Frequently Asked Questions About L. Reuteri Yogurt

We get a lot of questions about this super powerful superfood yogurt. First of all, LR is a "cultured dairy superfood" (but not technically a yogurt). This means that LR can take different forms -anything from very firm to yogurt-like, depending on the milk used. It can have a similar texture to cream cheese, or Crème Fraîche again, depending on the milk used. This makes it an incredibly versatile superfood.

LR Superfood looks, tastes, and smells like yogurt, but is really a cultured dairy, made with completely different strains of bacteria than conventional yogurt. These beneficial bacteria are called Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri), and they impart significantly higher benefits and far higher probiotics compared to conventional yogurts. LRSF's fermentation process is different from that of conventional yogurts: LRSF is fermented for 36 hours at a lower temperature than conventional yogurts, and requires the addition of prebiotic fiber to the milk. This process generates very high probiotic bacterial counts, far higher than store-bought or even homemade yogurts.

L. Reuteri Superfood Yogurt

L. Reuteri Superfood Coconut Yogurt

Frequently Asked Questions About L. Reuteri Superfood Starter

Left to right 2% whole milk, half and half-2

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 195 ºF / 90 ºC 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 which will keep your yogurt from separating into curds and whey. When you have your first successful batch you can use this yogurt as a starter and use different combinations of milk-based on your preferences. But using ultra-pasteurized half and half milk gives you the best results for your first batch. Most organic milk is ultra-pasteurized and this will make the best yogurt.

Different Milk You Can Use

  • For a very rich and firm end-product: 1 quart of dairy half & 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 & 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 % (Ultra-pasteurized or heated to 195 F for 10 minutes and cooled)
  • Ultra-pasteurized will result in the best yogurt.

Pictured top to bottom: 2% milk, whole milk, half and half

L Reuteri separated

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 195 ºF / 90 ºC and hold it there for 10 minutes to denature most of the lactoglobulin. The milk you are using may have more lactoglobulin protein.

Heating and holding milk at a temperature for a period of time allows this protein to join in the mesh (instead of remaining inactive) and increases the amount of protein in the milk that will thicken the yogurt. If you use ultra-pasteurized milk then it has already been heated and held at a high temperature so you don't need to heat it.

If your first batch looks more like cottage cheese and whey you can use 2 tbsps of this yogurt 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 separated batch, or blend it into a smoothie with fruit and sweetener. It's super creamy and delicious.

​Adding 3 tbsp. of Prebio Plus of the first batch instead of 2 tbsps also helps with less separation.

Left to right 2% whole milk, half and half.2

My Yogurt is Separating?

Whey can be the normal result of lower-fat milk or that you didn't use Ultra-pasteurized milk. Half & Half has the least separation. (If it's ultra-pasteurized) The whey is very healthy and contains the L. Reuteri, as do the curds. You might need to heat the milk to milk to 195 ºF / 90 ºC for 10 minutes if you're not using ultra-pasteurized milk. (see above # 2.)

If the curds and whey in the separated LR taste nicely tangy - then it is successfully fermented. There's always the option of stirring the curds back into the whey just before consumption to give it more of a yogurty feel, but the point is that whey is liquid gold and has many health benefits too.

L reuteri smoothie

Can I Blend the L. Reuteri Yogurt in a Blender?

I don’t believe that it hurts to blend probiotic foods. They’ve said this about kefir too and 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. It surprised me. I wasn’t sure I believed it created oxytocin but I do now!

I add frozen fruit, L. reuteri yogurt, and some kefir too and it makes the best smoothie. It's super thick!

Kefir and L reuteri

Can I Add This Starter to My Kefir?

It doesn't work to add L. Reuteri to kefir during fermentation. The other good bacteria in kefir (there are a lot of them!) will compete with the L. Reuteri and it won't survive. Also, L. Reuteri needs to be fermented at a low heat, (100° F) which is warmer than what is good for kefir, and for 36 hours to really grow and multiply.

You can however take a little kefir and L reuteri yogurt to make a smoothie. I think it makes the best smoothies and smoothie bowls I've ever had. Super creamy!

goatLR

Can I use Goat's Milk?

Yes, you can use goat's milk. Goat's milk has a different structure of proteins and fats than cows' milk, and the caseins in the milk act differently. Goat milk contains less casein than cow milk and the fat molecules are smaller, making it easy to digest. Only 2% of goat milk is curd, compared to 10% in cow milk.

