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.
  • 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

 

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 Sarah at 8/2/2012 8:21 AM
    • I started my culture in reduced fat milk last night to make the activation batch. It's been 15 hours but looks like milk still. The temperature is around 76 or 77. When I was stirring it up, some of the starter was getting stuck on the sides of the glass jar and wooden spoon. I didn't try to remove that with my finger for fear of compromising the culture. Should I just keep waiting? Or does it sound like I didn't mix it properly?
    • It can take up to 48 hours to activate the culture, so keep checking every hour or so. Also, know that the lower the fat content of your milk, the thinner your end product will be. If you have any problems, please contact us, and we would be happy to assist you.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From maggie at 7/23/2012 6:09 PM
    • Ok the Villi starter instructions for pasteurized milk state that you use a portion of the "mother" batch for your next fermentation. Do I keep the "mother" batch, eat it, toss it, use it to start another batch? What do I do with it? Thanks!
    • The mother culture is used to culture another batch, or can be consumed if you have successfully made a new mother. Be sure to always save enough of "her" to make a new mother culture. It must be done within 7 days for maximum viability.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Jess at 5/15/2012 1:38 PM
    • This is concerning storage of the villi after making a quart batch. After you have made a batch of villi yogurt on the video it says to take a scoop out. I understand that part, from there is it stored in the refrigerator? Are you able to freeze the starter if you are going on vacation? Thank you for your time.
    • Yes, the yogurt should be stored in the refrigerator once it's done culturing, both the mother culture and the yogurt to be consumed.

      A small amount of yogurt or buttermilk can be frozen for up to a few weeks. Because the bacteria will degrade over time, we recommend freezing 3-4 times the amount you will require to make a new batch and limiting freezing to no more than a few weeks.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • 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

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Customer Reviews

Super Easy Review by Gwen
Quality
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Value

I really like this culture. The yogurt has a mild, pleasant taste and what could be more easy than adding milk, culture and a warm place.

(Posted on 1/26/2015)

Great product! Review by DrE
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I love this yogurt. I use whole milk and let it ferment in an insulated bag with mason jar filled with hot water. When it is done I add some vanilla and either honey or stevia and pour it over granola and fruit. Made it for my students, and converted some to loving yogurt.

(Posted on 1/25/2015)

Delightful flavor! Review by Sea Girl
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I love this viili. It has a light, creamy flavor when made with whole milk. It faithfully produces a nice batch of yogurt any time I want. I use a seed starting mat when I culture overnight as my house is cool, but in the daytime it works fine right on the counter. My starter batch took 23 hours to set but now it is usually 10 to 12 hours. It sets up nicely when done but is noticeably softer than the regular thermophilic yogurt types; but so much easier and the flavor is less tart!

(Posted on 1/19/2015)

Great mild flavor Review by Ann
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The starter batch cultured in 27 hours and the next batch in 18 hours. The yogurt is much thicker than I expected and has a nice mild flavor. I used Clover Stonetta organic whole milk, local to California. This is so much better than making yogurt by the heating method. It is a real money saver too, as high quality organic yogurt costs three times as much as making it from the culture.

(Posted on 1/18/2015)

Great Tasting and Low Maintenance Review by bonnie
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The viili yogurt is awesome. I am thankful that 2 starter packets are included in the kit. My first batch did not set because, unfortunately, I unknowingly used UHT pasteurized milk so I had to throw it out. My second batch with the second packet turned out excellent. (I was careful to ensure I bought just regularly pasteurized milk.) Now, I have tasty yogurt that I can culture at room temperature and not have to mess with a yogurt maker. I love that it the viili is also an heirloom variety so that is another added benefit. So, to summarize:
1) Low maintenance (can culture at room temperature with no special equipment needed).
2) Heirloom variety (can be re-used again and again to make fresh batches of yogurt).
3) Great tasting.

(Posted on 1/16/2015)

Great Yogurt Review by Nan
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This yogurt has given me the best success at culturing during the winter. It thickens up every time and tastes delicious. I use raw milk.

(Posted on 1/3/2015)

Thinner than expected Review by Iris
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This is tasty. I can't get it to be very thick - it's more like a thin custard.

(Posted on 12/30/2014)

easy easy Review by michelle
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I don't think it tastes like yogurt in my opinion. What it does taste like is delicious sour cream. I have yougurt with all it's benefits no fillers and I never have to buy sour cream again I love it. I do strain mine for about 2 hours. No one has even questioned it on potatos,tacos, or dips or spreads!

