Piima Yogurt Starter

Availability: In stock


Product Alerts


Piima Starter Culture

More Views

Share: FB


Ways to Use Piimä: 


Piimä yogurt starter contains live active bacteria and cultures at room temperature on the counter: no yogurt maker required! One packet of our yogurt starter can be used to make unlimited amounts of homemade yogurt as it can be serial cultured, reserving a small amount of yogurt from the current batch to inoculate the next batch of homemade yogurt. With care, this yogurt culture can be used to make homemade yogurt indefinitely. No more having to continually buy yogurt starter!

  • Mild flavor; makes an excellent base for dressings and smoothies
  • Very thin beverage-like consistency
  • Cultures at 70° to 78°F, no yogurt maker required
  • Reusable culture; with care a little from each batch can be used to make the next batch


Description: Our piimä yogurt starter makes a thin cultured beverage. Originating from Scandinavia, it has a number of uses including making an excellent base for salad dressing, making cultured butter, or making piimä cream (a sour cream-type condiment). This yogurt culture can also be added to milk and consumed as a dairy beverage. Doing so adds beneficial cultures to the milk and many people feel it helps replace beneficial bacteria lost during the pasteurization process.

Click here to compare our different yogurt varieties


How to Make Piimä Yogurt: As a mesophilic culture, this yogurt starter cultures at room temperature. To make a batch of homemade yogurt, simply add the yogurt culture to milk, stir, then allow to culture on the counter before placing in the refrigerator. This yogurt can be serial cultured: a small amount of homemade yogurt from the current batch is reserved to inoculate the next batch of homemade yogurt. With care, this culture can be used to make homemade yogurt indefinitely.

Customers wishing to use raw milk to make homemade yogurt will need to take additional steps to ensure a pure starter is maintained. Additional instructions for making raw milk yogurt may be found here.

Full instructions for making yogurt can be found here and will be included with your order.

Using alternative milks to make piimä: This yogurt culture may be used with alternative milks (soy, coconut, etc.) but is unlikely to reculture beyond the first few generations. Therefore we strongly recommend keeping a backup dairybased culture on hand for making yogurt with alternative milks. It can also be used with goat milk although due to the nature of goat milk, the resulting yogurt may be significantly less thick than yogurt made with whole cow milk.

Ingredients: Organic milk, lactic bacteria (Streptococcus lactis var. bollandicus and Streptococcus taette).

Produced or packaged in a facility that also manufactures products made with wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, and fish.

Due to recent changes in manufacturing processes, the weight of the item that appears in the photo will differ from the actual weight of the item received. 

Shipping Information: This yogurt starter is shipped in a barrier-sealed packet as a freeze-dried yogurt culture in a dairy carrier. Please keep it in a cool dry place until you are ready to make your first batch of homemade yogurt. We ship enough yogurt culture to make two batches of yogurt starter. We recommend that you reserve the second packet in the fridge or freezer to use as a backup. 
Detailed culturing instructions will be included with your order and can also be found here.

Questions on Piima Yogurt Starter

Sort by Descending

Items 1 to 10 of 17 total

per page
  1. 1
  2. 2
  • From Judi at 3/9/11 2:00 PM
    • Is this piima starter a dry one? Or a moist starter? If it is a dry starter, is it one pound dry? And is the ratio 1 T. piima starter to 1 cp. milk or cream?
    • The Piima culture, like all our cultures, is shipped dry. It is one teaspoon of starter, which you can use to set up two batches of mother culture (1/2 tsp to 1/2 cup milk each batch). Once you've got the mother culture set up, you can start making Piima yogurt by just saving a small quantity of each batch to culture the next batch. (Directions are a little different if you are using raw milk.)

