How to make sour milk with Lemon & Vinegar | Buttermilk Substitute

If you’ve ever wondered how to make sour milk, you’re in luck! But what if I told you that with a few simple steps, you can not only make sour milk but also turn it into a delicious and healthy probiotic drink? All you need is some lemon juice or vinegar, and a little patience while the milk souring process takes place.

You may be surprised at just how easy it is!? Keep reading for instructions on how to make sour milk at home.

What is sour milk in a recipe?

What is sour milk
What is sour milk?

Sour milk is one of the ingredients commonly used in baking and cooking recipes. It adds a tanginess to dishes, which can help enhance their flavor.

Sour milk can be made by adding lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk, which causes a chemical reaction that makes the milk sour.

While sour milk has a slightly different taste than buttermilk, it can be used as a substitute in many recipes.

If you are looking for ways to use sour milk in your cooking or baking, there are endless possibilities!

Some popular options include adding it to pancake or waffle batter, using it as a marinade for meats and vegetables, or incorporating it into dips and dressings.

Read Also:  How to cook frozen potstickers | The Ultimate Guide

Buttermilk Substitute

Buttermilk is a key ingredient in many recipes, from pancakes to biscuits to cakes. But what do you do if you don’t have any buttermilk on hand? Fortunately, there’s a handy substitute that you probably already have in your fridge: sour milk.

While sour milk won’t taste exactly the same as buttermilk, it will have the same level of acidity, which is essential for recipes that contain baking soda or baking powder.

When these ingredients come into contact with an acid, they react and produce carbon dioxide gas, which causes baked goods to rise.

So if you find yourself in a pinch, don’t hesitate to use sour milk as a Buttermilk Substitute – your recipe will turn out just fine!

The Two Ways to Make Sour Milk At Home:

There are two main methods for making sour milk at home: acidification and fermentation.

  • Acidification: To make sour milk using the acidification method, simply add lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk and let it sit for a few hours. The acid in the lemon juice or vinegar causes a chemical reaction that turns the milk sour.
  • Fermentation: Another method for making sour milk is fermentation, which involves culturing bacteria in warm milk to cause it to ferment and turn sour. This can be done by adding a sourdough starter or probiotic powder to milk, and then leaving the mixture at room temperature for several hours until it sours.

Buttermilk is made by fermentation, and you can purchase buttermilk starter cultures for repeated or one-time use, or you can make buttermilk from milk and a small amount of store-bought buttermilk

Which method you choose will depend on your preferences and the ingredients that you have available. However, both techniques are simple and straightforward and can help you make delicious and nutritious sour milk at home.

How to make sour milk with Lemon & Vinegar At Home

Ingredients to make Soured Milk:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar


  1. Combine the milk and lemon juice or vinegar in a bowl or jar.
  2. Stir well to combine, then cover the bowl or jar with plastic wrap or a lid.
  3. Set the bowl or jar aside at room temperature for several hours, until the milk has soured to your desired level of tanginess.
  4. Once the soured milk has reached your desired level of tartness, you can use it in recipes as a buttermilk substitute or enjoy it on its own as a probiotic-rich beverage.
  5. Repeat as needed to make more sour milk whenever you need it. You can store the soured milk in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze it in individual portions for later use.

Tips and tricks for a better recipe:

  • It’s easy to make your own sour milk at home, and you can use any type of milk – fat-free, reduced-fat, or whole.
  • When making sour milk, it’s important to use high-quality, fresh ingredients. This will help ensure that the milk sours properly and achieves the desired level of tanginess.
  • To help prevent the sour milk from going bad quickly in the refrigerator, be sure to store it in an airtight container and use clean utensils to scoop it out of the jar or bowl.
  • You can also make your own buttermilk starter culture using a small amount of store-bought buttermilk and some high-quality, fresh milk. This will allow you to quickly and easily make sour milk whenever you need it, without needing to purchase buttermilk from the store.​
  • If you prefer a thicker, creamier consistency for your sour milk, try using buttermilk instead of regular milk. This will produce a richer and more flavorful product that can be used in place of buttermilk in recipes.
  • To make your sour milk even more flavorful, consider adding a pinch of salt or some herbs and spices to the mix. Some great options include fresh or dried basil, oregano, thyme, dill, or rosemary.
  • If you’re using sour milk in baking, try adjusting the recipe as needed to account for the change in acidity.

