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Viili Yogurt Starter

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SKU: 5200
$12.99


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Perishable

Viili Yogurt Starter Culture

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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.
  • 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.


Viili Yogurt Starter Instructions and Troubleshooting: 

 

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

 

Allergen Information:

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


Actual product may differ from image shown above.

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.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • 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.
    • 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
  • 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.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

100 people love this product!
Don't ever want to be without it! Review by Ruth G.
Value
Quality
Price

I hate most yogurt. Something about the texture makes me gag. I tried making homemade yogurt using store bought yogurt as a starter, and that was better, but a hassle. Since I already grind wheat, raise chickens, etc. I wanted something easy.

This could not be easier and it tastes SO GOOD. I love it plain or with a teaspoon of Bon Mamman Cherry Preserves stirred in. We also use it spooned over granola or cut up strawberries. My husband likes it with vanilla. And we also use it in recipes that call for yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk.

Tips - Don't be discouraged by your first batch. (My first batch took a little long to culture and was delicious but because it had been left out longer, it developed a sour smell in a few days. I still used it as the next starter and it has been perfect ever since.) It gets better and better over the first few batches. And when you get the mother to make the next batch, be sure you don't just scoop up mostly whey that has separated. Stir it up if there is a lot of separation so you get plenty of goodies in there to culture your next batch. I did that once and it took extra long for the next batch to culture but it was great and I continue to make my yogurt from the original culture so I have my spare packet in the freezer!

(Posted on 8/7/2015)

Great product Review by Sheri
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Quality

Love love love your cultures! I was so happy to find your products. I started with the Villi and it came out fine, but I prefer a little thicker yogurt. I purchased the greek yogurt culture, and it was amazing. I used 1/2 and 1/2 and whole milk, and it came out wonderful. I hope I can keep the culture going. The hardest part seems to be finding milk and cream not ultra-pasteurized.

(Posted on 7/10/2015)

Perfect Healthy Culture Review by Tamera
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I tried to make it the first time and never got it to thicken so, like an idiot, I threw it out. Then I remembered all the information on the web site and went back and looked around. I should have left it longer so it was my own fault, imagine that. LOL
I got the second packet out of the freezer and tried again. Perfect yogurt and the mother culture continues to produce for me every time.
It can be a little less than my optimal thickness even after straining but a very good yogurt none the less.

(Posted on 6/25/2015)

Easy and tastes great Review by JT
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I've used this culture with both goat milk and non-homogonized cow milk. Both work really well, but the goat milk is obviously less thick than the cow milk. With the goat milk I use it more like a thick beverage.

Also, making it couldn't be easier. I was feeling stressed about keeping up with making traditional yogurt, but this is much less work. And I've managed to keep it going for a couple of months now, which is great.

(Posted on 6/21/2015)

Very pleased with Viili Review by Shirley
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Quality

My Swedish grandmother used to make viili way back when I was a small child. Over the years the culture was lost and I didn't think I would be able to find a starter. Thanks to the internet, I found Cultures for Health, and a fresh starter. I did not have any problems with my starter culture. I usually make five half pints and one pint at a time. Half pints for breakfast and pint to use for a new starter. I put it on my kitchen counter and cover it with cheesecloth. Usually takes 24 hours to set. I have been doing this for over a year now.

(Posted on 6/19/2015)

Disappointed Review by coggins3
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Quality

Although the culture set up nicely after 24 hours and the resulting yogurt's texture was really nice. The second set of yogurt, made four days later using a portion of the initial batch of yogurt, was a total flop. It completely separated and was very runny. WAY too much money to pay for a single batch of yogurt for which the starter can't be further used!!

I would like to be able to, but unfortunately can't recommend this product.


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

(Posted on 6/17/2015)

Good product. Review by Debbie
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Value
Quality

The product is working well for me. It's not getting weaker. It continues to make good yogurt. I've been using it for three or four weeks, and have restarted it several times...I go through a lot of yogurt. The yogurt has a good texture and nice flavor.

(Posted on 6/16/2015)

Great...Very practical and useful Review by Kathleen
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Value

I think I've kept this going for about a year now. I use a half gallon mason jar. I simply use it down to about two inches from the bottom, refill the jar with organic (not ultra-pasteurized) milk, and set it on the counter till it thickens. Then refrigerate it till it is down to 2 inches again. It did get a little less active after the winter and I started again with the 2nd packet to get a fresh go with it. I like my kefir too, but the effort, the mess and waste with the straining has me using this yogurt more often than the kefir.

Response from CFH: We do recommend washing culturing vessels between use. We're so happy you are enjoying your Viili!

(Posted on 6/13/2015)

Pleasant and easy to make! Review by terrafirma
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Value

I'm a fermenting guru and find Viili yogurt one of the easiest to make. I recommend this type of yogurt for anyone new to fermenting. Tastes divine!!

