Viili Yogurt Starter

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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.

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Questions on Viili Yogurt Starter

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  • From Miriam at 5/7/2012 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 Laura at 4/27/2012 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 Ellie at 4/25/2012 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.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From kara at 4/12/2012 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.

    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Amy at 4/1/2012 9:46 PM
    • Hi. I wanted to add vanilla extract to my yogurt. At what phase do I add it? Can I add it to the yogurt/milk mixture before I set it out on the counter or do I have to wait until the yogurt has set? I didn't know if the vanilla would weaken the starter.

      Thanks!
    • The vanilla should be added after the yogurt has set, as the alcohol and/or oils might weaken the bacteria. Here's an article that might be helpful: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/five-ways-flavor-yogurt/
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Kara at 3/21/2012 7:05 AM
    • Sorry, I'm still not understanding making yogurt with raw milk. I think I understand the first batch but for the subsequent ones, do I save yogurt from an exiting batch, making it the new mother, heat that and then use it? Or do I have to go back to the original culture for the mother? Thanks!
    • You need to keep a separate mother culture when using raw milk. Heat 1 cup of raw milk to 160°, then cool to room temperature before adding the culture. You will use this mother culture to inoculate your raw (unheated) milk for your batch of yogurt that can later be flavored or eaten plain. You will save 1 tablespoon of the mother culture, and within 7 days (to ensure its maximum viability) add it to 1 cup of raw milk heated to 160° which will become your new mother culture. Heating the raw milk for the mother culture destroys some of the bacteria in the raw milk, but gives the culture a good neutral environment to get started in. You only have to heat the milk for the mother culture, not for your batches of yogurt. For more information, see here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/make-mesophilic-raw-milk-yogurt/
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Anna at 2/6/2012 9:39 PM
    • What is the mother culture? You mentioned it a couple of times. What is it for? Thank you.
    • The Viili mother culture is a batch of Viili yogurt that is 7 days old or less, used to make your next batch. It is free of additional things like sweeteners or flavoring.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Shirley at 2/5/2012 10:03 PM
    • I read in the booklet that pasteurized milk needed to be heated again to 180 (or was it 160?) degrees to keep the bacteria in the milk from overcoming the yogurt bacteria. Now this information says only to heat raw milk. What shall I do, heat milk again that has already been pasteurized commercially?

      I hope to have goat's milk in about a month. I prefer it. Will this culture work with goat's milk? Will the yogurt be as firm? It doesn't matter I just need to know what to expect.

      My house gets much too cold at night. A glass half gallon jar filled with really hot water in a cooler along side the yogurt should keep it warm. However, the temperature will fluctuate. I assume above 80 is too high. How low is too low so I can figure out how to maintain workable temperatures? I would really like to use this culture.

      Thank you for your help. I will order as soon as I get an answer. And thank you for having such a helpful customer service.
    • You will find information about preparing your mesophilic yogurt here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-make-yogurt
      Pasteurized milk does not have to be heated. However, start with milk that is as fresh as possible. You can use goat's milk for the Viili, just follow the raw milk instructions if the milk is raw. The consistency may be thinner than pasteurized cow's milk, but it will be delicious!

      You need to maintain a temperature between 70° and 77° in your coolerI. Information and suggestions for other possible heat sources are here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/maintaining-temperatures-culturing-yogurt
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Emily at 1/26/2012 12:14 PM
    • Is it possible to make yogurt from coconut milk using a mesophilic yogurt culture? I know that you can use milk kefir grains, but I prefer the thicker texture of yogurt. Alternatively, is it possible to strain coconut milk kefir in order to thicken the consistency?
    • Yes, you can make coconut milk yogurt with either a thermo- or mesophilic starter. Detailed instructions and information can be found here:

      http://www.culturesforhealth.com/make-coconut-milk-yogurt-recipe

      You could also strain coconut milk (or any) kefir to obtain a thicker consistency. Simply strain through butter muslin, a cotton bag, or the Greek Yogurt Maker until the desired thickness is reached.

    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Val at 12/27/2011 8:27 PM
    • In the directions, you mention that the yoghurt should be put in the fridge to stop the culture process. Once it has cooled sufficiently, do I then need to keep it in the fridge all the time? Will it start to culture again if I try to store it at room temp?

      Thanks!
    • The culturing will not re-start after you remove the yogurt from the refrigerator, but you can use some of the refrigerated yogurt to inoculate a new batch of yogurt. Finished yogurt should be refrigerated, as it will eventually go bad at room temperature (just like store-bought yogurt).
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

Taste? Review by Amy
Price
Value
Quality

Maybe I'm spoiled by Bulgarian yogurt, but this stuff doesn't seem to have much taste. I mean, it seems ridiculously mild, almost like milk.

Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting advice before discarding product. Many cultures can be saved with minor adjustments. Heirloom yogurts can experience an activation period before the flavor is fully developed.

(Posted on 8/14/2014)

Viili Review by Kenya
Quality
Price
Value

It did arrive safely and my first batch, 8oz came out well, so I did a qt and I am working off of that now. I am still trying to find things to do with it other than eating it plain. I used some in a white bean cake instead of using buttermilk. It was delish! I have used it in place of sour cream on potatoes or Mexican food as well. I also use it in my post workout protein smoothies. Will try it next with the overnight oatmeal. I’m loving that it is much thicker than the Matsoni, but I do see that it produces a lot of whey. I guess I will add that to my smoothies as well. Life is great now. Thank you so much!!!!

(Posted on 7/31/2014)

villi Review by debbie
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Value
Quality

it was very thin, more like a kefer or liquid. i am not sure if i did something wrong or what, but i did follow instructions. then, when i placed the container into the fridge, the consistency resembled that of milk. generally when i think of yogurt, i think of a much thicker, more creamy texture. the taste was good, buttery is my description and very pleasant. i am hoping to find a way to improve my recent results though, if anyone could assist me i would be grateful

CFH response: An activation batch can be a little thinner than your yogurt will be and will also take longer to culture. If this was not an activation batch, you will want to check the expiration date of your milk and make sure that you are making new yogurt every 5 to 7 days to ensure the viability of the culture. If you have any further problems, please contact us at customersupport@culturesforhealth.com

(Posted on 7/24/2014)

Simple and delish! Review by Rach
Quality
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Value

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 7/16/2014)

Hasn't worked for me Review by Reese
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Value
Quality

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 7/5/2014)

great product, read revies and question and answers Review by Karl
Quality
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Value

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 7/5/2014)

Great Product Review by Crystal
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Quality

Worked like a charm using our goat milk.

(Posted on 6/18/2014)

tasty yogurt, but on the thin side Review by Ryabina
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Price

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 6/18/2014)

Love this yogurt culture! Review by Kim
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Value
Quality

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 6/11/2014)

hassle-free yogurt Review by Tanya
Quality
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Value

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 6/10/2014)

Very nice Yogurt. Review by SusanC
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Quality

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 6/9/2014)

wonderful mild yogurt Review by Dee
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Quality

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 6/5/2014)

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 5/29/2014)

I like this product. Review by Hodag
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Quality

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 5/22/2014)

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 5/16/2014)

Great! Review by Equestrienne
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Quality

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 4/27/2014)

Follow-up on another Villi attempt... Review by Cinnamonbark
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Quality

...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 4/27/2014)

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 4/25/2014)

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 4/25/2014)

Good stuff Review by Yogi Blair
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Quality

This culture is wonderful for making yogurt, what can I say!

(Posted on 4/23/2014)



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