Buttermilk Starter

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$12.99


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Buttermilk Starter Culture

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Our heirloom-variety buttermilk starter creates a traditional cultured buttermilk that is rich in nutritional value including enzymes, potassium, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and calcium, allowing you to make buttermilk without the additives and stabilizers common in commercially available varieties of buttermilk. One packet of starter culture can be used to make a mother culture. With proper care, the culture can be recultured and perpetuated to make unlimited amounts of buttermilk. The culture is perpetuated by using a small amount of buttermilk reserved from the current batch to inoculate the next batch of homemade buttermilk. With care, our buttermilk culture can be used to make homemade buttermilk indefinitely. No more having to continually buy buttermilk.

Homemade buttermilk can be used for baking, drinking or can be added to cream to make creème fraîche (European-style sour cream) or cultured butter.

  • Easy to use! Make delicious, creamy buttermilk at home
  • Cultures at 70° to 78°F, no heating appliance required
  • Reusable culture: a small amount of each batch can be used to make the next batch


 
How to Make Buttermilk: Our buttermilk culture is a mesophilic culture and cultures at room temperature. To make a batch of homemade buttermilk, the starter is simply added to milk, stirred, then allowed to culture on the counter at 70° to 78°F for 12 to 18 hours before being placed in the refrigerator. A small amount of homemade buttermilk from the current batch is then reserved to make the next batch of buttermilk. With care, the starter culture can be used to make buttermilk indefinitely. Making buttermilk doesn’t get any easier than this!

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

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

Ingredients: Organic milk, live active cultures (Streptococcus lactis).

Buttermilk Starter is manufactured in a facility that also processes soy, wheat, nut, and fish products.

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

Shipping Information: Our buttermilk culture is shipped in a barrier-sealed packet as a freeze-dried buttermilk culture in a dairy carrier. Please keep it in a cool dry place until you are ready to make your first batch of homemade buttermilk. We ship enough buttermilk culture to make two batches of buttermilk starter. We recommend that you reserve one packet of the buttermilk starter in a safe place to use as a backup. 

Detailed culturing instructions will be included with your order and can be found here.

Learn More about Making Homemade Buttermilk:


Ways to Use Cultured Buttermilk:

Questions on Buttermilk Starter

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  • From Sandy at 2/1/14 11:05 AM
    • Can goat milk be used to make buttermilk? and sour cream?
    • Our starter cultures do work with goat milk; however, given that goat milk is generally much lower in fat than cow milk, goat milk yields a thinner consistency. Cream from goat milk does not separate easily on its own, and requires a cream separator. If you can find goat cream, you can make sour cream from it.​
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  • From Christy at 1/21/14 9:10 PM
    • I'm not sure if I made buttermilk or if my milk just soured. Does cultured buttermilk have a particular smell, color, or consistency I should be looking for? I'm unsure if my kitchen was warm enough during the culturing. Thanks!
    • Buttermilk should have a thick, creamy texture, though not as thick as a yogurt. It can sometimes even be a little clumpy. The smell will be sour, but pleasant.
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  • From Mary at 10/12/13 8:18 AM
    • can this culture be used to make butter and how can I keep it also how should be used? Thanks Mary
    • Finished buttermilk, made using this culture, can be used to make cultured butter. You can find instructions here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-make-cultured-butter/

      Shelf life for finished buttermilk:

      At room temperature (68° to 78°F): 4 to 6 hours (may remain edible for longer)
      In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 7 days for heirloom variety to maintain culturing viability; 2 weeks for edibility
      In the freezer (0° to 25°F): 2 to 3 weeks to maintain re-culturing viability; 1 to 2 months (like ice cream) for edibility
      Storage recommendation: Refrigerate

