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Yogurt-making @ home


Fat Guy
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I found this topic with a search since I have been thinking about making my own yogurt at home. Are you still making yogurt at home? Do you like it? Is your homemade yogurt better than that you can buy or do you just enjoy making it? Locally, we have a very good kind of yogurt called 'Nancy's' which is all natural. I'm wondering if it would be worth it for me to make my own, both in taste, etc and also to save money! Feedback would be great! Thanks...

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Except for my attempt to make it with the dry milk (which failed miserably, btw), I haven't made yogurt in a while for a few reasons.

I started a weight loss regimen in July of last year. Since my favourite yogurt was the full-fat stuff I made at home, it obviously wasn't a good idea to keep making and eating that!

Secondly, I discovered the Trader Joe's low-fat organic yogurt. It has the exact flavour and texture that I was looking for when I started making my own yogurt but without all the fat.

Thirdly, I haven't been eating as much yogurt over the winter. Now that spring is starting to come about, I have been eating more yogurt though so I have been thinking about starting the homemade production back up. We've been going through a fair bit of yogurt lately, as the Spawn has discovered she quite likes yogurt and honey as a snack.

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I make yogurt at home most of the time. Several of the girls at my office make yogurt - there are two yogurt makers, the kind that hold a regular quart milk container, always going as they consume a lot of yogurt.

You don't really need a "yogurt maker" but this particular item is absolutely foolproof and is safe to use.

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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Making yogurt in a machine???

Yougurt has been made at home for centuries in other countries.

Here is my childhood recollection of how it was made in my household on a daily basis:

- Bring desired amount of unpasturized whole milk to a gentle boil (if you have pasturized milk, don't buy ultrapasturized, it may not turn out the same, but I am not sure)

- Let milk cool in a stainless steel or glass container. Place a tbsp of "seed yogurt" in this container overnight in dark, warm place (like your turned off oven).

- Let it set for 12-14 hrs and enjoy. Don't forget to save a tbsp as the "seed" for your next batch.

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The problem is that in the office where there are anywhere from 10 to 15 women on any one day, some people might see something and toss it out, thinking it is spoiled - this has happened in the past.

When the stuff is in the yogurt maker, everyone knows it is supposed to be there and look as it does.

"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 made my first batch of yogurt last night using my new Yogourmet and it turned out absolutely great!! I used a couple Tbs of my all-natural Nancy's yogurt with some organic milk. I was pretty happy with the results. I also made some yogurt-cheese (can't remember the correct term) and I like that, too! I will be using that in place of some spreads and sour cream!

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  • 1 month later...

hey there

my wife decided we would start making yogurt at home...been fairly successful, so I figured I would share our 'no-frills' technique

1) Bring 2 quarts (aka 1/2 gallon) 2% milk to a boil

2) take off stove, transfer to clean bowl let cool to 114 degree Fahrenheit

3) whisk in either 1) starter culture 2) live culture yogurt

4) whisk it in good

5) real good

6) cover bowl with towel and put in oven. As we do not have a gas oven there is no pilot light to keep it warm. so we boil a pot of water, then stick it in there. let sight overnight

7) wake up, marvel at thick yogurt stuff, then stick in refrigerateur

8) In the evening, drain whey using cheesecloth....comes out thick and tasty everytime!

Now here is a question I post, can you reuse cheeseclothe? if so what is the protocol for doing this?

Another question, where can you get cheap cheeseclothe? as I went to the market and it was $4 for a small package (in nashville, tn)

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Go to your local yardage store. Buy the very lightweight unbleached muslin, get several yards as it is very inexpensive.

Cut into large squares.

Wash it twice to get out all of the sizing.

Dry and fold, store in the large ziploc bags (Hefty has 2 1/2 gallon size that are perfect.)

Before use, put the cloth in a colander and pour boiling water over it then let it cool.

It will last for years.

You can buy butter muslin from cheesesupply.com but it is $7.50 for two square yards.

I have found that the lightweight unbleached muslin works just as well.

P.S. This is the stuff jelly bags are made of.

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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Years ago I ordered a YogoTherm on the internet. IIRC, I paid around $29.95 and expected something more for my money than a styrofoam cooler. I banished it to the basement and that was that...

Until I made strawberry preserves and my husband swirled some in to his yogurt and pronounced it good.

And then this thread popped up and my husband starting talking about how great it would be to make our own yogurt. We bought Greek-style yogurt and non-homogenized whole milk. I already had full fat dry milk for making ice cream. He brought the YogoTherm upstairs on his way out the door to go fishing this morning and will return tomorrow night.

So, the I of we will be making the yogurt.

BTW, I just did a search for the YogoTherm and it now sells for an unbelievable $49.95.

- kim

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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  • 2 weeks later...

My yogurt turned out okay. A bit thin. Not very tangy. But definitely rich tasting. It had potential. And that's all I ever ask from a new recipe.

I'm going to make it again today. Hubby left this morning to go fishing. What is it about him fishing that makes me want to make yogurt?

