Sour Cream Making Instructions

Sour Cream is a dairy product obtained by fermenting regular cream with beneficial lactic acid bacteria. Traditionally, sour cream was made by letting cream that was skimmed off the top of milk ferment at room temperature — the bacteria that naturally developed during fermentation thickened the cream and made it more acidic, which was a natural way of preserving the cream.

Cultured Sour Cream is a similar product to the traditional sour cream. It is made by inoculating the cream with lactic acid which produces a thick, viscous, slightly tart sour cream.

Our Sour Cream starter makes genuine luscious and thick Sour Cream of exceptional quality with a traditional rich flavor and a fresh mild taste with just a slight tartness.

Sale!
$2.99$30.99

Our Sour Cream starter makes genuine luscious and thick sour cream of exceptional quality with a traditional rich flavor and a fresh mild taste with just a slight tartness. You can use raw or pasteurized regular cream, double cream, half-and-half, or a mixture of cream and milk. The higher the fat of your original cream, the thicker and more delicious your sour cream will become. Simply select a pack size and enjoy some great Sour Cream!

importantYou can adjust the thickness and the flavor of your sour cream by controlling the time of incubation, making it anywhere from creamy liquid to thick and smooth yogurt-like consistency, and from mild and sweet to nicely tart and even sour flavor. See below for instructions on how to do this.

This is a heirloom Sour Cream starter with live active bacteria – you can reuse sour cream from your previous batch to culture your new batch, for as long as you wish.

Sour Cream is a mesophilic product, which means you can culture it at room temperature.

It is super easy to make Sour Cream using our Bacillus Bulgaricus Sour Cream starter culture.

All you need is a pack of our starter and cream.

Our Sour Cream starter works with any type of dairy cream — raw or pasteurized regular cream, double cream, half-and-half, or a mixture of cream and milk.

You can also use non-dairy milk, however when using vegan milks you might need to add a thickener as those won’t thicken on their own.

The higher the fat of your original cream, the thicker and more delicious your sour cream will become. When using a higher fat content cream, you can use our Sour Cream starter to make cultured crème fraîche, whipped cream, and more.

Making Sour Cream comes down to bring your cream to room temperature (around 76°F / 24°C), adding the starter, stirring well until it dissolves and then incubating it at room temperature until it sets, for about 12–14 hours. As simple as that! However, here are some more detailed instructions as well as some tips on tweaking the consistency and the taste of your sour cream.

There are two ways to make Sour Cream – the traditional mesophilic way and a faster, fail proof way, which I personally recommend as it yields results faster. The two methods are explained below.

Note: Since these two methods are the same across all mesophilic products, for simplicity, we refer to the Sour Cream as yogurt in them.

 

Traditional Mesophilic Sour Cream Instructions

Use this method if you prefer to make your Sour Cream the traditional way, manually or with the help of a yogurt-making machine.

This is the traditional method to make mesophilic yogurts. I, frankly, prefer this quick and fail proof way, but the beauty of the traditional way is that you don’t really need to do much – just wait. So it’s ideal for people who like hands-off cooking 🙂

The traditional method consists of two parts:

Part I. The Activation

  1. Let a cup (200 ml) of milk warm up to room temperature (around 76°F / 24°C) on its own, if using pasteurized milk, or if using raw milk, bring the milk a boil then let a cup of it cool down to room temperature on its own.
  2. Add the starter from the pack to the milk and stir until it dissolves.
    Note: Do not whisk. Whisking introduces air bubbles into the milk and that slows down incubation.
  3. Cover the jar with a lid or a towel to keep the milk clean from dust and air-borne particles. Towel is maybe better because it allows air to still go in, which speeds up activation a bit.
  4. Let the milk sit for about 24 hours and then check if it has set (firmed up).
    Note: Milk has set if it separates somewhat cleanly from the sides of the jar when you tilt the jar. Some mesophilic yogurts will be slimy so separation might look messy but you will clearly notice change in consistency.
  5. If it hasn’t set in 24 hours, then keep it going and check every 2-4 hours until it sets. Some mesophilic cultures may take up to 72 hours to set depending on the ambient temperature and other conditions in your environment.
  6. Congratulations, you know have an active mesophilic yogurt, which you will use as a starter in the next step.
    Note: You can also choose to eat it but be careful, it might be tarter than you expected, especially if it took too long to set – some of the strains might be past their prime and even smell funny.

Part II. The Fermentation (The actual yogurt making)

  1. Add your activated starter (the cup of yogurt from the previous step) to a liter (or up to 4 litters) of milk. Do this in a single container so all the starter can mix evenly with all the milk. The milk can be room temperature or cold, straight from the fridge.
  2. Stir gently until the active starter dissolves.
    Note: Do not whisk. Whisking introduces air bubbles into the milk and that slows down incubation.
  3. Distribute the milk into culturing containers (1L mason jars work best).
  4. Cover the jars, the same way as in the activation step, and leave at room temperature for 12-48 hours until the yogurt has set. It will now set much faster than before. It will also be much yummier!
    Note: If your environment is warmer, the yogurt will set faster. So check it after 12 hours then check every 2-4 hours to make sure it has set. As in the previous step, the yogurt is set if it separates somewhat cleanly from the sides of the jar when you tilt the jar. Some mesophilic yogurts will be slimy so separation might look messy but you will clearly notice change in consistency. Also, keep in mind that mesophilic yogurts are naturally thinner than thermophilic yogurts so be prepared for a viscous or slimy consistency.
  5. Move it to the fridge and keep it there for at least 2 hrs before eating it. Cooling the yogurt will help it thicken and improve its taste.
  6. Enjoy!

