These are very easy to make yoghurts because you don’t have to mess around with warming milk or closely monitoring temperatures.
Instead, mesophilic yoghurts culture best at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and all you have to do to start them is to add the culture or already cultured yoghurt to milk and wait a few hours.
Really easy and all you have to do to keep things going is to feed the yoghurt with fresh milk or cream (these cultures love cream) periodically. They can be used to culture non-dairy milks also, but will also need to be fed dairy regularly to be kept healthy.
The mesophilic yoghurt cultures readily available online all come from the Nordic countries:
Viili which comes to us from Finland. Has a mild, creamy flavor and goopy texture (kind of like okra)
Piima, more of a buttermilk type of cultured product
Filmjolk, which has a cheesy flavor.
We’ve tried viili and piima and the viili won out. I keep a large crock, that I feed periodically in the fridge. It’s easy to keep going.
A Finnish friend of mine told me that her grandmother had a viili cabinet and I can see why, as the culturing is temperature sensitive and can be affected by drafts or even by higher room temperatures caused by cooking.
I’ve let mine go longer than I wanted/be out when the temperature was higher and got a thicker cottage cheese type culture (which we also liked). Our viili culture likes cream, sheep’s milk and full fat unhomogenized cow’s milk. It doesn’t perform so well with goat’s milk (the mixture stays runny).
Anyway, here is the CulturesforHealth video on viili (process is exactly the same for piima and filmjolk).
Cultures for Health is one of the sources for these cultures, but there are many others, including GEM Cultures. I shopped around and bought mine from Etsy.
Please let us know of your experiences with these cultures.