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Organic Cultured Buttermilk Starter

Organic Cultured Buttermilk Starter

Organic Cultured Buttermilk Starter


£5 OFF by paying with Moona

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Organic Cultured Buttermilk Starter

Our organic cultured buttermilk starter produces a tangy-flavoured thick milk product that can be enjoyed raw or used for baking. Lactococcus lactis and Lactobacillus bulgaricus are the bacteria responsible for fermenting milk into buttermilk. Cultured buttermilk is fermented at room temperate meaning no additional equipment is needed to create it. It is a fermented alternative to regular milk.

Cultured buttermilk, often known simply as “buttermilk”, was first commercially introduced in the United States in the 1920s. It was popular among immigrants and viewed as food that could slow ageing. Up until the 1960s, buttermilk was a popular addition to any kitchen. Sadly, yoghurt quickly become the consumer favourite fermented milk product, and slowly cultured buttermilk fell into decline around the world.

Cultured Buttermilk is often used in baking because of its special properties. Many people use buttermilk in baking as it brings a pleasant tang to cakes, bread, biscuits, pancakes, or dressings. Because this rich-tasting milk is an acidic ingredient, like yoghurt and sour cream, it also gives baked goods a softer texture and more body, and it helps quick bread rise.

Please note: Cooking with high temperatures will kill the bacteria in buttermilk.

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.

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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 Cultured Buttermilk Starter arrives:

Organic buttermilk starters are freeze dried and can be stored at room temperature until the activation date on the back of the packet. If you do not plan to activate the buttermilk before that date, it can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 years.

What equipment do I need?

A glass jar and a breathable cover such as a muslin cloth or paper towel.

What ingredients do I need?

Pasteurised whole milk.

Activation Process:

To activate the organic buttermilk starter, boil 150ml of whole pasteurised milk and allow it to cool back to room temperature. We recommend boiling the milk for the activation stage so that any microbes in the milk are killed off, giving the starter the best chance of success, Put the milk into a jar (ideally 1 litre capacity). Place the sachet of freeze dried buttermilk into the milk and cover the jar to stop dust getting in. Do not cut off the airflow completely. A paper towel fastened with a rubber band works well. Leave it at room temperature for 24-72 hours until you notice that the milk has set. Then proceed with the steps listed below.

Fermentation Process:

  • Add 850ml of milk to the jar already containing the activated buttermilk from the step listed above. The milk can be cold and straight from the fridge.
  • Cover the jar again and leave it at room temperature for 12-48 hours until the buttermilk has set. The buttermilk is sensitive to temperature. The warmer it is, the faster it will set. During the summer, check the buttermilk every 12 hours. During the winter, it can take a couple of days to fully set.
  • Once set, place the buttermilk in the fridge to cool. The cooling process will help the buttermilk to thicken.
  • Before you eat it, remove some to reculture the next batch. You want roughly one tablespoon of the buttermilk per 500ml of milk you wish to culture.
  • If you can’t eat all of the buttermilk that day, it will keep in the refrigerator for 7 days. You can use it to reculture other batches during that time.
  • Ensure you reculture the buttermilk at least once every 7 days week to keep it healthy and active.



Do I have to use dairy milk?

Buttermilk will work great with any type of animal milk. This includes goats, sheep and buffalo milk.

Can I use milk alternatives?

Sadly not. Buttermilk requires lactose present in animal milk to successfully ferment.

Can I use raw milk?

Yes, you can. However, we would still recommend you follow the activation process with pasteurised milk. Another thing to note is that due to the high microbe and bacterial levels present in raw milk, the buttermilk starter will compete for dominance. This can lead to a thinner consistency overall.

Can I take a break from making buttermilk?

You can freeze the buttermilk 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. Dehydrated starters can be kept in the freezer for a number of years without losing potency.

Sadly neither of these methods are full proof and we can not guarantee they will always work. Overall though success rates are very high. The best way to preserve the bacteria in the starter it to use a freeze-dry method which requires specialist equipment.