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Sour cream starter culture | for home made sour cream


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Sour cream is a dairy product obtained by fermenting regular cream with lactic acid bacteria. Make it at home with this sour cream starter culture!

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Sour cream is a dairy product obtained by fermenting regular cream with lactic acid bacteria. Make it at home with this sour cream starter culture! No yoghurt maker needed.

What is sour cream?

Sour cream was traditionally made by letting cream that was skimmed off the top of milk ferment at room temperature — the bacteria that naturally developed during fermentation thickened the cream and made it more acidic, which was a natural way of preserving the cream. Cultured sour cream is quite similar to traditional sour cream. It is made by inoculating the cream with sour cream lactic acid bacteria which produces a thick, viscous, slightly sour cream.

About our sour cream starter culture

This sour cream starter makes delicious and thick sour cream with a traditional rich flavor and a fresh mild taste, ideal for making dips, sauces, thickening soups, and much more.

You can adjust the thickness and the flavor of your sour cream by controlling the length of incubation time, making it anywhere from creamy liquid to thick and smooth yogurt-like consistency, and from mild and sweet to a bit sour, or more. Make it with raw or pasteurized regular cream, double cream, or a mixture of cream and milk. The higher the fat content of your original cream, the thicker and more delicious your sour cream will be. When using a higher-fat content cream, you can use this sour cream starter to make cultured crème fraîche, or whipped cream, amongst others.

Like sour cream?

Check out our other yoghurt starters.

Sour cream starter culture is a mesophilic starter

Please note, this is a mesophilic culture that can be made at room temperature-  no yoghurt maker is needed.

Contents sour cream starter culture

  • 2 grams of heirloom mesophilic dry sour cream starter culture
  • Enough for the rest of your life, check the instructions below
  • Made in Bulgaria
  • Allergens: milk
  • Contents: milk, starter cultures
  • Contains no preservatives, artificial colors and flavors. Gluten, soy and GMO free. Halal & Kosher.


Live cultures of Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, Lactococcus lactis subsp. biovar diacetylactis and Streptococcus thermophilus.

Why a dried starter?

  • dried starters have a long shelf life
  • easy to ship/take with you, also abroad
  • does not deteriorate due to transport
  • light in weight (shipping costs)
  • you can save a part in case the quality of your fresh sour cream deteriorates
  • after activation, the effect of dried sour cream as a starter is identical to fresh sour cream

Storage instructions

In the fridge or freezer. Save the dried sour cream starter culture in a Ziploc bag after use, or vacuum sealed. The starter is highly hydrophilic – if moisture gets into the package, the quality will deteriorate. Shelf life is at least a year in the freezer, but probably longer in reality.

Activating your source cream starter culture

  1. Let a cup (200 ml) of cream warm up to just above room temperature (around 76°F / 24°C) on its own.
  2. Add the starter from the pack to the cream and stir until it dissolves.
  3. Cover the jar with a cloth to keep the cream clean from dust and airborne particles.
  4. Let the cream sit for about 24 hours and then check if it is firm.
  5. If it hasn’t set in 24 hours, then keep it going and check every 2-4 hours until it sets. Some mesophilic cultures may take up to 72 hours to set depending on the ambient temperature and other conditions.
  6. You now have an active mesophilic cream, which you will use as a starter in the next step.

Making the sour cream

  1. Add your activated starter (the cup of yogurt from the previous step) to a liter of cream. Do this in a single container so all the starter can mix evenly with all the cream. The cream can be room temperature or cold, straight from the fridge.
  2. Stir gently until the active starter dissolves, next distribute the cream into culturing containers.
  3. Cover the jars, the same way as in the activation step, and leave at room temperature for 12-48 hours until the cream has set.
  4. Move it to the fridge and keep it there for at least 2 hrs before eating it- cooling the cream will help it thicken and improve its taste.
  5. You can make endless batches of sour cream, by simply reusing your previously made sour cream to start a new batch, or by freezing portions that you can use as a new starter.
  6. (S)cream if it tastes yummy!

Online on demand workshop ‘how to make vegan cheese at home’ (subtitled)

During this English subtitled workshop you will learn the theory and practice of making vegan cheesevegan blue cheese starter kits at home, with a focus on vegan camembert and vegan blue cheese . Foodwriter ‘Meneer Wateetons’, author of several books on fermentation and alternative food preparation techniques,  will teach you all about fermentation, curing salts, food safety, pH, starter cultures, molds and drying conditions. Click here for more info.


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