Heirloom yoghurt

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I have been making my own yoghurt for a few years, and home-made yoghurt is amazing! It tastes yummy and it is full of really healthy bacteria. If you can get a good culture you can reuse it forever, but you can’t do that with commercial yoghurt. The culture I have is heirloom, which has being going for hundreds of years. You can buy it online, or ask around and you might find somebody who has some to spare (if you’re in Cape Town you’re welcome to get some from me).

I usually make about 2l at a time, which lasts me about a week or so.

You will need

  • 2L milk (I perfer full cream)
  • 250ml cream (optional)
  • About 2 tablespoons yoghurt from the last batch
  • A milk thermometer


  • Heat the milk to about 80 deg C
  • Cool it to about 45 deg C (I put a few ice-bricks in water in the sink and drop the pot into the water. It takes a few minutes to cool that way)
  • Add the cream (you don’t have to but it’s yummy with the cream)
  • Pour the milk into a couple of glass jars
  • Add about a tablespoon of yoghurt from the last batch into each jar
  • Wrap up warmly for a few hours (I usually make in the morning and put it in a cooler-box wrapped in an old duvet and leave it for 7 hours)
  • After a few hours it should be thick and ready to eat – pop it into the fridge. If it’s still a little thin, put it in the fridge anyway, it will thicken as it cools.

That’s it – enjoy

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Heating the milk

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Chilling the milk (note the ice-bricks)

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Getting ready to incubate

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All wrapped up

More information

6 thoughts on “Heirloom yoghurt”

  1. Hi Craig. I would love to get some culture from you. I’m in Durbanville but happy to travel to collect. Please let me know if it’s possible and the details. Regards. Pat.

  2. Hi Craig, I loved your post on yoghurt making and am very keen to make contact to get some heirloom starter. Where are you based?

  3. Hi Craig,
    Could I get a batch of culture medium from you please?

    Would like to add L. Reuters to it. Is it possible?

  4. Hi Craig. I messaged you. I would like to get some of that heirloom yoghurt culture. Can collect from you. Need very little. Or send me a link where I can order. I am based in Stellenbosch. My whatsapp no. 076 341 5264.

  5. Hi Craig.
    Would love to get some of that starter culture. I am in Yzerfontein and are willing to collect, alternatively could you direct me to where to purchase?
    I have scoured the internet and here in South Africa not many people sell cultures – I did manage to find but paid R259 for 1 teaspoon of grains and it is not a good one.
    My whatsapp is 0824420036

  6. Hi Craig, Thanks for the culture you gave me the other week. made my first batch, with cream, and it all turned out great but a little sour.
    Will the sourness reduce as the yeast culture matures in my surroundings, as you said it may adapt?
    One other question, should the glass jars be warmed before putting in the yoghurt?
    Thanks again.

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