Bulgarian Yogurt Starter

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Bulgarian Yogurt Starter

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Our Bulgarian Yogurt Starter Culture is the creamiest of the thermophilic heirloom yogurts. It can be re-cultured indefinitely. Thick, rich, and mild, this is the closest to commercial “European Style” yogurt. 

  • Each box contains 2 packets of yogurt starter
  • Activate 1 packet using 1 quart pasteurized milk; store 2nd packet in the freezer as a back-up
  • Instructions for using this culture may be found here
  • Cultures at 110ºF using a yogurt maker or other appliance
  • This culture is also suitable for use with raw dairy milk or non-dairy milk, with special care.
  • The mild flavor of Bulgarian Yogurt makes it a great base for dips, dressings, or other recipes using yogurt. 

 

Ingredients: Organic milk, live active bacteria (L. BulgaricusS. Thermophilus).

This product contains no GMO ingredients.


Shipping Information and Shelf-life: Our Bulgarian starter culture is shipped in a barrier-sealed packet as a freeze-dried yogurt culture. The starter keeps 

  • At room temperature (68° to 78°F): 3 to 4 months
  • In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 9 months unopened
  • In the freezer (0° to 25°F): 12 months unopened

 

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

Allergen Information:

Contains dairy. Packaged in a facility that also manufactures products made with wheat, soy, eggs, nuts, and fish.


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  • From Martha at 3/8/2011 11:42 AM
    • Hi, I cultured the starter and it came out very thick. I did my first batch of yogurt and I really liked it. Then I did my second batch and it was pretty thin - kind of like a yogurt drink. So, I threw out that starter and cultured a new starter and it is still thin. What could I be doing wrong? Also, I am not using the raw milk method. Thanks, Martha
    • Thin yogurt can be caused by multiple variables, but here are a few ways to thicken it up.

      1. When you heat up the milk, bring it to 160ºF and hold it there for about 20 minutes before letting it cool down.
      2. Add some cream or half-and-half to the milk to increase the fat content.
      3. Use a little LESS starter yogurt. If you use too much culture, it can run out of food before it finishes culturing.
      4. Check the culturing temperature. Too warm or too cool can affect the thickness of the finished project.
      5. Whisk some milk powder into the heated milk to provide more milk solids.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Marisa at 5/17/2011 7:03 AM
    • In the description it says that goat's milk can be used but the product will be very thin because of the lower fat content. Will the results be similar if I use fat free milk?
    • Yes, a higher fat content will produce a thicker yogurt, and a lower fat content tends to produce a thinner yogurt.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From BIll at 5/25/2011 10:45 AM
    • I want to make Bulgarian yogurt from raw milk, but I have a question about the instructions. When it says that you must use a starter from the mother batch does that mean the first batch of yogurt that you make with your starter? I need to know the answer before I order. Thank You
    • Yes, to activate the culture you must make a pasteurized dairy mother culture, where the milk is heated to 160ºF and cooled to 110ºF, using the freeze dried starter we send you.

      Once this is done, use the mother culture to inoculate the unheated raw milk for a batch of raw milk yogurt.

      To maintain the pasteurized dairy mother culture, use a portion of the previous mother culture (7 days old or less) added to milk that has been heated to 160ºF and cooled to 110ºF. That mother culture is then used to make the next batch of raw milk yogurt, while any remaining "old" mother culture can be discarded.

      See here for more information: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/make-thermophilic-raw-milk-yogurt/
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Andrew at 6/22/2011 12:46 AM
    • How many batches do you find it's OK to make - taking some from one batch and using it to culture the next?

      As you do this, doesn't the bacteria content drift? That is..won't it contain more and more of the bacteria native to the milk? (I'm using raw milk, so there are live bacteria in it, naturally).
    • If you are heating the raw milk to 160ºF and then cooling it, you are effectively pasteurizing it, so the yogurt culture is the dominant (if not only) bacteria, and you can re-culture indefinitely.

