Making your own yogurt is not only delicious but surprisingly easy. Once you have your initial culture, you can make yogurt over and over again whenever the mood strikes.
If you have too much starter to use all at once or you want to take a break from making fresh yogurt, you may be wondering if you can store yogurt starter without killing the culture.
Can you freeze yogurt starter? You can safely freeze yogurt starter using a freezer-safe, airtight container or bag. Active yogurt starter can be frozen for up to 4 weeks. Dry yogurt starter can be safely stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
In this article, we will walk you through the most important elements of storing yogurt starter in the freezer. We will also share our top 5 favorite yogurt starters.
Freezing Yogurt Starter
The method you use to store your yogurt starter will depend on whether it is freeze dryed, dehydrated, or activated yogurt starter.
Freeze-dried or dehydrated yogurt starter is more shelf-stable, and easier to freeze and store.
However, if you’ve already activated your culture or purchased live yogurt starter cultures, you can still freeze it if you carefully follow the process below.
Freezing Dry Yogurt Starter
If your yogurt culture is dehydrated or freeze-dried you can extend the lifespan of your starter by freezing it.
Your bag or box should come with a best before date, which should always be followed. When frozen you can protect the quality of your cultures for up to 3 months.
Ideally, you’ll freeze your yogurt starter in the original package. If you’ve opened it to use a partial supply, make sure the package has an airtight seal or transfer the contents to a freezer-safe glass container. Another option is to use a silicone freezer bag.
Because yogurt is rich in probiotics, you want to keep the health of the bacteria as pristine as possible, so avoid storing it in plastic.
Dry yogurt starter can be safely stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Freezing Activated Yogurt Culture
If you’ve made your yogurt and want to preserve some of the cultures for future use, you can store it in the freezer.
Freezing yogurt starter is a good way to take a short break without compromising the health of your culture.
For best results, freeze yogurt in appropriate serving sizes that will culture a serving of milk. For example, if you want to culture 1 cup of milk, freeze your yogurt in 1 tablespoon portion sizes.
Ice cube trays are very handy for freezing yogurt as they fit 1 – 2 tablespoons perfectly.
When your yogurt is thoroughly frozen, transfer the cubes to a long-term, freezer-safe, airtight container. Try to use freezer-safe glass storage containers or reusable silicone bags instead of plastic.
The most important rule to remember when freezing yogurt cultures is that the longer they are stored, the less lively the bacteria will become. It’s best to freeze active yogurt starter for no longer than 1 month.
How to Store Yogurt Cultures
Unopened packages of freeze-dried or dehydrated yogurt starter are considered shelf-stable unless otherwise labeled, so they can be stored in any cool, dry location that doesn’t get direct exposure to heat or light.
If you’re not planning on using it for a few months, the best solution is to keep it sealed airtight and refrigerated.
How To Tell if Homemade Yogurt is Bad
Most yogurt will have a tart, tangy flavor from the fermentation process. If it’s flavored, it will also take on the flavor of the fruit or other flavoring.
Homemade yogurt will typically be safe and delicious to eat for approximately 2 weeks after being made if stored safely in your refrigerator.
If you notice any unappealing changes in the smell or consistency, your yogurt may have gone off. If you taste the yogurt and it is unappetizing or unpleasant, don’t eat it.
Best Yogurt Starters [Chart]
Ready to start making your own yogurt at home? Now that you know how to properly care for your starter culture, you won’t have to make yogurt daily.
Here are our top 5 favorite brands and varieties of yogurt starters.
|Type of Yogurt Starter||Brand||Find on Amazon|
|Multipack||Vivo Cultures||Probiotic Yogurt Starter Pack of 10|
|Freeze Dried||Yogormet||Freeze Dried Yogurt Starter|
|Greek||Cheese and Yogurt Making||Greek Yogurt Starter Culture|
|All Natural||Euro Cuisine||All Natural Yogurt Starter|
|Vegan||Cultures for Health||Vegan Yogurt Starter Culture|
Conclusion – You Can Freeze Yogurt Starter
You absolutely can safely freeze yogurt starter, as long as you use an air-tight freezer-safe container or bag. If your starter is currently freeze-dried or dehydrated, it will stay fresh and safe at least as long as the best before date on your package, potentially up to 3 months beyond that date.
If you’re freezing active yogurt starter, freeze it in individual use portions and use it within 1 month.