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Home Cheese Making in Australia



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Yoghurt Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question, or require help with your yoghurt making, please call (07) 3808 2576 or email us with as much information about your question or problem as possible at sales@greenlivingaustralia.com.au.

What is the shelf life of the yoghurt and probiotic cultures ?

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Room temperature1 to 2 months
Refrigerator6 to 12 months
Freezer2 to 5 years

How should I store my yoghurt culture ?

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The yoghurt and probiotic cultures are freeze dried, and require "long term storage" in freezer. The cultures also readily absorb moisture out of the air so should be kept in airtight containers which should only be opened at room temperature.

We supply two sterile jars for storage of the cultures. Please see the next FAQ for more information regarding this.

Why do we send two Sterile Jars ?

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The two jar storage and dosing method helps keep the culture in the best condition, helping prevent cross contamination and helping with dose control. We recommend placing approximately 90% of the culture in one jar, rarely opened, and have another jar with a small amount of culture in, as your working supply.

When a cold item is taken from a freezer, moisture condenses onto it, out of the air. This is true of the opened sterile jar with culture inside.

With Yoghurt Culture and the Probiotic Culture both requiring storage in a freezer, and being so concentrated, the storage jar will be opened many times (if kept only in one jar), before being used up, and it is impossible to keep the culture 100% dry.

This also has a side benefit of reducing the chance of the contamination of the culture. If the working stock does get contaminated, at least the main supply is still OK.

Does the Yoghurt Culture contain any dairy ?

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Sacco's cheese and yoghurt cultures are grown on a dairy based medium. At the end of propagation, the starter culture cells are physically separated from this medium, then concentrated and freeze-dried. Very little, if any of the dairy component ends up in the final starter culture. However because people with allergies to dairy protein can be sensitive to parts per million (ppm) levels, Sacco cannot guarantee that such levels are not present in their cultures, and therefore declare that all of their cheese and yoghurt cultures may contain traces of dairy.

We do have a specialist Non-Dairy Yoghurt Culture, actually grown on a non dairy base, so as not to contain any dairy at all.

Does the Yoghurt Culture contain any allergens ?

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We have Allergen Declarations from Sacco, who supply our Yoghurt and Probiotic cultures.

This document is the dairy cultures allergen statement and here is the non-dairy allergen statement.

Why should I heat the milk to 90° C. ?

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Heating the milk to 90° C for a short time breaks down a protein in milk, enabling the culture to do its work better, making a thicker heartier yoghurt.

If using UHT milk, there is no need to do this as it has already been done as part of the "Ultra Heat Treatment", that UHT stands for. Just heat your milk to 40° C before adding the culture.

Do I have to add the extra milk powder ?

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Adding the extra milk powder simply gives the culture more lactose and dairy protein to "eat", this makes the yoghurt thicker and heartier without adding extra thickeners, such as agar-agar or gelatin.

If you wish to make a thinner "drinking yoghurt" simply leave out the milk powder.

If you wish to make a thicker yoghurt without using milk powder, hanging the yoghurt in a tight weave cheese cloth is a way of getting it to thicken by draining the whey. This will reduce the amount of end product.

How is Powdered Milk made, and does it have additives ?

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Powdered milk is made from fresh, pasteurised milk. First, the milk is concentrated in an evaporator until 50% of the milk solids remain. Next, the concentrated milk is sprayed into a heated chamber where the water almost instantly evaporates, leaving behind tiny dry milk particles.

Powdered milk has the following ingredients, that all came from the milk:

  • Nonfat Dry Milk
  • Vitamin A Palmitate
  • Vitamin D3

Instant powdered milk has a small amount of soy (322) as an emulsifier, this what prevents clumping and makes mixing 'instant'.

If your powdered milk has any of the following listed, it is not real powdered milk:

  • sweet dairy whey
  • non-fat dry milk solids
  • partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (contains one or more of the following: canola oil and/or soya oil)
  • corn syrup solids
  • sodium caseinate
  • dipotassium phosphate
  • propylene glycol monostearate
  • mono and diglycerides
  • carrageenan

All powdered milks we have seen in Aussie supermarkets are good quality products.

My yoghurt has a stringy consistency, how can I fix this ?

