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Piima Yogurt Starter

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Piima Starter Culture

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True Piimä! Culture milk into a probiotic-rich yogurt drink, make Piima cream, create amazing cultured butter, or use as a creamy cultured salad dressing base

  • Each box contains 2 packets of yogurt starter.
  • Activate 1 packet using 1-2 cups pasteurized milk; store 2nd packet in the freezer as a back-up.
  • Reusable heirloom starter recultures from batch to batch indefinitely.
  • Cultures on the countertop at room temperature (70º-77ºF).
  • This culture is also suitable for use with raw dairy milk or non-dairy milk, with special care.


 Piimä Yogurt Starter Instructions and Troubleshooting: 

Ingredients: Organic milk, Live active bacteria (Streptococcus lactis var. bollandicus and Streptococcus taette).

This product contains no GMO ingredients.

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

  • At room temperature (68° to 77°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


Allergen Information:

Manufactured in a facility that also produces products made with gluten and dairy.

Actual product may differ from image shown above.

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Questions on Piima Yogurt Starter

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  • From Judi at 3/9/2011 2:00 PM
    • Is this piima starter a dry one? Or a moist starter? If it is a dry starter, is it one pound dry? And is the ratio 1 T. piima starter to 1 cp. milk or cream?
    • The Piima culture, like all our cultures, is shipped freeze-dried. There are two packets of starter, each packet containing enough starter to activate 1-2 cups of milk. Save one packet as a backup in your freezer.

      Once the yogurt starter is activated, the ratio is 1 Tablespoon yogurt starter per 1 cup of milk.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Jan at 3/17/2011 5:01 PM
    • In order to insure a consistent temperature, can I use a yogurt maker to make this type of yogurt?
    • Piima is a mesophilic culture, meaning that it works best at room temperature. A yogurt maker is much warmer, and could damage the culture. If your house is very cool, or you want to ensure a consistent temperature, you could try using a low temperature mat such as a seedling mat (available at gardening stores) or a reptile mat (from a pet store). These are designed to stay at around 70 degrees.

      Here are some more ideas for maintaining temperatures: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/cold-weather-winter-care-starter-cultures-foods/
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Eva Shaw at 5/27/2011 9:36 AM
    • Can Piima culture ship to Arizona? It is between 85 and 95 degrees right now.
    • Yes, we can ship Piima cultures to Arizona. All our cultures are shipped dehydrated, so they should be stable during transit. Once you receive shipment tracking information, we encourage you to check your mail receptacle prior to its arrival, as well as its estimated date. We recommend that you refrigerate them once you've received them, to improve the shelf life.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Pam C. at 7/24/2011 6:29 PM
    • How do I know my Piima yogurt activated ok? Mine never did thicken and look like yogurt - it seems to have separated into curds and whey. Thanks,

    • Piima is traditionally a very, very thin yogurt. In fact, some people prefer to call it a fermented milk rather than yogurt. The fat content of the milk you use determines the thickness.

      Separation into curds and whey is usually a result of too rapid culturing (too warm), or too long culturing. If your piima has separated, you can pour off the whey (save it for soaking flours or fermenting vegetables), and stir up the curds to make a smoother drink.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Gordon at 9/8/2011 6:29 PM
    • Is it really possible to make butter out of pasteurized milk by adding Pima Yogurt as a replacement for enzymes lost through pasteurization of milk? Thank you for your time. Gord
    • Cream must be used to make butter. Learn how here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-make-cultured-butter/

      Yogurt can be used, but it should be cream, not milk.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Cat42 at 10/5/2011 7:32 PM
    • How many packets of piima culture come with one $12.99 order?
    • One packet of culture is included in one order. The packet contains enough culture to make two "activation" batches of yogurt of one cup each. The activation batch can then be used to make additional batches of yogurt, in the proportion of one tablespoon of yogurt to one cup of milk. (That is, you can use one activation batch to make up to four quarts (one gallon) of new yogurt.)