Do not forget to save a cup of the ready-made yogurt to use for making your next batch! Keep that in the fridge and make sure you use it to make your new yogurt within 3-4 days to ensure all bacteria is viable and in great condition.

Note: If using raw milk keep in mind that it will likely have residual bacteria in it  that may interfere with the strains in the starter. In that case, we suggest doubling the amount of starter needed for your volume so you can make sure the strains from the starter dominate the rest.

Advice for your peace of mind: If at any point during the later stages of activation or fermentation you are in doubt that the process is working, simply dip a knife straight down into the milk and take it out. if it’s slimy then things are already happening, if it’s clean, then incubation hasn’t started yet and you’ll need to wait a bit longer to test again.

 

Fail Proof Sour Cream Making Instructions

Use this method if you have difficulties getting good results with the traditional method or would like to get your results faster, try this fail-proof manual method instead.

This is a fail proof manual method that you can use with mesophilic cultures to get your yogurt to turn out faster compared to when using the traditional mesophilic method.

This method relies on keeping the milk warm during incubation, which speeds up the process by making the culturing environment more beneficial to the development and procreation of the lactic acid bacteria.

  1. Heat up the milk to just over 167°F / 75°C
  2. Set aside a cup from the milk
  3. Keep the rest of the milk in the container you heated it (or distribute it to the culturing containers – 1L mason jars work best)
  4. When the milk in the cup is at 86°F / 30°C (it will feel lukewarm to the touch), add the starter from the pack to it then gently stir it until it dissolves, about a minute
    Note: You are adding the starter to the milk in cup, not to the milk in the containers! 
  5. When the rest of the milk (in the containers) is ready, at around 90°F / 32°C, distribute the milk from the cup (the one with the starter) to the jars, proportionally to their volume.
  6. Gently stir the milk in the jars.
    Note: At no time whisk. Whisking introduces air bubbles into the milk and that slows down incubation.
  7. Place a blanket in your microwave (or oven). Microwaves and ovens are thermo-insulated and minimize the loss of heat.
  8. Place the jars in the microwave on the blanket.
  9. Loosely cover the jars with their lids or a towel.
  10. Cover with and wrap around another blanket or a large towel. Make sure the blankets are covering the jars from all directions to minimize heat loss. This will make sure jars stay warm all throughout the incubation process.
  11. Leave overnight (about 8 hours). Check if yogurt has set, if it hasn’t (different mesophilic strains have different incubation times so some may take twice that time), leave it for a couple of more hours, and keep checking a couple of hours apart, until it sets.
    Note: The yogurt is set if it separates somewhat cleanly from the sides of the jar when you tilt the jar. Some mesophilic yogurts will be slimy so separation might look messy but you will clearly notice change in consistency. Also, keep in mind that mesophilic yogurts are naturally thinner than thermophilic yogurts so be prepared for a viscous or slimy consistency.
  12. Move to the fridge and keep there for at least 2 hrs before eating it. Cooling the yogurt will help it thicken and improve its taste. 
  13. Enjoy!

Do not forget to save a cup of the ready-made yogurt to use for making your next batch! Keep that in the fridge and make sure you use it to make your new yogurt within 3-4 days to ensure all bacteria is viable and in great condition.

Advice for your peace of mind: If at any point during the later stages of or incubation you are in doubt that the process is working, simply dip a knife straight down into the milk and take it out. If the knife is slimy then things are already happening. If it’s clean, then incubation hasn’t started yet and you’ll need to wait a bit longer to test again.

 

 

Tips on Adjusting the Taste and Consistency of Sour Cream

You can easily adjust the thickness and the flavor of your sour cream to your liking by controlling the method and time of incubation.

To make sour cream with mild and sweet taste use the traditional mesophilic method. Simply bring your cream to 76°F / 24°C, add the starter, stir well until it dissolves and incubate at room temperature until it sets, for about 12–14 hours.

To make tart sour cream use the failproof heating method. First heat up the milk to just over 167°F / 75°C, then cool it down to 76°F / 24°C, add the starter, stir well until it dissolves and incubate at room temperature until it sets, and then for an additional 12–24 hours. The longer Sour Cream sits at room temperature, the tarter it will get.

For creamy more liquid sour cream, use the traditional mesophilic method to make the sour cream and stop it at the desired liquid consistency. Simply move it to the fridge when it is as liquid/thick as you’d like it. Then consume it fairly quickly because it will continue to gradually thicken in the fridge.

For super thick sour cream, incubate the sour cream until it fully sets (regardless of the incubation method) for about 12–14 hours, then move it to the fridge and leave it there for at least 2 days. Sour cream will continue to gradually thicken in the fridge.

Sale!
$2.99$30.99

Our Sour Cream starter makes genuine luscious and thick sour cream of exceptional quality with a traditional rich flavor and a fresh mild taste with just a slight tartness. You can use raw or pasteurized regular cream, double cream, half-and-half, or a mixture of cream and milk. The higher the fat of your original cream, the thicker and more delicious your sour cream will become. Simply select a pack size and enjoy some great Sour Cream!

Select your currency