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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Questions on Viili Yogurt Starter

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  • From Michelle at 4/3/2011 10:53 AM
    • We keep our house at 65 degrees, so I don't believe the Viili yogurt would culture properly on the counter at room temp. I do have a yogurt maker w/ 7 oz. individual jars. Would it work fine to use that with this starter?

      Second question: I seem to go in spurts with making yogurt. I'll be into it for a couple months and then stop for quite awhile, typically requiring me to purchase a new starter. Is there any way to keep using the Viili starter as a continuous starter, but still take some breaks from making yogurt occasionally?

      Thanks for your help!
    • A yogurt maker will be too warm for the Viili culture, which functions at room temperature. If you want to keep the temperature a little warmer, check with a garden supply store for something called a "seedling mat," which can be kept at around 70 degrees.

      To take a break from making yogurt, you can try freezing some in ice cube trays. If you freeze one or two tablespoons in each cube, you can take them out a cube at a time and let them come back to room temperature before inserting into a fresh jar of milk. (Note: some people find this a successful way to store yogurt cultures; others find it problematic. If used within 2-3 weeks of being frozen, there is a 70% rate of success.)
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  • From Sue at 4/26/2011 11:35 AM
    • If I wanted to make two quarts of yogurt at a time would this starter work for me? If so then how much would I reserve to make it again?

      Thank you!
    • You may make up to half a gallon of yogurt with this starter. You would keep the same ratios as if you were only making one cup (one tablespoon of your previous batch to one cup of milk). So for a half gallon you would want to use 8 tablespoons of starter.
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  • From Rachel at 5/22/2011 5:55 PM
    • I'm interested in buying this starter to use with raw cream, but I'm a little concerned about the temperature in my house. We live in south Florida, and our house has been around 80 degrees during the day (sometimes even warmer). Would this be too warm for this culture? Do you have other cultures you can recommend that work well with cream instead of milk? (we're doing GAPS, and for our health issues sour cream is preferred over yogurt).
      Thanks!
    • Any of our cultures will work well with cream, and will produce a thicker yogurt than when used with milk. 80 degrees should be okay for culturing of the countertop yogurts, although if it gets much warmer it might be problematic. You can cool down your culture a little by placing the jar in a shallow dish or bowl containing some plain water. The evaporational cooling of the water can help keep the culture cooler.

      The Viili cannot survive in cream only. Keep a pasteurized dairy "mother" culture of your Viili, so you can continue to perpetuate it. Do this by making the mother culture using milk only, not cream. Use some of her to make sour cream, saving enough of her in the fridge (up to 7 days) for the following week to make a new mother culture.
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  • From Cindy at 6/26/2011 6:19 PM
    • To keep the even temperature of 70-77 degrees could you use a dehydrator to make the Villi yogurt?
    • If you can regulate your dehydrator to stay between 70 to 78 degrees, you could use that for making Viili yogurt. However, most dehydrators run around 90 degrees, which is too hot for Viili.
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  • 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/
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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.
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  • 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 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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Customer Reviews

Terrific taste! Review by rhodesaz
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I've been making yogurt for years from a start a girlfriend gave me. But, I decided I'd like to try a starter of a different taste, so ordered the Villi.
It was a bit tough to get the starter to mix in with the cold milk, but I persevered. The first culturing took over 24 hours, but it turned out terrific. Love the taste!

(Posted on 10/30/2014)

Excellent Review by Amy
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Worked very well. I love it, very nice flavor and texture. I'm making raw milk Viili

(Posted on 10/30/2014)

IT WORKED!!! Review by Emily
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After trying this and it not working I was contacted by the company. See, I had written a review about not being successful and they wanted to MAKE SURE that all of their customers are satisfied so they helped me through doing it again. We figured out that I was not keeping the temperature stable enough. (I live in the Arizona "high desert"- 70's during the day and 40's at night this time of year.) I tried it again and IT WORKED! I am now making DELICIOUS yogurt! I will definitely be ordering from this company again.

(Posted on 10/30/2014)

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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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)



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