Bulgarian Yogurt Starter

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$12.99


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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.


Questions on Bulgarian Yogurt Starter

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  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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

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Customer Reviews

excellent quality Review by returntobasics
Value
Quality
Price

It's the first time I buy a yogurt starter so I was a little skeptical I'd get it right. I received two packets in the mail. I used one and I froze the second. I got some excellent tips online from a lady who's been making yogurt for years and she used this website's cultures. She gave some options for low tech yogurt makers, in case you don't have a real yogurt maker, which I don't: use a heating pad or the cooler method. I was gonna go for the cooler method, because it was very easy, but I couldn't find my cooler. I have to thank my back that I had a heating pad lol. I used 1 quart of whole milk (I believe it was Horizon, but later I made it with Stonyfield - you have to be careful which brand you use too) for one packet of cultures. I heated the milk to 160 F and let it cool to 110 F, just like it said in the instructions, put it in a jar with the cultures, covered with some towels, added the heating pad, more towels. Now, I had a heating pad that turns itself off every hour. You can imagine how determined I was, because for about 10 hours I kept coming back to the kitchen to turn the $@*% thing on! At the end of the 10 hours I checked the yogurt and it didn't look like it was done. Darn! I decided to give up and go to sleep (we're talking 1 am by now). Next morning, intent on throwing it away, I gave it one more look. Surprise! An awesome yogurt! I think I ate the whole jar that day (almost, I left 2 tablespoons to make more!). Now I'm making it every week and I graduated to 2 jars. I love it! I just suggest to start early morning if you have a heating pad like mine:(

(Posted on 9/1/2014)

Awesome starter Review by Aziem
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Quality
Price

I've been making yogurt for about a year now and have always thought that buying this starter is a waste of money. However, after trying them for the first time (out of curiosity), I discovered that it tasted so great and I love that I can reuse the culture over and over again. What I do is when I finish making yogurt, I let the whole pot chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Then I spoon a bit of the finished product and put it in a small Tupperware in the freezer for my next batch. Before making my next batch, I thaw the starter completely and use it as usual. Just made my new batch with the frozen starter that was made 2 weeks ago and it turns out perfect! For those of you who worth about not being able to make yogurt every 7 days, do what I did! Love the product! I'm trying for the first time with 2% milk to make greek yogurt! :)

(Posted on 8/31/2014)

Good product Review by curds
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Quality
Price

I was looking for a yogurt starter that would approximate the texture and flavor of South Indian yogurt (curds). This Bulgarian starter worked well. My South Indian mother-in-law was really impressed with the results and I am happy to finally have a culture that will keep on culturing! I had no trouble setting the yogurt and we have made about 12 batches so far and each has been excellent. While the 12.99 price tag gave me pause, it will save us a lot of money over time, both by eliminating the need to continually purchase the starters that don't last and by the money we save making our own yogurt instead of purchasing yogurt at the store, which is not cheap. Seems worth the cost in the end.

(Posted on 8/29/2014)

Awesome! Review by Kathy
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Value
Quality

I have been making yogurt for a long time now, usually using store bought Balkan yogurt for my starter. The result has been acceptable but, for some reason, somewhat slimey! This starter produced an amazingly delicious and thick yogurt much like the ones bought at store. It also produced the next batch beautifully. Love it!

(Posted on 8/28/2014)

As Advertized, but Pricey Review by Claire
Quality
Price
Value

My starter batch too, was runny, but like others I talked to Customer Service and my second batch was much better. My third batch is creamy and a great consistency. I put in powdered skim milk for extra thickness and the calcium boost. However, I travel and will not always be able to make a new batch within a week, so I am concerned that this may become a very expensive undertaking if I have to make a new starter every time I return.

(Posted on 8/15/2014)

Tangy, a Delicious Yogurt Review by Kate
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Value
Quality

I received my shipment very promptly and made one batch using the instructions enclosed. As expected, the first batch was liquid. However, the batch made with part of the first one as starter turned out perfect. Tangy flavor, better than store bought and consistency of what is available from Stonyfield Farms. I want to share it with everyone I know!

(Posted on 8/2/2014)

Great product Review by Gene
Price
Value
Quality

I'm into my fifth batch and so far it's been everything I was hoping for!!! The taste is fantastic. Batch time is about six hours. I used another brand a while ago and liked it until I tried this one, not knocking the other one but yours has at least to me a cleaner taste.
I also purchased the Viili and Piima, I haven't used them yet but when I do I will review them. Thanks for a great product.
Gene

(Posted on 7/31/2014)

Great starter Review by Suz
Quality
Price
Value

When I made the first batch with the starter it was a bit runny and I was disappointed. By the time I had made my third batch I realized that this is the best yogurt ever! It is so smooth and creamy. A great buy, I am really pleased with my purchase and hope to try other starters as well. Was happy you also sent an extra packet.

CFH note ~ For maximum shelf life, store the backup packet in the freezer.

(Posted on 7/30/2014)

Wonderful! Review by Lulu
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My yogurt turned out perfect. It is delicious. I saved a 1/2 cup to make another delicious batch tomorrow.

