I received the promised 3+ tablespoons of Milk Kefir grains, but the product was shipped in a plastic tub that had nothing, like tape, to keep it closed during shipment. As a result the product arrived in a plastic lined shipping envelope, but the plastic container had come open and what (if any) liquid was shipped with the product had spilled out along with the grains, inside the envelope, with only a few grains remaining in the plastic tub. Simply adding some cellophane tape or shipping tape around the edges of the plastic tub lid/container would likely have kept the product contained properly during shipping. Also the package was HOT when it arrived. The grains “looked” large and healthy, if a little bit crushed, however I have tried making milk Kefir 2-3 times since I received the product, according to the instructions included in the shipment, and the milk curdles very little, even if I leave the grains for two days, instead of just one. I’m hoping the grains are still just in shock. Some grains seem to float while others sink to the bottom of the glass jar filled with fresh whole milk, that I cover using a rubber band and coffee filter, so the mixture can breath at room temperature away from any direct light. Also the grains were in large clumps in the shipment or appeared to be, but now have broken down to much smaller clumps. The color of the grains is close to the color of milk. I’m hoping the grains that sink to the bottom aren’t dead or totally inactive, but most milk Kefir makers seem to indicate their grains float on the surface or the milk. I’ll try making milk Kefir for one more week, but if the milk still isn’t curdling, then I’m afraid these grains arrived dead/inactive and likely never will become active. Any buyers should be forewarned that the seller wants you to pay return shipping for a full refund and says they will not reimburse you for this cost, and this must happen within one week of receiving the product. I purchased water Kefir grains from another seller that were shipped with liquid in a totally sealed plastic bag, that arrived unbroken – they have been making water Kefir successfully in the same environment, so I’m certain that the environmental conditions are not a problem, also those water Kefir grains have since doubled in volume (grown). I am not using metal utensils, only plastic, nylon, or glass (jars, strainers).
It’s now September 16, 2012. I had to give up on getting these Milk Kefir grains to work properly (or at all). My Water Kefir grains I had received from another seller are now busting at the seems in productivity. They went from 3-tablespoons to 2.5 quarts of Water Kefir grains by this time. I found a website that told you how to gradually convert Water Kefir grains to Milk Kefir grains, and using this technique I now have very effective working Milk Kefir / Milk Kefir grains. They don’t grow as fast as the Water Kefir grains, but they do product Milk Kefir that’s delicious and viable.