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Aug 13, 2012 05:37 PM

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.

Pics here:

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  1. 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!

    1. Hi, PatsyWalker, I'm very interesting in your "starter", Can you put some photo of what kind of stems from red chili peppers are? and How much stems you used it in, how much milk?
      And about the flavour, How it was?
      Sorry for my english, I'm from Guatemala :)

      4 Replies
      1. re: Guinda

        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.

        1. re: PatsyWalker

          Small correction: it is pH. But very interesting!

          1. re: Joebob

            Ah, if only my cell phone could be so pedantic. It doesn't like small letters followed by capital letters. :)

          2. re: PatsyWalker

            Thanks PatsyWalker, please tell us, about pH and the flavour!! when you make the 2nd generation :)

        2. This is quite interesting. I live in New Mexico and wonder if New Mexico chile stems would work. Can I use the stems of dried chiles or won't that work?

          2 Replies
          1. re: travelerjjm

            I came across a posting someone made to someone else's blog that her aunt used a dried tamarind and a dried red chili. Can't tell if that's useful until I try it. I think the tamarind may add some sweetness.

            1. re: PatsyWalker

              Most tamarind that's dried is sour, I believe. I'm under the impression that sweet tamarind is eaten as is, not dried.

          2. I'm following this thread because I'm fascinated.... Makes me want to try it ASAP :)