      *Note: There was a packaging change for all orders shipped beginning September 1, 2013. Each box contains 2 packets; each packet contains enough starter culture to activate 1 quart of milk.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From shannon at 10/29/2011 8:18 AM
    • I've been doing kefir and love it but need to try yogurt now for the Standard Carbohydrate Diet. The author recommends culturing yogurt for 24 hours to reduce as much lactose as possible. Is there a starter you recommend for doing 24 hour yogurt or would any work fine?
      Thank you
    • A mesophilic yogurt such as the Piima will set up in 12 to 18 hours, once the initial activation batch has been made. If you need to culture each batch for 24 hours, we recommend making a mother culture, which has been cultured 12-18 hours, then using that as your starter for the 24-hour batches, so that the culture will remain viable.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Mommy to many at 11/7/2011 3:53 PM
    • Can Piima yogurt be started and "chained" with raw goat milk? Is this an unending yogurt culture to chain; or do we need to start a new mother culture after a number of batches? Thanks so much!
    • Piima yogurt works very well with raw goat milk. The activation batch must be done with pasteurized milk, and subsequent batches can be done with raw. To perpetuate the culture, you will need to maintain a pasteurized dairy mother culture which you will then use to inoculate each batch of raw milk. A new mother must be created every 7 days or less. Read here http://www.culturesforhealth.com/make-mesophilic-raw-milk-yogurt/ to see how to maintain the mother.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Waggie at 11/10/2011 4:36 PM
    • Can you use Lactose Free Milk to make Piima Yogurt?
    • Lactose-free milk is usually made from cow milk with lactase added. Lactase is the enzyme missing in the gut of lactose-intolerant individuals. It breaks the lactose down into two simple sugars: glucose and galactose. The yogurt culture also consumes the lactose, and uses it to produce lactic acid, which makes the milk proteins coagulate. So if the milk did not have any lactose to start with, the yogurt culture would not work.

      However, since the lactose IS broken down in the culturing process, there is not much lactose left in the finished yogurt even when you use regular milk. As a result, many lactose-intolerant individuals can enjoy yogurt. You might want to try a small amount of good quality plain yogurt, and if all goes well, start making your own.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From KJ at 4/9/2012 7:23 AM
    • My mother culture turned into curds and whey. Can I still use it to make other batches?
    • Separation into curds and whey, although still tasty, isn't usually a good sign for the yogurt culture itself. If your mother culture is less than 7 days old, it might still be worth a try.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

Good product Review by Ashley

Easy to use, I was actually surprised how thick mine turned out. But it had kind of a sour taste so maybe I let it sit out for a bit too long.

Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting, as we're happy to help!

(Posted on 10/13/2014)

Best for culturing cream! Review by Jane

I have not tried to culture Piima in milk because I first encountered it as a cream culture and it is too divine. Piima cream cultures amazingly--think, smooth, excellent taste--sweet enough for dipping fruit and tart enough for use in recipes/dishes calling for sour cream. I never want to use another culture for my cream!! The culture I bought from here is very consistent and always successful. (I do culture the mother in milk, and it works fine.)

CFH Note: Keeping a mother culture in milk is a very important step, critical to the health of the culture.

(Posted on 8/21/2014)

I love it! Review by Liquid Yogurt Fan

It worked at room temperature in about 8 hrs. I just mixed it well in 1% organic milk and voila! So easy. Now I add honey to my cup and enjoy it either just like that or on my cereal. I always keep 1/4 of the yogurt to keep it going and it's doing great after 2 weeks and 5 refills.

(Posted on 6/5/2014)

Novice and am enjoying my own yogurt! Review by JB

I had no problems starting the Piima culture. It was the only one I purchased as I wanted some drinkable yogurt after trying some made with raw milk at a farm. I have not purchased store bought yogurt since. I look forward to it as desert sweetened with a little bit of Agave nectar and some raspberries. I also use it as a fruit dip. I have been having so much fun with the basic yogurt I haven't even made it to to the raw milk yet and after reading the reviews, I now have some new ideas.

