Author Topic: Making my own yogurt  (Read 12697 times)

jtriplett

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Making my own yogurt
« on: January 25, 2015, 09:11:16 PM »
In the last few weeks I've taken to making my own yogurt.  And I love it!

Here in Berkeley, Full Fat Regular yogurt costs around $5/quart, somewhere between $429 and $499 depending on what brand they have in stock.  I personally don't buy "low-fat" or skim yogurt.  There is simply too much healthy good stuff in milk fat.  Plus I get hungrier much faster with the low fat stuff.  Anyway

I can get a half Gallon of milk for about $2.50. 
I also invested in a 12 pack of quart size wide mouth ball jars from amazon for about $20 or so.  Plus I love drinking water out of these because I tend to drink more since I get stuck in front of a computer and the bigger the vessel the less I need to remember to go fill it.

Making Yogurt is SHOCKINGLY easy.  You do NOT need a expensive yogurt maker to do this.

Pre-heat the oven to 250 or so.  Just turn it on for a few minutes to get warm.
Pour a quart of milk into a saucepan.  Boil it, and then let it sit and cool to 125 degrees.
Pour the cooled milk in to a jar.  Stir in a dollop (Tbs) of the last batch of yogurt.  (Need a starter? Go buy some yogurt from the store, eat all but a tablespoon). 
Seal the Jar.
Wrap the jar in a Towel for insulation.
Put the wrapped jar into the oven
Let sit for 8 ish hours.   This is great to do in the evening, and then wake up in the morning and take it out.  Plus or minus a few hours I've noticed makes very little difference. 
Take it out of the oven.  It should be solid.  Put in fridge... Enjoy.

I've single handedly cut my breakfast bill by a lot, and I get to eat all those yummy fresh local bacteria without it being over processed. 

MountainBeard

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2015, 10:49:47 PM »
I used to do this as well, and come to think of it I'm not sure why I stopped...  The only thing different about my approach was that I used a small cooler, which would get filled with warm water.  This did a good job of keeping the temperature over night.  I also portioned things out into little jelly jars for single serve portions.

Might have to do this again, I've got two giant jars of lingonberry jam in the pantry that would be good with some homemade yogurt.

okkiedokki

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2015, 10:25:16 AM »
We've been making yogurt as well; a co-worker got me into it.  We used to spend $32 a week on yogurt, now we spend $2.49 for a gallon of 2% milk at Aldi and throw it in the crockpot and let it go.  It's so much healthier then the store bought stuff with sugar and everything else that's added. 

mbk

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2015, 10:46:32 AM »
You can also get the culture from most of the Indian stores by buying their yogurt. From where I come, yogurt is part of every meal. And its always made at home. We use Berkeley bowl milk and if we run out of yogurt, we borrow from our neighbour the culture.

Cookie78

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2015, 11:03:51 AM »
Excited to try this!
Thanks for posting.

Allie

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2015, 11:08:00 AM »
We have been doing this off and on for years.  It tastes better than the stuff from the store.  I use my crockpot.  I Imagine it takes longer, but it's pretty foolproof. 

I need foolproof.  :-)

be

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2015, 06:12:58 PM »
+1 for making yogurt in crockpot.  So easy.  The hardest parts are waiting for the milk to get to the right temperature and having to scoop the yogurt into individual containers.  And the funny part is when you tell people you make your own yogurt, they're VERY IMPRESSED.  Little do they know how easy it is.

For a thicker yogurt I add powdered milk.  I know someone who adds gelatin instead.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the whey?  I just mix it back into the yogurt, but it does separate.  And when I take it on public transportation it tends to slosh around my container and spill.

MashedBanana

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2015, 01:00:13 AM »
How do you make it in the crock pot? Just put it on the lowest setting?

MashedBanana

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2015, 01:04:20 AM »
Don't worry guys, I Googled it.

somecobwebs

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2015, 01:34:52 AM »
So, I did try making my own yogurt in my crockpot, but it was a failure - tasted horrifically bland, even when mixed with fruit. Maybe I should give it another try... Not sure what I did wrong, though.

Allie

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2015, 10:51:20 AM »
I have never had my crockpot yogurt taste like anything but yogurt.  I usually make it up with whole milk, strain it with a colander lined with a coffee filter for a couple hours, then mix in flavors.  I have never really found a good vanilla yogurt combo, but use jam for fruit yogurt. 