Goat milk made into kefir stays creamy and doesn't get thick and this is again due to the structure of theproteins and fat in goat's milk.

Goat's Milk L. Reuteri Yogurt

We've tried making the LR Reuteri Superfood Starter with goat's milk 3.25% fat), and these are the results:

Texture: completely separated. The top layer, which contains the solid, is fairly yogurty (but on the thinner side).

Flavor: very tasty, very goaty

Aroma: none

L. reuteri coming out of jar

My LR Yogurt Expanded Outside of the Jars:

This can sometimes happen on the very first batch if you didn't use ultra-pasteurized milk but then 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 tight 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 uniform 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. I think it may be getting too hot, and that is causing your issue.

Sous Vide

What Equipment Can I Use?

To keep your yogurt at the best temperature, you'll need an appliance with a temperature adjustment of 100°F and a timer that goes to 36 hours. You'll need to check to make sure these have those features, but here are some appliances that should work well for you.

Automatic Digital Yogurt Maker: This is the yogurt maker I use and I think it works great for smaller servings. It comes with small jars and lids for individual servings. Here is another brand that will control the temperature and time too. Digital Yogurt Maker

Sous Vide Device: We've made a lot of jars of yogurt with this device. You can make larger batches so it can be very convenient. It helps control the temperature by cooking it in a water bath. You'll need a sous vide stick and a container to place the yogurt in a water bath. It also allows you to make several jars at one time and controls the temperature perfectly. Here is a link for the container for the sous device but you can use your own container if you'd like. Sous Vide Container 12 Quart

Instapot: Not all Instapots have a yogurt setting that lets you control the temperature. L. reuteri bacteria love human body temperature. Regular yogurt makers/instapots are usually automatically set to a higher temperature, which is too hot for L. reuteri 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 make sure you test yours. Here is another Instapot that says it has lower settings for yogurt, but check them first to make sure they go to 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! ❤️

L reuteri dairy. instuctions 5

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:

  1. Hit set/view then change the temperature with the minus button.
  2. Then quickly hit start and hit the plus button to increase the amount of time on the yogurt maker.
  3. It does need to be done somewhat quickly or it will just restart the process.
LR Superfood graph

What Bacteria Strains Are We Using?

Our LR Superfood contains a high concentration of the SD-5865 strain of L. Reuteri. Check out these study results.

Here is what Dr. William Davis states in his book Super Gut about our starter. "Another option: a-starter making kit using a different strain of L. Reuteri that, in preliminary experience, yields many of the same effects, called “LR Superfood Starter.”

Pink stuff yogurt

I'm Getting Pink Stuff on My Yogurt?

This is usually a harmless yeast that can form mostly because of air exposure. Make sure when you are fermenting it, that you have a loose lid on the yogurt, and don't open the lid a lot to keep air exposure down. If you do have this harmless yeast occur, then scrape it off the top and discard it. The yogurt underneath is fine to consume, but the flavor might not be as good.

 

Easy Kefir Milk Pouring

Can I use Raw Milk?

You cannot use raw milk since it contains competing good bacteria and will dominate. The L. Reuteri 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. Heating to 180° F degrees and then cooling down to 100°F before adding the starter.

Sous Vide

How High Do I Fill the Water on my Sous Vide? 

I usually fill my Sous Vide bucket up to about an inch or two from the top of the jar. Then I place a loose lid on top of the jar. Don't screw it down it will make it over ferment, build up pressure, and explode out of the jar.

Sous Vide is best for making bigger batches of L reuteri and I like it a lot. We make a lot of this yogurt and it is easy to make 3 or 4 quart jars at one time.

resized-chart-2-draft-with-dots (1)

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.

L reuteri jars uneven

My Jars Are Turning Out Different

If your LRS 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 used it in a drink, eat the curds with a spoon or make a smoothie with frozen fruit.

Within a batch that had jars that were very separated, and some completely normal – I have put that down to not whisking well and having the starter or Prebio Plus unevenly distributed. What you can do is make a new batch and use a whisk to blend the Prebio with the contents of the sachets and a little milk, then add the rest of the milk and whisk again.

Then pour a little into each jar, whisk again, then quickly pour again and try to distribute it evenly to the thicker material near the bottom of the measuring jar that you use for blending. Most importantly even if the results of a first culturing cycle from powder did not really look great, use it to start a second batch. Those second batches should have much less or no separation.

 

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