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.

Questions on Viili Yogurt Starter

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  • From Rebecca at 9/22/11 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 Peggy Cahill at 9/25/11 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 Lilliemarie at 11/9/11 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 Nuno at 12/6/11 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 Val at 12/28/11 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
  • From Emily at 1/26/12 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 Shirley at 2/6/12 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 Anna at 2/7/12 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 Kara at 3/21/12 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 Amy at 4/2/12 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

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Customer Reviews

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 July 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 July 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 July 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 July 5, 2014)
Great Product Review by Crystal
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Worked like a charm using our goat milk. (Posted on June 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 June 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 June 12, 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 June 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 June 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 June 5, 2014)
Great for cows milk Review by Kristal
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Used store bought pasteurized cows milk and the flavor was great. Tried it with our raw and pasteurized goats milk and the flavor was not so great as it was a little more sour and just not pleasant. Tried it a couple times incase the batch was bad and it's just the flavor goats milk has. Definitely recommend though if you want to turn your cows milk into something more. Works great for frozen yogurt too! (Posted on May 29, 2014)
I like this product. Review by Hodag
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I started a Villi culture about 2 years ago. Purchased the starter from Cultures for Health. It makes a great snack or breakfast item. I really enjoyed it and kept my starter going for a long time. Then I lost the culture (my fault, left my starter in the refrig for too long). Missed my Villi, so I purchased another starter. Makes a "almost" firm yogurt, with a slightly tart taste. Easy to culture (room temperature). (Posted on May 22, 2014)
Easy to use, good product Review by Marianne_67410
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I love this yogurt. When I activated the starter, it didn't thicken, but I actually read the directions beforehand! So it went into the frig and the next day I added milk and had yogurt later. It's not like yogurt that we're used to here in the US, but this is so easy to do and so good for you! (Posted on May 16, 2014)
Great! Review by Equestrienne
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I've cultured this a couple times now. Now that it is getting acclimated here to my milk and my climate, and since I used a seed starting mat loosely wrapped around it to ensure it was warm enough, it cultured up in about 18 hours... enough so that I could have drained it for a really thick end result. I did not drain it because I know that the whey is so very nutritious (high protein). So, all in all, it is turning out to be one of the easiest and least work of the cultures I do. I'm using WalMart organic whole milk. This is less sour than my kefir, and less work since the kefir grains can be challenging to strain off. However, the wider variety of bacteria and yeast in the kefir probably still justify maintaining both of them. (Posted on April 27, 2014)
Follow-up on another Villi attempt... Review by Cinnamonbark
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...So the folks here sent me some feedback and advice on how to get my Villi going--the first culturing wasn't very robust, but upon culturing it again the following week, it definitely set up.

...Ironically though, as it turns out I'm just not a fan of Villi! I've never had it before, and I thought it would be fun to try...I'm just not caring much for the flavor and texture. I know it turned out this time, but it's kinda 'meh' for me. I'm going to go for a thicker yogurt this next time like a Matsoni or something. Glad I got a chance to see if I'd like Villi though, and to each their own taste! :-) (Posted on April 27, 2014)
So Easy Review by Audrey
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All you have to do is put the starter or a couple tablespoons of your old yogurt in a jar with milk and less than a day later you have yogurt! So amazing! (Posted on April 25, 2014)
Very easy to make Review by MarionA
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I am a big fan of the Villi yogurt- it is very easy to make once you found a place in your home that is constantly warm. I have a small walk in cabinet where I store some TV appliances - this creates heat and the yogurt is perfectly happy in this small room. I make a 300ml jar every other day- my dog jumps up when he hears the glasses cling as he knows- ... 'she lets me have some yogurt.....' (Posted on April 25, 2014)
Good stuff Review by Yogi Blair
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This culture is wonderful for making yogurt, what can I say! (Posted on April 23, 2014)
excellent yogurt, easy to execute Review by laureleiwb
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No special tools or gadgets. This is a zingy, but not too tart, yogurt that is super easy to make and super tasty to eat. Recommend this culture if you like smooth yogurts with not as much acid or tartness as greek. (Posted on April 14, 2014)
Great heirloom yogurt Review by Oofda
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The first batch took 24+ hours to set and the milk went sour. After that, I tried making a very small batch, which worked out just fine. I think I tried to start off too big of a batch before the culture was nicely activated.

It isn't a sour yogurt. It tastes great. My wife and I even eat this yogurt with some bread and toppings for dinner! (Breakfast like an emperor, lunch like a king, dinner like a beggar - a happy beggar)

I made sahnequark with this yogurt, also turned out great.

Note from CFH: For the health of the culture, maximum culture time for Bulgarian is 8 hours. (Posted on April 14, 2014)
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