Over the past months I hadn't made milk kefir. I simply left my grains in the fridge and changed the milk every once in a while in hopes the grains would survive until life settled down and I had time to make it daily. When left in the fridge the kefir grains go into a type of hibernation. If left in the cold too long they will lose this ability to culture properly and will eventually die. I finally got around to wanting to make my milk kefir on a regular basis but my grains didn't seem to want to come back to life. I had taken them in and out of the fridge a few too many times and so my milk kept spoiling. Rather than the sweet smell of kefir it would smell like horrid sour milk. It wouldn't thicken properly and simply separated rather than becoming thickened first. It also would have a yellowish colour on the top. I pitched my grains and got some more that I had given my Mom. SHe had also left hers in the fridge but had never taken them in and out as I had. At first the grains didn't want to culture properly. I decided it might help them activate if I added some existing healthy kefir. So I purchased some from the local store, which is what I had been doing while they sat in the fridge all those months (what a waste of money). I added my grains to the store bought kefir and also added milk. My measurements were approx 2tsp grains (3 average size grains) to 1/3c store bought kefir and 1/3c organic milk. Within a few batches it smelled beautiful!! It was thickening nicely and tasted as it should. I am now getting about 2c of milk kefir every 24hrs. I do believe that the store bough kefir helped the grains get back to their regular culture. They are growing rapidly and I am back into full swing!