How to Make a Dairy Mother Culture for Non-Dairy Yogurt

While our Vegan Yogurt Starter is ideal for culturing non-dairy milk yogurt, there is another option. When some dairy is tolerated, it may be more practical to maintain a dairy mother culture, using one of our many reusable heirloom yogurt starters. With this method, you will not need to purchase new yogurt starter regularly for use with non-dairy milks. Below are step-by-step instructions for each type of starter.

Avoid ultra-pasteurized or UHT dairy milk for making a dairy mother culture.

Jump to Maintaining a pasteurized dairy mother culture using Thermophilic Heirloom Starters

Maintaining a pasteurized dairy mother culture using a mesophilic heirloom starter 

We carry four varieties of mesophilic heirloom starter: Viili, Matsoni, Filmjolk, Piima

I. Activating the starter culture:

  1. If using raw dairy milk, slowly heat 1-2 cups raw milk to 160ºF. 
  2. If using 1-2 cups store-bought pasteurized dairy milk, skip to step 4.
  3. Cool the milk to 70-77ºF.
  4. Transfer to a glass or plastic container.
  5. Add 1 packet mesophilic yogurt starter. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Cover with a towel or coffee filter, secured with a rubber band, or put a lid on the container.
  7. Place in a warm spot, 70º-77ºF, to culture.
  8. Check after 24 hours to see if it has set. If it has not set, leave up to 48 hours, checking every few hours.
  9. Once it has set, or at the end of 48 hours, cover with a tight lid and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  10. This yogurt is the pasteurized mother culture. Always use the pasteurized mother culture as the starter culture for making non-dairy yogurt and weekly batches of fresh pasteurized dairy mother culture (see section III below).
  11. Extra pasteurized mother culture can be eaten.

 

Even if the activation batch does not set, it is still cultured and can be used to make subsequent batches of yogurt.

 

II. Making non-dairy milk yogurt:

  1. Heat 1 quart non-dairy milk to the temperature require for chosen thickener.
  2. Add thickener.
  3. Cool milk to 70-77ºF.
  4. Pour cooled non-dairy milk/thickener mixture into a glass or plastic container.
  5. Add 4 tablespoons pasteurized dairy mother culture. Mix thoroughly. To make larger batches, use 1 tablespoon pasteurized mother culture per cup of milk, making up to ½ gallon per container.
  6. Cover with a towel or coffee filter, secured with a rubber band, or put a lid on the container.
  7. Place in a warm spot, 70º-77ºF, to culture for 12-18 hours.
  8. Shake or stir yogurt, then refrigerate. Yogurt will not set until after a refrigeration period of up to 24 hours.

 

III. Making a new batch of pasteurized dairy mother culture

Once every 7 days, use the pasteurized mother culture to make a new batch of pasteurized mother culture, to keep the yogurt culture strong.

 

  1. If using raw milk, slowly heat 1 cup raw milk to 160ºF.
  2. If using store-bought pasteurized milk, skip to step 4.
  3. Cool the milk to 70-77ºF.
  4. Transfer to a glass or plastic container.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon pasteurized mother culture. Mix thoroughly. To make larger batches, use 1 tablespoon pasteurized mother culture per cup of milk, making up to ½ gallon per container.
  6. Cover with a towel or coffee filter, secured with a rubber band, or put a lid on the container.
  7. Place in a warm spot, 70º-77ºF, to culture.
  8. Check after 12 hours to see if it has set. If it has not set, leave up to 18 hours, checking every few hours.
  9. Once it has set, cover with a tight lid and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  10. Always use the pasteurized mother culture as the starter culture for making non-dairy yogurt and weekly batches of fresh pasteurized mother culture.
  11. Extra pasteurized mother culture can be eaten.

 

Maintaining a pasteurized dairy mother culture using a thermophilic heirloom starter

We carry two varieties of thermophilic heirloom starter: Greek and Bulgarian.

I. Activating the starter culture:

  1. Slowly heat 1-2 cups raw or pasteurized dairy milk to 160ºF. 
  2. Cool the milk to 110ºF.
  3. Transfer to a glass or plastic container.
  4. Add 1 packet thermophilic yogurt starter. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Cover and incubate at 110ºF in a yogurt maker or similar appliance for 5-12 hours.
  6. Check after 5 hours to see if it has set. If it has not set, leave up to 12 hours, checking every 30-60 minutes.
  7. Once it has set, or at the end of 12 hours, cover with a tight lid and cool for 2 hours at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  8. This yogurt is the pasteurized dairy mother culture. Always use the pasteurized mother culture as the starter culture for making non-dairy yogurt and weekly batches of fresh pasteurized dairy mother culture (see section III below).
  9. Extra pasteurized mother culture can be eaten.

 

Even if the activation batch does not set, it is still cultured and can be used to make subsequent batches of yogurt.

 

II. Making non-dairy milk yogurt:

  1. Heat 1 quart non-dairy milk to the temperature require for chosen thickener, or at least 110ºF.
  2. Add thickener according to instructions.
  3. Cool milk to 110ºF, if necessary.
  4. Pour cooled non-dairy milk/thickener mixture into a glass or plastic container.
  5. Add 2-3 tablespoon pasteurized dairy mother culture. Mix thoroughly. To make larger batches, use 1½-2 teaspoons pasteurized mother culture per cup of milk, making up to ½ gallon per container.
  6. Cover and incubate at 110ºF in a yogurt maker or similar appliance for 5-8 hours. 
  7. Shake or stir yogurt, then refrigerate. Yogurt will not set until after refrigeration period of up to 24 hours.
  8. The non-dairy yogurt can now be eaten.

 

III. Making a new batch of pasteurized dairy mother culture

Once every 7 days, use the pasteurized dairy mother culture to make a new batch of pasteurized dairy mother culture, to keep the yogurt culture strong.

 

  1. Slowly heat 1 cup raw or pasteurized dairy milk to 160ºF.
  2. Cool the milk to 110ºF.
  3. Transfer to a glass or plastic container.
  4. Add 2-3 tablespoon pasteurized dairy mother culture. Mix thoroughly. To make larger batches, use 1½-2 teaspoons pasteurized mother culture per cup of milk, making up to ½ gallon per container.
  5. Cover and incubate at 110ºF in a yogurt maker or similar appliance for 5-8 hours.
  6. Once it has set, cover with a tight lid and cool for 2 hours at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours. 
  7. Always use the pasteurized mother culture as the starter culture for making non-dairy yogurt and weekly batches of fresh pasteurized mother culture.
  8. Extra pasteurized mother culture can be eaten.


                
 SMJ  
How to Make a Dairy Mother Culture for Non-Dairy Yogurt


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