Author Topic: Making my own homemade yogurt  (Read 5139 times)

naturelover

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Making my own homemade yogurt
« on: January 08, 2016, 08:37:15 PM »
Since Christmas, I have been making my own homemade yogurt. It is so delicious and worth the time to make. I bought an inexpensive incubator, but there are resources online with tips for culturing without one. I wanted my first go at it to have a good chance of success so I went with the incubator. I've tried some fancy milk (regional grass-fed), regular grocery store milk, whole milk, 2%, and it's all so good!

LosAngelesFire

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2016, 12:52:36 AM »
Yes!!! I use the store brand whole milk and estimate my yogurt (strained Greek style) is half the cost of store bought. I would still make it if it was the same cost though - I know what's in it, it's easy, I feel awesome that I can do it, I always have a super healthy breakfast.

Here is the recipe I use:http://www.daringgourmet.com/2015/01/21/easy-homemade-greek-yogurt/

naturelover

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2016, 07:53:43 AM »
Here is the recipe I use:http://www.daringgourmet.com/2015/01/21/easy-homemade-greek-yogurt/

Great recipe. Thanks for sharing!

desk_jockey

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2016, 08:06:32 AM »
We've been doing this since last spring.  We use Chobani plain unflavored as a starter, then go 5 or 6 times just starting from the previous batch.   Each batch probably costs us around 1/4th what a large size of yogurt would cost in the store.

LosAngelesFire

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2016, 08:45:37 AM »
We've been doing this since last spring.  We use Chobani plain unflavored as a starter, then go 5 or 6 times just starting from the previous batch.   Each batch probably costs us around 1/4th what a large size of yogurt would cost in the store.


Do you find your starter gives out after a time? How do we know? I haven't noticed any differences, but have only been making it for a few months (once a week).

desk_jockey

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2016, 09:33:15 AM »
The starter doesn't give out.   I've heard of people using the starter of sour dough bread for 40 years.   The difference is that with yogurt you are not cooking it, so if you introduce other bacteria they could also thrive in the process as you reuse the previous batch.   A couple times I've gone about 10 batches or so batches before restarting with a new store-bought yogurt cup, but personally I wouldn't feel comfortable going for a really long time.

cschx

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2016, 10:32:46 AM »
The starter doesn't give out.   I've heard of people using the starter of sour dough bread for 40 years.   The difference is that with yogurt you are not cooking it, so if you introduce other bacteria they could also thrive in the process as you reuse the previous batch.   A couple times I've gone about 10 batches or so batches before restarting with a new store-bought yogurt cup, but personally I wouldn't feel comfortable going for a really long time.

When baking bread with a natural starter, a portion of the starter is held back and used to propagate the starter. There is no baking of the starter; baking kills all the microorganisms in the dough. (There may be some floating around in the bakery and they may land on the surface of the finished loaves, which is how starters can nevertheless be "stolen" from an established bakery via purchased loaves.)

The process of maintaining a yogurt starter is really not much different, although it's a different kind of culture. You can propagate yogurt culture indefinitely as long as you avoid contamination, typically by yeasts. (A typical yogurt culture is dominated by thermophilic and mesophilic bacteria, most usually acidophilus + thermophilus + bulgaricus + bifidobacteria.) I've been transferring my yogurt culture once a week for the past five years and it's essentially unchanged as far as I can tell. The key is good sanitary practice: I sanitize all the equipment with a one-two spray of vinegar + hydrogen peroxide, followed by a rinse with tapwater and then boiling water.

desk_jockey

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2016, 07:52:46 PM »
I didn't think that implied that one baked the starter, it certainly wasn't my intent to do so.  My point was that at 375 degrees for 25 minutes I wouldn't be worried the contamination in the finished bread product, where as yogurt doesn't have that heat treatment.    I agree that if you keep everything sterilized and you don't have kids taking out their yogurt with used spoons then you can probably use the starter for a very long time. 

pbkmaine

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2016, 08:24:04 PM »
I have used whey to replace milk in baking. It works well.

Jakejake

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2016, 09:03:37 PM »
Do you find your starter gives out after a time? How do we know? I haven't noticed any differences, but have only been making it for a few months (once a week).
I'm not a fanatic about sterilizing and maybe that's my problem, but I have to buy a new starter occasionally. Mine eventually gets too fermenty and when the yogurt zaps my tongue a bit like it's carbonated, I head out to the store for a new plain yogurt.

MMMaybe

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2016, 02:28:57 AM »
I switch out my starter from time to time. Admittedly my starter is commercial yogurt so may not be extremely strong. I do notice the quality of my yogurt declines over time if I don't do this.

cschx

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2016, 03:45:24 PM »
Sorry Desk Jockey, I misinterpreted your post. If the kids are contaminating the yogurt with their spoons, I suppose you could always set aside a bit of new yogurt in a special container marked DANGER POISON or perhaps COD LIVER OIL that they will never touch, so it can be used exclusively for propagating the culture.

Another sanitary detail I forgot to mention: I always re-pasteurize the milk to 180 and then cool to 120 before inoculating.

I posted over in this thread about a method for making thick greek-style yogurt without any straining or thickeners. It works really well. The whey is a good source of protein and can be used for cooked grains, or pickles, or sauteed/pan-steamed veggies.

