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how to make quark from whole milk

Make Quark from Whole Milk Kefir

I found an easy way to make Quark from whole milk kefir and in my opinion it tastes absolutely delicious and much better than Quark from buttermilk. The buttermilk version is faster though and perfect for baking. Some people even like the taste of buttermilk, so if you are one of them, that’s OK.

how to make quark from whole milk

I am more the whole milk person, so this version is perfect for me if I want to eat my Quark with fruits or herbs or as a dip for veggies et cetera. Since I have a Quark machine, so far that has been my favorite way to make Quark because it is so convenient. Since the machine, the shipping, and the converter add up to some investment (see below), you’d really have to be German or obsessed with Quark to go that far. So I have come across this method to make Quark from Kefir and I must confess: This is the best tasting Quark I ever had since I am in the US! Even my machine-made Quark can’t hold the match to this!

First, you have to turn your milk into Kefir – easy peasy with the Kefir culture that you can order at Amazon (1 package has 6 pouches). Basically, all Quark is made with a cultured milk. Some years ago a “Senner” (someone who lives with the cows high in the Alps and makes cheese) told me, that she would just put some fresh milk in a jar overnight and make Quark from it the next morning. Since our milk is always pasteurized (all cultured killed together with the bad bacterias), this won’t work, so we have to add a culture. The Kefir culture works great!

Quark from Kefir is very mild and creamy. It is less sour in tasting than the Quark from buttermilk. I didn’t even want to add anything to it when I tried it the first time. But of course, you can add fruits (especially strawberries, blueberries, peaches, apricots or cherries) to it and drizzle some honey over it.

Can I just buy Kefir and use that?

If you can get Kefir in your area, you can absolutely buy it there and make Quark from it … but: It will be a lot cheaper to make the kefir yourself!

Look at this price tags – and that’s not even half a gallon … I was shocked when I saw these prices.

Kefir for Quark

Germans love Quark

I’ve stated it before, in the article about how to make Quark from Buttermilk: We can’t live without Quark! And now I can even show proof since google trends shows it so nicely in this search volume graphic:

German Quark
The dark blue dot in Europe is Germany!

Buying a Quark Machine

OK, you decided to go with the machine, great! Let me help you with ordering it in Germany:

The machine is called “Quark Bereiter” but the one that I recommend is a French product, called “LAGRANGE Yaourtière Fromagère” – it’s a newer version of my machine.

As of today (June 13, 2018) the machine, shipping, and the converter will add up to roundabout $100.

 

To make the Quark, you will also need a culture and some rennet.

Now you are all set for making Quark!

Add milk to the container (with the basket in it) that comes with the machine, add a little bit of the culture (about 1/4 teaspoon) to it, stir. Add some drops of rennet to it, stir and bring to a halt. Set machine to 13 hours.

Once the time has passed, remove the container from the machine, put it into the fridge. When it’s cooled completely, elevate the inner basket like part of the container, so the whey can drip into the container and the Quark remains in the basket. After some hours or overnight you will have the finished Quark.

how to make quark from whole milk

Make Quark from Whole Milk Kefir

Barbara
5 from 3 votes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Party Food, Sides, Snack
Cuisine German

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1800 ml whole milk
  • 2 pouches kefir culture: https://amzn.to/2MouyJi

Instructions
 

  • Pour almost all of the milk into a large bowl or pitcher.
  • Add some remaining milk into a small bowl and mix with the kefir culture powder.
  • Stir the culture until most of it has dissolved.
  • Now add the culture mix to the large bowl with the milk and stir.
  • Cover and let stand for 24 to 36 hours.
  • Put a cheesecloth into a colander and set the colander on an empty bowl.
  • Pour the kefir into the cheesecloth and let stand in the fridge for at least 3 hours - better overnight.
  • The whey (very healthy, drink fresh with some juice) is now in the bowl and the Quark is in the cheesescloth.
  • Remove the Quark from the cheesecloth and add to a smaller container or mason jar. It will be good for 1 - 3 weeks if stored in the fridge.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About The Author

38 thoughts on “Make Quark from Whole Milk Kefir”

  1. 5 stars
    I know this is late but I wanted to reply to the individuals that had problems with the ALDI and sprouts branded milk. These appear to be ultra pasteurized products which may make curd formation difficult, suboptimal, or even impossible depending on the desired product. An interested individual can easily find details through a web search. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for milk processing to be at higher temperatures than expected for normal pasteurization as well. This does not require labeling and can also create havoc with your results. I know this from experience unfortunately. You may need to experiment a bit if you are having difficulty with your initial milk of choice.
    Thank you for all the wonderful recipes and information!