I realized just now why my yogurt was thin. I followed the recipe for one quart of milk but I was using two quarts. :hmmm:

This time I'm going to use Erivan yogurt as my starter. I would never have looked for it if balmagowry hadn't mentioned it. Thank you!

- kim

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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thin yogurt can also mean that the temperature was a wee bit too low.

You get those curd like things if it is too hot - but have no fear - In Lebanon or someplace around there they have a yogurt that is suppose to be like that.

If yogurt comes out crappy you can still use it for a cake - or to make ice cream

If you get those curd like lump things in it you can whip it up in the blender - strain it in a cheesecloth and make a garlic dipping sauce for potatos or something like that.

My yogurt making method is this :

Heat up the milk until it almost boils (90°C) - which is something like stick your finger in and if it makes you go "ow" its hot enough.

Cool it down as quick as possible (stick the pot in a boil of ice water and stir)

When the milk is 42° add a tbs. of yogurt -- that would be if you stick your finger in the milk and it is nice and comfortably warm.

mix- put in jars and lace in a warm water bath - wrap up in blankets, sweaters or whatever you have around and leave it ALONE until the morning.

...... if it comes out perfect you can hang it in a cloth and let it drip for a few hours and then it is really thick - add crushed strawberries, lemon juice, sugar - mix it all up and you have a mighty fine dessert

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I am very sad that the lovely gas oven in my lovely new home has an electric starter. (I will also be sad about this fact when our power goes out someday.) The pilot light was so very much the perfect thing -- I'll have to try the pot of boiling water technique. How big a pot are we talking?

"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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thin yogurt can also mean that the temperature was a wee bit too low

When sitting out overnight or when cooking? I don't remember the temperature I heated it to. But I did use a double boiler so it wouldn't burn on bottom. But maybe you mean when you add the yogurt starter? :hmmm:

You get those curd like things if it is too hot - but have no fear - In Lebanon or someplace around there they have a yogurt that is suppose to be like that.

I know I didn't cook it to boiling but stopped somewhere (can't quite remember) between 165 and 185 F (75 and 85 C). I put it in an ice batch and cooled it down to 113 F (45 C). I know that was a bit hotter than the last time but somewhere I read that 114 F was okay. I felt safe at 113 F. Then I added an entire cup of Eviran yogurt to the half gallon of milk.

When I opened it, it was curdy. I put it in the fridge hoping that it would just get better on its own. :wacko:

I've been looking for a recipe that uses yogurt for ice cream. Haven't come across one yet. But how hard could it be? I'm thinking about mixing up some squished mango, simple sugar, yogurt, maybe some rum and freezing it.

- kim

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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I left my curdy yogurt in the fridge for a day before peeking. While it was still curdy on top, the rest was perfect. Nice creamy texture. I like this version made with Erivan way more than my batch made with a Greek yogurt starter.

I decided to make frozen yogurt. I strained almost a quart of yogurt then added pureed mango and simple sugar. Stirred it up and tasted it. Just this side of heaven. :wub:

I ate a bowl and froze the rest. Nowhere near as good after being frozen but not bad. Less calories than the ice cream I usually make (2 cups of heavy cream, 1 cup whole milk, three egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup dried milk). I have to start cutting calories and it's killing me. :sad:

- kim

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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  • 2 weeks later...

I left my latest batch of yogurt out for at least 15 hours. Very tangy. Too tangy. But Erivan is still the winner as the starter.

Inspired by the terrine thread, I made a sorbet, ice cream, frozen yogurt terrine. Mango sorbet, mango frozen yogurt, strawberry sorbet, Alton Brown's banana ice cream and mango sorbet. Beautiful. Awesome mix of flavors.

- kim

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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  • 1 month later...

One of my recent batches of yogurt didn't work. I was cooling down my milk mixture and the temperature never (according to my now-dead Polder) got below 138 F. :huh: I added the yogurt anyway hoping that it would just work somehow.

It didn't.

The next day, I had a great idea. Why not try heating it back up?

If you heat up milk/yogurt/powdered milk, you get ricotta cheese! Bonus. :raz:

I whipped up some crepes (with a little chopped parsley added to the batter). Added sauteed spinach, parmesan, nutmeg and fennel seeds to the drained ricotta. Put some marinara on the bottom of a 13x9 pan. Spread the ricotta on the crepes and rolled them up and put them in the pan. Covered with marinara and parmesan and then baked.

What a yummy mistake. :wub:

My next batch of yogurt turned out great. I used Seven Stars Farm yogurt (my new favorite) from Whole Foods.

- kim

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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if the yogurt doesnt stay warm enough overnight ( lets say 6-8 hours) it won't set... thin yogurt - great for cakes

if it is too hot during its "incubation" ... I guess thats what I'll call it - it gets lots of little lumps in it.

My "trick" or foolproof way was to put jars of milk in a bath of water (the water should cover the yogurt - or at least up to the neck of the jar) just a bit warmer than the milk. and wrap it up tight quick.