      You cannot reculture from a previous batch if you are only heating the raw milk to 110ºF (culturing temperature). Instead, you keep a pasteurized dairy mother culture going, which you make by sterilizing milk so the ambient bacteria in the raw milk does not interfere with the yogurt culture.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Gerd A Zimmermann at 8/7/2011 8:03 PM
    • The starter you sell is good for how many batches to start? Normally I use the culture bacteria each time fresh.
    • To make the Bulgarian yogurt, you will start by using the culture we send you to make a small amount as a "starter" (about a cupful) then use some of that starter to make up to two quarts of yogurt. You can then use some of that yogurt to make a new batch of yogurt, and so on, for as many batches as you want.

      If you want to start fresh each time with a new culture, you might want to consider the direct-set style of starter: Traditional Flavor or Mild Flavor. Those are meant to be used fresh each time.

      *Note: There was a packaging change for all orders shipped beginning September 1, 2013. New packaging contains enough starter culture to activate 1 quart of milk.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Kathy at 10/27/2011 1:49 PM
    • Not a question but mostly a comment.
      For those that are ending up with a thin yogurt, My first batch I used cheesecloth and drained half of the whey. Put it back in a bowl and use a hand mixer to make it smooth. The second batch I made I heated to 160, but set over night at 100 more than 8 hours. It was very good.
      The other day about 3 pm I heated a gallon and half of lightly pasturized whole milk to 170 degrees. I let it cool to 110. I used about 1 cup of tempered yogurt from the previous batch mixed it in very well and let it sit in a covered stainless steel pan overnight in the set at 100 degrees. The next morning about 8 am I turned off the heat. about noon,when it was cooled. I drained probably a quart of whey from the yogurt. Since it was lumpy I used the hand blender to make it smooth and pourable but thick. Put up 5 quarts in sterilized jars. Set them in the fridge. It is not sour, not runny, not like thick pudding the way my yogurt maker does, just the way I like.
    • Kathy, thanks so much for sharing your experience with making bulgarian yogurt. I'm glad you found a method that works for you.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Catherine at 11/9/2011 4:25 PM
    • All the cream I find has "carrageenan" in it. Can I still use this to make my yogurt?
    • Carageenan should be fine, as it is just a seaweed thickener. However, do not use ultra-pastuerized cream or milk. Also, if you are trying to perpetuate the culture, use more milk because the culture needs the lactose in order to continue growth. Half-and-half is an excellent choice.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From marcia at 12/5/2011 8:45 AM
    • When ready to add the starter yogurt to the heated and somewhat cooled down milk...what is the ideal temperature of the yogurt starter to be added? Is it room temp. or directly from the refrigerator into the cooled down milk? Thank you so much. Marcia
    • Let the yogurt sit at room temperature while you are preparing the milk. This allows the yogurt starter to warm up, making it easier to thoroughly incorporate into the milk.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From George at 2/9/2012 3:49 PM
    • How is this product different from the "Greek Yogurt Starter"? Looks like they contain the same bacteria.
    • While the Bulgarian and Greek Yogurt Starters do contain the same bacteria strains, the strains are in different ratios, giving each yogurt its own unique flavor.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Milena at 5/16/2012 8:14 PM
    • This is more of a comment, really. For those of you who like a tangier yogurt -- I know I do -- leave it incubating longer than the recommended 6-7 hours (as per the instructions available on this website). I personally leave it for 12: it gets as tangy as the homemade yogurt my grandma used to make, back in Buglaria. Now, you might not like as tangy as I do, so you might to try the yogurt periodically until it reaches the level of tanginess you prefer.

      This is an excellent culture, by the way; the best I have tried so far, and the one I am sticking with.
    • Thank you for your wonderful comments and tips :)
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

Customer service rocks Review by gari
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Anita in customer service supported me through my initial activating, which I thought wouldn't culture [due to operator error of impatience, lack of ability to follow instructions + not warm enough]. It did set up, just took longer. Since then consistently rich and delicious. Wanting to limit carbs, I use half&half, so this is about the richest yogurt imaginable. I tried using full cream and there was a lot of separation, so a certain amount of lactose is needed. My Cuisinart slow cooker happens to keep a constant temperature of 110 degrees on WARM. How convenient is that?

(Posted on 12/14/2014)

First time's a charm! Review by Willow
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I had never made yogurt before--nor had I ever been around anyone who did--but this was super easy (even without a yogurt maker--which is totally unnecessary actually). My husband and I like the flavor of the yogurt (I used whole, raw milk). Every time my husband has some, he says, "That is some GOOD yogurt!" Love how fresh it is. Set up nicely.

