Viili Yogurt Starter

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$12.99


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Viili Yogurt Starter

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Our most popular yogurt culture! Originating in Finland, the Viili Yogurt Starter cultures at room temperature into a creamy, mild yogurt with a fairly thick consistency. Our Viili yogurt does not have a ropey texture but rather a more gelatinous texture and is perfect in any yogurt recipe

  • 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.
  • Instructions for using this culture may be found here
  • 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.

 

Ingredients: Organic milk, live active bacteria (Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, L. lactis subsp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis, Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris).

This product contains no GMO ingredients.

Shipping Information and Shelf-life: Our Viili 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

 

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 Viili Yogurt Starter

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  • From kara at 4/12/12 8:50 AM
    • Hi-
      I didn't have much luck with this. I'm using raw milk and followed the instructions. My first batch never got thick but did get sour (I've been using it as a runny sour cream). I left it out for about 4 days. I thought it was because my house was too cold.

      With the second batch, I placed it in a insulated cooler with some warm water. I watched the temp closely and kept it at 70. It neither got thick or sour.

      With both versions, after I heated the milk, I let it get to room temp before adding the culture.

      Can I salvage either of these to try another batch?
      Thanks-
    • Thin yogurt is a common issue with raw milk and can be resolves by using a thickening agent. This article has information about different thickeners: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/thickening-homemade-yogurt/

      It is also very important to use the freshest raw milk possible, being less than 48 hours old, and chilled immediately. 

      Inconsistent temperatures can cause a lot of problems, so nice job on testing that! Keep in mind that 70° is on the low end, and you might want to bump it up a few degrees.

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  • From Ellie at 4/25/12 6:25 AM
    • Hello,

      I used to live in Finland and have a brother living there now. He sent me over a dried Viili culture from a normal batch he bought in the supermarket. He used the recommended method to dry it and I reconstituted it as recommended also. The viili was perfect, just the right consistency and left nice long threads. The flavour was also quite normal. I use pasteurized full fat organic milk and always made it is a glass jar which I sterilized in between making, with boiling water and only used a plastic spoon for serving it.

      I made the yoghurt almost every day, so the culture stayed nice and fresh. After a few weeks it began to deteriorate and it then separated. There was no way I could recover it. I was afraid that I had cultured it for too long or in too warm a temperature.

      I had given a bit to a friend who had decided she didn't like it much, but that culture was still good as it had been made less than two weeks before, so I recuperated it and restarted the process. The batch was, once again, perfect. Then I even took some and prepared it as dried to keep aside in case the same thing happened again.

      And it did happen again. After a few weeks the yoghurt deteriorated in the same way. The temperature had been regular as I sat the jar on a UPS which is slightly warm only on the surface.

      Is this result because it came from a store bought food viili rather than a starter, do you think? I am not keen to have this shipped up to Canada (if they even allow it) only to find the same thing happening.

      What are your thoughts on this problem?

      Ellie
    • It sounds like your brother purchased a yogurt that had been made with a "direct set" starter which will begin to weaken after a few batches. An heirloom culture can be reused, and with good care the culture can be kept going indefinitely. With an heirloom culture, it is important to make a new batch of yogurt every 5-7 days to keep the good bacteria viable.
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  • From Laura at 4/27/12 3:47 PM
    • Could this starter be used with goat milk to make yogurt? I love the idea of it working at room temp. Thanks!
    • Absolutely. It's one of the many delicious things you can make with goat milk.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Miriam at 5/8/12 8:46 PM
    • I'm interested in making villi yogurt with skim milk. I've bought skim milk skyr in the grocery store under the brand name Siggi's and it was very good. Can I make villi yogurt with skim milk using your starter? Thanks.
    • Many customers make Viili with skim milk. If you find you prefer a little thicker consistency, please see the following article for suggestions for a thickening agent: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/thickening-homemade-yogurt/
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Jess at 5/15/12 1:38 PM
    • This is concerning storage of the villi after making a quart batch. After you have made a batch of villi yogurt on the video it says to take a scoop out. I understand that part, from there is it stored in the refrigerator? Are you able to freeze the starter if you are going on vacation? Thank you for your time.
    • Yes, the yogurt should be stored in the refrigerator once it's done culturing, both the mother culture and the yogurt to be consumed.

