So, this post (totally devoid of photos) is for Val, who couldn’t possibly wait another second to make her own yogurt.
It took me three attempts to get this to work.
The first attempt was the couldn’t-be-more-simple-yogurt-in-a-thermos method. The second couldn’t-be-more-labour-intesive-yogurt-in-a-bucket method.
Both failed horribly.
The liquid that went in as warm milk came out exactly the same way. Except much smellier.
I figured out my problem, however.
Someone told me I could use powdered acidophilus supplement instead of yoghurt starter.
That someone lied.
What did work?
Anyhow, I prepared all the milk the same way according to this method, then split the milk into different containers to try different incubation techniques.
Confused yet? Excellent.
Do It Yourself Yogurt
To Prepare the Milk, you will need:
1 large saucepan
7 cups milk
1/2 cup milk powder
1/2 cup yogurt
* In your saucepan, add your milk and milk powder and whisk well.
* On medium heat and using your thermometer, bring the milk up to 180*F.
* Remove milk from burner and set aside to cool.
* Meanwhile, take your yogurt out of the fridge so that it is room temperature. If it’s too cold, it will screw the whole thing up.
* When your milk has cooled to around 110*F, take a bit of the warm milk and stir it into your 1/2 cup yogurt. Add this mix to your pot of warm milk and stir well to combine.
Notes on The Milk Prep Portion:
Milk – while I used whole milk for this attempt, I plan on trying skim, almond and rice milks in the future. We’ll see if I can screw those up too.
Milk powder – I just used the cheapest stuff I could find at the grocery store. It doesn’t have anything in it besides milk and vitamin D, so that’s a plus.
Yogurt – I made sure to get good yogurt. Organic Meadow, which has only milk and live probiotic cultures. No pectin. No gelatin. No problem. Don’t forget that you can use remnants from previous yogurt batches as your starter. You don’t have to buy it every time.
I read online that if you’re using pasturized milk, you can skip the 180* step and just heat the milk up to 110*. I might try that next time.
As I said, two methods.
You will need:
Several glass jars with lids
1 large bucket
1 small fleece blanket or a towel
* Pour the milk into the glass jars and tighten the lids.
* Wrap the jars in the blanket, place in the bucket and close the lid.
* Leave undisturbed for 4-12 hours depending on desired thickness and tanginess.
Bucket Method Notes:
This method was easy enough. It was also nice to have the yogurt already in jars that you could store the yogurt in.
You will need:
* Pour the warm milk into the thermos, tighten the lid and set aside for 4-12 hours, depending on desired thickness and tanginess.
Notes on Thermos Method:
It was super easy. I don’t think I’ll bother with the other method since this one takes no time and very little equipment.
I used a stainless steel Starbucks thermos I’ve had from way back to a time I actually had money to spend on a Starbucks thermos. I have read, though, that metal reacts with the yogurt, so I think I’ll probably see if I can find a thermos with the glass inside. Like the plaid one I had as a kid.
I checked the yogurt at about 5 hours and it was the perfect consistency. So glad I didn’t have to wait the full 12 hours. I’m not great with delayed gratification.
So, there you have it. Your very own yogurt.
Assuming you don’t screw it up as many times as I did, it’s cheap and easy.
And did I mention tasty?