(Posted on 12/14/2014)

Love this yogurt culture! Review by Beth
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I am glad I finally bought yogurt culture from Cultures for Health. The directions are detailed and helpful. I have tried making yogurt in the past with other cultures, but with no lasting success! I appreciate the ebooks which were especially helpful with some minor questions I had. I look forward to trying Kefir next as well as different varieties of yogurt cultures.

(Posted on 12/5/2014)

Fantastic starter Review by cchris
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When I first got this starter, I somehow missed the 1 quart milk part, so I dumped the package into almost 2 quarts of non-homogenized organic free-range whole milk. I cultured it for 24 hours at around 105 F (have to do that so that so no lactose is left). It set beautifully and tasted great. Since then I've been making yogurt every few days, always with great results.

Our favorite smoothie recipe right now: 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 very ripe banana (brown spots), a few pieces of pineapple and sometimes a little honey.

CFH Note ~ A little information on the benefits and perils of long culturing periods with heirloom yogurt starters: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/benefits-perils-long-culturing-time-yogurt

(Posted on 12/4/2014)

Love this yogurt, firm, dependable, the best! Review by NJAYNES
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Bought this starter last year and used it easily for months, then allowed it to go bad by neglect for awhile. Now that Mom is nearby, I bought this starter again to make for us. She is 89 and still going strong! This is GOOD yogurt!

(Posted on 11/29/2014)

Best yoghurt starter I've found! Review by Purplesprite
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This Bulgarian starter makes the best yoghurt! Ever since I moved to the US a decade ago I have missed 'proper' yoghurt. The yoghurt I can make with this starter is better then any of the very expensive gourmet yoghurts in stores. I have friends who ask to taste my yoghurt every time they come over!

I had similar experiences with activating the starter and was concerned about how it would turn out. But turn out it did! And every batch seems to get better and better. It is mild, with a definite cultured/yoghurt taste, rich, and thick. I use small jars in the Euro cuisine yoghurt maker. And I usually (though not always) pour off some of the whey that rises to the top.

This yoghurt is absolutely delicious!

(Posted on 11/16/2014)

*Adore* this starter. Review by Heather
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The Bulgarian yogurt starter is, in a word: phenomenal. This was my first attempt at making yogurt, and I'm obsessed.

My starter batch, as is noted as a possibility in the FAQs, didn't fully set up, but my subsequent batches using that starter batch have been absolutely gorgeous. The flavor of the Bulgarian is like a tangy ice cream. It's so good. I just want to make buckets and buckets of it each week.

The process is simple as long as you have a food thermometer and a way to incubate your yogurt. Once you've set your appropriately heated and cooled milk of choice with the starter mixed in it to incubate it's hands-off. I usually set mine to incubate just before I go to bed and then it's all done in the morning.

This product is fantastic. I'm so glad I took a leap and tried it.

(Posted on 11/12/2014)

Great Product! Review by Arlene
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I have tried making yogurt in the past without much success. I have a simple yogurt maker and thought I would give it another try. I saw your product on Pinterest while searching recipes. I was skeptical, but your instructions and the process was quite simple. My biggest concern was getting a suitable milk to use. I live in MD., where it is illegal to sell raw milk. I was able to find milk at my local grocery store that was cheap and worked just fine. I am on my forth batch on the first packet and each time is better than the last. I can now use yogurt all the time without breaking my budget. Plus, it tastes so much better in texture and taste. Your info on your website is very helpful. Thanks!

(Posted on 11/5/2014)

Great product! Review by Arlene
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I have tried to make yogurt in the past without much success. I have a simple yogurt making machine and just wanted to try it again. I saw your products on Pinterest while looking for some recipes and it sounded like I should try again. The biggest obstacle seemed to be getting the right type of milk. I can't get raw milk, live in MD., illegal to sell it, so I found alternatives right at my grocery store. I was skeptical, but tried it. It came out great. I am on my fourth batch from the 1st packet and each time is better than the time before. The taste and texture is far superior to anything store bought, even organic ones. I use it in everything and it saves me a bundle. I still have the other packet in the freezer. Would definitely buy again. Easy to make, saves me money, use it more often and your info on your site is VERY helpful. Thanks!

