Good sources for yogurt starter?

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Good sources for yogurt starter?

Postby Jenspeed on Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:44 pm

Anyone have favorite sources for yogurt starter they want to share? I've been using the previous batch of yogurt, but a friend suggested that I would get better and more consistent results if I used a new starter/culture every time and not just a previous batch of yogurt.
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Re: Good sources for yogurt starter?

Postby Gutted on Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:47 am

There should be no problems using a previous batch for successive generations. However beginning from a new starter is a good idea after some time of reuse. Bacteriophages are a potential problem with prolonged repeated use which is why I begin a fresh after around 9-10 generations which I admit is a total arbitrary choice. You might be able to continually use it but there is always a chance that it could be contaminated by other bacteria or a phage. The bacteria will tend to destroy any competing bacteria but the reverse is also possible.

Sources you can use depends upon what you want to do and what you want. Store purchased yoghurt can be used but it could take a long time to ferment the first batch as store yoghurt tends to have relatively small amounts of living bacterial cells.

Amazon sell yoghurt starter fairly cheaply. I recently purchased some but so far have not got around to using it. Those are more traditional yoghurt cultures. You could use any probiotic capsules but expect the first batch to take a long time to ferment, in the region of 12 or more hours.
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Re: Good sources for yogurt starter?

Postby Bryan on Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:56 pm

In general thermophilic (heat loving) yogurt starters don't do well using previous batch to start a new batch for more than 2 or 3 times. One exception is Bulgarian yogurt starter which has bacteria robust enough to handle this.

Do a search for heirloom yogurt starters which are generally mesophilic (room temperature) starters. These are nice because they don't require a yogurt maker.
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Re: Good sources for yogurt starter?

Postby gazaah on Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:11 pm

I've found most freeze dried cultures from Amazon work well. I sometimes shop at my local "natural foods" store, which I love for some items. But their starter had been on the shelf for quite some time when I bought it. The first box was a dud and the second box, with a much newer date on it, worked fine.

The freeze dried cultures if stored and shipped properly can be nice because you can load your batch with huge numbers of microbes and get a strong set quickly. I go for several batches in a row and then start fresh when the process changes, indicating that my culture's make up has changed. Sometimes I accidentally evolve my culture and select for bacteria that like being in the fridge by accident. Then I find my yogurt sets completely 2 days after incubation. That is not my goal but weird things happen when you go from batch to batch with fridge and heat in the equation.

I have had great results with "live and active cultures" plain, unflavored store yogurt if I used half to a full cup per 5-6 cup batch. I did NOT have great results trying with drinkable yogurt with 12 species listed on the side. I'd suggest using a starter yogurt that has only has one or a few species on the label. The simpler you keep your source the better you can troubleshoot what part goes wrong in a failed batch if you are the experimenting kind.

Once you have a couple really reliable recipes, then you can mess with the started culture and know where the failure lies, in my experience.
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