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Filmjolk is an easy 'yogurt' to make as it cultures on the counter at room temperature.
No yogurt maker required and no heating and cooling of the milk.
You do need to use a culture initially but thereafter you are self sustainable.
Filmjölk is similar to cultured buttermilk or kefir in consistency and has a mild and slightly acidic taste.
It is the Scandinavian standard
But best of all, Filmjolk cultures at between 21 and 25 degrees centigrade which suits our climate...and our kitchens.
I've ordered my starter from Cooktown!
There is no single accepted English term for fil or filmjölk. In the United States it is referred to as 'long milk'. Fil and/or filmjölk has been translated to English as sour milk, soured milk, acidulated milk, fermented milk, and curdled milk, all of which are nearly synonymous and describe filmjölk but do not differentiate filmjölk from other types of soured/fermented milk. Filmjölk has also been described as viscous fermented milk and viscous mesophilic fermented milk.
Getting Started…

1. Stir your starter into one cup of milk. You can make larger batches of yogurt by adhering to thew same ratio of 1 tablespoon of yogurt to 1 cup of milk (e.g. adding four tablespoons yogurt to a quart of milk will yield a quart of yogurt) making up to one half gallon per container.

2. Cover the jar with a towel or coffee filter and secure the cover with a rubber band. Do not put a lid on the jar, as the starter needs to breathe to culture properly.

3. Let the mixture culture undisturbed at room temperature degrees for 12-18 hours. In in cooler climates in winter warm milk slightly 70-77 degrees and wrap in a towel. It is important to pick a location that is naturally warm (e.g. the kitchen) and out of drafts (Using a pressure set to yogurt setting is an option)..

4. Once the yogurt is ‘set’ (when the jar is tipped, the yogurt should not run up the side of the jar and should move away from the side of the jar as a single mass), tighten jar lid and place the yogurt in the refrigerator to halt the culturing process.
5. When it’s time to make a new batch, place one tablespoon of yogurt from the previous batch in a cup of new milk and start again. Larger batches can be made (up to a half gallon per container) by maintaining the same yogurt-to-milk ratio. Yogurt from each batch can be used to make the next batch. Yogurt from batch A is used to make batch B, yogurt from batch B is used to make batch C and so on. To perpetuate the culture, be sure to make a new batch of yogurt at least once every seven to ten days. Waiting longer than one week between culturing, can weaken the culture and may introduce unwanted bacteria or yeast.


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Comment by Christa on December 20, 2017 at 8:19

I wonder why ayurvedic people advised my friend, to have yoghurt at about 10am each day.  Not at breakfast or lunch but in-between.  

Comment by Dave Riley on December 19, 2017 at 22:28

Just on 'yogurt' per se -- as well as all dem wunderbar bugs for the tummy, it is well known that the acid in yogurt ( as in vinegar, sourdough bread, and wine) can impact on a meal's overall Glycemic Load -- if eaten in conjunction with other carbohydrates at table.

Further research indicates that yogurts -- despite the amount of carbohydrate in milk -- may have an 'insulinotropic' effect . The science is above my pay grade but this summary is useful:

Researchers are associating yogurt intake with a possible reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. BMC Medicine researchers analyzed cohort food-frequency questionnaire data from three large-scale studies: 41,436 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986 to 2010); 67,138 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (1980 to 2010); and 85,884 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II (1991 to 2009).

“Our updated meta-analysis suggested that each one serving/day yogurt increase was significantly associated with a 18% lower risk,” they wrote.

While yogurt intake was associated with lower diabetes risk, the researchers did not find a similar effect from other dairy foods.

Why might yogurt in particular be helpful? While warning that randomized controlled trials are needed to explore mechanisms of action, the researchers said that probiotic bacteria may play a role. Also, “certain components in dairy products, such as calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, lactose, and dairy protein, have been suggested to have a favorable impact on metabolic factors, including body weight, hypertension, and glucose homeostasis,” they noted, and that milk proteins like whey may improve glucose tolerance thanks to their “insulinotropic properties” and low glycemic load. LINK

Comment by Dave Riley on December 18, 2017 at 13:54

Yet another DIY note:

Easy peasey maketh thus.

My protocol is to make the Filmjolk  in 1 litre glass jars and keep three jars in rotation day in day out. Since I'm drinking the stuff, I'm consuming it in approximately  250 ml portions.

Maybe one or two portions per day

This means that the window of replenishment -- ie: further culturing --  on offer from each jar is a comfortable 7-10 days. So when I finish one jar, I think about culturing a new batch.

So long as I remember the order in which they were made, I can use the oldest Filmjolk to supply the next starter

Indeed it is so easy to make, say, two or three or four one-litre jars at the same time just by taking tablespoons  of Filmjolk from your current stock.

Today's tip: When making yogurts always use  a plastic or wooden spoon as metal can react with the lactic acids  and leave a metallic taste or even change the color .

If I can obtain a bottle of Filmjolk from the supermarket or wherever I'll try to cultivate a litre from that.

Comment by Dave Riley on December 17, 2017 at 9:46

The result, thus far, is a tad lumpy in texture. I've seen pics of a smoother result but other DIYs are like mine. There's a separation of whey. So I'm assuming, of course, that culture starters vary in their effect.

No probs, but to drink it you need brisk stirring to re-combine the globules.

Comment by Dave Riley on December 17, 2017 at 9:06

Yes, you get  a sachet of culture starter and nothing else. They do things rough in Cooktown.

Comment by Christa on December 17, 2017 at 8:51

For those of us, lucky enough to have a wine fridge, could use that constant temperature to keep their culture.  I am still waiting for my culture to arrive in the mail  from Cooktown NQ, called Piima favorite scandinavian. Is that the same as yours Dave.

Comment by Dave Riley on December 16, 2017 at 22:21

I wouldn't use the starter culture i used. Instead I'd hunt down a local supply and experiment with that. Using the starter only gives you two chances at culturing. But if you can find this, it may work for you:

  • Rokeby Farms in Aust market Filmjolk in 750ml bottles for around $5 (LINK) -- just like standard yogurt will work as a starter culture.Indeed it should be easier to make Filmjolk from Filmjolk.

At the moment I'm trying to increase my volume made with respect to the ratio. Understanding the weather's impact is the key issue as I'm unsure what happens once the culture begins to set.

Does it thicken and enrich taste if it is left longer? Why 'stop' the process by refrigeration?

With yogurt  the culturing temp falls below the optimal conditions, but on a counter top I don't know the process. But i do suggest that it is best to make your new culture in the morning and check it 12 hours later  -- thereafter in 2 hours, etc -- rather than to go to bed and hope for the best.

At the moment the air temp outside  is 25C here  -- and my culture is sitting at around 26C. For all I know, this could be a problem.

Comment by Cathie MacLean on December 16, 2017 at 19:11

Love making homemade yoghurt but it's been a while.  Where did you buy the starter culture, Dave?

Comment by Dave Riley on December 15, 2017 at 23:07


My second batch  of  Filmjolk  is semi thick and smooth....

I'm in Nordic mode now.


So easy to make.

Comment by Dave Riley on December 15, 2017 at 14:53

I made my first batch of Filmjolk. It took longer than I thought .

The taste is interesting:

  • sweeter and less sour than yogurt
  • hints of cheesiness
  • thick but not creamy - runny with more whey than I expected (maybe I over or under cultured it)

Easy to make although I fretted over the process.

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