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.

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  • From Nuno at 12/6/2011 12:33 AM
    • Please, what is your understanding of "raw milk"? Is raw milk the milk that comes directly from the cow or is simply a bottle of milk labeled as a raw milk?
      Thank you.
    • Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. It can be right from the cow, or bottled and distributed, privately or commercially.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Lilliemarie at 11/9/2011 2:19 PM
    • Can you use kefir to culture the viili yogurt or does it have to be fresh milk?
    • To make yogurt, you must use fresh milk. Kefir is already cultured, and adding a yogurt culture to it won't make any changes. It may weaken or kill the bacteria that is already in the kefir, and the kefir bacteria will weaken or kill the yogurt culture. Additionally, there is little or no lactose in the kefir for the yogurt bacteria to eat.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Peggy Cahill at 9/24/2011 9:18 PM
    • I am wondering if these cultures freeze well? I know it is possible to freeze some cultures, but I don't know if these are in the proper state for freezing. Thanks!
    • These cultures are freeze-dried, so additional freezing time will not harm them. The unopened cultures should last twelve months or more in the freezer.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Rebecca at 9/22/2011 10:08 AM
    • I am wondering if there is a natural decline in the culture as it ages. I have had this one going for many months (maybe a year?), culturing a new batch (using pasteurized, non-homogenized milk) once a week. Just recently, I have noticed the flavor doesn't seem quite right. It's not "bad", just not as good as it used to be. I started another batch with the second portion of dehydrated starter which I had stored in a cool, dark place, and it tastes the same as the old, maybe compromised, starter that I threw away. Any suggestions? Or do I just need to order a new master culture? Is there a shelf life to the dehydrated cultures once they are shipped, if they are kept in a cool, dark place? (I have a buttermilk culture that is still in the box, I put it in my fridge, since the viili was so versatile, I use it in place of the buttermilk!)
    • There should not necessarily be a decline in quality of the yogurt, as you are actually refreshing and re-growing it each time you make a new batch. In fact, when we make our own yogurt cultures, we are using cultures that have been re-grown for several years.

      It sounds like you may have some issues with the milk or the culturing process that we can help troubleshoot for you. Please email customersupport@culturesforhealth.com and our customer service representatives can help you out.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Valerie at 9/7/2011 9:52 AM
    • Should I allow my milk to reach room tempature before adding the culture or just put it in the cold milk?
    • It is best if you let the milk reach room temperature before adding the culture, but it won't damage the culture to add the culture to cold milk.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Candace at 8/10/2011 2:42 PM
    • I want to use the Villi with raw whole organic milk but am concerned to have read your recommendation to Kelly, that it would be necessary to heat the mother culture to 160 degree, which to me would destroy all the good bacteria and enzymes in the raw milk. The point of buy this culture is so I don't have to heat anything and can keep the integrity of the milk with all its health properties.
    • You do have to heat the mother culture to 160ºF, but that is only for the mother culture. You then add only 1/4 c. of that to your quart of raw milk to make your actual yogurt. So, your yogurt will be made of mostly raw milk.

      Another option (if you want completely raw fermented milk product) is to use milk kefir grains. Nothing needs to be heated with these.

      * Note: As of August 2013, new instructions state yogurt can be made using 1 Tablespoon culture per 1 cup milk. Same ratio, but smaller amount as the minimum that can be made.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Sarah Gielow at 8/10/2011 1:02 PM
    • My husband is a celiac, can I be assured that these starters are not produced in an environment that also processes gluten containing ingredients? Thanks!

      Sarah
    • We are required by law to inform you that our cultures are produced in a facility that may also be used to process gluten-containing products. However, our equipment is dedicated to each product. The exposure to gluten from using our products would be about the same as if you ate in a restaurant that also served gluten products, or shopped in a store that also sold gluten products.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From jim at 8/8/2011 5:16 PM
    • I received my Viili yogurt starter today and am anxious to get started. We do not use whole milk due to its fat content and would like the yogurt to be as thick as possible. I have read your suggestions for thick yogurt.

      First question. You state that powdered milk can be added to the milk and suggest 1/2 cup powder can be added to several quarts of milk. Can you be more specific. How much powdered milk per quart?

      Another idea is to heat the milk to 180 degrees F and hold it there for 30 min. I read somewhere this denatures the proteins. Then for the Viili, let it cool to room temperature before I begin?

      Your directions for Viili don't mention starting temperature to get the culture started and then to actually start making yogurt. Should the milk be allowed to reach room temperature before starting?

      Thank you. We are looking forward to this adventure. Also ordered the Greek starter and a yogurt maker which has not arrived yet.
    • We don't have a precise recommendation for the amount of powdered milk to add to thicken yogurt, as your preferences would be very individual, and it would depend on the fat content of the milk you are using as well. To start out, you might try using 1/4 the amount of milk that is recommended to make reconstituted milk from the powder. You can adjust from there.

