--a Greenmom gets cultured
Okay, this is so cool...I wish I could remember whose blog I found it on, but I'm very excited at the possibilities. (If it's a Booth reader who posted recently about Filmjolk, please shout out in the comments and I'll update to give you credit!)
It's called Filmjölk. Swedish yogurt, or "thick milk" (Fil Mjölk) Unlike the yogurt we're mostly accustomed to, Filmjölk will culture on your countertop, anywhere from 70-78 degrees, a "mesophilic" rather than "thermophilic" culture. And it tastes, we're told, less sour and maybe a little "cheesier" than traditional yogurt. That sounds good to me; yogurt's sourness is not at the top of my awesome list, but I love cheese of all kinds...
I have made yogurt several times in the past, in my crockpot, with mixed results--unfortunately, I can't TELL what causes the results to be mixed, so it's been an inexact science. It's enough work that I only bother to do it when I make a good gallon or so at a time, because it requires babysitting with a thermometer, which is a pain. And a gallon of yogurt is a lot for us to eat at a time, since my kids went on a yogurt strike. So that's become a rarer thing for me.
But if Filmjölk is as easy as it sounds, I can make a quart or two a week, with a perpetually-self-renewing culture (you pull out half a cup or so of each batch after you make it, and save that for next week's culture), by basically putting a jar on the countertop in the morning and putting it in the fridge at night, and then it's just done.
I just bought a Filmjölk starter culture from Cultures for Health (they also have various other cheesemaking stuff and yogurt starters, plus kombucha scobies, which I haven't dared try yet...anyone make kombucha?). It comes in a little package of dried powdery stuff, which you activate in milk and which takes about 24-48 hours. (Mine is currently about 20 hours in; our house is on the cooler side, so they say it will probably take us the full 48.) There's enough powder to activate two batches, in case one self-perpetuating culture gets damaged or contaminated or anything, so you don't have to order a whole new culture.
On my next week's post I'll let you know how this went, and if we're eating Filmjölk nonstop at my house, and how it's all doing! In the meantime--has anyone ever tried this, and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions and hints?
--Jenn the Greenmom