Traditionally Balkan yoghurt is made in small and individual batches rather than in large vats. Our organic Balkan yoghurt starter produces a yoghurt that is fairly translucent in colour with a reasonable thickness and can be considered a set-style yoghurt. This yoghurt does not get as thick as its neighbouring alternative the Bulgarian yoghurt but still holds its shape well on a spoon. Set-style yoghurt is popular as both a homemade and a commercially produced yoghurt. It thickens evenly and sets more firmly than stirred-style yoghurt. It is good for Indian recipes and uses in curries and sauces. It contains a range of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus bacteria. This is a thermophilic yoghurt that requires a yoghurt maker to produce consistent results.
Allergens – Contains milk (cows).
Recommended activation date for culture: 1 year from the date of shipping. Best stored in the freezer if the product can not be activated on arrival.
Please note that we do not send printed copies of instructions with your purchase. If you would like to have a printed version, you can open a printable PDF by clicking here.
If you have more than one fermenting food culture at home, we recommend that you keep them at least 1 metre apart from each other at all times. This is to stop cross contamination of the different cultures. If you are working with dairy in particular, this is very important. Please contact us is you require further assistance with fermenting more than one culture.
What to do once your Organic Certified Balkan Yoghurt Starter Culture arrives:
What equipment do I need?
A yoghurt maker or similar device capable of heating to 42 degrees.
What ingredients do I need?
Pasteurised milk (whole milk works best). Boil the milk before hand and then allow it too cool back down to room temperature. Never place your starter culture into hot milk. Always allow it to cool back down after boiling!
Organic Balkan yoghurt starter culture.
Fill a jug with 1000ml of milk of boiled then cooled down milk.
Add the yoghurt starter to the milk and stir VERY well.
Add the mixture to your yoghurt maker jar/pots.
Heat the yoghurt at 42 degrees for 8 hours (until set).
If the yoghurt has not set after 8 hours. Leave it in the yoghurt maker longer. Keep checking on it every 2 hours if possible. In some instances, it can take up to 18 hours to fully set. Please be patient.
Once set, place the yoghurt into the fridge until it has cooled for at least 2 hours. This process also helps it to set further. It is now ready to eat.
Ensure you keep back enough yoghurt each time you make it to re-culture the next batch. You will need roughly one tablespoon of the culture per 1000ml of milk. Always re-culture from fresh yoghurt no older than 7 days for the best results. This is a heirloom yoghurt that can be re-cultured indefinitely.
If you can’t eat your yoghurt that day, it will keep in the refrigerator up to 7 days, and you can use it to re-culture other batches during that time.
Ensure you re-culture your yoghurt at least once a week to keep it healthy and active.
Feel free to experiment with flavouring your yoghurt. The important thing to remember is to always remove enough yoghurt to reculture the next batch before you add any flavourings.
Do I have to use dairy milk?
This starter will only work with animal based milks. You can use goat, sheep and buffalo milk. It will not work with dairy free alternatives.
Can I use raw milk?
Yes you can. However we would still recommend you follow the activation process with boiled and then cooled pasteurised milk.
You do not need to boil the raw milk before use. However due to the high microbe and bacterial levels present in raw milk, the yoghurt starter will compete for dominance. This can lead to a thinner yoghurt overall.
Can I take a break from making yoghurt?
You can freeze the yoghurt for short periods of time (1-3 months). Beyond that the bacteria will start to decline.
You can also dehydrate the stater by pasting a thin layer onto parchment paper and leaving it to dry in a well ventilated area. Thermophilic yoghurts do not always cope well with dehydration and may not remain viable after.
Sadly neither of these methods are full proof and we can not guarantee they will always work. . The best way to preserve the bacteria in the starter it to use a freeze dry method which requires specialist equipment.
Do I always need to boil the milk used beforehand?
We recommend that you do. Milk will contain naturally occurring colonies of microbes, which is why milk still spoils over time. Left at warm temperatures for long periods of time (in the yoghurt maker), these microbes compete for dominance with the bacteria in the yoghurt starter. This can often stop the starter from being able to do its job and lead to a thinner yoghurt overall.