Sunday, April 7, 2013

Make More Buttermilk from Leftover Buttermilk



I saw once that it was possible to culture milk with buttermilk to make more buttermilk. Today I have a little bit of buttermilk in the carton and about 1/4 gallon of whole milk. Googling, I found Food Renegade's instructions which are insanely simple.

Buttermilk from Buttermilk
adapted from Food Renegade
click to print

1 part buttermilk
3 parts whole milk



Measure 1 part buttermilk. Transfer to glass container.

I used 4 ounces of buttermilk.

Measure 3 parts milk. Add to buttermilk in glass container.

I used 12 ounces of whole milk.

Close and shake glass container.


Let stand in a relatively warm spot for 24 hours.



After waiting 24-25 hours and shaking it, you'll see that the buttermilk will definitely coat the glass. And then when you open the container to smell it, you'll find that it smells like super fresh buttermilk. It's crazy! Like Food Renegade says, it'll last a few weeks refrigerated.

This is so awesome! I never use the whole container of buttermilk so it'll be cool to never buy and waste another. While I try to buy milk in quantities small enough that I'll use all of it, there's too many times it goes bad. From now on, I'll just make more buttermilk, like a little cultured milk factory in my oven.

Cost:
  • buttermilk: $0.35
  • milk: $0.37
Total: $0.72 or about $0.36 for each cup of buttermilk, which is about half the price of the buttermilk I bought.

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April 13, 2013, I still had this container of whole milk in the fridge, 3 days "past due". It's the same container I used to make the original buttermilk above. It didn't smell funky, but I figured before it did go bad I may as well top off my buttermilk. I'd used about half the buttermilk so far so it was a 1:1 addition. After shaking well, it went into the cold oven for 24 hours.

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April 26, 2013, with no idea how long the buttermilk could hang out before going bad, I thought I'd try freezing a "starter". I transferred about 3/4 of a cup to a small mason jar and put it in the freezer.

A few months later, I thawed it out and discarded the gross-looking chunky, watery mess.
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May 4, 2013 my buttermilk had separated. I wasn't sure if that meant it was bad so I shook it, sniffed it, and was convinced it was just fine.


The container though, looked like it could stand a cleaning. I transferred the buttermilk to two small jars and washed the big one.


I'd purchased some "manager's special", aka "almost past the date" milk specifically to feed my buttermilk cultures. After returning the buttermilk to the large jar, I topped it off, shook it, and placed it in the cold oven for 24 hours. This time it was probably a 4:1 milk:buttermilk ratio. And the milk? Dated 4/25 was still good!


Now my buttermilk costs about even less than $0.36 a cup, more like $0.26.
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5/25/13, unopened for three weeks, let's see if it's any good.


Yep, smells perfectly fresh! I love this! I am convinced that as long as the milk, however old, isn't bad remains good food for the buttermilk cultures. Going forward I will always feed the cultures with any leftover milk. It's practically recycling. Absolutely bad ass!

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