      *Note: There was a packaging change for all orders shipped beginning September 1, 2013. Each box contains 2 packets; each packet contains enough starter culture to activate 1 quart of milk.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Jan at 3/17/11 5:01 PM
    • In order to insure a consistent temperature, can I use a yogurt maker to make this type of yogurt?
    • Piima is a mesophilic culture, meaning that it works best at room temperature. A yogurt maker is much warmer, and could damage the culture. If your house is very cool, or you want to ensure a consistent temperature, you could try using a low temperature mat such as a seedling mat that's available at gardening stores. These are designed to stay at around 70 degrees.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Eva Shaw at 5/27/11 9:36 AM
    • Can Piima culture ship to Arizona? It is between 85 and 95 degrees right now.
    • Yes, we can ship Piima cultures to Arizona. All our cultures are shipped dehydrated, so they should be stable during transit. We recommend that you refrigerate them once you've received them, to improve the shelf life.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Pam C. at 7/24/11 6:29 PM
    • How do I know my Piima yogurt activated ok? Mine never did thicken and look like yogurt - it seems to have separated into curds and whey. Thanks,

    • Piima is traditionally a very, very thin yogurt. In fact, some people prefer to call it a fermented milk rather than yogurt. The fat content of the milk you make it with will determine how thick it gets.

      Separation into curds and whey is usually a result of too rapid culturing (too warm), or too long culturing. If your piima has separated, you can pour off the whey (save it for soaking flours or fermenting vegetables!), and stir up the curds to make a smoother drink.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Gordon at 9/8/11 6:29 PM
    • Is it really possible to make butter out of pasteurized milk by adding Pima Yogurt as a replacement for enzymes lost through pasteurization of milk

      Thank you for your time
    • Any type of yogurt culture can be used to culture pasteurized milk. If the fat content of the milk is high enough, that cultured product can then be made into butter. Different yogurt strains will have different flavors, which will affect the flavor of the butter. If you're planning to make butter from your cultured milk, you would want to make sure you don't culture it too long, or it will coagulate too much and won't be easy to churn.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Cat42 at 10/6/11 7:32 PM
    • How many packets of piima culture come with one $12.99 order?
    • One packet of culture is included in one order. The packet contains enough culture to make two "activation" batches of yogurt of one cup each. The activation batch can then be used to make additional batches of yogurt, in the proportion of one tablespoon of yogurt to one cup of milk. (That is, you can use one activation batch to make up to four quarts (one gallon) of new yogurt.)

      *Note: There was a packaging change for all orders shipped beginning September 1, 2013. Each box contains 2 packets; each packet contains enough starter culture to activate 1 quart of milk.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From shannon at 10/29/11 8:18 AM
    • I've been doing kefir and love it but need to try yogurt now for the Standard Carbohydrate Diet. The author recommends culturing yogurt for 24 hours to reduce as much lactose as possible. Is there a starter you recommend for doing 24 hour yogurt or would any work fine?
      Thank you
    • A mesophilic yogurt such as the Piima will set up in 12 to 18 hours, once the initial activation batch has been made. If you need to culture each batch for 24 hours, we recommend making a mother culture, which has been cultured 12-18 hours, then using that as your starter for the 24-hour batches, so that the culture will remain viable.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Mommy to many at 11/7/11 3:53 PM
    • Can Piima yogurt be started and "chained" with raw goat milk? Is this an unending yogurt culture to chain; or do we need to start a new mother culture after a number of batches? Thanks so much!
    • Piima yogurt works very well with goat milk. To perpetuate the culture, you will need to maintain a "mother culture" which you will then use to inoculate each batch of raw milk. Take a look at the Piima instructions to see how that works: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/media/docs/Piima_Yogurt_Instructions.pdf
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Waggie at 11/10/11 4:36 PM
    • Can you use Lactose Free Milk to make Piima Yogurt?
    • Lactose-free milk is usually made from cow milk with lactase added. Lactase is the enzyme missing in the gut of lactose-intolerant individuals. It breaks the lactose down into two simple sugars: glucose and galactose. The yogurt culture also consumes the lactose, and uses it to produce lactic acid, which makes the milk proteins coagulate. So if the milk did not have any lactose to start with, the yogurt culture would not work.

      However, since the lactose IS broken down in the culturing process, there is not much lactose left in the finished yogurt even when you use regular milk. As a result, many lactose-intolerant individuals can enjoy yogurt. You might want to try a small amount of good quality plain yogurt, and if all goes well, start making your own.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From KJ at 4/9/12 7:23 AM
    • My mother culture turned into curds and whey. Can I still use it to make other batches?
    • Separation into curds and whey, although still tasty, isn't usually a good sign for the yogurt culture itself. If your mother culture is less than 7 days old, it might still be worth a try.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

Ask Your Own Question

Back to the product page

Write Your Own Review

You're reviewing: Piima Yogurt Starter

How do you rate this product? *

  1 2 3 4 5

Customer Reviews

Silky and perfect! Review by Cinnamonbark
..cultured *beautifully*, and I can't wait to experiment with 'flavoring' it! Very, very easy, and works like a charm!