  2. Heather Thorpe

    is this like cheese curds? Could I use Cheese Curds that I have from Costco in the Quarkbällchen recipe?

    1. While some of the process of making Quark and Cheese Curds is similar, Quark is still different with its creamy texture. It’s also not salted. If you want to substitute quark for quarkbällchen, you could try to drain greek yogurt even more and use that. But making quark is still easy and on my blog you can find three different ways to make it.

  3. Hi Barbara,
    I am going to be trying this recipe soon since I miss quark so very much living in the USA and buying it is incredibly expensive! I bought a powdered kefir starter which states it works with a water or dairy base…will this work for the recipe, or should I buy a live kefir culture?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Melanie,
      I used the dried kefir culture in the video and it worked. However, a new Quark video and recipe is coming up in a few days, you might want to check that one out, too.
      Best,
      Barbara

  4. 5 stars
    Hi Barbara, I have made the quark with organic fresh whole milk and it came out exact as it should be, I also made another batch with 1 liter organic long life milk with a little bit (1 Tbsp.) left in the jar from the other batch before and it worked also.
    BTW. I am from Hanover, Germany but live in South Australia, Thank you for your Blog, the recipes are all similar to how I cook them
    LG, Beate

      1. I didn’t have luck with the new batch I made today with ALDI Organic Milk, it won’t thicken, what can I do ?

        1. Put it into the oven with just the light on overnight for a warmer temperature, that might help. Or maybe the kefir culture wasn’t fresh anymore?

  5. Dear Barbara
    I made the quark and it sat for a good 36 hrs. I then put it in a colander with a cheesecloth and it sat overnight in the fridge, but the consistency is of a runny yoghurt. Any idea why that could be? I did use 1/2 gallon whole milk with 2 packages of kefir cultures. Yours looks solid like quark should be.
    By the way love your website!!
    Regards,
    Jackie from Colorado

    1. Hi Jackie,
      I can only guess and my guess is that either the temperature in your house is too cold or the quality of the milk was the issue. I always use organic whole milk … and I never use milk that was packed in a plastic container. For the temperature of the house: Next time turn on the light in your oven and put the batch into the oven over night, just with the lights on. That should usually do the trick. My house is always very warm with temperature above 20°C / 68°F.

      1. Jackie Tichawsky

        Dear Barbara,
        Thank you for your answer and I think it was all of the above. I used Sprout’s whole milk that was in a plastic jug and the temperature in my house is pretty cold at night. I will try this again with better milk and like you said let it sit in the oven with the light on.

        Thanks so much!!
        Jackie

        1. I really hope this time it will be a success! I am also working on other ways to make quark, if I find a better way, I’ll make another video and recipe!
          Best,
          Barbara

  6. Sebastian Markert

    Hallo Barbara,

    ich habe eine Gallon Milch angeimpft, aber habe davon ein ganzes Kilo Quark bekommen! Vielleicht war er noch etwas waessrig. Der Kaesekuchen war lecker, hatte die richtige Konsistenz, aber war auch etwas waessrig? Irgendwie nicht so cremig wie sonst. Vielleicht liegt’s auch dran, dass ich notgedrungen sour cream statt Creme Fraiche genommen habe (die kommt bei mir auch immer in den Kaesekuchen).

    1. Hallo Sebastian,
      vielleicht hätte der Quark noch etwas länger reifen oder abtropfen müssen. Ich habe die Erfahrung gemacht dass der Quark besser wird wenn ich etwas mehr Kulturen benutze oder länger reifen lasse. Ich bekomme aus einer halben Gallone meistens so um die 400g Quark. Die Festigkeit die er in Deutschland hat, erreiche ich aber auch nicht jedes Mal.
      Viele Grüße,
      Barbara

  7. Hallo Barbara!
    Wirklich unmoeglich hier (wir leben seit 8 Monaten in Baltimore) Quark zu finden! Wie soll ich da meinen beruehmten Kaesekuchen machen? Deshalb werde ich jetzt auf jeden Fall Dein Rezept ausprobieren :)

    Eine Frage: Wie viel Quark kommt denn dabei raus? Fuer meinen Kuchen brauche ich mindestens 1 Kilo!

