LR FAQs

New to making L. reuteri cultured superfood?

You probably have questions!

We’ve assembled the most common ones here.

GENERAL FAQs

  • What’s the difference between LR Superfood and conventional yogurt? L. Reuteri Superfood (LR Superfood) is not technically a yogurt, although it often looks, tastes, and smells like one. LR Superfood is a cultured dairy, made with completely different strains of bacteria than conventional yogurt. These beneficial bacteria are called Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri), and they impart significantly higher benefits and far higher probiotics compared to conventional yogurts. LR Superfood's fermentation process is different from that of conventional yogurts: LR Superfood is fermented for 36 hours at a lower temperature than conventional yogurts, and requires the addition of prebiotic fiber to the milk. This process generates very high probiotic bacterial counts, far higher than store-bought or even homemade yogurts.
  • The LR instructions look very long and complex. Is LR Superfood hard to make? No, not at all. The first time is always more intimidating, because one is not yet familiar with the process, but you will soon get the hang of it, and you'll see that subsequent batches (where your previous batch is used as a starter) will be much easier. It’s really a question of getting through the first batch, which is naturally more intimidating.

STARTER CULTURE FAQs

  • What is the LR Superfood starter culture? The LR Superfood starter culture contains a unique strain of L. reuteri bacteria that starts the fermenting process, in which milk transforms into a superfood cultured dairy, rich in the exceptional microorganism L. reuteri.
  • Which strain of L. reuteri does LR Superfood contain? Our LR Superfood contains a high concentration of the SD-5865 strain of L. reuteri.
  • I live in a hot place. Is the starter still active by the time it gets to me, if it was shipped during hot weather? Yes. Our starters are designed to stay fully active in transit, even in warm weather, without the need for express shipping or refrigeration. The formula and the packaging combine to protect the live strains. When your order is shipped, we send you the tracking number so that you can see when it is due to arrive. Once received, the starter should be refrigerated for the long term.  
  • Can I make LR Superfood without a starter culture? No, either a LR Superfood starter culture or previously-made LR Superfood is required in order to make LR Superfood.
  • Can I use my LR Superfood to revive another culture (such as milk kefir or conventional yogurt)? No, these are not compatible.
  • How long does an unopened sachet of starter culture keep in the refrigerator? The Best By date is printed on the pouch and on each sachet. Please keep the starter culture refrigerated/frozen, for optimal shelf life.

INSTRUCTIONS FAQs

  • What type of milk should I use? Ideally, use whole cow's milk and/or half & half, preferably organic, without additives (they interfere with the fermentation and cause separation into curds and whey). You can use goat milk but result will be thinner. If a vegan version is desired, use coconut milk without additives (except guar gum). See the vegan instructions page. Avoid low fat milk (too thin), cream only (too thick), and raw milk (it contains competing bacteria). Ultra-pasteurized is fine. Best results are achieved with pasteurized/ultra-pasteurized homogenized organic cow's milk and/or half & half.
  • Can I use raw milk? No. If you do decide to ferment raw milk, you will need to pasteurize it first, so that its indigenous bacteria do not compete with the L. Reuteri. Heat it to 195 F for 10 minutes, then let it cool to 100 F before adding the L. Reuteri.
  • Do I need to pre-heat the milk? If you use dairy milk then the only time you may want to pre-heat it is when you use a starter from a sachet (first batch) AND your milk is not ultra-pasteurized (see instruction page), otherwise, there is no need to heat it. Remember to let it cool before adding the starter. Coconut milk, on the other hand, needs to be pre-heated; see the vegan instructions page.
  • Can I use a blender with the L. Reuteri? Better not. Blending is too forceful for the L. Reuteri which are living microorganisms. Blending could result in the shearing (injury) of some of the L. Reuteri bacteria, in which case you will get fewer live strains. Whisking, on the other hand, is fine. 
  • Can I ferment the mixture in a yogurt maker or Instant Pot? Only if the temperature can be adjusted to 100F for 36 hours. The L. Reuteri bacteria love human body temperature. Regular yogurt makers/Instant Pots are usually automatically set to a higher temperature, which is too hot for L. Reuteri to survive. Test your device with a cup of water and a thermometer before making your first batch. Other options are: a Sous Vide appliance / slow cooker / brewing or kombucha warmer/heater - if these can be set to 100F for 36 hours.
  • Is timing important? Yes! L. Reuteri takes 36 hours to ferment. It's best to start early in the morning or later in the evening. For example, if you start at 8:30 AM on Tuesday morning, fermentation will finish at 8:30 PM on Wednesday night. (If, on the other hand, you start at 2 PM on Tuesday, fermentation will finish 36 hours later, at 2 AM Thursday night.)
  • Why do we ferment the mixture for 36 hours? To achieve the highest probiotic bacterial concentration possible. This happens around the 36th hour.
  • Should I ferment for longer than 36 hours? No. After 36 hours the live bacteria start to die off.
  • Why do we add prebiotic fiber to the fermenting mix? As food for the L. reuteri (which are living bacteria and need to eat), and for a thicker texture. Insufficient prebiotic fiber will result in a thin end-product with a markedly lower beneficial bacterial concentration.
  • Why should I keep the culturing vessel away from the airflow of air vents/heaters/air conditioning? To avoid fungal contamination from the high volume of air.
  • Why is it important to clean the utensils? To avoid fungal contaminations.
  • How long should I refrigerate the LR Superfood before consumption? Until well chilled, approximately 3 hours.
  • What does ‘reculturing’ mean? Making a new batch using some of a previously-made batch.
  • How many times can the LR Superfood be recultured? During testing we successfully recultured several times before the end-product "ran out of steam" (became quite a bit less tangy, or conversely, too pungent). That’s the indication that it’s time to use a new sachet of starter culture. Overall, batches should come out pretty similar to one another. When significant changes begin to occur, although you're doing the same thing - go for a new sachet.
  • Can I make larger quantities? Absolutely! Save time by making larger quantities, with all the ingredients in proportion. For example, to make 2 quarts of LR Superfood, just double the recipe: use 2 quarts of milk, a 2-quart jar/bowl, 4 tablespoons of prebiotic powder, 2 sachets of LR Superfood Starter (or 4 tablespoons of previously-made LR Superfood), etc.
  • Can I make Greek-style “yogurt”? Yes, strain the end-product through a cheesecloth to remove some of the whey.
  • At what stage do I add flavorings such as fruit, sweeteners, etc.? After fermentation or just before you eat. Not during fermentation.
  • Can I use more than 1 sachet of starter culture? Only if you’re making larger quantities (see question on larger quantities). Otherwise, do not use more starter than recommended.

