Frequently Asked Questions About L. Gasseri Superfood Starter
Which Dairy to Use:
I highly recommend that when you first start making this yogurt you use ultra-pasteurized half and half milk or heat the half and half milk to 195ºF / 90ºC and hold it there for 10 minutes to denature most of the lactoglobulin. This allows the yogurt to thicken and join with the other proteins that form a mesh.
Do NOT use non-dairy milk!
Different Dairy Milks You Can Use
- For a very rich and firm end-product: 1 quart of dairy half and half. (Ultra-pasteurized or heated to 195°F for 10 minutes and cooled)
- For a rich, semi-firm end-product: 2 cups of dairy half and half + 2 cups of 2% or whole dairy milk. (Ultra-pasteurized or heated to 195°F for 10 minutes and cooled)
- For a soft end-product, similar in texture to yogurt: 1 quart of whole dairy milk or 2% dairy milk (Ultra-pasteurized or heated to 195°F for 10 minutes and cooled)
- Ultra-pasteurized will result in the best yogurt.
My First Batch Turned into Curds and Whey
If your yogurt is separating into curds and whey, you should use either ultra-pasteurized half-and-half milk or heat the milk to 195ºF / 90ºC and hold it there for 10 minutes to denature most of the lactoglobulin. The milk you are using may have more lactoglobulin protein.
You should also lower the temperature in your yogurt maker to 97 F° degrees and make sure your yogurt maker has water in the bottom of it halfway up the jars.
If your first batch looks more like cottage cheese and whey, you can use 2 tablespoons of this yogurt (1 tbsp of the whey and 1 tbsp of the curd) to make your next batch, and you'll find that your next batches will have little or no separation. You can still consume and eat this separate batch, or blend it into a smoothie with fruit and sweetener. It's super creamy and delicious.
My Yogurt is Separating When Using the Yogurt as a Starter?
One thing that's important to know is that separation is not a sign of failure. Whey can be the normal result of lower-fat milk or the lactoglobulin in milk not been denatured. The whey is very healthy and contains L. gasseri, as do the curds. You might need to heat the milk to 195ºF / 90ºC for 10 minutes then cool it down to add the culture. Commercial yogurts also tend to separate during production. The reason they look so smooth and uniform when you open the tub is that they add a 'stabilizer' additive. We do not add any additives to our L. gasseri starter culture.
Whether separated or not, your fermented superfood contains L. gasseri in both the curds (solids) and the whey (liquid). The whey is good to drink and is healthy. It has a lot of protein, calcium, Vitamin D, and high levels of B vitamins. Despite the similarity to yogurt, L. gasseri is not a traditional yogurt. L. gasseri is a cultured dairy superfood that can take different forms some thinner, some thicker, depending on the milk(s) you use.
Having separation at the bottom of the jar can be normal and is often due to the milk you used and some of the prebio plus that was at the bottom that is food for the bacteria. If it keeps happening on each batch using the yogurt as a starter then try using a new sachet and turn the yogurt maker down to 97 F ° and check the temperature on your yogurt maker to be sure it's accurate.
Can I Blend the L. Gasseri Yogurt in a Blender?
I don’t believe that it hurts to blend probiotic foods. They’ve questioned this about kefir too, but the bacteria are so small I think it would be very hard to kill it. I’ve also started feeling the benefits of this yogurt and I blend it all the time. It creates a nice feeling of well-being and I’m seeing it in my kids too.
I make the best smoothies by blending frozen fruit, L Gasseri yogurt, and some kefir. It's super thick!
My L. Gasseri Yogurt Expanded Outside of the Jars?
This can sometimes happen on the very first batch if you didn't use ultra-pasteurized milk. It doesn't tend to occur on subsequent batches when you use this as a starter for the next batch.
This could happen for several reasons. You may have screwed the lid on the jar too tightly and this caused pressure to build up and caused the temperature in the jar to raise and get too hot.
It may be that the yogurt starter and prebiotic didn't get mixed together as uniformly as they could be, but it seems to always be better on the next batch if you use this batch (a little of the curds and the whey) as your starter. You can stir this back together and consume it or use it in a smoothie.
