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 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

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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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
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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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