As an aside, I stopped making our yogurt about a year ago.  Then, one day in Nov, I bought a large container of tillamok vanilla bean yogurt at the store.  When I opened it, there wasn't any yogurt inside.  It was just full of the vanilla sugar syrup.  A giant container of yogurt flavoring.  It was thick, brownish, and somewhat gelatinous.  After I saw it, I went back to making my own.  It tasted amazing, but there is no way it was healthy.

be

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2015, 01:27:23 PM »
Allie, you work hard.  I don't strain my yogurt.

I add honey and ground flax seed to my yogurt.  And when I want a treat, I use chocolate syrup instead of honey with my ground flax seed.  It's kind of a healthy chocolate sundae, right?  Maybe?

I use a thermometer to test the milk temperature.  Also, I do have to admit I do speed up the process by heating up the milk in the microwave before I pour it into the crockpot.  I just heat the milk up a bit to get it started.  However be careful if you do this, if it boils, it won't work for yogurt -- so tapioca pudding time.  (That gets made in the crockpot, too.  I'm not washing extra dishes.)

For the starter, I just save some from my previous batch and use that.  However if the last batch was a flop, you need to go buy a new container.  The new batch will look like a larger portion of the starter.

Oh and I use skim milk.

1967mama

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2015, 02:43:15 PM »
Has anyone figured out a way to flavour a full batch of homemade yogurt (1 gallon) after its cooled but before its being eaten? My kids struggle with flavouring it themselves, and thus, it often goes bad before it gets eaten. I don't really want to dump 1/2  a jar of raspberry jam in there :-/

I have recently tried making my own yogurt again -- it worked well, but again, I need to flavour it up in advance. I'm thinking that if it is a reasonable facsimile to store-bought yogurt, they will eat it. Then, in the coming weeks and months, I can ease off on the flavourings a little at a time to make them more healthy. I have lots of frozen fruit -- maybe if I thawed it and pureed it, I could stir that in??

Any suggestions would be most welcomed!

be

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2015, 04:10:30 PM »
I don't see why thawed, pureed fruit couldn't be added to yogurt or even jam.  I've certainly used jam that didn't set properly (think a little runny, not nice and solid.)

It sounds delicious.  However does everyone like the same flavor?  And what about maybe putting the pureed fruit, small chunks of fruit, or even jam on the bottom, then they can stir themselves.  And less work for you.  I remember when yogurt was sold with fruit on the bottom.  (I guess that sort of dates me.)

Good luck.

I would be a little concerned about stirring all the yogurt.  Does the texture hold up?  I was thinking of just putting a dollop of fruit/jam at the bottom of each container and letting the yogurt eater mix.

I sometimes add cereal to my yogurt for added taste, texture, and filling.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2015, 04:14:07 PM by be »

1967mama

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2015, 04:16:40 PM »
  And what about maybe putting the pureed fruit, small chunks of fruit, or even jam on the bottom, then they can stir themselves.  And less work for you.  I remember when yogurt was sold with fruit on the bottom.  (I guess that sort of dates me.)


Great idea to put the puree in the bottom and yogurt on top in small canning jars! I'm that dated too <wink>

be

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2015, 04:52:11 PM »
1967mama,
you're fancy -- canning jars.  i just use the plastic containers that i used to buy my yogurt in.  Now they don't sell them with the plastic lids.  however i got a huge stash of them from my uncle.  And let me tell you, he was very happy to give them to me.  the funny part is now he's more economical and buys the big yogurt containers.  he still gives me his containers, except now the containers are bigger.  But let me tell you, this past holiday season, I probably used upwards of 50 of them.  I filled them with all kinds of goodies -- chex mix, brownies, chocolate bark. 

but getting back to using your canning jar.  i think it would look really pretty with the fruit on the bottom and the yogurt on top.  and as a side benefit, it will stretch your yogurt.

good luck.

PEIslander

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2015, 05:18:56 PM »
I just heat the milk up a bit to get it started.  However be careful if you do this, if it boils, it won't work for yogurt ...

The OP says to boil the milk. You say it won't work if you do.  What gives?  To boil or not to boil - that is the question...

be

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2015, 05:39:43 PM »
I heat the milk to 185F then let it cool to 110F.  I notice if it boils, somehow my yogurt doesn't set properly.  However I guess I'm doing something wrong since the OP gets good results when the OP's milk has boiled.  Interesting question.  I tried looking online about the milk boiling bit and most places I've read say, don't boil.  However the OP gets good results, and it's hard to argue with good results.