(Posted on 7/30/2014)

Best ever for taste, texture, and consistent reculturing Review by Candlefoot
Quality
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Value

The first time I made yogurt with this powdered culture (Bulgarian), I thought it wouldn't work because it wasn't setting. I went back to this site and read comments from others, and then waited the maximum time (in yogurt machine with small jars). Suddenly, it set. Now, when I use it to make a new batch, it sets faster than any yogurt I've ever made. The texture is like custard and the taste delicate. I love it. Thank you. (I'm eating some now with homemade cranberry-apple sauce.)

(Posted on 7/18/2014)

Love this product Review by Ann
Quality
Price
Value

I've been making yogurt for quite a while but with a different starter brand. It could only be used for one or two batches. Your Bulgarian yogurt heirloom starter is just what the doctor ordered as I can use it continually. It didn't work out very well with the first few batches but watching your excellent instructional video cleared up the problem and now the yogurt quality is wonderful. Now it's unnecessary to keep spending money to buy starter.

(Posted on 7/13/2014)

One packet worked one did not Review by Nikki
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Value
Quality

The first packet of starter did not take. The second packet 4 out of 6 jars took. I follwed the directions exactly. The yogurt that did take was very good and delicious. I am using the last jar of yogurt to start a new batch today. Hopefully it takes as well.

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

(Posted on 7/11/2014)

Great Review by Patricia
Price
Value
Quality

I just started culturing yogurt at home. Loved the product although I followed the directions to the T, I cant seem to make it thicker like a Greek yogurt. It still tastes great, and my family loves it.

(Posted on 6/10/2014)

Great yogurt Review by GinM
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Quality

I think that the price is a little bit high for the starter. The quality was great though. We love the yogurt.

(Posted on 6/9/2014)

Great Yogurt! Review by maravill
Quality
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Value

I am only on my third batch of yogurt but so far it has been perfect. The starter batch did not set but after talking to customer service. I went ahead and made another batch using the unset starter. It has turned out great since.

(Posted on 6/8/2014)

Excellent Yogurt! Review by SteveF
Quality
Price
Value

I have always been a fan of the heirloom Bulgarian yogurt culture and this one is spot on. It is tart and refreshing, reliable and simply delicious.

I used this at first with store bought milk but have located raw milk and now use that. I get a very custard-like product by adding 3/4 to 1 C. of non-fat dry milk while heating the milk. This would work in store milk, too.

Kudos to Cultures for Health for providing a wonderful, authentic product. Cultured foods are truly a gift to the family that keeps on giving.

(Posted on 5/22/2014)

Perfect! Review by Schatzie
Price
Value
Quality

When I received my Bulgarian cultures, I followed the directions exactly and just got milk. I was on the point of discarding it when I saw that I could use the milk as a starter even if it had not set up. I tried it and sure enough, it worked. Since then I have made yogurt every 2-3 days, using whole milk and about 3 tablespoons of the previous batch, with total success. I am using Cuisinart's Electric Yogurt Maker and set it for 7 hours. This yogurt maker is unique in that it switches to chill at the end of the programmed time and you can leave it for up to 24 hours. Depending on what is going on, I have left it for as long as 14-15 hours without a problem. When I remove it from the yogurt maker, I pour it into my Cuisipro Donvier Yogurt Cheese Maker for anywhere from 1 hour to 24 hours. Obviously, the longer it is left, the thicker it gets. To this I add a teaspoon of fruit preserves, granola, or some all fruit syrup and the resulting mix is heavenly. I am planning to try some of the other culture strains to see if all of them are this good. Thank you Cultures for Health for making such an incredibly good product.

(Posted on 5/17/2014)

not as good as hoped Review by unsheepled
Price
Value
Quality

I also had issues with the Bulgarian and Greek starters . Looks of the finished product for one. It was either clumpy like ricotta, or needed lots of extra time to get solid . I purchased the Greek yogurt starter a second time, and that finally worked out this week. YEAH !! These cultures are about as pricey as gold, considering actual culture inside milk powder in which they are 'transported'- not doing it again,as much as I loved the Bulgarian yogurt's taste.

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

(Posted on 5/8/2014)

Easy and delicious Review by Tanya
Price
Value
Quality

The flavor is amazing, so smooth and creamy. Takes just a few minutes hands-on time once a week to make - 5 hours to cook in the yogurt maker.

I'm still fiddling around with the amount of yogurt to use in the weekly batch to get that same firm, smooth taste as the first batch.

I love that I can strain it to get the whey for my other cultures. I've used the yogurt in smoothies, to make honey mustard dressing, straight up with a spoon for a snack. Will continue to use it for anything that calls for sour cream, mayo, buttermilk

(Posted on 5/7/2014)

A True Bulgarian Culture Review by Steve
Quality
Price
Value

This is the taste I remember from when I began eating yogurt as a teenager. Tart and refreshing. It is the culture Dannon began with before they started adding all kinds of crap to their products.

I'll have to get back to you on the business of reculturing and how long the culture lasts. I'm only making my second batch from the first culture and will need time to see if this has the longevity we are promised.

A very good product, if a bit pricey.


(Posted on 4/29/2014)



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