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Yogurt Starter - Any pareve or chalav Yisroel out there?

I'm trying to make kosher chalav Yisroel yogurt at home. My little one, and us, love it. We stock up whenever in NY or Boston or Montreal but it's so easy to make at home.

Problem is, the only starters I can find are not certified kosher or, made on chalav stam (not chalav Yisroel) media. You can use a store-bought yogurt with active cultures, but those batches fade out relatively quickly.

Does anyone know of a source for pareve or chalav Yisroel starter?

Has anyone tried to open and use probiotic capsules with active cultures?

I found an industrial source of starter out of New Jersey but they sell barrels of it at a time, and not to consumers.

Any ideas appreciated.

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  1. Mehadrin makes yogurt with live/active cultures. That should work.

    1. have you tried a health food store?

      I used to make my own yogurt 25 years ago, I think I got the starter culture in a health food store

      1. Thanks for those suggestions, but I am hoping someone might know of some starter.

        Using yogurt works, but only for a while. For good quality, you need to rejuvenate the colonies with more active bacteria. The yogurt itself tends to get contaminated with outside bacteria, not as fastidious as the Lactobacillus or other strains in the original yogurt.

        I have tried a variety of on-line and brick-and-mortar resources, and there does not seem to be heckshered or chalav Yisroel starter out there. And according to the calls I made to Star-K and OU, the started must have a hecksher.

        1. No one has heard of kosher starter?

          1 Reply
          1. re: MaineKosher

            Wealth of Health
            1309 Avenue U
            Brooklyn, NY 11229-3305
            (718) 645-2222

            if they don't know, then nobody knows

          2. Did you have any luck with finding a chalav yisrael starter?
            I've been on the lookout as well...

            Also looking for chalav yisrael goat yogurt.

              1. re: lboiman1

                This is neither pareve nor chalav yisrael.

                1. re: lboiman1

                  Who certifies this product? I'm also looking for CY starter.

                  1. re: sig

                    Didn't you see my comment? The product is neither pareve nor chalav yisrael. I don't know why Iboiman1 suggested it.

                  2. re: lboiman1

                    Hi everyone! My mistake...this was not in response to Chanal but rather to the original poster, because I thought this might be one of those "probiotic capsules" the original poster was talking about. I understand it would take more research to find out on what basis the "kosher status" is based. I also do not understand chalav yisrael well enough to understand how much shmira is necessary throughout the process - for instance, in the community I am in, people who are makpid on cy eat butter made from chalav stam because its not necessary to have shmira for butter in this country (Germany) where I am - and quite a number hold the same for milk powder. But this all is dependent on the country and the local rabbinate has to decide.

                    1. re: lboiman1

                      Whether butter needs to be CY is a dispute among the rishonim, and the Shulchan Aruch rules that each place should follow its own custom.

                      The heter for non-CY milk powder is (I believe) from R Hersh Pesach Frank, and is accepted by the Israeli Rabbanut for its non-mehadrin hechsher. (The Rabbanut does *not* allow non-CY liquid milk, even for its basic hechsher, and does not accept the heterim for commercial milk which are commonly followed in the USA.)

                  3. I have not found any CY starter, so I have been using yogurt, either some of the last batch, or mostly, from store-bought. The yogurt is very good but the life of the starter (and of store-bought yogurt) is limited.

                    My favorite brand to use is Mehadrin yogurt from Canada. It is a different brand, different company, different yogurt from the Mehadrin brand found in NY and other parts of the USA.

                    It's not hard to find kosher parve probiotics. But I have never tried opening a capsule and dumping that in milk. The probiotics are different strains, so I am not sure what the results would be. If I really needed yogurt and had no other source it might be worth a try, unless any of y'all have tried it.

                    1. Here are a couple of yogurt starters that are listed as being kosher. Just need to email them to ask for which certification they have.