(Posted on 6/11/2015)

Uniquely Delicious Review by Maria
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I had been wanting to try Viili for a long time, as I had heard from other sources it is a drinkable yogurt, cultured at room temperature. I have been making homemade yogurt for over 30 years, but have always made the thick, solid, thermophilic type until now. Not only was the viili easy to make, but oh, what a beautiful delicate flavor and creamy texture to drink! I'm now reaching for my viili instead of my traditional yogurt (Bulgarian at present)--it's so satisfying to drink a small glass for breakfast, for a snack, or before bedtime for a deeper sleep. When culturing the viily, I put it in a warm spot, 72-77 degrees--and find that warm spot by putting a digital thermometer right next to it and monitoring the temperature. It's usually right on the counter next to my gas stove (it has pilot lights). Overall, I'd say that I didn't know what I was missing by not trying more types of yogurts until now. Each one has its own particular scent and flavor and is suitable for different uses. And viily is uniquely delicious with its mild flavor and creamy-rich texture!

(Posted on 5/19/2015)

Excellent yogurt Review by Karen
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I love this Viili yogurt. It's easy to make. Plain milk is a little runnier, but still tastes amazing. I used some 1/2-n-1/2 mixed with the whole milk and it made the most amazing yogurt!!!! All my friends love my yogurt! It's great with my homemade granola and some fresh berries. I also blend it with frozen berries to make soft frozen yogurt for dessert. I make a quart a week and I'm still on the first starter packet for the past 3 months. It just keeps going! As I get close to the end of the jar, I use it to start the next one. Mine is perfect 18-24 hrs later. It all depends on the temperature of the room you're culturing in. As the summer approaches here, I'm sure it will take less time.

(Posted on 5/6/2015)

Easiest, tastiest yogurt I've ever made! Review by gabbyraja
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This yogurt has the perfect consistency and taste, and *literally* couldn't be easier to make. No special equipment, no added thickeners or ingredients I'm allergic to... We LOVE it!

(Posted on 4/30/2015)

what Review by germ
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did not work out , whey separated to outside with yogurt in center.It is my first attempt and am hesitant to waste second batch.

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

(Posted on 4/30/2015)

Super Easy & Yummy Review by Laney
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Love the ease of use of this product and it tastes great. Works for me!

(Posted on 4/20/2015)

Great Yogurt Starter... Review by Losethecarbs
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I LOVE the ease of this product! No fuss, just add the starter to two cups of milk and leave at room temperature for up to 12 or more hours. I love that I don't have to heat the milk and worry about the temperature. I put it in a mason jar which I then put into a plastic tub lined with a towel and leave it on top of my washing machine...the warmest area of the house. I make it in the evening and it's done when I get up the next morning. I have been using the same starter for several months and it's still going strong! I usually make the yogurt with 100% cream (zero carbs), but I followed the company's suggestion and make my new starter every week with whole milk. Then I strain the yogurt and it is the most wonderful mild tasting thick and creamy yogurt. I find that if I don't strain it, it is too liquid for me. But I strain it to "lose the carbs" in the whey, so it really isn't an extra step for me. Of course, I don't think I'm saving any money because I'm using expensive cream, but the taste is well worth it, much milder than the tart store bought plain yogurts.

(Posted on 4/8/2015)

Easy to make but may not be the yogurt you are used to Review by Elizabeth
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I had no problem making the yogurt--very easy. I purchased it based on the reviews and the ease of making it. This did set within 24 hours to a somewhat runny gelatinous mass. My issue with it is the taste and to some degree thickness or lack there of. I'm so used to tart yogurt that this mild (almost sweet) flavor will take me awhile to get used to (but I have to say my husband enjoyed it). Not sure if I'll ever use it as a yogurt, but I can see other uses such as soaking my flour to make pancakes, adding to homemade ice cream (I made coconut ice cream substituting it for some of the cream).

(Posted on 4/6/2015)

Very good Review by Karen
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I really have enjoyed the Viili yogurt that is so easy to make. Put the starter in milk in a clean jar and let sit on the counter for 24-48 hours and it is done. It is delicious and so easy to make. It isn't as tangy as the heated yogurts but darn tasty and did I mention easy to make. I keep a batch going on the counter all the time so I can make smoothies. I'm very pleased with the product and results.

(Posted on 3/24/2015)

Likes this one Review by Linda
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I like the flavor of this one. It's has a little tang/tartness to it. I find the consistency like kefir.

(Posted on 3/17/2015)

Couldn't be more pleased! Review by Tamara
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Lovely culture with a bright lemony taste, sets beautifully on my counter in 12 hours. I start my culture from cold first thing in the morning before I leave for work and I have yogurt in the evening when I get home - perfect!

(Posted on 2/24/2015)

great value Review by Jennlynn
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I've wanted to make my own yogurt for the longest time, because the commercial versions are frequently over-sweetened, and when they do offer plain, the yogurt is so tart that it makes me pucker. So I was happy to find this site. I tried the Viili, and I am very pleased with it. It is a mild flavor, and it isn't too tart. It is thinner than commercial yogurt, but that is fine with me. I use 2% milk. Then only problem I've had so far is that every batch is lumpy. It doesn't really matter because I can just whisk it until it's smooth. I was surprised with the pricing, but it has already paid for itself. I make a quart a week, and stash a bit out of each batch to make the new batch. I am looking forward to trying a different strain of yogurt.

(Posted on 2/21/2015)



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