      Click here for recipes using buttermilk: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/buttermilk#cultured_buttermilk_articles_videos_recipes
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  • From Sarah at 8/1/13 1:11 PM
    • Can buttermilk be make with non-dairy milks?
    • Yes, our starter cultures do work with soy or coconut milk; however, the heirloom-variety culture will not generally perpetuate in these alternative milks beyond the first generation or two. Therefore, if you intend to use non-dairy milk you will need to maintain a buttermilk culture using cow or goat milk to inoculate each batch. Please note, the texture of buttermilk made with alternative milks may be significantly thinner than buttermilk made with cow milk.
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  • From jennifer at 5/9/13 11:35 AM
  • From Deborah at 4/9/13 12:01 PM
    • Can I use goat milk to make buttermilk? I am allergic to cow's milk. Thanks.
    • Yes, goat milk would work fine for making buttermilk. The end product may be thinner, but it still makes a nice buttermilk.
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  • From Becky at 12/6/12 12:22 PM
    • When activating this culture from the dry powder, can you use that initial batch of buttermilk in recipes or do you need to continue on and take a T from that and make more from fresh milk, discarding the rest of the initial starter?
    • You can absolutely use the activation batch in recipes! It's just like a regular batch of buttermilk, only smaller.
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  • From Mary at 11/3/12 6:20 PM
    • Is this product gluten free? I have a gluten sensitivity and leaky gut syndrome.
    • The Buttermilk Starter itself contains no gluten; however, this culture is manufactured in a facility that also processes wheat. It is not certified gluten-free.
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  • From Ginger at 11/3/12 2:35 PM
    • Can you use the buttermilk starter to make non-dairy buttermilk from coconut milk or something similar?
    • Yes, our starter cultures do work with soy, coconut, and lactose-free milk; however, the heirloom-variety culture, will not generally perpetuate in these alternative milks beyond the first generation or two. Therefore, if you intend to use soy, coconut, or lactose-free milk, you will need to maintain a buttermilk culture using cow or goat milk to inoculate each batch of the soy, coconut, or lactose-free buttermilk. Please note, the texture of buttermilk made with alternative milks may be significantly thinner than buttermilk made with cow milk.
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  • From Starlene @ GAPS Diet Journey at 11/2/12 11:07 AM
    • Hi - do you know if this culture can be used with coconut milk or other nut milks? I dearly love buttermilk but have not been successful at reintroducing milk (respiratory issues). We actually owned our own dairy goats for almost 10 years and I made buttermilk occasionally. Good stuff. Thank you for your help with my question.
    • You would not be able to reuse the culture if you use it with coconut or other nut milks so a better option for you would be the Direct-Set Buttermilk and Sour Cream starter http://www.culturesforhealth.com/buttermilk-sour-cream-direct-set-starter-culture.html The texture and flavor would be very different than what you are used to.
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Customer Reviews

Perfect! Review by Erica
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Makes the best pancakes ever! :) (Posted on March 29, 2014)
Perfect! Review by MelanieC
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When I finally understood that the stuff on the supermarket shelves wasn't real buttermilk, I started looking for an alternative. I found it! I've been making a fresh batch of buttermilk weekly for about 8 months now. One day I decided to try making sour cream with it, and it turned out so well, that I've been making it ever since using this same culture. Well worth the price, and incredibly easy to make. (Posted on February 22, 2014)
Making better butter Review by jumper
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I bought the heirloom culture to make butter. I had made sweet cream butter and wanted to make the sour cream type. The order came promptly and I made the starter. After a few days I made using a pint of heavy cream and two tablespoons of the starter. In another few days I made another batch of butter. The butter has much better flavor than the sweet cream butter and I know what went into the butter. Each week I renew the starter with a pint of whole milk and two tablespoons of the previous starter (Posted on February 16, 2014)
Arrived quickly and tastes great Review by Jenn
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Arrived quickly and tastes great! (Posted on February 13, 2014)
Love it! Review by Candace
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I never used buttermilk as much as I do now. I have been making goat buttermilk and it works perfectly. Now anytime a recipe calls for milk and I think it's appropriate I substitute my buttermilk with fantastic results. (Posted on February 10, 2014)
Good starter! Review by Susan
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I used this starter in a yogurt maker whose recipe booklet called for a different temperature than the instructions that came with the starter. No knowing any better way out of this confusion, I chose a temperature somewhere between the two, and started the culture. And it worked! I've now re-cultured buttermilk three times from that same start, and may carry on with this until summer travel interrupts the schedule. So far, so good. Thanks for a good product!


Note from CFH Support: We recommend culturing using the temperatures indicated in the instructions that come with the culture. (Posted on January 20, 2014)
So So Review by Linda P
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I was disappointed.
I make butter on occasion.
I know what cultured buttermilk is like.
This is not it.

I see little or no difference between what I get from my kifir grains or another kifir culture that I buy.

