Author Topic: DIY Yogurt is easy!  (Read 25930 times)

ohyonghao

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #50 on: June 05, 2014, 04:06:41 PM »
The starter is always carried over from my previous batch, except for about twice a year, when I have been away on holiday and need to buy a new tub of yoghurt to get a starter.
If I knew I was going to be gone too long I would just freeze the last batch first, yogurt cultures do very well being frozen and thawed back out.  That's actually how I used to make a single quart last 20 batches was by taking one starter then freezing the rest of it in starter sized containers.  Once a batch got weird I would just grab a new starter from the freezer, set it in the fridge for the day and use it that evening.

San

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2014, 05:02:09 PM »
We do yogurt in a crockpot, which is super easy and I've never had a batch fail. I use the method here:

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html

Only I don't blend the fruit in at the end. We stir in fruit, jam, granola, etc, when we're ready to eat it. It keeps longer in the fridge that way for us.

JustTrying

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #52 on: June 08, 2014, 11:44:31 PM »
I make yogurt in the crockpot regularly to save money. (I strain it afterwards to make it greek). It's delish!

I made it once with soy milk, using the regular crockpot method and it turned out fine...except that it tasted like nothing. I know that sounds weird, but it just kind of had no taste. Also, I still used regular store-bought yogurt as my starter, so it wasn't totally dairy free.

I like to save my whey to mix into smoothies...I'm mildly lactose intolerant, but dislike the taste of all milk substitutes. Whey+soymilk is the only liquid combo that I've found to be satisfactory in my smoothies! (Plus I think the whey has some nutrients or something in it too? Protein? I don't know.)

Paradise

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2014, 01:39:10 PM »
OK - I'm in on this one! Our first batch is currently in the CP - using the crockpot365 recipe posted here. Bought organic whole milk (spendy, but ahhhhhhh it's our first attempt) to use and some Hood River cherries to mix in. All batches after this one will be cheaper, for sure! (But this one should be super yummy.) Thanks to the PP who ran the Kill-A-Watt test on this - can at least tell the fam it cost next to nothing for the electricity.

Any idea if I can use a bit of powdered buttermilk to thicken instead of regular, low-fat powdered milk? Don't have any of that and I do have a small tub of the buttermilk powder in the fridge (comes in handy for recipes). I'm guessing it might just make the yogurt a bit more tangy...

Bought a cup of Fage for my starter this time, but love the idea of freezing a batch in little pucks to use as future starters!

Paradise

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #54 on: August 15, 2014, 06:27:29 AM »
Rats - pricey epic fail on my yogurt. Not exactly sure what went wrong since I followed the crockpot365 recipe, but my batch didn't thicken up AT ALL. Maybe my crockpot temp (on low) was too high and killed the cultures or something? So, don't think I can even use the failed batch as a starter... Will try again, but :(

Thegoblinchief

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #55 on: August 21, 2014, 08:53:11 PM »
Alright, I'm doing this this week! I do so many other DIY foods that I'm surprised it's taken me this long. In fact, I specifically buy Mountain High yoghurt because it tastes just like the yoghurt my Mom made growing up.

I personally like yoghurt on the tangy side, then mix it in with homemade granola, fruit, or on top of pancakes for complex flavor.

Commercial Greek yoghurt is actually a major toxic waste generator, FYI:

http://modernfarmer.com/2013/05/whey-too-much-greek-yogurts-dark-side/

So DIY Greek not only saves the plastic, but if you use the whey in baking, it saves the acidification damage.

Zette

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #56 on: August 22, 2014, 12:46:51 AM »
I don't like Greek yogurt or most American yogurt (the only exception is the Trader Joes strawberries and cream brand that comes in 4oz servings). I find that I do like the yogurt in Australia -- they are creamier and not as artificial tasting. How does homemade yogurt compare in texture and flavor?  How can I flavor it since I probably won't like plain?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #57 on: August 22, 2014, 05:05:00 AM »
I find that I do like the yogurt in Australia -- they are creamier and not as artificial tasting. How does homemade yogurt compare in texture and flavor?

The creamy aspect could come from using whole milk, whereas a lot of American yoghurt (especially flavored stuff) is 2% or lower milkfat, which is why it's runnier.

Quote
How can I flavor it since I probably won't like plain?

Once the curd is set, stir in whatever you want! It's as easy as that.