PEIslander.  love your userid.  love PEI.  it makes me smile just thinking about it. so charming.  but maybe not so nice this time of year.  brrrrr.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2015, 05:47:48 PM by be »

PEIslander

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2015, 05:59:54 PM »
Thanks be for the reply. Glad you love PEI! In yesterday's snow storm I still enjoyed looking out the window to soak in the beautiful view. We had 90 km/hr gusts swirling the snow but I still saw a cute little fox out hunting.

be

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2015, 06:36:02 PM »
PEIslander, You could very easily have frozen yogurt.  And you certainly wouldn't have to wait very long for your milk to cool from 185F to 110F. ;)

Gerard

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2015, 05:19:55 PM »
For flavour add-ins, I like honey and finely grated lemon zest. Tastes a bit like cheesecake.

As for the whey, I've seen suggestions that you use it as the souring agent for homemade cheese (paneer). Has anyone tried this? I'm guessing you'd get a more interesting paneer than you do with vinegar or citrus juice.

be

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2015, 05:54:11 PM »
Oooo, I like cheesecake.  Honey and lemon zest -- interesting.  i'll have to try that.

Gerard, if I make paneer, won't I end up with more whey?

Currently I use the whey in waffles, but even I can only eat so many waffles.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 06:51:46 PM by be »

1967mama

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2015, 03:02:19 AM »
Another quick question .. how long do you think yogurt lasts in the fridge? When I make a gallon of milk into yogurt, that's A LOT of yogurt. Since it wasn't flavoured up, unless I served it to the kids with flavouring, they just ignored it in the fridge. What is left is now 2 weeks old and I'm getting worried about it <sigh> hate wasting food! grrr!

PEIslander

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2015, 04:15:25 AM »
I bought a 2L jug of 3,25%MF milk to try and make yogurt tonight. I have some fresh greek-style (plain) to use as my starter. My problem is I don't have a thermometer. The 185F shouldn't be too difficult since I know coffee is usually served at 175. Anybody know what 110F compares with? -- Would saying that's a little warmer than how you'd prepare infant formula be reasonable?

pancakes

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2015, 04:23:00 AM »
Yogurt is our weakness. We spend $8 for 500g for the good stuff.

I had a housemate once who had a yogurt maker and I loved making my own. Even better was using it to make labneh (very well strained and salted yogurt) and if I was making enough I'd have enough whey to boil with some milk and also get some ricotta.  I'll have to give it a go without the fancy yogurt maker!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2015, 04:25:02 AM by pancakes »

be

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2015, 12:39:42 PM »
PEIslander - I know you don't have a cooking thermometer, but what about the one you use to test if you have a fever?  Yes 110F would be at the top end of the range, but it is within range.

1967mama - Mine lasts for about 1 month or so.  It takes me a long time to finish my yogurt since I'm the only one eating it.  However last year I was at a friend's and she had some in the frig that had expired a few months prior and she said it was still fine to eat.  However after you put your jam or pureed fruit on the bottom, those children of yours will be eating the stuff so fast, you won't be able to keep it in the frig.

jaye_p

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2015, 01:12:30 PM »
PEIslander - I ran the hot water tap for about 30 seconds, and it registered 105 degrees.  I don't know if this helps.  Get yourself a cheesemaking or brewing thermometer - if you have a local store that sells cheesemaking or beermaking supplies.  You can get a nice one for under $10, and unless you do something crazy to them, they'll last a very long while.  The price difference between making a few batches of your own yogurt vs. buying will pay for the thermomenter.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2015, 02:41:01 PM »
Yogurt is an ancient way of preserving milk so it doesn't go bad as quickly. Homemade yogurt seems to get more sour over time, but it doesn't become bad (as far as I've seen). Unless it smells terrible or is actually moldy, it's probably fine.

