Culturing milk with sauerkraut brine?

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Culturing milk with sauerkraut brine?

Postby Rachel on Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:54 pm

I'm curious if you can culture milk with sauerkraut brine or other lacto-fermented brine to make yogurt or cheese or something like either of these. About a week ago, after not being able to find any answers on the question, I decided to just give it a try. I took 8 oz of milk and added 1tablespoon of brine to it. I left it on the counter for a couple of hours, but was afraid of spoilage so then put it into the fridge. I took it out to look at it and smell it every couple of days. At first it smelled like the brine and continued to look like regular milk. Over the course of the week it started to thicken. Now, after 1 week it has separated and smells different--I'm not sure how to describe it.

So do you think it has simply spoiled? Or could I press it through some cheesecloth and enjoy it on crackers? Thanks so much to anybody who has any info! :)

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Re: Culturing milk with sauerkraut brine?

Postby Gutted on Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:08 am

I think that it will taste horrid. The bacteria are not the types that are used for yoghurt. They will probably make it very bitter.

I usually make mine from probiotic capsules which have a number of different bacteria. I kept it cooler for one lot, around 30C and it came out very bitter. The capsules have quite a high % of L. plantarum in them so at the lower temperature they probably took over and made it acidic. Fermenting at lower temperatures will affect yoghurt because it's meant to be around body temperature up to the low 40s C.
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Re: Culturing milk with sauerkraut brine?

Postby WWFSM on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:57 am

That sounds like a neat experiment. It's hard to know if it's safe without being there to smell it. But trust your senses, if it smells good and your gut doesn't give you a horrible sensation at the thought of eating it, maybe try a small lick and see how it tastes. Wait a while then try some more. If you do end up making cheese from it, let us know how it tastes.

The sauerkraut juice would be pretty acidic, so it makes sense that the milk would curdle. I've often wondered about using it to make a ricotta-like cheese, but then I find my vinegar and chicken out.

I think Gutted has a point about it being too low a temperature. There are some cultures that do well at room temperature (65 - 75 degrees F) but most of them like to be a lot warmer. When I culture milk at a lower than recommended temperature it ends up somewhere between a bit sour and quite bitter.

Maybe a room temperature yoghurt starter might be right for you. Though whether or not the word yoghurt is right for these milk cultures, most people call them that because they tend to have the taste and texture of yoghurt, and we don't have a better word for them in English yet. There is no special equipment needed, just a bowl, a spoon, and a space on your countertop. I like Fil Mjolk best because it's so flexible and forgiving. It' makes fantastic cream cheese.

A few things I've done with it so far:,

and a few places that carry it. - this one shipps internationally.

Sorry I couldn't be more help, but do let us know how it turns out.
Doing my best to be the change I want to see in the world, one meal at a time.

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Re: Culturing milk with sauerkraut brine?

Postby bjdmytro on Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:06 pm

I did this successfully with soy yogurt last year, but I'm not certain if the bacteria did the trick or if the acidity of the kraut brine was the cause. Either way, it made a tangy, thick yogurt. I'm thinking about giving this a trial. In the coming days, I'll make a batch of in pint jars in my yogurt maker, some using a probiotic starter and some using kraut juice as a starter. Afterwards, I'll get back and say how it went.
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Re: Culturing milk with sauerkraut brine?

Postby bjdmytro on Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:18 am

I made a yogurt with sauerkraut brine as a starter. The starter took and cultured the milk, causing it to sour and coagulate, but the flavor was not ideal. It ended with a bitter flavor, reminiscent of cabbage, and a skunky smell. I tried eating this with granola and berries, but the bitter flavor overpowers. I've also made tzatziki sauce with it, and the bitter flavor is still heavily present. Overall, I have mixed feelings about the result and would probably stick to a conventional yogurt culture in the future.
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