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Old 11-26-2008, 04:01 PM   #1
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How to tell if buttermilk has gone bad?

Hi there - can anybody tell me how to tell if buttermilk has gone bad? Similarly - once opened - how long would buttermilk take to go bad?

Thanks!

-Michael

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Old 11-26-2008, 04:27 PM   #2
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What's the use by date say? It's hard to use the nose test with buttermilk because it already has a sour-ish smell and has a thick pour. But, if it simply smells bad, not a clean yogurt smell, toss it.
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:39 AM   #3
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Properly refrigerated, cultured buttermilk should be fine for drinking for at least a week beyond its sell by date, and for cooking for 10 days to two weeks beyond the sell by date (perhaps longer). Before using, I always shake up the buttermilk. If the buttermilk remains separated into liquid and lumpy solids after moderate shaking, I toss it.

It can also be frozen for future use in cooking. If frozen, it will usually separate and needs to be completely defrosted and well skaken before use to reincorporate the liquids and solids. If I'm going to freeze it, I use fresh buttermilk, shake it well, then pour it into recipe-sized one cup plastic containers to minimize waste.

Incidentally, if you only need a little buttermilk for cooking (pancakes, biscuits, etc.), you can easily substitute soured milk and avoid the problem of storage of the leftover buttermilk. Here's the technique:

1 cup regular or low fat milk
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice or vinegar (white or cider)

In a glass container, warm the milk slightly in the microwave (or use room temperature milk). Add lemon juice and let it stand for at least five minutes before use. It will be a little thinner than cultured buttermilk so you may need to reduce the quantity slightly to achieve the same consistence in your recipe.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:16 AM   #4
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If it is bad, it will have a bitter taste.
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:26 PM   #5
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Buttermilk is cultured so it takes a long time for it to spoil, it just keeps getting more sour. I have used it for a few months past the use by date with no ill effects. I use it mostly for buttermilk biscuits or Cottage Street Bakery Dirt Bombs.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:47 AM   #6
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it makes the skim milk give up it's lunch money?
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marigene View Post
Buttermilk is cultured so it takes a long time for it to spoil, it just keeps getting more sour. I have used it for a few months past the use by date with no ill effects. I use it mostly for buttermilk biscuits or Cottage Street Bakery Dirt Bombs.
So if it is more sour does that mean it also is more acidic? Does it get thicker as it gets old as well?
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FincaPerlitas View Post
Properly refrigerated, cultured buttermilk should be fine for drinking for at least a week beyond its sell by date, and for cooking for 10 days to two weeks beyond the sell by date (perhaps longer). Before using, I always shake up the buttermilk. If the buttermilk remains separated into liquid and lumpy solids after moderate shaking, I toss it.

It can also be frozen for future use in cooking. If frozen, it will usually separate and needs to be completely defrosted and well skaken before use to reincorporate the liquids and solids. If I'm going to freeze it, I use fresh buttermilk, shake it well, then pour it into recipe-sized one cup plastic containers to minimize waste.

Incidentally, if you only need a little buttermilk for cooking (pancakes, biscuits, etc.), you can easily substitute soured milk and avoid the problem of storage of the leftover buttermilk. Here's the technique:

1 cup regular or low fat milk
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice or vinegar (white or cider)

In a glass container, warm the milk slightly in the microwave (or use room temperature milk). Add lemon juice and let it stand for at least five minutes before use. It will be a little thinner than cultured buttermilk so you may need to reduce the quantity slightly to achieve the same consistence in your recipe.
People drink buttermilk? I thought the only thing people did with it was use it in cooking...

I had always heard that it was better to use buttermilk for pancakes than milk and that it'd make your pancakes fluffier. I have no idea why this would be - but it's what I've always heard.

Two things:

Is there any truth to this? If so, why?

Would soured milk have the same effect?
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:05 AM   #9
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I don't think the buttermilk gets any thicker with age. Soured milk is not the same as buttermilk...it goes down the drain instead of into the baking!

I use club soda for the liquid when making pancakes; they come out nice and light.
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by marigene View Post
I don't think the buttermilk gets any thicker with age. Soured milk is not the same as buttermilk...it goes down the drain instead of into the baking!

I use club soda for the liquid when making pancakes; they come out nice and light.
Could you share your recipe?

I understand club soda is acidic - is it as acidic as buttermilk? How much baking soda do you need to balance the ph?
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