Buttermilk Starter


¼ C Buttermilk with live cultures

3 ¾ C Milk

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Buttermilk Starter

May 23, 2023Brenda Brink
A Freeze Dried Pantry Recipe
Contributed By: Martha Rayon

This will fill 1 medium tray with buttermilk starter*


  1. First we have to make the buttermilk culture, pour the buttermilk and milk into a quart jar (only fill until there is a 1 inch head space, may not take the full amount of milk).Screw lid lightly on jar to allow the it to breathe, set it in a warm area of your home away from other cultures or ferments.
  2. Let it sit for 8 to 12 hours, maybe more depending on your preference.
  3. Once it is thick as you’d like, move it to the refrigerator and let it sit tightly covered for 6 to 8 more hours.
  4. Your buttermilk is now ready to freeze dry.Customize your settings to a freeze temperature of -20° for non-frozen buttermilk and 110° drying temperature.
  5. Shake up your quarts of buttermilk until it is mixed very well. If you choose to use dividers, pour the buttermilk before placing the dividers because buttermilk is thick which makes it less likely to spill. (You can pre-freeze in a freezer if you want to.
  6. Once your Freeze Dryer is ready for food to placed inside it, place your buttermilk starter into the freeze dryer and freeze dry
  7. Store Appropriately (See Tips and Tricks for storage help)

Note: You can also use commercially prepared cultures just follow the package directions.


Cycle Time:



Use 8g or 2.5 T of starter per quart of milk. The buttermilk powder turns out very flakey and light so it is much easier to weigh than to measure.

* Extra Large Tray = 15 Cups/Tray Large Tray = 8 Cups/tray   Medium = 6 Cups/Tray   Small = 4 Cups/Tray 

Cycle times & rehydration for reference only. Your results may vary.

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