I like all of the cultures and use them daily. I was hoping for real buttermilk the easy way.
Apparently there is no easy way ... I should have known.
(Posted on December 31, 2013)
great stuff Review by lisa
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Patience is key
It took over 48 hours to get the starter batch going. Now its been going strong for about a month now. Tastes creamy and slightly tangy. I use it in smoothies and for my very favorite, buttermilk pie! (Posted on December 28, 2013)
Love the taste Review by MissusC
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I love the taste of this buttermilk culture. I've had it perpetually going for almost three months now. I found the perfect place to culture...the top of my gas "wood stove" when it isn't in use. The pilot light keeps the temperature on the top of the stove a perfect 77 degrees. I make mine with raw milk straight from the farm, and it is delicious. I'm sad now, however, that our cow share is entering the "dry" period until the cows have their new calves. I will try to keep it going with Organic Pastures milk purchased at the natural food store, though in less quantity than I would like due to the price of retail raw milk! (Posted on December 12, 2013)
Excellent Review by LanDebLew
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Arrived in time, excellent quality, and made yummy buttermilk - love it!! (Posted on December 8, 2013)
I LOVE THIS STUFF! Review by Honeytiger
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I bought some buttermilk starter a couple months ago, and I haven't bought anymore since! Carefully maintained you can continue the buttermilk indefinitely! I use this buttermilk for everything, even making butter, and you would not believe the difference in taste from store bought. It is unbelievable in fired chicken too! Now we can have it whenever we want. You'll love this! (Posted on November 16, 2013)
I love making my own buttermilk! Review by msephton
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Like another reviewer, I used up my culture without making more - but, I made butter out of what I had, so it didn't go to waste!! I'm from Germany and I miss our sour cream butter. Well, no more - I make my own!! AND, I keep my culture going now so I don't run out. This buttermilk culture (like everything from this site) is wonderful! Thank you for giving the public the gift of making our own, clean buttermilk. (Posted on November 5, 2013)
Wonderful daily drink! Review by Jenny
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I have been making a batch every couple of days from this heirloom culture. I really enjoy the flavor and simplicity of the process. I look forward to my daily drink, and wonder why I didn't include this culture in my fermentation "arsenal" earlier. I now make water kefir, milk kefir, greek yogurt and buttermilk. My komucha starter is too new to use, but it is another ferment I will be adding next month. My skin looks great. My appetite is under control. I love it! (Posted on November 4, 2013)
Excellent and better with a dash of salt Review by Stuart
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I am glad they sent two culture packets. We keep a cold house and I tried putting it in the oven with just the oven light on. It made sour milk. I tried again just setting it on the counter with a temperature around 63-67 deg farenheit. It worked great.

I have made many batches now from the mother culture. I prefer 2% milk with a dash of salt. It was almost as thick as yogurt with whole milk. 2% gave the right texture but it still tasted more like yogurt. I noticed my store bought buttermilk added salt. That was the ticket. The salt creates a wonderful balance to the sourness. Delicious!


**Note from CFH: The recommended culturing temperature for this product is 70-78ºF. (Posted on November 1, 2013)
outstanding! Review by girlgenius
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The culture arrived quickly and I immediately put it to work. It is a great culture and as my other buttermilk culture turned bad I am very happy to have a continuous supply again.
Also the box contained 2 envelopes of starter culture so the other is stashed in the fridge incase something goes wrong with this one
Thanks very much! (Posted on October 31, 2013)
and great customer service! Review by karmes
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On top of my previous review of this outstanding culture, I also need to mention that they have great and prompt customer service! (Posted on October 26, 2013)
Great mother culture! Review by karmes
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I use raw milk and had been trying to make my own cultured buttermilk from scratch. However it kept going bad and I couldn't maintain a stable mother culture. I have now made 4 batches of mother culture and countless batches of regular buttermilk just from the initial packet. I still have my reserve packet just in case. The directions for raw milk where easy to follow and it has definitely performed well! I've been using the buttermilk in some of my bread recipes and what a difference!!
(Posted on October 26, 2013)
Love the buttermilk and the ease of the culture process. Review by GaryE
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I have made 3 batches of buttermilk so far and each batch has turned out great. I have also used the buttermilk to make Crème Fraîche - so easy. Once I whipped the Crème Fraîche as a dessert topping (will not make "just" whipped cream again) and once to serve as an appetizer dip with a sweet pepper sauce. (Posted on October 25, 2013)
Worked well! Review by Laura
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I've used my culture a few times now, to make both buttermilk and sour cream. The buttermilk was great, but the sour cream was delicious! I highly recommend making your own sour cream with this culture! (Posted on March 1, 2013)
Great Buttermilk! Review by JP
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Purchased in December and have been making buttermilk weekly from one starter. It truly is a far superior product than store bought and without all the funky additives.
(Posted on February 15, 2013)
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