I think I'm going to experiment with Kefir next, as I feel so inspired by 'drinkable' yogurts! :-D (Posted on April 19, 2014)
Sickly sweet smelling yogurt Review by Jane
We very carefully followed the instructions twice, even buying a second container of fresh milk. Each time the yogurt took a day and a half to gel and had a sickly sweet smell - the kind that I identify as something spoiled. Sigh! It looks so easy in the video. I'd sure like to know why this happened. Anyone else have this experience?

To the company's credit, they offered to send new starters of another type. Haven't received those yet so don't know the outcome.

Response from CFH: Piima yogurt is a mild-flavored yogurt drink with a pleasant aroma and flavor. CFH Customer Support is always available to assist with any of our products. (Posted on March 21, 2014)
terrible Review by sbrown
This product did not work at all for me. My milk did nothing after 48 hrs. so I left it out longer. Then it just spoiled, curdled, and separated. Nasty. Not sure what the problem was. Waste of money.

Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting advice before discarding product. Many cultures can be saved with minor adjustments. (Posted on March 16, 2014)
Cultues must have been dead Review by cc
I did not have any luck. i let it culture for 48 hours and the milk was just as I had started 48hours before. there was no sign of culturing. very disappointed

Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting advice before discarding product. Many cultures can be saved with minor adjustments. (Posted on January 16, 2014)
Excellent! Review by J Fu
I was able to activate my Piima starter the first trial; it started to set at around 36 hours. After that, the yogurt routinely sets around 6 to 9 hours. Piima by itself tastes very mild and taste; I would he happy to just eat it as it is. My older daughter - the gourmet eater in my family - approves the mild taste of Piima and actually said she likes this better than store-brought yogurt. (Posted on December 26, 2013)
awesome stuff Review by T
I love pima, I use it in cream, so it comes out really thick. It makes the best mayo substitute for everything. I usually use it in potato salad, or mix it with cranberry sauce (homemade) and make turkey sandwiches, the best. Way too many uses to get into. (Posted on December 8, 2013)
Delightful Review by Amanda
This is a very tasty culture. Produces a thin yogurt when used with milk. I prefer to use it with cream. Makes for a delicious sour cream/ creme fraiche. I often use it in soups. Makes a great dessert topping too! Nice and mild with a very slight tang. (Posted on January 10, 2013)
My Personal Favorite Review by Meir
We bought all four mesophilic cultures (Piimä, Viili, Matsoni, and Filmjölk) and this is our personal favorite. It is quite thin when at room temperature but becomes much thicker when cold. It has a sweet flavor and is kind of fun to play with as it tends to fall off the spoon. The other cultures are well worth getting as well but make sure you get this one if you had to choose only one. (Posted on May 15, 2012)
Yummy Review by Paula
I bought this product because I wanted a cultured beverage to replace kefir. I used goat milk and the piima has the consistency of kefir. I let it culture initially for 36 hours. I actually bought matsoni, filmjolk, and viili as well and didn't like them as much. With goat milk, they were also beverages. The filmjolk was my second favorite and also had the consistency of kefir, but the filmjolk had a very acidic/tart bite to it (so it would be great for baking). This piima tastes similar to buttermilk but without the acidic bite or tartness. There is just a very mild tartness that tells you it's not just plain milk. It is very mild and delicious. It has a nice aroma, too. It's exactly what I was looking for to replace my daily cultured beverage. The flavor is excellent. (Posted on November 5, 2011)
View More Reviews >>

Free eBook Library Access & Weekly Newsletter

Sign up today for free access to our entire library of easy to follow eBooks on creating cultured foods at home, including Lacto-Fermentation, Kombucha, Kefir, Yogurt, Sourdough, and Cheesemaking.
  • Library of eBooks for making your own cultured foods
  • Weekly newsletter filled with tips & tricks
  • Expert advice articles, recipes, and how-to videos
  • Join 140,000+ other health-conscious readers
  • We never share your information!
first name last name email address