Paradise

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #58 on: August 27, 2014, 10:22:30 PM »
Hooray! Try #2 worked like a charm. Seemed the problem with my first batch was that the pricey organic milk was ultra-pasturized which doesn't work with the crockpot365 recipe - the yogurt doesn't thicken, which happened to me. So, I used regular whole milk (just plain pasturized) and sprinkled about 1/4 cup of powdered milk into the yogurt starter to mix in with the warm milk on my recent try. I also kept better track of when the milk reached the 180-185 degree mark, and then when it cooled to 110, using my candy thermometer. In my first attempt, I had just followed the recipe time estimate "2 1/2 hours on low" etc. In fact, my milk needed 3 hours on low and then a brief hit on high in the CP to reach the 180-degree mark. That surprised me. Followed by 3 hours unplugged to cool to 110 degrees so that the starter and milk powder and vanilla could be mixed in, then the unplugged CP was wrapped snugly in a towel for 6 hours to stay warmish so the yogurt could develop...and yes, thicken! Seems the longer it sits in this last phase, the tangier the yogurt - I will need to experiment a bit with this last bit.

Good luck to anyone who tries this - it is fun! (When it works!)

Caoineag

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #59 on: August 28, 2014, 06:10:05 AM »
I use a slow cooker method with thermometer and it works perfectly every time. I have been doing this for a number of months and still haven't had my cultures shift. I am beginning to think that my starter is too aggressive for the bad bacteria. It has 7 different strains so that isn't too surprising I guess. How long did it take some of you to have the cultures start going bad? I am at over 5 months now, I really thought I would have needed a new starter by now.

Since we use this in our smoothies, we don't strain the whey out even though we prefer greek yogurt for eating and used our last commercial batch of greek yogurt as the starter. For us, it cuts the price of the yogurt in half and since we don't have to add as much milk to the smoothies, it saves us on that as well.

ohyonghao

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #60 on: August 28, 2014, 11:36:59 AM »
I use a slow cooker method with thermometer and it works perfectly every time. I have been doing this for a number of months and still haven't had my cultures shift. I am beginning to think that my starter is too aggressive for the bad bacteria. It has 7 different strains so that isn't too surprising I guess. How long did it take some of you to have the cultures start going bad? I am at over 5 months now, I really thought I would have needed a new starter by now.

Since we use this in our smoothies, we don't strain the whey out even though we prefer greek yogurt for eating and used our last commercial batch of greek yogurt as the starter. For us, it cuts the price of the yogurt in half and since we don't have to add as much milk to the smoothies, it saves us on that as well.

I went six months or so making weekly batches with no trouble.  I only ran into trouble when I stopped making smoothies!  I found sanitation was the biggest contributor to my batches eventually going bad before.  I recommend not boiling the milk, or putting it in a different container to mix with the starter.  Milk has already been pasteurized and put into sanitary containers, by attempting to scald the milk you risk cross contamination from every piece of equipment you use.  I would boil my glass jars and then set them out just before using, tops up to let them steam dry, add the milk, then use a spoon which I had also sanitized to take a scoop from the last batch and add it to each jar.  That was sufficient to produce yogurt consistently every time.  As long as you stay sanitary you should not have any trouble with your yogurt going bad.

Caoineag

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #61 on: August 28, 2014, 11:45:49 AM »
Thanks! We are careful not to contaminate anything after the heating process so that probably explains our success.

tennisray

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #62 on: September 05, 2014, 07:33:26 AM »
I used the crockpot method.  Since we eat a lot of yogurt per week, I actually did 2 crockpots and 2 gallons of milk.  It worked the first time with the suggested 2.5 hr low temp followed by 3 hours of cooling.  However, the next time, I had to adjust the cool down period since the crockpots heated at different temps. Rave reviews so far.  I'm still not sure if I am going to step it up and take a chance with raw or organic milk due to the expense.

BTW-I used the strained whey to make ricotta cheese(since I had so much whey).  It wasn't as good as the fresh ricotta that I used to eat in NY, so I probably won't do that again.

tennisray

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #63 on: September 05, 2014, 07:38:03 AM »
I just posted this if anyone is interested in homemade mayo

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/do-it-yourself-forum!/diy-mayo-simple-recipe!/

Paradise

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Re: DIY Yogurt is easy!
« Reply #64 on: September 06, 2014, 07:13:58 AM »
Still tinkering - and eating lots of yummy yogurt! Most recent batch: heated 1/2 gallon of whole milk to 180/185 degrees in the crockpot on high for 90 minutes. I had been leery of trying it on high since all the online recipes I've read say to use low. But, this worked great for me (two yr old Hamilton Beach CP) and it cut 90+ minutes off the already lengthy time to make the yogurt. Also upped the powdered milk to 1/2 cup. Strained this batch and got gorgeous creamy thick yogurt - wow - so much more whey drained out than I ever would have guessed. (And left not as much yogurt! Might start using a gallon of milk, so that I get a decent yield and I'm not making yogurt every other day.) Now to start tinkering with lower-fat milk to start and perhaps mixing in more non-fat powdered milk to keep it creamy, but less-calorie-laden...