Can't speak for the quality of your grains. I recommend those from Nutrient Research or Premier Research Labs. If it goes too thick too fast, it means either temp was too high or you fermented too long timewise. I would check in 1/2 hr increments. Usually for me 12oz milk ferments in 9 hrs and 32 oz in roughly 24 hrs. It depends on your environment & whether you are fermenting in a gas oven w/pilot on or in electric oven w/light on, etc. You can still use this product and blend it all together into a smoothie--it's just more of a kefir cheese. Can't speak for how bacterial/yeast count will be different from regular kefir. Most likely your kefir fermented sometime between 24-36 hrs when you were unawares--you'll have to play around w/time & checking your batch until you know the proper fermentation time. Good luck!