 END-PRODUCT FAQs

  • What should the end-product be like? Nicely tart, rich and delicious (thanks to the long fermentation). The texture will depend on the milk you used. If you used whole cow milk only: yogurt-like. If you used part whole cow milk, part half & half: quite thick. If you used half & half only: very thick. If you used goat milk: yogurt-like, but on the thinner side, and possibly separated. If you used coconut milk: between Greek yogurt and firm pudding, depending on how much thickener you've used.
  • Why is the end-product tart? The tartness is a good thing and is a result of the prolonged fermentation, during which the lactose (milk sugar) is converted into lactic acid. Please note: LR Superfood should be pleasantly tart, not unpleasantly pungent. Many people love this tartness as is; for others, it may be an acquired taste. You can add fruit or a natural sweetener when you eat it.
  • How much LR Superfood should I eat? Start with 1 teaspoon a day for the first two days. Then gradually increase the quantity until you reach ½ cup a day. If all is well, you can increase that too.
  • Can I eat LR Superfood if I’m lactose intolerant? Typically yes, since the prolonged fermentation converts the lactose into lactic acid, but to be sure, start small and see how you feel. If all goes well, increase the quantity.
  • How long will the LR Superfood keep in the refrigerator? It will be good for several weeks when refrigerated. Flavor and texture may change over time.
  • Can I use metal utensils and lids to handle ferments? Overall yes, because the metal used in utensils and food-grade lids is most probably acid-resistant, and the utensil is not going to touch the ferment for that long. Metal lids can be used provided that they are acid-resistant and do not directly touch the fermented product for an extended period of time. Opt for the type of lids with a waxy interior, used for pickles, for example. If that interior is corroded though, better not use them. Also: the jar should not be full all the way to the top, to avoid direct contact between the ferment and the lid.
  • Can I freeze the LR Superfood? Yes. Freezing does not kill the L. Reuteri bacteria.
  • Can I use a blender with the L. Reuteri? Better not. Blending is too forceful for the L. Reuteri which are living microorganisms. Blending could result in the shearing (injury) of some of the L. Reuteri bacteria, in which case you will get fewer live strains. Whisking, on the other hand, is fine. That said, we understand that you may want to use the L. Reuteri in a smoothie, for which blending is necessary. We recommend, in that case, to keep the blending to a minimum and to use the lowest speed possible.
  • Which RECIPES can I make with LR superfood? You can make ice creams, vinaigrette, chocolate beverage, desserts, Greek Tzatziki, cultured dairy bowls with fruit. See here for super easy recipes with LR superfood: LR recipes

TROUBLESHOOTING FAQs

  • I fermented the mixture for longer than 36 hours. Is it safe to eat? It may be safe to eat, but some of the L. reuteri may have died off.
  • Why did my end-product separate into curds and whey (solids and liquids)? A separated L. Reuteri is often perfectly good. Separation is fairly common in a first batch. It usually happens less in subsequent batches. Separation does not necessarily mean failure. If the end-product is pleasantly tart, with no bitter aftertaste, it is usually fine. To minimize separation in the first batch, use ultra-pasteurized dairy or heat the milk to 195 F for 10 minutes and let it cool before proceeding. Other factors that contribute to separation: additives, stirring the mixture during fermentation, using two different types of milk, using coconut milk but forgetting to follow the specific instructions for coconut milk. If this bothers you, just stir the whey (liquid) back into the curds (solids), and be aware that it may separate again.
  • What’s the translucent liquid in my jar? This is whey. See the previous question.
  • Why did my end-product come out thin? Common causes are: using low-fat milk, adding insufficient prebiotic fiber, using coconut milk without adding sufficient guar gum and prebiotic fiber.
  • What's the pink bloom/off-white formation at the top of my jar? Your ferment has been probably exposed to too much air flow which resulted in a yeast-like contamination of its top layer. Scrape off the top layer. If the rest looks good, smells good, and tastes good -- it's usually good.
  • Why did my fermentation fail? Common causes are: fermenting temperature above 100F (which likely killed off the L. reuteri); using a milk with additives; not mixing the slurry thoroughly enough before the fermentation; not adding sufficient prebiotic fiber (the bacteria need it as food); not cleaning your utensils sufficiently (contamination); placing the jar or bowl near air flow such as a heater, air conditioning or air vent, or opening the fermenting vessel while fermentation was going on (contamination); not covering the jar(s) or bowl with a loosely-fitting lid/plastic wrap during fermentation (contamination). Separation is not necessarily a sign of failure. See bullet 'Why did my end-product separate into curds and whey (solids and liquids)?'

LR superfood

Need more info?
Go to LR DAIRY Instructions
Go to LR VEGAN Instructions
Go to LR Research

Peckish?
Go to LR recipes