      A small amount of yogurt or buttermilk can be frozen for up to a few weeks. Because the bacteria will degrade over time, we recommend freezing 3-4 times the amount you will require to make a new batch and limiting freezing to no more than a few weeks.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From maggie at 7/23/12 6:09 PM
    • Ok the Villi starter instructions for pasteurized milk state that you use a portion of the "mother" batch for your next fermentation. Do I keep the "mother" batch, eat it, toss it, use it to start another batch? What do I do with it? Thanks!
    • The mother culture is used to culture another batch, or can be consumed if you have successfully made a new mother. Be sure to always save enough of "her" to make a new mother culture. It must be done within 7 days for maximum viability.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Sarah at 8/2/12 8:21 AM
    • I started my culture in reduced fat milk last night to make the activation batch. It's been 15 hours but looks like milk still. The temperature is around 76 or 77. When I was stirring it up, some of the starter was getting stuck on the sides of the glass jar and wooden spoon. I didn't try to remove that with my finger for fear of compromising the culture. Should I just keep waiting? Or does it sound like I didn't mix it properly?
    • It can take up to 48 hours to activate the culture, so keep checking every hour or so. Also, know that the lower the fat content of your milk, the thinner your end product will be. If you have any problems, please contact us, and we would be happy to assist you.
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  • From grant at 9/5/12 6:06 AM
    • Could you tell me which bacteria create viili's gelatinous texture?
    • The bacteria in viili are:

      Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
      L. lactis subsp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis
      Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris

      Unfortunately, we do not have information on which bacteria lends itself to which characteristics of the Viili.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Jennifer at 9/6/12 10:00 AM
    • Can viili yogurt be used to make frozen yogurt? I saw you recommend the matsoni culture for this but I actually want more of a mild taste than a strong one and viili seems like it might be a good candidate. I don't like to have to deal with direct-set.
    • Absolutely! Viili would make a lovely mild frozen yogurt.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Psmokey at 9/7/12 3:03 PM
    • Will this work for non dairy milks like coconut, soy or almond milk? If so, any special procedures needed? Thanks!
    • You can use viili starter with non-dairy milks, but it is unlikely to reculture as the non-dairy milks will not nourish the bacteria.

      Each week, you will need to make a pasteurized dairy mother culture from which to make non-dairy milk yogurts. See here for detailed information, specifically the mesophilic culture section: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/making-dairy-mother-culture-non-dairy-yogurt/
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

Simple and delish! Review by Rach
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I've had my cultures for one month. It is mild and yummy and is well loved by my family. Sometimes I strain the yogurt for a thicker consistency. Sometimes I blend the thinner yogurt with fruit for a drinkable concoction. I find it cultures much more dependably than heat-cultured yogurt. (Posted on July 16, 2014)
Hasn't worked for me Review by Reese
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I bought this along with the heirloom buttermilk starter and so far only the buttermilk starter has really worked for me, it has set well and made great tasting buttermilk; however the viili starter has not. Maybe my house has been to hot, but the buttermilk stater and viili starter require the same temps and only one has worked really well for me. The viili starter hasn't really set well and I have already gone through both packets in an attempt to see if maybe I did something wrong with the first packet, but so far I have gotten the same results.

Response from CFH: Each culture can perform differently. Maintaining proper culturing temperature is important. We ask that customers contact Customer Support before discarding any product, as many cultures can be saved with minor adjustments. (Posted on July 5, 2014)
great product, read revies and question and answers Review by Karl
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Great product, The reviews and questions and answers very helpful. Currently I start by Heating the milk to 180-185, stirring frequently to prevent skim forming created a creamier yogurt. Then place in a glass jar with active cultures after the milk has cooled to room temperature and let it sit in a closet for at least 24 hours. I would recommend follow the instructions incluted with the culture and modify as needed. (Posted on July 5, 2014)
Great Product Review by Crystal
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Worked like a charm using our goat milk. (Posted on June 18, 2014)
tasty yogurt, but on the thin side Review by Ryabina
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Like many other reviews, this yogurt failed to culture properly on my first attempt. But the second went much better. This yogurt has a very mild flavor, but is a bit thin. It is absolutely delicious when strained though! I use the whey to make iced herbal teas or add to freshly squeezed orange juice. (Posted on June 18, 2014)
Love this yogurt culture! Review by Kim
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My family loves this yogurt. We use local dairy pasteurized milk. I typically just mix some jelly and chia seeds into it and my family loves it. Super easy to reuse. And I absolutely love that's its a room temp culture. Thanks! (Posted on June 12, 2014)
hassle-free yogurt Review by Tanya
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This is so easy! I find that it comes out best for my taste after 18 hours in the cupboard in the 74-75 F temperature range. (Posted on June 10, 2014)
Very nice Yogurt. Review by SusanC
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This culture took on the first try using raw yogurt. I like it very much. Smooth, creamy and delicious. This price with added shipping is a bit steep, it could be a bit cheaper, but after using it for a while, it pretty much pays for itself. Love it. (Posted on June 9, 2014)
wonderful mild yogurt Review by Dee
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This yogurt has a great, complex flavor. I was concerned about temperature, since in the past I've only made direct-set yogurt using a good commercial yogurt as a starter and culturing it in an Igloo cooler with two jars of hot water to keep it warm in our cold house. I wasn't sure this would be consistent enough temperature for the Viili, but it has been coming out fine. I put it in the cooler when the cultured milk is between 75 and 80 degrees and leave it for 12 hours. So far it's been good every time - have making at least one batch a week for the past two months or so. (Posted on June 5, 2014)
Great for cows milk Review by Kristal
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Used store bought pasteurized cows milk and the flavor was great. Tried it with our raw and pasteurized goats milk and the flavor was not so great as it was a little more sour and just not pleasant. Tried it a couple times incase the batch was bad and it's just the flavor goats milk has. Definitely recommend though if you want to turn your cows milk into something more. Works great for frozen yogurt too! (Posted on May 29, 2014)
I like this product. Review by Hodag
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I started a Villi culture about 2 years ago. Purchased the starter from Cultures for Health. It makes a great snack or breakfast item. I really enjoyed it and kept my starter going for a long time. Then I lost the culture (my fault, left my starter in the refrig for too long). Missed my Villi, so I purchased another starter. Makes a "almost" firm yogurt, with a slightly tart taste. Easy to culture (room temperature). (Posted on May 22, 2014)
Easy to use, good product Review by Marianne_67410
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I love this yogurt. When I activated the starter, it didn't thicken, but I actually read the directions beforehand! So it went into the frig and the next day I added milk and had yogurt later. It's not like yogurt that we're used to here in the US, but this is so easy to do and so good for you! (Posted on May 16, 2014)
Great! Review by Equestrienne
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I've cultured this a couple times now. Now that it is getting acclimated here to my milk and my climate, and since I used a seed starting mat loosely wrapped around it to ensure it was warm enough, it cultured up in about 18 hours... enough so that I could have drained it for a really thick end result. I did not drain it because I know that the whey is so very nutritious (high protein). So, all in all, it is turning out to be one of the easiest and least work of the cultures I do. I'm using WalMart organic whole milk. This is less sour than my kefir, and less work since the kefir grains can be challenging to strain off. However, the wider variety of bacteria and yeast in the kefir probably still justify maintaining both of them. (Posted on April 27, 2014)
Follow-up on another Villi attempt... Review by Cinnamonbark
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...So the folks here sent me some feedback and advice on how to get my Villi going--the first culturing wasn't very robust, but upon culturing it again the following week, it definitely set up.

