This perspective is a constant reminder that the Kefir Grains are alive and have requirements for proper growth and nutrition. For example Milk Kefir Grains will not live in sugar water, this should be obvious when you think about feeding them milk and its varity of components versus just sugar and water. Kefir Grains have a prefered temperature range, diet, and maintanance. No, maintanence does not, of course, mean you'll be taking them out for a walk or petting them! It means that the colonies will need to be broken up on a regular schedual, in effect turning them inside out so that all the benefical bacteria and yeasts in the colony receive "proper nutrition", grow at an optimal rate, and produce the nutrition products for you to eat.

Unlike most "pets", Kefir Grains are very hard to kill! In effect the taste of your kefir will communicate to you changes that are taken place, changes that will need your attention.

Always try thinking of the living Kefir Grains first. Doing so will often allow you to answer your own questions about problems you encounter while making Kefir.