- How to activate your Viili starter.
Your culture(s) may smell yeasty or sour from the travel. There also may be separation. Please be assured that this is perfectly fine and normal and does not necessarily indicate what your finished product will be like, nor indicate a spoiled culture.Please begin culturing as soon as possible, as the yogurt has travelled and needs some food! Upon receipt, store in refrigerator until ready for use. It needs to be cultured within a day of receiving.
You can use any type of milk, organic or non, but whole milk makes the thickest yogurt, and is what we prefer and use. Viili is NOT recommended for use with soy, goat’s milk, or coconut milk. We do not have experience or instructions for alternate milk uses, as we do not recommend them.
Goat’s milk will make a much thinner yogurt so be aware of that.
For all yogurts, using half and half (half milk and half cream) produces a much thicker and creamier yogurt.
- put 500ml of pasteurized milk into a glass or plastic container (no BPA). If you are looking to use Raw milk you will need to heat the milk to 80C first and then allow it to cool before using. Milk that has not been heated correctly will not set and will go sloppy please see full instructions below.
- Add the contents of your sachet, mix thoroughly (in your sachet we provide 2 tablespoons of culture) No need to heat the milk or warm it at all, Straight from the fridge is fine if you are using pasteurised milk.Stir the culture into the milk well, nice and vigorous, you always want to use a ratio of 1 tablespoon starter per 250ml of milk for these cultures. Cover with a coffee filter or paper towel (something that will allow air in but keep fruit flies out – not cheesecloth) and a rubber band.
- place in a warm spot (20-25C) to culture
- Check after 12 hours to see if it has set, if it has not leave for up to 48 hours. checking every few hours .Allow to culture undisturbed at room temperature (20-25C) and out of direct sunlight for about 12-18 hours, until set. If your house is warm, it may not take that long. You must monitor it regularly. If your house is cool, then wrap the jar in a thick towel (yet do not cover the top) to help insulate. Yogurt is set when you gently tilt the jar and the yogurt stays firm. It will pull away from the jar somewhat on the sides when it is considered set. You may see a thin layer on top that will slide aside when you tilt, but for the most part it will be gelled, not pourable thin milk anymore.
- IT COULD TAKE LONGER THAN 18 HOURS, so please do not refrigerate until FULLY SET! It MUST be set BEFORE you refrigerate. Do not refrigerate simply because it has been 18 hours. It needs to fully SET.
- Be sure and check it often. Once set, cover with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate for 6 hours.
- DO NOT MIX before this. Do not take any from the batch just yet to start a new batch.
- Once refridgerated the cultured yogurt can now be eaten, reserve at least one tablespoon for culturing the next batch.Be sure and reserve some yogurt for your next batch (do not consume it all). Depending on how much you want to make next time, remember you want to reserve 1Tablespoon of yogurt (pure yogurt, removed BEFORE you add sweeter, fruit, or anything else) per 250ml of milk for your next batch, and so on.
- if the activation batch has not fully set it is still cultured and can be used to make further batches of yogurt.
Do not use skimmed, semi skimmed or UHT milk and we recommend using either whole milk or half and half milk (this is our favourite as it makes the best yogurt). Half and half milk is half milk half cream.
whilst it is possible to make really nice yogurt with Raw milk it is much more difficult and not ideal if you have never made yogurt from a live starter before.
PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU KEEP ALL CULTURES AT LEAST 7 FEET APART TO AVOID CROSS CONTAMINATION AND ALWAYS USE CLEAN UTENSILS.
Instructions for making batches of Yogurt
- Place 1 cup (approx 200ml) of milk into a glass or plastic container (BPA free)
- add 1 tablespoon of yogurt from the previous batch
- mix thoroughly. To make larger batcher use 1 table spoon per 200ml of milk.
- cover with a cloth or coffee filter secure with a rubber band
- place in a warm spot (20-25C) to culture
- check the yogurt every few hours by tilting the jar gently. If the yogurt moves away from the side of the jar in one mass instead of running up the side, it is finnished culturing (usually takes 12-18 hours, possibly longer depending on the temperature)
- once set, cover with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
- the yogurt can now be eaten. Reserve some for the next batch
. Re-culture at least once a week to maintain a strong viable culture. What that means is just make a new batch weekly with your starter to keep it going strong. After a week, the yogurts tend to develop a yeast taste, which is not palatable to some, but you can still use it to make your next batch. We consume within a week for this reason. Yogurts made with full cream will last longer.
Avoid aluminium utensils, stainless steel is acceptable
fermented foods often have a sour but clean aroma and flavour.
Separation – with any yogurt, if you culture too long, it will separate into curds and whey. You will see liquid whey on the bottom of the jar. That means you cultured too long, so try to avoid that. Remember, you can check for firmness by tilting the jar slightly. You want to refrigerate then, before it separates. If you do culture until separation though, just spoon out 1T. of the thickest part of the yogurt, and begin anew. What we do is culture in the early evening – then by morning it is usually done, and you can refrigerate before you have to leave for the day. Then there is no worry that it might culture too long.
These yogurts will sometimes grow a white fuzzy layer on top. This is just airborne yeasts and completely normal, and it can be consumed or scraped off and discarded. This is NOT mold.
We do not recommend using UHT (aka ultra-pasteurized) milk when working with any yogurt culture as the lack of living bacteria in UHT milk makes it difficult for the yogurt cultures to perpetuate properly.
ALWAYS ENSURE THAT YOU KEEP ALL CULTURES AT LEAST SEVEN TO TEN FOOT APART BUT IDEALLY IN ANOTHER ROOM OR CUPBOARD. NEVER KEEP TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES TOGETHER AS THIS CAN LEAD TO CROSS CONTAMINATION OF THE CULTURES. YOGURTS ARE PARTICULARLY SENSITIVE TO THIS.
RAW MILK INSTRUCTIONS
If you are using raw milk, you need to keep a pure starter going at all times using heated and cooled milk. Make your first batch using boiled milk which is then allowed to cool to about 80 degrees or so. You just heat till the milk starts to rise in the pot (be careful as it rises quickly and will overflow quickly!) and then turn the heat down and let simmer for 3 minutes. Then remove from the heat and let it cool. Make yogurt as indicated above using this milk, and then set in the refrigerator. Then use yogurt from that batch to now make your cold raw milk yogurt. Do NOT use all of the heated milk batch as you will need maintain a supply of that in order to use for starter every time you make raw milk yogurt. Consume entirely your raw milk yogurt batches, as you cannot use any of that to make future batches. The raw milk in the yogurt will eventually weaken the culture as the bacteria in the milk will eventually overtake the bacteria in the culture. Using a pure seed starter every time avoids this problem and helps your culture remain strong. At least once a week, reculture your heated milk yogurt batch using starter from it and heated and cooled milk again. Basically make a new pure seed starter at least once a week to keep it fresh.