Now that I'm on my 6th batch of Viili, I thought I'd give an update.
To get the right consistency for yogurt, I don't use simple milk, but a good quality half and half
We use it mostly as yogurt, sweetened with pure maple syrup. When I eat it myself, I add in some homemade applesauce for extra texture and flavor.
Ephraim eats it nearly every day (crazy Isaac had to be in the photos)
When it's unsweetened, the flavor is a little sour cream, a little plain yogurt. We haven't had the opportunity to use it for sour cream since I've been culturing it, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it tastes when used in that manner.
I cultured a batch with just whole milk to get the right consistency for ranch dressing, and then I stirred in an organic ranch mix I bought. I like it a lot, though the mix has a little too much pepper for the kids tastes.
To culture a batch, I just take 2 tablespoons from the previous batch (unflavored) and mix in however much liquid I want for my next batch. Then I leave it out on the counter covered with cheesecloth. It takes around 8-10 hours to culture it to the right consistency. To stop the culture process, I just put it in the fridge.
Viili has an interesting smell that my oversensitive pregnancy nose doesn't care for. It's kind of sweet and sour at the same time. I don't think it will bother me once the baby is born, but we'll see how it goes.
The other thing I've used it for is as an acid soak to lacto-ferment breads, oatmeal, waffles and pancakes. I'm still working out the kinks for it though. It's not super complicated, but it's a learning process. I'm LOVING the cookbook/educational book Nourishing Traditions to learn how to feed my family in a healthier, more beneficial way.