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Yogurt-making @ home


Fat Guy
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If you want to make the yoghurt the Indian way, you can read on!

I boil milk (non-fat, 1%, 2%, 4% or any milk) in the microwave. 3 pints of milk in a corning square bowl takes about 20 -30 minutes depending on the power of the microwave. You have to wait till the milk boils and bubbles to the top of the container.

Remove the container from the microwave and let it sit for about 45 min - 1 hour depending on the season and temperature inside your house. Once the milk cools to luke warm (we feel the milk with our finger, transfer the milk to a storage container (I have two 1/2 gallon containers just to make yoghurt). If you do not like the thin film on the top, you can remove it. Add one spoon of starter culture. If you do not have one, use Bulgarian style buttermilk. (I have my starter culture from India - our yoghurt is different as we use the yoghurt with rice, as side dish, in lassi etc).

If It is the summer season, you can leave the fermenting container in the room temperature. If it is winter, switch on the oven light (not the oven just the light) and place the container inside. Place the lid loosely on the top.

The yoghurt will be ready in 4-6 hours.

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I'm a big fan of the Yogotherm from New England Cheesemaking Company; I see you found one, Steven. I like that you don't have to wash all those teeny little cups, and it doesn't use electricity. NEC has some great yogurt making instructions here. I have used their starters and also used store-bought yogurt as a starter. I've found that adding a 1/4 cup of powdered milk to the heating milk makes the end result thicker. I use organic 2 % and it is yummy. I like making it myself because it is a little cheaper and I know exactly what is in it.

Less packaging to throw away and low tech. What's not to love?

When the universe gives you what you want, ask for more.
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If I use ultrapasteurized milk to make yogurt, has the ultrapasteurization already denatured--or natured--the proteins, so that I don't have to do the 180 degree stage of the process?

Yes you do have to heat the milk to 180° F. There is no getting around this step of the process.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I couldn't wait, and went and bought my own litre of President-label UHT whole milk. I have a few tablespoons of natural joghurt from the foreign goods shop that I'll sacrifice as my starter. McGee suggests two tablespoons per litre is enough, so I'll hope for the best, since plain imported plain yogurt is almost ten dollars for 500 ml.

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My yogurt came out great. I used a quart of 2% Parmalat, a couple of cups of whole (4%) pasteurized milk, and a couple of cups of 1% pasteurized milk (clearing out the refrigerator, as you can see). Unfortunately, my temperature and time controls are not good enough to make a conclusion about the effect of the UHT milk, but I can say that I do not notice the UHT flavor in there.

My father made yogurt when I was a kid--long before yogurt was a supermarket staple--and used that awful reconstituted powdered milk (my family had no money). We drank that stuff, too--under duress; I couldn't stomach it--but my recollection is that the yogurt tasted fine. We ate it with molasses. Just to reminisce a bit more: we lived in Manhattan, and you could buy Dannon yogurt in two flavors, plain and prune. The yogurt came in waxed cups, with a cardboard disk inserted in the waxed lid. You could save that disk and make it into a spinning toy with a bit of string. Boy, am I feeling old. And I never thought about it before, but I'm impressed with my father: he was a Nisei who volunteered for the army out of the relocation camp during WWII, fought in Italy, and came east after the war. What was he doing making yogurt in the 1950s?

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Maybe he just liked yogurt? :smile: Actually, when I lived in Japan, it seemed yogurt-making was quite popular - more so than in any of the other Asian countries I've lived in. You could even buy kefir in the supermarket.

My yogurt came out unbelievably good. I used a litre of whole UHT milk. I hated UHT milk growing up, because I always had to drink it when I went up north to visit my grandmother, and they didn't have any fresh products like that. When I tried the President, I didn't mind the taste so much. Maybe I'm just older now. Anyway, I put it into a quart glass jar to set up, and I came out with a jar full of thick, creamy yogurt with a bit of tail on it when you spoon it up. I can taste the UHT a bit, but together with the sour it's giving it a bit of sour cream taste. I love it.

I'll admit, I was giddy when I pulled the towel off, and lo, there was a bottle of yogurt.

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As an update: how long does home-made yogurt last?

I make mine weekly, 2 quarts plus a separate small jar of starter. I have pushed it to nine days between batches and my starter shows no loss of strength, but after six days or so the yogurt starts to get a slight cheesy taste - not like it is rotten but like it has fermented a little too long. Nothing I personally mind. I follow good hygiene during the production process though and I've never had it actually go bad before I could finish it.

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As an update: how long does home-made yogurt last?

I make half-gallon batches, turning half into yogurt cheese and half into breakfast. I salt the former, and it tends to last quite a while. The latter usually doesn't make it beyond two weeks, but it's still fine at the end of that. By way of contrast, I follow rudimentary sanitation conditions and start with raw milk, though I do take the milk to a boil before cooling and pitching.

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Could one use whey drained from yogurt as starter for the next batch? Does the whey have all the little beasties in it that whole yogurt does?

Sounds like a fun experiment! I'm reluctant to do it, though, because with a bit of sugar and salt the whey makes a delicious drink in the morning, kind of like a light lassi. If I can remember, I'll save what drains off my yogurt cheese next time.

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I use the whey from yogurt in savory quick breads and in yeast breads and especially when I am going to bake salt-rising bread. That already has a cheesy flavor (without any cheese) and the whey makes it even more so.