      Yes, heating up the milk denatures the proteins: that is, it breaks down the cell membranes somewhat so that the protein molecules will stick together (coagulate) better. You must let the milk cool down to room temperature before adding the culture so the bacteria doesn't die.

      Before inoculating the culture into the milk, the milk can be straight from the fridge or allowed to come to room temperature. Either will work.
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  • From Ellen at 7/7/2011 6:27 PM
    • I used the viili starter with my pasteurized goat milk. The result was a runny, gritty yogurt with a slightly sour taste. I let the culture activate for almost 48 hours as I wasn't completely sure if it had set. It had some watery liquid on top with some white thickness on the bottom. I put it in the fridge with out stiring. The next day, I stirred it and used a tablespoon with a cup of goat milk. I believe the temperature stayed fairly consistent. What did I do wrong? Also, how long can I keep the unused portion of the initial activated culture in the fridge?
      Thanks
    • There are a few things that can cause gritty yogurt. The milk may have not been fresh enough, or the culturing temperature was too warm. The sour taste is likely because it cultured too long at too warm a temperature. Runny yogurt can be caused by variables such as low quality milk, using the wrong quantity of milk with the packet, or the room temperature was not right.

      The unused pure starter should be used within a week to stay strong. Any pure batch of Viili yogurt will last 7 days in the fridge.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Kelly at 6/29/2011 12:54 PM
    • Does this starter work well with raw whole milk?
    • Yes, it does. However, you must perform an extra step when using raw milk, in order to keep your culture viable for a long time. You will need to make a pasteurized mother culture by heating the milk to 160ºF and then use that and only that to start your yogurts. See here for more information: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/make-mesophilic-raw-milk-yogurt/
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

i love my culture Review by jim
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i love it , don't neglect to get a strainer, it really made it real.

(Posted on 10/17/2014)

Finland Review by Patrick
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As a child, my grandmother used to take me to the big department store in Helsinki(Stockmans) where we would order viili. It was served in a bowl with cinnamon and sugar and corn flakes on the side. You would put these on the top, eat off the top layer and repeat. Never forgot how delicious this was. This brings back those memories.

(Posted on 10/16/2014)

Easy, tasty, and fast! Review by Hummermum
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I love this yogurt! It takes so little time to prepare... and that's important to this busy mum. The kids and I love it plain... but it is also amazing poured over frozen berries as it becomes a little icy. It is a little runny... but I plan on straining it on my next batch.

(Posted on 10/16/2014)

Good product Review by Annell
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Arrived quickly, have made 5 or 6 batches since, all pretty firm and tasty! Love that I can just leave it on the counter to culture. Has a nice mild taste. Of course it isn't as firm as store bought but fairly firm, definitely not as runny as I feared. Been using it to make refrigerator oatmeal. Doubling the yogurt amount and leaving the milk out.

(Posted on 10/8/2014)

not sure at first but turned out awesome! Review by Erin
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I prepared the starter when it was cooler and was concerned about keeping it warm enough. I even put it in the oven with the light on for a while. It ended up separated which indicated overculturing or overheating. I thought it was a loss but tried to make fresh batches of yogurt from the starter anyway as directed. It worked beautifully! I like it thicker so I have been straining the yogurt in the fridge before eating and it is wonderful. To me the flavor is like the best sour cream ever. With a little maple syrup or honey, fruit, and nuts it makes great parfaits in mason jars for snacks. I look forward to using it for cooking too!

(Posted on 10/7/2014)

I think it was my fault... Review by emily0116
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It didn't turn out very good the first time I made it. I'm thinking it was something I did wrong, though, so I'm going to start a new batch (using the spare pouch they provide- THANK YOU!) tonight.

Response from CFH: Feel free to contact Customer Support for troubleshooting assistance.

(Posted on 10/3/2014)

better Review by regus
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I tried the first pouch, followed the instruction, did not do anything. I tried the second pouch, it worked. I am pleased and satisfied with the product.

(Posted on 9/12/2014)

works but texture is not my favorite Review by roanna
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The counter top yogurt truly works and is great for not having to boil, cool, etc. The end result is fine I just prefer the more standard texture of yogurt. I had no idea it would bother me. Just going to use it in smoothies.
I also have a sourdough starter and placed them more than 4ft away from each other but somehow they cross contaminated one time and I got stinky sock yogurt! I have a devoted jar to the yogurt now and put the sourdough starter in the fridge when doing my yogurt.

Response from CFH: Some cultures need to culture a couple of batches to fully awaken from hibernation and have a balanced smell, texture, and flavor. Please contact Customer Support for troubleshooting before discarding any cultures.

(Posted on 9/9/2014)

Taste? Review by Amy
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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
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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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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
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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 7/16/2014)

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 7/5/2014)

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 7/5/2014)

Great Product Review by Crystal
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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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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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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
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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 6/10/2014)

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 6/9/2014)

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 6/5/2014)



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