Helvegen

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2016, 04:19:30 PM »
I make my yogurt with the Instant Pot. I don't keep a starter, per se. Rather, I just dump about 1/4-1/3 cup of the last batch of yogurt into the pot. I have been making yogurt 2-4 times a week for the past three months and not had any issues.

I am not fanatical either about sterilizing. Take for instance my straining bag. I just use soap and hot water to clean it and hang it to dry. At best, I sterilize the temp probe before sticking it in the sterilized milk. That is probably the only part of the process where I am fairly vigilant because the milk is now a blank slate and it is every bacteria for themselves until the right bacteria out compete the unwanted ones.

I enjoy making it because it is a pretty versatile high protein, low calorie food (assuming you use skim milk like I do). I can eat it for breakfast, as a snack, use it in place of sour cream in or on basically anything, make tzatziki, and I eat it for dessert fairly regularly. I eat around 1lb of it a day, no kidding. 1lb for a whopping 280 calories and 48g of protein. It is also stupid cheap too right now. I can buy a gallon of skim milk from Costco for $1.65 and get about 4lbs of Greek yogurt out of it.

asauer

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2016, 06:07:14 AM »
I make my own yogurt every couple of weeks- love it!  SO much cheaper than store-bought even if you use the fancy milk.  I heat in a stainless steel pot to 110- put in my starter (I save 1/4c of yogurt from the last batch as a starter), mix it up and then put it on a heating pad, wrap with towels and wait 10hrs.  Voila!  I don't sterilize b/c I buy pasteurized milk (not Ultra pasteurized).  They've already done that for me.

Greenback Reproduction Specialist

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2016, 09:09:06 AM »
This forum is so awesome, such like minded people.

Rubic

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2016, 10:02:43 AM »
I use a yogurt maker I picked up on sale at Target:

http://www.target.com/p/euro-cuisine-yogurt-maker-ym80/-/A-10270629#prodSlot=medium_1_1&term=yogurt+maker

Each weekend I usually make a batch to take to work.

horsepoor

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2016, 08:19:33 PM »
Another Instant Pot yogurt convert here.  I've settled on a ratio of 2 quarts 2% milk and a quarter of half and half for delicious creamy yogurt with almost no whey to separate out.  I take out a cup to reserve for the next batch starter, but hadn't considered that it might get contaminated over time, so I'm glad I read this! I've been using local milk in glass bottles so it's a big saver on trash output, especially compared to single serving cups.

Spiffsome

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2016, 06:08:42 PM »
I've been making mine in the slow cooker.

Run the cooker for 2.5 hours on low to pasteurise, then turn it off for 3 hours to let it cool back down, then add culture and leave for 12 - 24 hours. Strain through cheesecloth in fridge for about 24 hours for thicker yoghurt.

Kitsune

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2016, 01:40:57 PM »
If you make your own yogurt, you're a step away from homemade cheese. :) I do a variation of the labneh in oil from Diana Henry's Salt, Sugar, Smoke book.

1) Set the yogurt to drain for 48 hours (cheesecloth or coffee filter, strainer, bowl - nothing complicated)
2) Mix with salt, pepper, and herbs (I use dried oregano, but work with your tastes)
3) If the drained yogurt/cheese is solid enough, roll into little balls and drop it into olive oil. If it's not quite that solid, put it in a bowl and cover it with a thin layer of olive oil.

Covered in oil, it'll keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks easily (I've never had it last longer, so I can't speak to when it actually goes bad).

I've worked out the cost of a 2-cup jar of labneh in oil to be about 2.50$, and that's with the milk in Quebec being 6$/gallon... Pair that with some homemade bread as a potluck offering or a quick lunch (ideally with some greens, or some marinated peppers on top of the bread and cheese...) Yum!

relena

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2016, 02:05:20 PM »
I bought a bulgarian culture from cultures for health and I've been making yogurt weekly for the past 9 months with that strain. It is really good.

cschx

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2016, 12:10:30 PM »
Since someone mentioned cheese, I'll recommend David Asher's recent book The Art of Natural Cheesemaking as a guide to low-cost, low-tech cheesemaking using homemade yogurt or kefir as a starting point.

Kitsune

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2016, 12:42:04 PM »
Since someone mentioned cheese, I'll recommend David Asher's recent book The Art of Natural Cheesemaking as a guide to low-cost, low-tech cheesemaking using homemade yogurt or kefir as a starting point.

That looks amazing, and I've made a request for it at my local library. Gawd but I love my local library.

Al1961

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2016, 02:37:23 PM »
I bought a bulgarian culture from cultures for health and I've been making yogurt weekly for the past 9 months with that strain. It is really good.

I've been using that same culture for two years now. When drained, it makes a superior Greek style yogurt. Those heirloom cultures just keep going...

Al

Tom Bri

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Re: Making my own homemade yogurt
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2016, 07:27:03 PM »
Been doing this for about 15 years. We use a cup of store-bought yogurt as starter. Heat up a gallon of milk until it's nice and warm but not hot, and mix in the starter. Wrap the pot in several old towels/blankets and put it on the kitchen table overnight. By morning it is done. Occasional fails, but not often.
We can reuse that yogurt as a starter, but after several batches it starts to get more sour, so we buy another cup.
One nice thing you can try is to strain away the whey in a coffee filter and make what is basically cream cheese.