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Homemade yogurt not sour enough, why?


Rasmus
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I am trying to make Greek yogurt, and while the result is yogurt and the consistency is good, it's not sour enough. I wonder if anyone can tell me how to improve this?

This is what I do:

1. Heat whole 960 ml whole milk to 90C.

2. In ice bath, cool milk to 40C.

3. Add 60 g Greek yogurt.

4. In food dryer for 12 hours at 45C.

The yogurt I used is quite sour, but the result is nowhere near that.

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If your yoghurt is lacking acidity, it lacks lactic acid which hints at an insufficent (incomplete) fermentation process. Major issues could be:

 

  • Type and amount of live lactobacillus cultures in your starter yoghurt 
  • Your whole milk has less lactose than the milk used for your "target" yoghurt, or
  • You need to prolong the fermentation time.

 

If you are straining the yoghurt after fermentation, have you tasted the resulting liquid ? Is it more sour than the yoghurt itself ?

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I have found that using yoghurt as a starter can be hit and miss. I don't pretend to know the science behind it, but sometimes it seems to get tired. I always use a starter culture like this.

 

425232487_DIYYoghurtIMG_1846.thumb.jpg.8c5cdbef10091cc64909d71aa81f3498.jpg

 

Clearly, that's a Chinese brand but I'm sure similar products are available almost everywhere. Works every time. (P.S. I do use a dedicated yoghurt maker - cost next to nothing.)

Are you able to more precisely explain your problem? "Not sour enough" is a very subjective statement to the point it really says nothing. I know it's not easy.

Do you strain your yoghurt once made? You don't mention that stage.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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Ok. The problem may be the milk. Will try a different brand.

Thank you.

2 hours ago, Duvel said:

If your yoghurt is lacking acidity, it lacks lactic acid which hints at an insufficent (incomplete) fermentation process. Major issues could be:

 

  • Type and amount of live lactobacillus cultures in your starter yoghurt 
  • Your whole milk has less lactose than the milk used for your "target" yoghurt, or
  • You need to prolong the fermentation time.

 

If you are straining the yoghurt after fermentation, have you tasted the resulting liquid ? Is it more sour than the yoghurt itself ?

 

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I make yogurt on a weekly basis and I've found that some brands (looking at you Yoplait) do not produce enough "bugs" to make yogurt of any kind much less one with the characteristic sourness. I would not use Greek yogurt for this process. It's not necessary and might be part of the reason for your problem. If you want Greek yogurt consistency, drain it afterward and save the liquid for making bread (or give it to your dog, which is what we do).

 

Does it set up at all? Is it too runny? If so, whisk in 4 Tbs. of dry milk powder. I use 8 oz. of starter yogurt for a quart of whole milk. (Sorry--these are non-metric measurements.) And I use a plain ol' big pot to scald the milk instead of a dedicated yogurt maker. My sister uses an Instant Pot to make yogurt (among other things) but she goes through the same scald/chill cycles that I do, so I don't see it as a benefit. A decent thermometer is a necessity, but I'm sure you have that.

 

My process: scald milk to 90C, cool to 55C (not 40), temper the starter yogurt with 8 oz. of warm milk and then add to the pot, pour into jars, put into a small cooler with 50C water, wrap up with towels, leave for at least 5 hours. I typically make yogurt before bedtime to rest overnight, so that ends up being about 8 hours. They say that longer resting time makes more sour yogurt but I haven't noticed that. I haven't tasted the liquid so I don't know if it's more sour. I should ask the dog.

 

Hope this helps a little.

Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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Ok, thank you. The consistency was fine, it just wasn't sour enough. I left it for 12 hours, but I read that some leave it for 18, whereas yours is 8.

I guess I'll experiment a bit.

 

thank you

 

2 hours ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

I make yogurt on a weekly basis and I've found that some brands (looking at you Yoplait) do not produce enough "bugs" to make yogurt of any kind much less one with the characteristic sourness. I would not use Greek yogurt for this process. It's not necessary and might be part of the reason for your problem. If you want Greek yogurt consistency, drain it afterward and save the liquid for making bread (or give it to your dog, which is what we do).

 

Does it set up at all? Is it too runny? If so, whisk in 4 Tbs. of dry milk powder. I use 8 oz. of starter yogurt for a quart of whole milk. (Sorry--these are non-metric measurements.) And I use a plain ol' big pot to scald the milk instead of a dedicated yogurt maker. My sister uses an Instant Pot to make yogurt (among other things) but she goes through the same scald/chill cycles that I do, so I don't see it as a benefit. A decent thermometer is a necessity, but I'm sure you have that.

 

My process: scald milk to 90C, cool to 55C (not 40), temper the starter yogurt with 8 oz. of warm milk and then add to the pot, pour into jars, put into a small cooler with 50C water, wrap up with towels, leave for at least 5 hours. I typically make yogurt before bedtime to rest overnight, so that ends up being about 8 hours. They say that longer resting time makes more sour yogurt but I haven't noticed that. I haven't tasted the liquid so I don't know if it's more sour. I should ask the dog.

 

Hope this helps a little.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

It can be the culture you are using, I have two one produces much more sour yogurt then the other.

 

But like you I like yogurt that’s a touch puckery so I add milk powder I use a good one it’s a powder that mixes up into a milk I don’t mind drinking (some are absolutely awful)  and I let it go for 12 hours frankly probably closer to 16 I don’t time it. The milk powder adds more food to eat, also produces a thicker result. 

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