Left

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2015, 03:22:20 PM »
[qoute]PEIslander - I know you don't have a cooking thermometer, but what about the one you use to test if you have a fever?  Yes 110F would be at the top end of the range, but it is within range.[/qoute]
My friend who makes her own yogurt and I did it same way she did was she boils the milk then lets it cool down to the point where you can put it on your hand (she says it is like the baby milk bottle test), then add starter and put a towel over the pot and let it sit overnight

she didn't seem all that concerned with hitting an actual temperature, as long as it was "warm/hot" for a few hours

Blue girl

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2015, 10:56:26 PM »
I do a gallon at a time- heat until it starts foaming up, then let cool until 118 f or so. Mix in a cup of old yougurt, then put into glass jars. I also use a cooler to store them overnight. I used to have warm water in the cooler, but now find it's actually not necssary. Just put a blanket over the cooler and let it sit for 12 hours.

You can add in vanilla to the milk before putting them into jars for a little bit of flavour.

I find around 3- 4 weeks the yougurt starts getting moldy.

homehandymum

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2015, 01:48:50 AM »
Leftover yoghurt that is in danger of going off can be used for:

- frozen yoghurt ice-blocks for summer
- wholemeal yoghurt scones (http://www.cookitsimply.com/recipe-0010-033m3.html)
- pancake batter (think of it as really thick buttermilk)
- other baking (you can thin it out with water and use instead of milk)
- clafoutis (not all recipes call for yoghurt, but some do)
- stirring through curry

Yoghurt is on our list of things to try next.  I did a lot of yoghurt making quite a few years ago but have gotten out of the habit.  I really like the look of the slow-cooker method, though.  It seems like it would give more consistent results than the guess-work, mason-jar, hope it's warm enough method I used to use.  Especially since I own a cheese/dairy thermometer now :)

1967mama

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2015, 01:55:57 AM »
Just wanted to say thanks for all the wonderful tips! What a great sharing of ideas this thread has been!

PEIslander

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2015, 04:03:46 AM »
Okay - I heated up 2L of milk by putting a pot of milk in a larger pot of boiling water. No problem judging when it was about 185F or having it cool to about 110F. (Thermometer? I don't need no stinking thermometer!)

I stirred in about 2/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt that was at room temperature. It didn't completely blend in but the blobs that remained were tiny and I hoped that wouldn't matter. I poured the blend into a glass jug and put it in the oven I'd preheated to 200F -- with the oven off for the overnight transformation. I left the oven light on hoping to keep some warmth in the oven as the we let our home cool down overnight.

I just checked - its been eight or nine hours and the oven held some warmth. I dug in with a big spoon to test. First thing I noticed is there does seem to be some whey on the top although with foamy froth on top I couldn't see that whey when I took the jug out of the oven. The yogurt tasted good but was lumpy and quite liquid. The lumpiness could almost be described as "somewhat curdled". I've returned it to the oven hoping it might thicken some more. ---- Any ideas? I was hoping it would be smooth like commercial yogurt. Do you use cheese cloth to strain out the whey?

Left

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2015, 09:27:04 AM »
it happens on the top layers, take it off and make something with it

commercial yogurt might be filtered through a mesh to remove the clumps

ayran is a decent drink made from yogurt as well, it's a middle eastern drink, not sure how it works with fruit flavored yogurt though (I make it from the foamy top part of yogurt, see above, but I don't use much/any salt. It's a mix of almond/soy milk to me in taste after I add a little sugar/almond extract)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayran

edit: if you let it solidify longer, it can become greek yogurt like from what I heard. But it "sours" a bit if it sits too long while "incubating"
« Last Edit: January 31, 2015, 09:31:22 AM by eyem »

PEIslander

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2015, 09:52:07 AM »
Thanks eyem. I put the whole soupy mixture through a sieve and it removed all the lumps. I've since been filtering the resulting yogurt through coffee filters, one filter's worth at a time, all morning. It is working out that 2L of milk made 1L of yogurt & 1L of whey. The filtered yogurt is wonderful --- it tastes so fresh, is very creamy, and is not as sour as commercial plain yogurt. It is not as thick as commercial yogurt but is certainly "thick enough".

Those lumps I sieved off were left draining for more than an hour - thickening until it is like a cream cheese substitute.

When I first saw the results this morning (as per my earlier post) I was thinking the experiment was not as successful as I hoped. Now it has proven to be very successful. I like the yogurt produced more than the commercial stuff. Thanks for the encouragement to try making it.

Maaike

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2015, 12:41:42 PM »
I make my own yoghurt too. I love it and feel very proud of myself, even though it's so easy. Sometimes I make a little custard with milk and mix it with the yoghurt when it's ready. Tastes just like vanille yoghurt.

