Kefir Attempt #1 and #2

So I was informed that Kefir is one of the more simple cultures to work with. However I am finding it to be quite difficult. I was gifted a tiny jar of barely a tablespoon’s worth of kefir grains and set about making my first batch. I think I put it in the fridge too soon (to stop the culturing process). I was afrad of not being able to catch it at the right time. Now that I’ve tasted (plain) kefir from the store I think I may have been close (the taste was coming on but was not yet the right consistency– still too much like milk and not enough like yogurt). A couple days alter I strained out the kefir grains and tried again, this time waiting a bit longer. Again the taste seemd to be coming on, but not the right consistency and the milk was separating on the counter. Then my room mate cleaned kitchen and put the jar in the cupboard, where I forgot about it. So now I need to get another batch of grains and try it again. Has anyone else had luck culturing kefir at home, with raw milk? Ay tips or advice or resources?