It could also be because the appliance got too hot and climbed up above 100°F. I would get a thermometer and place it in the yogurt maker without the yogurt. Turn on the appliance and let the temperature rise and see if this is happening to you. It doesn't always happen right away. I would check the temps and then lower the temp to 98 or even 97°F. It may be getting too hot, and that is causing your issue.
Issues With Setting the 36-Hour Timer on Some Yogurt Makers:
It is kind of tricky to get it to set the hours on this yogurt maker that I recommend. Try this:
- Hit set/view then change the temperature with the minus button.
- Then quickly hit start and hit the plus button to increase the amount of time on the yogurt maker.
- It does need to be done somewhat quickly or it will just restart the process.
Can I use Raw Milk?
You cannot use raw milk since it contains competing good bacteria and will dominate. The L. gasseri won't survive or be the dominant strain.
If you want to use raw milk, you'll have to pasteurize the milk to make sure there are no other bacteria in the milk. Heat to 180°F and then cool down to 100°F before adding the starter.
Do I Have to Ferment for 36 Hours?
Yes, It's extremely important to let it ferment for 36 hours.
The long, slow fermentation with the lower temperature increases the bacterial strains exponentially over the 36 hours (see graph) and creates a thick, delicious yogurt. It really only starts to increase the bacterial strain at 24 hours so don't take it out too early or you'll miss the benefits.
My Jars Are Turning Out Different
If your L. Gasseri Superfood batches look like the picture, some look fine and others look separated, you can stir them back together and consume them. When they are really separated they don’t remix. In those cases, you can pour off the whey and use it in a drink, eat the curds with a spoon or make a smoothie with frozen fruit.
I suspect that some parts of the heating element in your yogurt maker are hotter than others. You might lower the heat to 97 F° degrees to help with this. Also, Make sure you add water about 1/2 way up the jars in the yogurt maker.
How Many Times Can I Re-culture?
I've recultured my L gasseri yogurt that was a month old and it still worked great.
Remember - if your first batch is separated into curds and whey you can always use it to make more batches with little or no separation.
Use 2 tablespoons of the yogurt as your starter instead of a sachet. We made dozens of batches using the yogurt as a starter and it is still going strong. As long as it is getting thick and sour tasting it is still working.
What Strain Are We Using?
The strain is L. gasseri from UAS Labs which is the BNR17 strain that Dr. Davis recommends in his book Super Gut.
What Equipment Can I Use?
Your L. gasseri must ferment at a temp of 97- 100°F for 36 hours. Check out the section below for different appliance options that will fit your need and budget.
The Right Equipment Is Important!
To keep your L. reuteri or L. gasseri at the best temperature, you'll need an appliance with a temperature adjustment of 100°F and a timer that can be set to 36 hours. This can be a yogurt maker, Instant Pot, or sous vide device. You'll need to make sure your device has those features. Here are some appliances that should work well for you.
This is probably my favorite of the yogurt makers that I have tried. It's made by Luvele, which is a terrific company that is passionate about what they do.
Other Yogurt Makers
There are cheaper yogurt makers available on Amazon. They do work but can be a little tricky to set the time and temperature. Watch this video.
We've made dozens of jars of yogurt with this device. You can make larger batches so it's very convenient. It's actually a well-known cooking method used by many chefs.
You'll need a sous vide stick and a container to place the yogurt in a water bath. It allows you to make several jars at one time and controls the temperature perfectly.
Here is a link for the container I use but you can use your own container if you'd like:
Not all instapots have a manual temperature setting that can be set to 100°F.
L. reuteri and L. gasseri bacteria love human body temperature. Regular yogurt makers/instapots are usually automatically set to higher temperatures of 110°F or more, which is too hot for L. reuteri or L. gasseri to survive.
Test your device with a cup of water and a thermometer before making your first batch. I hesitate to recommend certain brands because it isn't always standard for all the pots, so please just make sure yours can maintain 100°F.
Every item with a link was selected by me to make it easier for you. I may receive a small affiliate commission if you buy something through my links. Thank you! ❤️
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