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A stringy, almost slimy consistency is typical of yoghurt fermented at too low a temperature.

With thermos style yoghurt makers try increasing the temperature, and also monitoring the temperature over the fermentation period to make sure that it stays with the temperature range of 37 to 43° C.

With electric yoghurt makers if the milk goes in too cold, the cultures may experience unbalanced growth as the milk slowly heats up to 40° C, this unbalanced culture growth may lead to an undesirable texture. We have found that preheating the milk to between 35 and 40° C, negates this effect.

Can I use Soy or other milks ?

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Yes! All of our yoghurt culture work with soy milk, almond milk, and coconut cream.

The addition of a small amount of sugar to act as food for the cultures may be needed depending on the sugar content of the milk, and a thickening agent is needed for almond and coconut yoghurts.

Do I still heat dairy milk alternatives to 90° C ?

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Yes and no. For soy milk and coconut cream simply bring the temperature up to 40° C, add some sugar if desired, a thickening agent if required, and add the culture. Then keep your inoculated soy milk warmed to around 40° for 12 to 24 hours, and when it has turned into a nice thick yoghurt refrigerate.

We have found that almond milk will sometimes 'split' into two layers during fermentation. This can be prevented or at least reduced by heat treating your almond milk to 90° C for ten minutes prior to cooling, and continuing with ther fermentation process.

How much culture do I use ?

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Since the sachet holds enough culture for 80 to 100 litres of Yoghurt, you only need a very small amount.

We recommend opening the sachet when you are about to make your first yoghurt. Bring the sachet to room temperature first, this should only take a few minutes, and reduces the effect of condensation causing some of the culture to stick to the inside of the sachet. Cut all the way across the top of the sachet, then concertina it and pour the culture into the sterile jar supplied. Estimate 1/10th of the contents, and place into the second jar, this becomes your "working supply", label both jars and store in the freezer.

Your "working supply", being approximately 1/10th of the original supply of culture, will make approximately 10 litres of yoghurt.

If you have the mini measuring spoons, place all of the culture in one jar, and spoon it across to the other jar ... try the Smidgen. Count the number of spoons and divide that into 100. If, for example you get 10 Smidgens, spoon one Smidgen back into the now empty jar. This becomes your 'working stock' and you should get about 10 batches of yoghurt out of that jar.

Can I make Yoghurt with just your culture, or do I have to use a probiotic too ?

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Yes you can use just the Yoghurt Culture to make yoghurt. The probiotic are used in conjunction to the culture for those people wishing for an end product that is Probiotic

Can I make Yoghurt with just your probiotic culture, without the yoghurt culture ?

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No. The texture and flavour cultures are in the yoghurt culture, but not in the probiotic cultures.

Can I clone more yoghurt from the yoghurt I make with your Yoghurt Culture ?

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Yes you can clone your next few batches of the yoghurt you make from the yoghurt you make with our culture, although when cloning from a previous batch, you are cloning all of the bacteria present in the yoghurt, including any contaminants. This is why cloned yoghurt typically becomes runnier, and does not set as well in the second and third generation. It may be considered a false economy, risking the disappointment of failed yoghurt, to save 17 cents worth of culture.

Why is there a special non-dairy culture, if both the Mild and Tangy Yoghurt Cultures work with Soy Milk ?

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The Mild and Tangy yoghurt cultures are grown on a dairy base and, while they are separated from the dairy base, there may be the odd molecule of dairy left behind. Some people are so allergic to dairy, this is enough to be a serious issue.

Other people such as Vegans just wish to avoid dairy altogether.

Why has my yoghurt culture started clumping together ?

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The clumping is caused by the culture absorbing moisture. The moisture can be absorbed directly from the air and also from moisture condensing out of the air onto the inside of the storage container if opened while cold. So we always allow the culture to come to room temperature and we keep the jar closed as much as possible to minimise the amount of fresh air coming into contact with the culture. I also try to avoid making yoghurt on a really damp or humid day unless I run the air conditioner for a while to dry the air out. I also don't spend any time trying to judge 1/10th perfectly accurate, I just know to use an extremely small amount, making the time the jar is open probably less than 20 seconds.