(Posted on 11/5/2014)

Was scared to begin, but now love my yogurt! Review by Cindy
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I chose Bulgarian yogurt starter, because I wanted to make as close to store bought, as possible. I have made 2 batches with Kalona whole milk. It is the closest to RAW milk and low temperature pasteurized. When my chili is cooled, I top it off with the fresh yogurt, Yum. I mix Xylotol and some strawberries/or granola, and mom thinks she has pudding!

(Posted on 11/4/2014)

Good culture Review by toddcady
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Reading these reviews should be a first stop for everyone buying the culture. First time making it was much too sour. It took 5 hours to set using Organic Whole Pasturized milk, then the next time came out more like Kefir. When the culture didn't set the third time, I refrigerated it, then warmed it back up and it set. A little grainy. I tried switching to a local farmers whole milk, but it wasn't homogenized, and I did end up with hard, almost crystallized bits in and amongst the rest of the yogurt. Switching back to the first brand has resulted in creamy, not as sour yogurt that sets well. I've got one starter packet remaining, and I hope it is good when I need it. Love the yogurt! Making dips, smoothies, dressings and desserts with it.

(Posted on 11/1/2014)

yummy Review by tuna
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I like this yoghurt very much. It is rich and creamy on the palate and is more subtle, more complex, than commercial yoghurts.

(Posted on 10/25/2014)

EXCELLENT Yogurt Review by Phil
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I have made yogurt off and on since the mid-70's. I would purchase store bought plain yogurt and make a couple of batches. However, I was never satisfied with the results.

Then I made the move to purchase starter from Cultures for Health. Right from the first batch, the yogurt came out creamy and delicious. Now, my wife and I enjoy yogurt every day and I have to make sure that I make another batch every few days so we don't run out!

(Posted on 10/24/2014)

Didn't work Review by A.E.
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I have made yogurt using other starters but this is the first time using the Bulgarian yogurt starter. I was very disappointed. The yogurt never "set", as the package stated might happen, but additionally, there was no flavor at all. It didn't seem to have cultured. I started checking for it to set after about 5 hours, and continued checking every few hours until 12 hours, with no results.

Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting advice before discarding product. Many cultures can be saved with minor adjustments.

(Posted on 10/20/2014)

Even yogurt-haters love this! Review by Jessica
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I used this yogurt starter to make yogurt in my Instant Pot pressure cooker (there is a yogurt setting). The yogurt was super easy to make and it tasted wonderful. The texture is creamy and not as firm as store bought yogurt; I just strained it through cheesecloth and it was perfect. The taste is slightly sour, but not too much. My husband who hates yogurt will actually eat this! I just add some homemade jam and both he and my baby will eat it by the gallons (literally, I use 1-2 gallons of milk per week just for yogurt).
I highly recommend this yogurt!

(Posted on 10/12/2014)

Great Yogurt! Review by Fireweed
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I am so glad I found an heirloom culture! This yogurt tastes good and is thicker than the other yogurts I have tried. I am using a Yogotherm and it is working great!
Comes with instructions, follow them and you will get great yogurt!

(Posted on 10/10/2014)

Make at least three and use the customer service! Review by Happy in CO
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I like others, found it took three or so cultures before the consistency started to look like smooth yogurt. The Customer service was Excellent answering my questions and offering additional information. Don't toss it! I put the first few batches in smoothies which was awesome!

(Posted on 10/8/2014)

Great yogurt Review by Pamela
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I have tried making yogurt before and been quite discouraged with the results - not a great flavor and you have to keep buying new starter or yogurt to split. I really like the Bulgarian yogurt and it's been getting better with more splitting instead of worse. Very nice product. It might have been a little more money to purchase initially, but it's much cheaper in the long run.

(Posted on 10/2/2014)

Quality Product Review by Robin
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I've made about 6 batches of yogurt from the Bulgarian yogurt starter and each batch was delicious. Very nice tangy flavor and creamy consistency.

(Posted on 9/29/2014)

Good Review by SM
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I am glad I ordered and am using this starter. I chose the Bulgarian because of reports that it makes a thicker yogurt. It might be slightly thicker than what I had previously made, but not enough for me to give rave reviews. The flavor is still the same delicious, creamy, light, sweet flavor of homemade yogurt. (again, not much noticeable difference from others.)

(Posted on 9/25/2014)



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