Sunday, September 30, 2012

Making Cultured Raw Buttermilk

I've been working on a few fun projects since I got my hands on some raw milk.  You don't have to have raw milk to make buttermilk, but I chose to use my raw milk for this project.

First, visit  Freak out because their site is so awesome, then spend an hour on their site putting everything they sell into your cart.  Realize that you can't spend that much on cultures and starters and take most of it out...ok, that's just what I did!  I ended up starting out with the buttermilk culture, milk kefir grains, and New Zealand sourdough starter this time around but you better believe I will be going back for Kombucha mushrooms, yogurt cultures, and cheese making paraphernalia!

Making buttermilk is so easy and rewarding.  First you have to make a "mother culture."  This has to be made with pasteurized milk or raw milk that has been heated to 160 and brought back to room temperature. The reason for this is that the bacteria that is naturally occurring (and beneficial!) in the raw milk will disrupt the culture over time.  Do not use ultra pasteurized milk either, as this can result in a weak culture.  I used pasteurized, fresh milk from a local dairy farm for my mother culture.


  • Pour 1 cup milk into a canning jar
  • Add powdered culture 
  • Shake or stir
  • Cover with a coffee filter secured with a rubber band
  • Set in a warm spot for 12-24 hours

My house is at the perfect temperature of 77 degrees day and night right now (still using AC in October here in North Carolina!) and my mother culture turned out perfect!  You'll know it is ready when you tip the jar and all the liquid (it's kind of half way between liquid and solid) moves together and doesn't leave a film on the side of the jar.

Now, put a lid on your jar and place in the fridge to halt the culturing process.  This is your mother culture!  Refresh it once a week by reserving 1 Tbsp. of mother culture and repeating the process above using the Tbsp of culture in lieu of the powdered you used the first time around.

Now to make the buttermilk...

  • Use a ratio of 1 Tbsp. of mother culture for every 1 Cup of raw milk
  • Combine up to 1/2 gallon
  • Shake or stir
  • Cover with a coffee filter secured with a rubber band
  • Set in a warm spot for 12-24 hours

You've got buttermilk!  Place in the fridge to halt the culturing process and enjoy!

This morning I made gluten-free, refined sugar-free, raw buttermilk pancakes and they were TOTALLY AWESOME.  Recipe for those will be blogged soon!