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 Martha at 3/8/11 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 5/17/11 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 5/25/11 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 6/22/11 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 8/8/11 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 10/27/11 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 11/9/11 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 12/5/11 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 2/9/12 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 5/17/12 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

Great starter Review by Suz
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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 July 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 July 30, 2014)
Best ever for taste, texture, and consistent reculturing Review by Candlefoot
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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 July 18, 2014)
Love this product Review by Ann
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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 July 13, 2014)
Great Review by Patricia
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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 June 10, 2014)
Great yogurt Review by GinM
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I think that the price is a little bit high for the starter. The quality was great though. We love the yogurt. (Posted on June 10, 2014)
Great Yogurt! Review by maravill
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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 June 8, 2014)
Excellent Yogurt! Review by SteveF
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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 May 22, 2014)
Perfect! Review by Schatzie
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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 May 17, 2014)
not as good as hoped Review by unsheepled
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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 May 8, 2014)
Easy and delicious Review by Tanya
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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 May 8, 2014)
A True Bulgarian Culture Review by Steve
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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 April 30, 2014)
A super tasty and satisfying yogurt Review by Rob
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We've made three batches so far starting from this culture and they've all been outstanding. The yogurt tastes like a sweeter and milder Pavel's Russian that you can buy in the store. I don't think I can ever go back to store-bought yogurt again. (Posted on April 28, 2014)
Fair Review by JL
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This is the 3rd type of culture I have used with my machine. The mild is our favorite, but we wanted to try a culture that we could reuse. This was great for the first 3-4 batches, but after that the yogurt became grainy and did not set well.

(Posted on April 27, 2014)
Not so good Review by Bill
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I have been making yogurt for about 5 months now. I have been using store yogurt as a starter and it has done a good job. I wanted a culture that would last and not give out after a few times of making it. I found this product on line and decided it give it a try. We'll my first batch did not set at all and customer care said it was due to using the Horzions milk. The next batch I used regular whole milk and it did set but it was very thin even tho I strained it. I tried 3 more times all ending the same. I guess I will have to go back to the store bought yogurt for culture.

Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting advice before discarding product. Many cultures can be saved with minor adjustments. (Posted on April 21, 2014)
This is new starter for me Review by RFRIEND
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Works well .Use half & half Thinking I like a stronger taste in the yogart, will try other starters (Posted on April 21, 2014)
Delicious! Review by abigalva
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I purchased the heirloom Bulgarian started about a month ago. So far, I have made about five batches of yogurt at home using an Euro Cuisine yogurt maker. A couple of times I have drained the whey, and a couple more I have left the yogurt as is, and every time I have obtained a delicious product that I can eat without any added sweeteners, mix with honey and cereal or with fruit compotes. By far, the creamiest, best tasting yogurt that I have had in a very long time. A great value to boot; I have only used half of the contents of the box (one envelope), which equates about the price of one quart of store bought, with much better quality. Very happy with my purchase! (Posted on April 15, 2014)
Various versions of the instructions are confusing Review by I'll Buy Yogurt
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I found the detailed instructions on the website for making a mother culture with thermophilic starter and pasteurized milk. Why wouldn't I think those instructions are just fine? But apparently they are not the same as the paper instructions that come in the box! I didn't keep a big piece of paper around my kitchen since I knew the instructions were online so neither packet of starter worked for me which was very aggravating after having done several practice batches. The customer service rep just kept telling me I should have used the paper instructions until it was clear she thought I was pretty dumb so never mind, I'll just buy yogurt. The passing interest has passed. $12.99 is a lot for two tiny packets anyway.

Response from CFH: We are constantly working to improve the information presented on our website, and to make it more consistent with the instructions included with the cultures. We are always happy to help with any discrepancies in our information and welcome feedback from customers. (Posted on April 6, 2014)
Favorite Yogurt! Review by Tracy
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I love this strain, it is also my family's favorite. It has been easy to keep the cultures going as well. I am letting this set for 8 hours though, I don't find that it's ready after 5. I'm also using the Yogotherm Yogurt Incubator. (Posted on April 3, 2014)
delicious Review by cj
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creamy smooth and delicious. easy with great customer support with the few questions I had. certainly better than any store bought yogurt. (Posted on March 25, 2014)
View More Reviews >>


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