For example, you may need to increase the amount of baking powder or baking soda used, depending on the specific recipe.

How long does sour milk last?

Sour milk will typically keep for 5-7 days in the refrigerator. However, it is best to consume it as soon as possible for maximum freshness and flavor.

Depending on your preferences and the recipe you are using, you may also be able to freeze sour milk for later use if needed.

To do so, simply pour the sour milk into a sealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 1-2 months.

When ready to use, simply thaw the sour milk at room temperature or in the refrigerator until it is soft and pliable enough to stir.​

What can you make using sour milk?

You can use sour milk in many different types of recipes, from baked goods and smoothies to soups and sauces. Some popular options include:

  • Pancakes or waffles: Sour milk works great as a buttermilk substitute in pancake and waffle recipes, adding plenty of flavors and helping the batter rise beautifully in the pan or waffle maker.
  • Biscuits and muffins: Sour milk gives these baked goods a light, fluffy texture and rich flavor.
  • Soup and sauce recipes: Sour milk adds tanginess to soups and sauces, giving them a delicious depth of flavor. It’s also an excellent ingredient for creamy dips and dressings.
  • Smoothies and other beverages: Sour milk makes a great base for homemade smoothies, adding probiotics and nutrients to your drink. You can also use it in cold brew coffee or tea for extra flavor.

So if you’re looking for a versatile ingredient to add to your recipes, sour milk is definitely worth considering!

How to store sour milk?

There are a few different options for storing sour milk, depending on how quickly you need to use it and how much you need to store at once.

The most common recommendation is to keep sour milk in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

You can also freeze small portions of sour milk in ice cube trays or other small containers, which can then be easily thawed and used as needed.

Other options include storing sour milk in the freezer for up to 3 months or making a large batch of sour milk that you can use for several weeks.

Things to take care of while storing this recipe:

-To prevent the milk from drying out, keep the container or jar covered.

-Place sour milk in the fridge to keep it cold.

-Don’t waste milk – use it within 3 days.

-Stir or shake sour milk before each use.

-The container needs to be labeled with the date to indicate how fresh it is.

-Do not store sour milk in the freezer.

-To preserve the freshness of sour milk, keep it away from heat or light.

-Make sure to clean the container after use.

How to make sour milk – Recipe

Recipe Facts:

  • Time: 3 – 5 days
  • Servings: 2 cups (1 pint)
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Dietary restrictions: gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free options are available.


  • 2 cups of milk, preferably whole or 2%
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice or vinegar (you can also use white vinegar)
  • A pinch of salt


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice or vinegar and salt. Add a little at a time until it is fully dissolved.
  2. Pour the milk into a large bowl or jug and slowly add the lemon juice or vinegar mixture, stirring constantly to mix it completely.
  3. Cover the bowl or jug with plastic wrap, and leave it out at room temperature for about 8-12 hours until thickened and soured to your liking.
  4. When the milk has soured, you can use it right away as a buttermilk substitute in any recipe or drink, or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 7 days.


  • A large bowl or jug
  • Plastic wrap
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Small bowl or measuring cup for mixing ingredients
  • Whisk (optional)

If you prefer thicker and creamier sour milk, feel free to use a whisk to mix the lemon juice or vinegar into the milk. You can also experiment with using different types of milk (such as soy or almond) for a dairy-free version.


