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Viili (filbunke, langfill) yogurt starter culture

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Viili is a delicious Finnish mild yoghurt that is characterized by a viscose, gel-like, ropey structure. The yogurt probably originated somewhere between the 13th and 19th centuries from the older Swedish – still available – filbunke.

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Description

Viili is a delicious Finnish mild yoghurt that is characterized by a viscose, gel-like, ropey structure.

What is yoghurt?

Yoghurt, also spelled yogurt, yogourt or yoghourt, is a foodproduct produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yoghurt are known as yoghurt cultures. Fermentation of sugars in the milk by these bacteria produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yoghurt its texture and characteristic tart flavor.  Cow’s milk is commonly available worldwide and, as such, is the milk most commonly used to make yoghurt. Milk from water buffalo, goats, ewes, mares, camels, yaks and plant milks are also used to produce yogurt. The milk used may be homogenized or not. It may be pasteurized or raw. Each type of milk and each type of starter produces substantially different results.

What is viili?

Viili is a delicious Finnish mild yoghurt that is characterized by a viscose, gel-like, ropey structure. The yoghurt probably originated somewhere between the 13th and 19th centuries from the older Swedish – still available – filbunke. Viili and filbunke have been traditionally prepared in Scandinavian countries for hundreds of years, where they are still popular today. This beautiful mesophilic yoghurt is not easily found outside of Scandinavia, but you can now enjoy this delicious dairy at home through startercultures.eu

As a fermented milk culture, it has many health benefits, including live probiotics and easily digestible nutrients from the milk (including lactose).

Viili is similar to:

  • langfill
  • filbunke
  • Tattemjolk

Mesophilic: no yoghurtmaker needed.

You make this yoghurt at room temperature, no yogurt maker or the like is needed. It can just be on the counter.

Content

  • 4 gram of heirloom mesophilic dry yoghurtstarter – for 4 L (but, in fact enough for the rest of your life: check instructions)
  • Made in Bulgaria
  • Allergens: milk
  • Ingredients: milk, yoghurt starters cultures

Micro-organisms present in viili

Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, L. lactis subsp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris. The yogurt gets the special stringy consistency because these bacteria also form exopolysaccharides. These are the same molecules that also give xanthan gum its structure. In some viili there is also a fungus: Geotrichum candidum, which we know as an inconspicuous powerhouse in various fungal cheeses. Furthermore, the yeasts Kluveromyces marxianus and Pichia fermentans are often found.

Please note that our viili starter does not contain Geotrichum candidum. You can add it seperately if you wish.

Why dried viili starter?

  • dried viili has 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 already purchase them even if you do not intend to make a viili directly that week
  • you can keep a part in hand in case your fresh yoghurt gets worse in quality
  • after activation, the effect of dried viili is identical to fresh viili

Storage instructions

In the freezer or fridge. Also keep the yoghurtstarter in a Ziploc bag after use, or in a vacuum-packed place. The starter is very hydrophilic – if moisture gets into the package, the quality will deteriorate. Shelf life is a minimum of 2 years in the freezer.

How to activate your viili starter

  1. Let a cup (200 ml) of UHT (sterilized) milk warm up to room temperature on its own.
  2. Add the starter from the pack to the milk and stir until it dissolves.
    Note: Do not whisk. Whisking introduces air bubbles into the milk and that slows down incubation.
  3. Cover the jar with a lid or a cloth to keep the milk clean from dust and air-borne particles.
  4. Let the milk sit for about 24 hours and then check if it has set (firmed up).
    Note: Milk has set if it separates somewhat cleanly from the sides of the jar when you tilt the jar. Some mesophilic yogurts will be slimy so separation might look messy but you will clearly notice change in consistency.
  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 in your environment.
  6. Congratulations, you know have an active mesophilic yogurt, which you will use as a starter in the next step. You can make viili yoghurt out of it, or take optional additional steps.

Optional:

  1. Add your activated starter (the cup of yogurt from the previous step) to a liter of UHT milk. Do this in a single container so all the starter can mix evenly with all the milk. The milk can be room temperature or cold, straight from the fridge.
  2. Stir gently until the active starter dissolves.
  3. Cover the jars, and leave at room temperature for 12-48 hours until the yogurt has set. It will probly set faster than before.
  4. Freeze the viili in icecube trays or bags as starters for your future yoghurt

How to make viili

  1. Add your activated starter (the cup of yogurt from the previous step, or an ice cue) to a liter (or up to 4 liters) of milk. Do this in a single container so all the starter can mix evenly with all the milk. The milk can be room temperature or cold, straight from the fridge.
  2. Stir gently until the active starter dissolves.
    Note: Do not whisk. Whisking introduces air bubbles into the milk and that slows down incubation.
  3. Distribute the milk into culturing containers (1L mason jars work best).
  4. Cover the jars, the same way as in the activation step, and leave at room temperature for 12-48 hours until the yogurt has set. It will now set much faster than before. It will also be much yummier!
    Note: If your environment is warmer, the yogurt will set faster. So check it after 12 hours then check every 2-4 hours to make sure it has set. As in the previous step, the yogurt is set if it separates somewhat cleanly from the sides of the jar when you tilt the jar. Some mesophilic yogurts will be slimy so separation might look messy but you will clearly notice change in consistency. Also, keep in mind that mesophilic yogurts are naturally thinner than thermophilic yogurts so be prepared for a viscous or slimy consistency.
  5. Move it to the fridge and keep it there for at least 2 hrs before eating it. Cooling the yogurt will help it thicken and improve its taste.
  6. Enjoy!
  7. You can use a spoonful of the previous batch to make more viili, or use an icecube as described.

Tip

Sometimes a dried yogurt starter needs a second ‘fermentation round’ to get it’s full potential. This means using a spoonfull of the first batch to start a second. The second batch will be better

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.

1 review for Viili (filbunke, langfill) yogurt starter culture

  1. Anonymous (verified owner)