Shropskr

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2015, 02:02:01 PM »
I make crockpot yogurt but do it with dried milk instead.  Just heat to 110ish and go.  I find hot water from the tap to be just about right.  I mix in the blender. Adding my starter in the last batch to break it up into tiny pieces.

Also my kids prefer Greek yogurt so I add gelatin to thicken it up.  No much though.  If I goof and add too much oh well into the morning smoothies go the yogurt or I'll add the flavored in the blender and put it in small containers for their lunches after.  Syrups like for flavored coffees work too. Jam fruit but this shortens its life span.

Good luck

DesireeD

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #37 on: January 31, 2015, 11:35:16 PM »
Thanks for the inspiration ya all. Just took my first batch out of my small cooler and it looks great! 1/3 the cost for yogurt and the impressed look on my friends faces, priceless!

Carless

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2015, 07:06:32 PM »
A couple of tips- when you buy yogurt for a starter, you can spoon it into doses and freeze them, dropping one per batch into the warm (not hot!) yogurt.  After it thaws out, you stir it in and wait.  You can also use the whey for starting the next batch, just freeze it in the mean time.

I drain my yogurt with a clean, sterilized (ie boiled) pillowcase.  I turn it so the seam is outside, spoon the yogurt in, hang it off something over a pot, and wait 20-30 mins.

Yogurt 'works' fastest around 110 F, but it will still go more slowly at lower temps.  If I'm going to be draining it in 12 h or so, I use an electric hot pad to keep it warm.  If I need it to go more slowly, I just throw a blanket over it instead.  As time passes, it gets thicker and more sour, so the ideal time depends on taste.  There are different 'breeds' of yogurt, which you can try out.

If you're using a thermometer, check it against boiling water.  For the mercury/alcohol ones this isn't necessary, but I've found cooking thermometers (thermocouple and bimetallic strip type) that were off by ~20 F, which can mean boiling the milk by accident.  As an engineer, the complete lack of calibration on any cooking equipment (temperature, volume, weight) makes me irritated.

As you use each generation of yogurt to grow the next, it will vary in taste over time.  Probiotic yogurts will probably not breed true (too many cultures competing), but I've been using Balkan and it works well.

Leanthree

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #39 on: February 02, 2015, 08:06:38 PM »
For thicker more kid-friendly-textured yogurt, use gelatin. 1/2t Bloomed and then added to the milk as it is heating up. If you like it even thicker, use more.

1967mama

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2015, 09:53:22 PM »
Another batch going in a pot with a heating pad just now. I need to time this better! I heated and cooled the milk at around 2pm so it should be ready around 2 am! hahaha!

Right now, I have the texture of YOP!

I also made a fruit puree today with blueberries, blackberries and mango from the freezer. Added a little sugar and zapped it with my new stick blender (Christmas gift from my parents).

This will sweeten the yogurt. My daughter wants to buy more small jars at walmart so we can have yogurt cups ready to go in the freezer. She has a full time job and wants to be able to take the homemade yogurt. I'm so glad!

I will check my batch at 11pm and hopefully it will be ready!

be

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2015, 01:54:52 PM »
I stirred in about 2/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt that was at room temperature. It didn't completely blend in but the blobs that remained were tiny and I hoped that wouldn't matter.

After I've heated the milk to 185F and let it cool to 115F or is it 110F, i scoop out some of the warmish milk into a big measuring cup (think 4 cup pyrex), pour in yogurt starter, stir, pour warmish milk with stirred in yogurt back into crockpot.  I use a wisk to stir and i don't have lumps.

I use a big 4 cup pyrex because i used it previously during the microwaving milk process to get it started.  if I reuse it, i don't dirty another dish.  however obviously you can  pour and stir in a bowl or whatever works.  i haven't had lumps.  hope that helps

fruit puree of blueberries, blakckberries, and mago sound delicious.  can you use plastic containers to put in the freezer to save money?  what about reusing small glass bottles in freezer.  however if the yogurt eating doesn't take off in your house, you can reuse the jars for jam making.