Sour milk is a great source of protein and probiotics, which can help improve gut health and support your immune system. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and vitamin D. Depending on the type of milk you use, sour milk may be naturally low in fat or have added cream for a richer texture. To make it even more nutritious, try adding fresh or frozen fruit, herbs, or spices.

FAQs About how to make sour milk

Is this recipe safe to eat?

Yes, sour milk is a safe and nutritious ingredient that can be used in many different recipes. It contains probiotics that can help support digestive health and has been shown to have a number of other health benefits as well.

What does it taste like?

Sour milk has a tangy, acidic flavor similar to buttermilk or yogurt. Depending on the recipe you use it in, it may also have a slightly sour or fermented taste.

Can I make more than one cup of this?

Yes, you can easily make more than one cup of sour milk by simply adjusting the quantities of ingredients used. For example, you might need 2 cups of milk and 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to achieve the desired level of acidity.

Will this recipe work with all types of milk?

Most types of dairy milk should work with this recipe, including cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and buffalo’s milk. However, some plant-based milk like soy or almond milk may not react the same way when mixed with vinegar or other acidic ingredients. If you’re using non-dairy alternatives, it’s best to do a bit of experimenting before trying this recipe in a large batch.

Can I replace the lemon juice?

Yes, you can use other types of acidic ingredients, such as white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. It’s best to experiment with different amounts to get the right flavor and acidity level for your preferences.

Can I store the sour milk?

Yes, sour milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also freeze small portions of it using ice cube trays or other small containers. Just make sure to label and date your container so you know how fresh it is when you use it.

Can you make this sour milk another way?

There are many different ways to make sour milk, depending on the ingredients you have available and your personal preferences.

Some options include adding lemon juice or vinegar to warm or room-temperature milk and letting it sit for a few hours until curdled.

Another popular method is to use buttermilk powder or kefir as the acidic ingredient, which eliminates the need to let the milk sit before use.

You can also try using cultured buttermilk or yogurt as your souring agent, which will give you a thicker and creamier result.

What diets are sour milk suitable for?

Sour milk is suitable for most diets and lifestyles, including vegan, paleo, keto, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

It is a nutrient-dense ingredient that can be used in many different recipes to add protein, healthy fats, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals to your diet.

Can I freeze sour milk?

Yes, you can freeze sour milk for up to 3 months. To do so, simply pour it into an ice cube tray or other small container and store it in the freezer until ready to use.

Just be sure to thaw the frozen milk slowly in the refrigerator before using it, as freezing and thawing may affect the texture and flavor of the sour milk.

What are substitutes for sour milk?

If you do not have sour milk on hand or need a substitute in a pinch, some options include adding a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to regular milk and letting it sit for several hours until curdled.

Other alternatives include using buttermilk powder, kefir, cultured buttermilk, or yogurt as the acidic ingredient, which will give you a similar sour flavor and texture.

As always, it’s best to experiment with different ingredients and amounts to find the sour milk substitute that works best for your tastes and cooking needs.​

How do you know that sour milk goes bad?

There are a few signs that can indicate that sour milk has gone bad, including changes in color, texture, or smell. If the milk appears curdled or lumpy, has an off-putting odor, or develops an unusually sour taste, then it may be best to discard it and use a fresh batch.

Other signs to watch out for include mold growth or changes in the overall appearance of the milk. It is best to discard any sour milk that shows these signs, as it may be unsafe to consume.

If you are unsure whether your sour milk has gone bad or not, it’s always a good idea to consult with a trusted healthcare professional or food safety expert. They can provide guidance on how to properly store and handle your sour milk, as well as help you determine whether it is still safe to consume.​


Have you ever wondered how to make sour milk? It’s actually quite easy – all you need is milk and lemon juice. Simply combine the two ingredients in a bowl and give it a shake, and let it sit for 24 hours. The longer they sit, the sourer the milk will become. Once it reaches your desired level of sourness, simply put it in the fridge and enjoy! Try making your own sour milk today.

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