(Posted on 12/28/2014)

It is better than candy. Review by grapple girl
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If you want it to be store bought thicker you have to bring milk to 195 degrees for ten minuets cool to under 100 degrees and add whipping cream then culture. I wanted to make yogurt better than store bought and now I have.

(Posted on 12/24/2014)

great product Review by hope
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This was great, good directions, easy to make. Would recommend

(Posted on 12/16/2014)

Great taste easy to make. Review by EJS
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I use my yogurt for smoothies. Every morn the entire family has one. As a rule we are not yogurt eaters. IN fact we do not like store yogurt. So, I am rather surprized that the mild taste has been accepted. The process is easy. I put it in the oven withh a light on and in the morn it is done. I make a gallon and it lasts 4-5 days.

(Posted on 12/13/2014)

didn't set Review by nick
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Unfortunately did not have a good experience with this product, could not get the yogurt to set, only got the milk to spoil : (

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

(Posted on 12/12/2014)

Easy and Faster Review by Alexis
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Easy and Faster:
Sanitize everything, add the milk (bought store, pasteurized) at room temperature, leave to rest and you will get the yogurt. Keep in mind that sanitization and sterilization give you the power to have a healthy culture for the next batch. I appreciated “Cultures for Health” products, recipes and instructive materials.
Do it, I have been doing Greek style yogurt for a year, sourdough/breed and cheese, (I use whey protein for milkshake with frozen fruits)….and I have learned to keep my cultures healthy,…first I was consuming thermophile bacteria and really take me more time in temperature control, manipulation, cleaning, sterilizing and sanitizing,… In other word more risk to destroy my products, now with Viili Yogurt Starter everything is easier. At the end, I took the Food Safety Certification and improve my knowledge, never give up. Enjoy.

(Posted on 12/6/2014)

My kids love it! Review by Kelly
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I have made many batches with this yogurt starter since receiving it a couple of months ago. I sterilize my raw milk before adding the culture and it has turned out perfect. My 5 kids ALL love this with a little bit of honey and a little bit of whatever fruit we have on hand. It is really delicious and we all like it better than anything we could buy in the store. I am anxious to try another variety of starter soon!

(Posted on 11/30/2014)

Not sure Review by coastalsusan
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I made my first batch of the yogurt with raw milk and set it in my gas oven with the light on (and oven off). I let the yogurt sit for 48 hours and it was still runny. Customer help told me to use it as a starter for my next batch of yogurt. I let the next batch sit in the oven for 48 hours and it came out thicker like yogurt but lumpy. So I am not sure if I am doing something wrong or not. I haven't opened up the other jar I made. Hoping the last jar came out right!

CFH Note: It can take up to 48 hours to activate the yogurt starter but subsequent batches should only take 12 to 18 hours to set. The most important thing is to test the temperature of your culturing area before you start. If the temperature is too low, the starter will not activate, too high and the starter will be damaged by excessive heat. Some oven lights are way too hot for a mesophilic yogurt starter, it is important to test the temperature before you begin. The Viili yogurt starter needs a consistent temperature between 70° and 77°. It is also important to follow the special raw milk instructions: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/make-mesophilic-raw-milk-yogurt/

(Posted on 11/24/2014)

Awesome, easy product! Review by ANC
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I tried making yogurt in the crock pot once, then I heard about these cultures! So easy, works great! The culturing time is a little longer than expected in my house with the slightly cooler temps, but I enjoy the yogurt very much. I always like to see a bargain, but this culture pays for itself pretty quickly!

(Posted on 11/19/2014)

works well Review by ely
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I'm using raw milk which I first sterilize. This culture is easier to use than warmer cultures. I only have to sterilize and then cool back down to 70 degrees not "catch" the milk on its way back down from 160. I was worried about the taste when it was just activated starter but having made a full batch it's tasty, different flavor but good. My house is cooler than 70 so I have been putting the culture in a wonderbag with a heated flax seed pillow in the warmest spot in my home, worked well. Probably wouldn't be an issue if my house wasn't always so cold.

(Posted on 11/15/2014)

Good Taste, Could Be Thicker Review by daisy
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Being new to making yogurt, I chose the easiest of the cultures and it worked well. The taste is wonderful and it took hardly any time and very little effort. It's more the consistency of a drinkable yogurt though, so I may have to try another type to get that thickness that I am desiring. Customer service in this company has thus far been outstanding. I will definitely order from them again. Bon apetit!

CFH Response: Viili should have a fairly thick consistency. Please contact Customer Support for assistance with very thin yogurt.

(Posted on 11/11/2014)

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)



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