Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Viili Disaster

The first batch of viili was perfect!  So I made another couple of batches from the revitalized "master".  This time around, the viili separated into a more thick ropey yogurt and a watery phase.  Possible causes were:  that the the milk I used was that last bit of organic milk we had in the refrigerator and it was older and nearer souring, I contaminated my master, or it was too warm in the house made the viili too warm in that first 24 hrs. 

I ruled out contamination of the master.  I had given some of my master viili to my aunt and cousin for them to try, and their batch came out perfect.  So I am left with old milk or too warm as the cause.  I don't think either one of these harmed the cultures in any way, just the appearance, so I should be able to drain off the excess water, take a bit of the gelatinous yogurt and remake my master.  Both my revitalized master and the two batches were affected.  My wife tells me that the viili smells "a little like vinegar".  So both the older milk and the temperature may be the culprits as it could have soured during the first 24 hours on the counter.  I was disappointed by this set back.

Since I'm traveling this week, it will have to wait a couple days before I can rescue the viili. I'll report on my success or failure to rescue my viili master.  If it ends up that I trashed it, I'll just have to get a new starter.  But I really think I can salvage this.  Stay tuned.

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