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Yogurt-making @ home

Fat Guy

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Re: the starter, we’ve actually had an interesting journey with that. In the past, I’d used Fage as a starter, but it didn’t reliably last more than a generation or two — so we always bought a small cup for each batch.


My partner got me tickets to a cooking class (at the wonderful Sofra Bakery in Cambridge) that was focused on Turkish cooking with yogurt, and at the end of the class they sent us all home with a starter. That was I believe March 3, 2020, our last experience being packed shoulder-to-shoulder with folks for a while! When most people were making sourdough, we were making yogurt.


That starter made delicious yogurt for us for over a year — but the day after we moved in 2021 our fridge died, and the yogurt got pitched in the aftermath.


We finally got another plain yogurt from Sofra about 6 months ago (they don’t always sell it) and that has once again continued to thrive for us. Still happily using the Instant Pot to incubate.


So I would say, seek out a non-commercial starter, and your chances of getting one that works in perpetuity are a lot higher.


I’m currently thinking of starting to make kefir, as we’ve been drinking a lot of that, but haven’t gotten up the courage yet.

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Oh boy, lots of questions.

One, I use whole milk powder because skin powder or 2% just doesn't seem to make a difference.

Two, the milk itself is 2%. Believe it or not, we only have two brands of milk available here and they are both owned by the same company. And they are both only available in 2%. My only other option is to find somebody with a cow.

Three, I use a fresh starter each time. I haven't tried using the yogurt that I make because usually I use it all up in a week and we have so many bugs in the air here that I'm not sure that it wouldn't have contaminants in it after a while.

Four, that price is including the cost of milk, yogurt and powder. I'm curious as to what the cost of electricity is for my little oven but I haven't figured out how to cost that out.

Edit note: I would use a starter if I can find one but that is something that is just not available here

Edited by Tropicalsenior (log)
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Thought I would post a picture of my finished product. It's not terribly thick and it's not terribly tart but I'm happy. It is yogurt.


Perfect for eating and perfect for baking and sauces.

I've tried various methods of flavoring the yogurt and the best one that I have found is this.


It makes a yogurt drink better than any that I have been able to buy. I would think that any drink powder that you can get would work.

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On 1/3/2007 at 10:36 AM, Priscilla said:

Powdered milk seems like it used to be recommended as an addition to homemade yogurt in old-fashioned "health food" literature of years ago. Persistent bad if not haunting nightmarish memories of powdered milk's chalkiness would preclude my using it in my own cooking. (Ya, and if good cooking is what I'm after why was I reading those self-styled so-called soi disant "health food" abominations in the first place, eh?)

A Bulgarian friend taught me to make yogurt according to how his grandmother in the Old County made it, solving forever (for me) the Yogurt Question. A good question to have solved in life.

Only whole milk, simmered to reduce its volume by about a quarter or even a third, allowed to cool until a finger can comfortably stick in it for several long seconds, couple tablespoons (for a half gallon; quarter cup for a gallon, for major yogurt heads) excellent purchased yogurt as a starter, and then swaddle the bowl lovingly and forget about it overnight or for 24 hours. Done.

My Bulgarian friend only ever used a special Bulgarian blanket to swaddle; I don't have anything similarly talismanic for the task. Perhaps a resolution for 2007. I read Chuck Williams somewhere saying that his yogurt-making teacher, who was Armenian, specified that a cross must be inscribed in the top of the inoculated mixture before setting aside. I don't do that, either, although again, perhaps I ought.

This method is similar to one I use.

Fill a heavy (like le Creuset) pot with water and bring to a boil.    Separately bring milk to a simmer; let cool until you can hold your finger in it for 10 seconds.   Add yogurt/starter to the milk.     Empty water from pot, place heat-proof jars in it and fill with warmed milk.  Lid tightly and wrap in a blanket (or toweling, or a fleece jacket! or...)   Leave overnight or until all is cool.


I used this method to show grandkids that 1) you can make many things that you usually buy; and 2) you needn't have/buy expensive equipment for many processes.

eGullet member #80.

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This is the weirdest thing...
Same starter, same milk, same method.
I was using a yoghurt maker and all of a sudden it just stopped working. At best I'd get sour cream consistency. So, I started using my Instant Pot. Same problem, maybe a bit thicker.


I used to get a yoghurt that was so nice and thick, almost like watery flan, that when strained would get perfectly thick like the thickest greek yoghurt. How can it possibly be now that it's only mildly thick like regular yoghurt? What variables would be wrong? What can I check? Would love anyone's help.


Milk: 2% or 3%, have tried both. Both used to work fine.
Starter: Cultures For Health
I don't add anything else. This culture can be used continuously with some from the previous batch. And I can tell you when it worked, we could go months using the last batch to start the next one never losing quality or consistency.
We add the starter at 41C and leave it chilling in the fridge overnight after incubating.

Edited by tinpanalley
adding info (log)
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