I just made yogurt starter using red chili pepper stems
I've been wanting to try this for some time. Using a commercial yogurt as a starter is fine but the subsequent generations are much weaker than the original. Ditto for the powdered probiotics. I rarely get more than a generation or two from either.
There's very little on the 'net about your own starter (as compared to creating your own sourdough starter). I came across 2 options: the chili pepper stems and ant eggs. I figured the ant eggs would be difficult to differentiate from dirt, so pepper stems it was.
I did the usual heat milk to 180 and cool to the incubation range. Then I added the stems and incubated for 24 hours.
The results was a very firm yogurt that didn't pour. Usually when the yogurt is still warm, it will pour.
I'm refrigerating it now and will taste it once it's cold. It smells fine and looks good.
If the rather meagre postings I have read about this are true, this should produce a mother starter.
I had read about this on a discussion of heirloom starters . The fellow writing had used this method and it had not weakened over multiple batches (less than 12 iirc).
Please continue to update. It will be quite interesting to see how long lived it is!
I used Thai red peppers. There's a good photo here:
I used 12 stems in 1 cup milk.
I think it's like a good cream cheese, very mild, but with a slight aroma of bell peppers. I haven't done the next generation yet and I want to get some PH paper to see what its PH level is.