...Ironically though, as it turns out I'm just not a fan of Villi! I've never had it before, and I thought it would be fun to try...I'm just not caring much for the flavor and texture. I know it turned out this time, but it's kinda 'meh' for me. I'm going to go for a thicker yogurt this next time like a Matsoni or something. Glad I got a chance to see if I'd like Villi though, and to each their own taste! :-) (Posted on April 27, 2014)
So Easy Review by Audrey
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All you have to do is put the starter or a couple tablespoons of your old yogurt in a jar with milk and less than a day later you have yogurt! So amazing! (Posted on April 25, 2014)
Very easy to make Review by MarionA
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I am a big fan of the Villi yogurt- it is very easy to make once you found a place in your home that is constantly warm. I have a small walk in cabinet where I store some TV appliances - this creates heat and the yogurt is perfectly happy in this small room. I make a 300ml jar every other day- my dog jumps up when he hears the glasses cling as he knows- ... 'she lets me have some yogurt.....' (Posted on April 25, 2014)
Good stuff Review by Yogi Blair
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This culture is wonderful for making yogurt, what can I say! (Posted on April 23, 2014)
excellent yogurt, easy to execute Review by laureleiwb
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No special tools or gadgets. This is a zingy, but not too tart, yogurt that is super easy to make and super tasty to eat. Recommend this culture if you like smooth yogurts with not as much acid or tartness as greek. (Posted on April 14, 2014)
Great heirloom yogurt Review by Oofda
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The first batch took 24+ hours to set and the milk went sour. After that, I tried making a very small batch, which worked out just fine. I think I tried to start off too big of a batch before the culture was nicely activated.

It isn't a sour yogurt. It tastes great. My wife and I even eat this yogurt with some bread and toppings for dinner! (Breakfast like an emperor, lunch like a king, dinner like a beggar - a happy beggar)

I made sahnequark with this yogurt, also turned out great.

Note from CFH: For the health of the culture, maximum culture time for Bulgarian is 8 hours. (Posted on April 14, 2014)
pleased with yogurt and customer support Review by no longer disappointed
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When I first tried Viili it didn't work for me and I talked about being disappointed in my first review. Sarah from customer support subsequently contacted me, offering to troubleshoot with me. I took her up on her offer and was successful with the second starter. I really like the yogurt - all the commercial yogurts I've had have a somewhat bitter taste but Viili does not have that at all. I would recommend it - I don't have to keep it heated while culturing since it cultures at room temperature, which is one of the things that made me want to try it in the first place. That together with it's natural sweetness have made it my yogurt of choice. I'm also pleased with the customer support, that they went our of their way to make sure I had a satisfying experience. (Posted on April 12, 2014)
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