    Danke
    Sebastian (aus Wuerzburg)

    1. Hallo Sebastian,

      ich bekomme aus einer großen Packing Milch ungefähr 400 g raus. D.h. für Käsekuchen muss ich hier immer zwei Tage Quark machen, den Rest fülle ich mit Greek Yoghurt auf. Ist viel Aufwand aber aus meiner Sicht ist es das wert :-)

      Grüße und viel Spaß beim Backen!

      1. Hallo Barbara,
        Ich bin hier neu, wohne in Toronto. Ich habe ihre Website gefunden als ich Pflaumenmus suchte.

        Meine Frage: Wie viel genau ist “einer großen Packing Milch” (also in mL oder g)? Ich möchte auch ein Deutscher Käsekuchen backen. :-)

        Vielen Dank!
        Arne Liebert

        1. Hallo Arne,
          ich verwende hier 1/2 Gallone und das sind etwa 1800 ml. Ich habe das im Rezept jetzt eben noch einmal verbessert damit es etwas klarer ist.
          Viele Grüße,
          Barbara

  8. 5 stars
    Hello,
    I am trying to make this recipe and my bowl of kefir milk is still sitting until tonight before I strain. You listed 2 packets of kefir starter so is that 10g? I just want to make sure I used enough! I ordered the same brand you linked but started thinking “what if these packets are smaller?”.
    Thank you!

  9. Hi,
    Just came across your site when looking for brotchen recipe.
    A friend of mine has a kefir starter. (looks like a small piece of cauliflower).
    Can I use this to make quark? Like to use for cheese cake and such..

    Thanks,
    Sheila

    1. Yes, if it makes Kefir (not water kefir), then you can use it to make kefir which you then use to make quark.

  10. Hi Barbara, I’m continuing with my cooking experiments to recreate flavors from home and Quark is next. I do have Kefir cultures and will start using them today. I was wondering if you can use the whey as inoculum for the next round of Kefir (similar to sourgough starter)? Or would you have to use a bit of the kefir prior to straining or the quark? Alternatively, do you know how to start generating the Kefir grains that some recipes call for? That might be the best and easiest way to get a renewable source for a Kefir starter.

    1. You can use the whey if you are doing the next batch of Quark very soon. Whey goes bad pretty fast. I often use the whey instead of water when baking bread … just an idea. Getting living kefir grains would be a good idea but I don’t have experience with this. I do have kefir cristals for water kefir … but that works differently. So make sure you know how to treat your kefir grains and then I think you can order them online … or ask in your community (like nextdoor or facebook) if someone has kefir grains to share.

  11. 5 stars
    I find buttermilk quark attractive because it is naturally low in fat and high in protein. How does whole milk quark compare in fat calories?

    1. I actually can’t answer that. I guess the easiest way to find out would be to google the nutritional facts of buttermilk and of whole milk and compare. Just know that you need to use buttermilk that is not “low fat” or it won’t work to make Quark from it. It would be more like ricotta, very crumbly, not smooth.

  12. Hello Barbara,

    my partner (from the ukraine) makes her own quark …..uses only fresh sour cream as a culture for her quark…….give it a try…..

    Cheers
    Rob

  13. Barbara, do You leave the kefir mixture ist out of the fridge before the. Cheese cloth step??
    Husband is from Germany and would love to try this.
    Thanks

    1. Yes, I have the mixture at room temperature (about 78°F in our house) for one to two days (2 days is better I found out) and then pour it through the cheesecloth. I am sure your husband will be happy with the result! :-)

        1. Hi Marc,
          It depends on the amount of milk. My quark maker i.e. can hold 3/4 of a gallon of milk and I would guess the amount of whey is about 3 cups (700ml), maybe more. It can be more or less, depending on how long you let it drip and how dry you want your quark.
          Best,
          Barbara

  14. I just visited Germany for the first time for Christmas and went to Neuschwanstein Castle and they had Quarkbällchen . Do you have a recipe for those? I found your site looking to find our how to make Quark.

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      I haven’t been to Neuschwanstein, so you are clearly a step ahead of me :-) but I am glad you enjoyed your trip and the food.
      I can give you the recipe for Quarkbällchen here:
      500 g Flour
      500 g Quark
      1 tsp Salt
      250 g Sugar
      2 tsp. Baking Powder
      3 tsp. vanilla sugar (see recipe here on the blog)
      4 Eggs
      1 pot with Frying oi

      Mix the ingredients to make a dough.
      Use two teaspoons to make little balls and drop them into the hot oil.
      The balls will get bigger in the oil, so don’t put too many in at a time.
      When they are golden, remove them from the oil and roll in sugar.
      Enjoy!

      Best,
      Barbara

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