1967mama

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2015, 01:03:47 PM »
My gallon of yogurt turned out well! I put it into little jars with puree in the bottom and so far, the kids are responding positively to it -- said it tasted good!  For the Win!

be

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2015, 01:56:37 PM »
delicious and you've made it convenient for them.  think of all the money you're saving with not a crazy amount of work.  Plus you get the added benefit of using what you already have (fruit and jars.)

ohyonghao

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2015, 04:50:56 PM »
In my experience the scalding of milk is not needed for making yogurt.  I went around 6 months or more from the same starter once I stopped heating the milk first.  If you think about it the milk has already been pasteurized, by putting it into a pot for scalding you give it a chance to pick up contaminants, especially during the time that you are letting it set to 110, and if you don't sanitize the thermometer between each reading if you don't have one that stays in, same with adding the started in a separate container then mixing back in.  As a home brewer of cider I learned that we want to reduce the chance of adding in bacteria and to always use sanitized equipment since the brew is going to be sitting at a temperature ripe for reproduction.  Applying this to yogurt making suddenly my batches don't go bad after 5 iterations.

Another tip is to freeze the starter.  Why buy a quart of starter and eat everything but a Tbsp if you know you might need to refresh the starter after a few months?  We just divvied it into multiple small containers to store in the freezer.  When we need one we put it in the fridge for a day.

Our process to make yogurt became simpler and less messy.  Using the final containers we first sanitize them (technically we sterilize them because we boil them), then pour the cold milk from a fresh container straight into the final container and using a sterilized spoon (do this with the jars), we take directly from our last container and put a small helping into each container.  Pouring the cold milk in first cools the jar down so it doesn't affect the starter by being too hot.  Once this is done the milk has now cooled the jars and it is ready to handle by hand and move to incubation.

We do happen to have a yogurt maker for incubating, but the same principles would apply to using the oven with or without a water bath, or a crockpot.

For those wanting more detail you can visit my blog which explains my first time making yogurt, and my follow up a year or two later with what I'd learned from experience.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 06:43:52 PM by ohyonghao »

1967mama

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2015, 06:06:15 PM »
Thanks ohyonghao!

This is super interesting -- I've never heard not scalding the milk first. Looking forward to reading the detailed post on your blog!

bludreamin

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2015, 06:28:48 PM »
I love making my own yogurt but don't often take the time to do it....

I use the 185/110 deg F for my temps. Usually my go to is to microwave the milk in my 8c Pyrex measuring cup (microwaving in 6 min increments and sitting until it reaches 185). After it cools and I add the starter I wrap the Pyrex in towels and set it in my preheated oven with light on overnight. I do end up straining my yogurt using a colander and cheesecloth to get the Greek yogurt consistency. I usually end up staying so I get one third to one half of the milk that started with in whey.

I need to find ways to use my whey.  I use to be a big koolaid/crystal light drinker and added a cup of whey when I'd mix up a batch and it was soooo good... But I've since cut that out (trying to clean up my eating).

If anyone has suggestions for using whey is live to hear.

ohyonghao

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2015, 06:58:10 PM »
Thanks ohyonghao!

This is super interesting -- I've never heard not scalding the milk first. Looking forward to reading the detailed post on your blog!

I fixed my spelling error, I get scalding and scolding mixed up sometimes, probably because the most memorable learning of that word was from a previous girlfriend who stood there yelling at the milk.  I might go and google why scalding is recommended.  Okay, I already started googling.  Here is a discussion on this that is inconclusive: http://www.wildfermentation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4020&f=3#p9902.

For those who tl;dr the basic argument is either:
1) to kill germs/bacteria from time of pasteurization to the time that you opened it, though this claim is not backed by anything, and
2) to make a thicker product, though this claim is the one that is still up for debate

Hmm, this seems like I may have to open up the OhYongHao science lab and test.  I have fancy thermometers now that I can use to measure the heat accurately.  If I control for bacteria by keeping everything sanitized I'll have to come up with a test for runniness.  Perhaps the amount of time it takes for the final product to stop dripping when poured?  Having 6 jars I could fill 3 with a scalded mix, and 3 with straight from the container.  It'll have to wait until the next time I go to the store and get milk.

For Science!

be

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2015, 01:10:54 PM »
If anyone has suggestions for using whey is live to hear.

I have the same problem with too much whey.  I do use it waffles, but I too am looking for additional ideas.  There are only so many waffles even I can eat.

stripey

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Re: Making my own yogurt
« Reply #49 on: February 06, 2015, 08:22:52 AM »
Certainly in my hands, re-pasteurisation (lowish temperatures) and allowing to cool to 38*C slowly has resulted in a thicker end product. YMMV of course.