Also in breadsticks.

I also use it as part of the liquid in corn pancakes. I mix the batter early in the morning and allow it to "work" all day before frying on the griddle for dinner. The batter gets quite bubbly and has a lovely cheesy aroma when stirred.

I grew up on a farm where nothing was wasted and my grandma would be spinning in her grave if I poured anything useful down the sink. :laugh:

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Yes, I've been making a dough based on Peter Rheinhart's Pain a l'ancienne, replacing the water with whey. It's pretty good straight but makes a fantastic fougasse with, say, red pepper, cheese, and nuts.

Wondered about using it as starter partly because every once in a while my husband eats every bit of the yogurt, leaving none for the next batch.

That said, this last time, he ate almost all of it, and I didn't think there was enough left to start a new batch. I did anyway, and I have to say, it is the best yogurt I've made in a while. As I've said before, the controls are really weak, so it's hard to attribute the success to any one factor, but I'm going to try again making it with one tablespoon of starter per quart instead of two and see what happens.

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Could one use whey drained from yogurt as starter for the next batch? Does the whey have all the little beasties in it that whole yogurt does?

Yep, works fine. I first tried it because I once didn't have quite enough yogurt left to start the next batch, so I stirred in some of the whey. I've since found that all whey works just as well.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Brief background: two itchy dogs who are being put on special elimination diets for a while to try to isolate the problems, if any, with foods. They eat raw, pulped vegetables, very little grain of any kind.

OK. The guys get a couple of tablespoons of yogurt every morning along with their breakfast and DH bought some goat milk and some goat yogurt this morning so I can begin to make goat yogurt regularly. Never made goat yogurt before.

The only tidbit I have come up with is that regular yogurt makers..of which I have none...are too hot for the 'delicate' nature of goat milk. I was simply going to make it in a large wide-mouth thermos. The texture doesn't matter...DH has promised not to kvetch about the yogurt quality this go round, but I could use some help. :huh: Thanks. :smile:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Darienne,

I've made regular cow's milk yogurt using goat milk yogurt as a starter, so my guess is that you should use McGee's basic instructions and just try it out. As long as you use an accurate thermometer to heat and cool the milk, you should be fine.

Another suggestion: use a bit more starter than McGee calls for, as an insurance policy, and to get a thicker yogurt.

Oh, here's the link, in case you don't have it handy.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I got the Cusipro yogurt maker for my birthday and I too did not think I would use it much. I don't like these kinds of gadgets taking up space on my countertop. But, I did try it out and have been pretty happy with it. After reading some posts on here, I started adding 1/2 cup of nonfat dry milk per liter of whole milk used and get a nice creamy Fage-esque style yogurt out of it. On the last bath, I had a cup of cream that I wanted to get rid of so added that too. The texture is more milk-ish (not as tangy) but smoother.

I noticed that a layer of skin formed on the top after it cooled which wasn't present before. The only other thing I did differently was to rapidly cool the yogurt to 115 using an ice bath. It also seemed that this yogurt separated a bit more on the ride to work. What would cause this? I don't think of yogurt as an emulsion (though I guess it is), but does it break?

In the next bath I will cut the additional cream to 1/2 cup and see what that does.

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First yogurt making experience recently.

We used a 1970's era yogurt 'maker' (all those little glass cups),

so we could test a couple different set ups.

We rotated cups around to avoid 'edge effects' due to heat differences.

1) scald milk or not. The scalded milk made yogurt much faster (>2x faster) than the unheated.

The microwave scalds milk quickly. No reason to skip this step.

2) different starter yogurts - Fage and one w black and white cows.

The b&w cows set up much faster than the Fage. End result - each produced an end product much like itself. The Fage starter gave us a creamier yogurt, firmer. The b&w cows gave us an almost gelatinous yogurt, just like it came out of the commercial container.

Both tasted very good.

It was fun and easy. Even the little person liked it, especially tasting the end product liberally sprinkled w demerara sugar.

The whole process took ~ 12 hours which was quite a bit longer than I expected. The little incubator didnt get very warm.

Not having a gas oven, and with the top of the fridge inaccessible, I'm thinking I'll be using the warm setting on a crockpot full of water as the incubator next time. Gonna use water glasses on the experiment next time, as I'd like to pass along the yogurt maker (got enough 'stuff').

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Kouign,

Just use any glass or plastic container wrapped in a bath towel or two. If you have an insulated bag it will fit in, so much the better. A little less heat/insulation = a little more time. Also, if you use a bit more starter, you can save a little time.

That's been my experience, anyway. Welcome to the wonderful world of homemade yogurt -- isn't it delicious?

- L.

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That said, this last time, he ate almost all of it, and I didn't think there was enough left to start a new batch. I did anyway, and I have to say, it is the best yogurt I've made in a while. As I've said before, the controls are really weak, so it's hard to attribute the success to any one factor, but I'm going to try again making it with one tablespoon of starter per quart instead of two and see what happens.

I had heard that less starter = better yogurt, but I didn't really believe it; your post made me finally try it myself. I have been doing it for a couple months now and it is absolutely true. With 1 tablespoon per quart it takes longer to work, but the flavor and texture are much better.

I use a small amount of starter and a relatively low temperature, in a low tech culturing setup (jars in a warm water bath in a small cooler). I don't mind that it takes 8 hours because then I can just leave it overnight.

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