use the schwartz

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So, this post (totally devoid of photos) is for Val, who couldn’t possibly wait another second to make her own yogurt.

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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?

My third attempt used both thermos and glass jar methods again, but this time with $1 worth of yoghurt instead of $10 worth of acidophilus.  Go figure.

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.

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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
thermometer

*  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.

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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.

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Yogurt Incubation

As I said, two methods.

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Bucket Method

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.

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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.

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Thermos Method

You will need:

1 thermos

That’s it.

*  Pour the warm milk into the thermos, tighten the lid and set aside for 4-12 hours, depending on desired thickness and tanginess.

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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.

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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?

Mmm.

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About Angela

My name is Angela. I am a 28 year old psych and criminology graduate, but I'd rather not diagnose you. I am a cuddle-slut. I can recite the entire script of The Princess Bride, (including accents) and believe that the meaning of life is contained within. Polyanna, Snap.com commercials, and Oprah 'reunion shows' make me cry. I can whistle and hum at the same time, but I cannot touch my toes. I am an expert in both listening and talking. I look good in orange. I am a writer. I kick ass in Gin, Hearts, and Cribbage but I don't understand Canasta or Bridge. I can be heard singing Broadway numbers from my shower, and have dressed up as a viking princess, (complete with aluminum foil breast plate) The Phantom of the Opera, and a Ghostbuster for Hallowe'en. I have a bird named Bean. I have a brother named Adam. They are not related. I like vanilla body lotion, peanut butter, saunas, Jim Carrey, broccoli, pets, TheOnion.com, Muppets, Kevin Smith, Corelle dishes, dry erase white-boards, Barenaked Ladies, Philosophy, the letter J, Harry Potter, picture frames, swimming, quilting, Michael Moore, genealogy, Raggedy Anne, tacky 50's tchotchke, 'Idiot's Complete Guide To' books, tweezers, feather pillows, polar dips, aquariums, Martin Luther King Jr., and Dr. Pepper. I don't like meat, gossips, cooked carrots, American Idol, mosquitoes, sweating, politics, public washrooms, tardiness, tuition, hunting, pat answers, pick up lines, brown bananas, cliches, pine scented air freshener, Kevin Costner, bacon, candied apples, pro-wrestling, humidity, and hypocrisy. Books I've read recently The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Dark Tower, When Nietzsche Wept, What's So Amazing About Grace?, Catcher in the Rye, Not Wanted On the Voyage, The Red Tent, The Little Prince, The Way the Crow Flies, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Poisonwood Bible, The Fall, The Knot of Vipers, Calculating God, The Chrysalids, Sick Puppy, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Franny and Zooey, The Brothers Karamazov, and jPod. I am slightly neurotic. No I'm not. Yes I am.

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