(Posted on 5/19/2014)

EXCELLENT! Review by Rayah

What a great product to begin culturing with! Excellent packing, high quality product with easy to follow instructions. It felt "hand-delivered". THANK YOU!

(Posted on 4/28/2014)

Silky and perfect! Review by Cinnamonbark

..cultured *beautifully*, and I can't wait to experiment with 'flavoring' it! Very, very easy, and works like a charm!

I think I'm going to experiment with Kefir next, as I feel so inspired by 'drinkable' yogurts! :-D

(Posted on 4/19/2014)

Sickly sweet smelling yogurt Review by Jane

We very carefully followed the instructions twice, even buying a second container of fresh milk. Each time the yogurt took a day and a half to gel and had a sickly sweet smell - the kind that I identify as something spoiled. Sigh! It looks so easy in the video. I'd sure like to know why this happened. Anyone else have this experience?

To the company's credit, they offered to send new starters of another type. Haven't received those yet so don't know the outcome.

Response from CFH: Piima yogurt is a mild-flavored yogurt drink with a pleasant aroma and flavor. CFH Customer Support is always available to assist with any of our products.

(Posted on 3/20/2014)

terrible Review by sbrown

This product did not work at all for me. My milk did nothing after 48 hrs. so I left it out longer. Then it just spoiled, curdled, and separated. Nasty. Not sure what the problem was. Waste of money.

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

(Posted on 3/16/2014)

Cultues must have been dead Review by cc

I did not have any luck. i let it culture for 48 hours and the milk was just as I had started 48hours before. there was no sign of culturing. very disappointed

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

(Posted on 1/16/2014)

Excellent! Review by J Fu

I was able to activate my Piima starter the first trial; it started to set at around 36 hours. After that, the yogurt routinely sets around 6 to 9 hours. Piima by itself tastes very mild and taste; I would he happy to just eat it as it is. My older daughter - the gourmet eater in my family - approves the mild taste of Piima and actually said she likes this better than store-brought yogurt.

(Posted on 12/26/2013)

awesome stuff Review by T

I love pima, I use it in cream, so it comes out really thick. It makes the best mayo substitute for everything. I usually use it in potato salad, or mix it with cranberry sauce (homemade) and make turkey sandwiches, the best. Way too many uses to get into.

(Posted on 12/8/2013)

Delightful Review by Amanda

This is a very tasty culture. Produces a thin yogurt when used with milk. I prefer to use it with cream. Makes for a delicious sour cream/ creme fraiche. I often use it in soups. Makes a great dessert topping too! Nice and mild with a very slight tang.

(Posted on 1/10/2013)

My Personal Favorite Review by Meir

We bought all four mesophilic cultures (Piimä, Viili, Matsoni, and Filmjölk) and this is our personal favorite. It is quite thin when at room temperature but becomes much thicker when cold. It has a sweet flavor and is kind of fun to play with as it tends to fall off the spoon. The other cultures are well worth getting as well but make sure you get this one if you had to choose only one.

(Posted on 5/15/2012)

Yummy Review by Paula

I bought this product because I wanted a cultured beverage to replace kefir. I used goat milk and the piima has the consistency of kefir. I let it culture initially for 36 hours. I actually bought matsoni, filmjolk, and viili as well and didn't like them as much. With goat milk, they were also beverages. The filmjolk was my second favorite and also had the consistency of kefir, but the filmjolk had a very acidic/tart bite to it (so it would be great for baking). This piima tastes similar to buttermilk but without the acidic bite or tartness. There is just a very mild tartness that tells you it's not just plain milk. It is very mild and delicious. It has a nice aroma, too. It's exactly what I was looking for to replace my daily cultured beverage. The flavor is excellent.

(Posted on 11/5/2011)

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