I got kefir grains from Cultures for Health, and it only took them a few days to start making delicious kefir. But I have a couple of questions. It is warm in my house already, upper 70s during the day, and it takes less than 12 hours for three cups of kefir to be ready, starting from cold milk. The folks at Cultures for Health say the kefir grains should be kept at room temperature making kefir most of the time, only storing in the refrigerator occasionally. But that is much more kefir than I need. Have other people successfully used grains long-term making kefir maybe every other day and keeping them in the refrigerator the rest of the time? My theory is to strain out the grains, add them to fresh milk, put that in the refrigerator a day or two, and then bring it out to room temperature to culture.

I'm used to pouring off the whey of yogurt, occasionally using it in cooking but mostly discarding it, so my first assuption was to pour off the whey from the kefir before using it in my smoothie. Am I wasting good nutrition that way, would it be better to stir it in?