The other important thing is that once its in the hot water bath and all wrapped up just leave it in one spot - if you move it around it may not set.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I attempted making yogurt last weekend but I failed. I used 'Brown Cow' brand yogurt which claims to contain live cultures as a starter adn adhered to temperature requirements but after four hours all I had was warm yogurt flavored milk. Here was my procedure:

I heated the milk to 85-90 C (to pasturize the already pasturized milk?) then cooled it to 55 C.

Next I added the yogurt (actually I tempered it in as if it was eggyolks into a hot pasta dish) and stirred it to combine then put the yogurt into sterilezed jars and sealed them..

I set up a water bath (previously)in an insulated container that was 55 C andn added the jars. After that I held the bath at 53 C for just over 4 hours.

No results.

If anyone has attempted this and succeded I'd love to hear your criticisms and or alternative methods. I'd like to use the yogurt to make cheese next as well. Merci,

M

NYC

"Get mad at them eggs!"

in Cool Hand Luke

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I make yogurt and it usually takes at least six hours to set and longer if your heat source is not really warm or stable. I set my covered bowl out on the deck in the summer heat in the morning and it is finished by the time I get home from work. That is anywhere from eight to ten hours. It's possible that you didn't wait long enough.

-Linda

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Larousse, sorry for the messups, this is the first time posting.

Yogurt has to be made after having heated milk to about 195 degrees. Hold it there (I use a double boiler so as not to burn the milk) for about ten minutes. Then, transfer the scalded milk to an ice bath. Using a double boiler makes this easy: just lift the DB containing the milk up and put it into a larger pot prefilled with iced water. It will cool pretty rapidly. When at about 100 degrees (all Ferenheit), plop in (innoculate) 1 or 2 Tblspoons to one quart of milk, active cultured yogurt and whisk. When it is incorporated, the temp should be about 95.0 F. That's when you fill the yogurt cups and incubate.

This is not an exact science for me. I made many attempts. If I added the cultured yougurt too soon, the final product was stringy (no issue except aesthetic). If I scalded the milk too long, it got too firm and tart. You have to play with it. Good luck.

John S.

San Jose, CA

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Why does the milk need to be scalded? If youre using store bough pasteurized milk that is. Ist sounds like the hot pad that fits (page 1 of this forum) around the milk carton has no scalding? I'm looking for a science related answer because I don't want to poision myself or more importantly others by skipping a step. Help me out,

M

NYC

"Get mad at them eggs!"

in Cool Hand Luke

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...

I've been making my own yogurt every 2 weeks or so for about 3 or 4 months. I make a gallon at a time (yes, I eat a *lot* of yogurt) The best web resource I've found is this (I've seen a few references to it in other threads, but because it's so great, I'll plug it again):

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/Cheese.html

Specifically:

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Chees.../YOGURT2000.htm

This guy really seems to know his stuff. I use the exact method he does, with a few exceptions. I've had good results with this method, using freshly purchased standard 2% milk. For a gallon of milk, I actually add quite an obscene amount of dry milk, 1.5 - 2 cups, depending on how firm I want it. I also increase the incubation time to 12 hours, and reduce the final incubation temp. to 45C.

I like my yogurt pretty much as thick and tangy as I can get it. This matters especially if you want to fold in additional ingredients later, like honey or jams/preserves, the longer cycle is also a lot more convenient, as you can do it easily overnight. The other thing that I'd like to comment on is that the different bacterical composition of the cultures you use for your starter yogurt does tend to make a big impact on the final product. Personally, every batch of yogurt that I've made has tasted better in my opinion than the yogurt I used to start it, although my first batches were on such a short cycle (read 3 hours), that they lacked commensurate tang, but were still rich, creamy and divine.

The best commercial starter yogurt I've used is "Alta Dena" brand, which if you've ever lived in California, you're probably familiar with. Next time I buy some I'll transcribe the names of the bacteria in the culture, but it contains something like 6 different organisms, compared to most yogurts I've seen only contain a few, primarily 'lactobacillus acidophilus', so I encourage you to experiment with different starter cultures, although since I'm cheap I usually reuse my previous batch for the culture.

Best uses: Smoothies! Yogurt is the absolute best addition to fruit smoothies, thickens and adds tremendous flavor. I also like adding it in general to lots of drinks, my Armenian room mate loves it for tahn. Also, as Fankhauser suggests, you can use it in place water or milk in a wide variety of recipes for batters or anything that will benefit from some extra thickening. I'm curious as to what other people use bulk yogurt for!

"He's, uh, talking to the ketchup, now."

"Ketchup.... Catsup?"

"Ketchup?.... Catsup"

"Could you come along with us, sir?"

"Are you here to solve my Ketchup problem?"

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I found this topic with a search since I have been thinking about making my own yogurt at home. Are you still making yogurt at home? Do you like it? Is your homemade yogurt better than that you can buy or do you just enjoy making it? Locally, we have a very good kind of yogurt called 'Nancy's' which is all natural. I'm wondering if it would be worth it for me to make my own, both in taste, etc and also to save money! Feedback would be great! Thanks...

Homemade yogurt is now a staple in my home.

My husband likes it on top of Raisin Bran with a little milk.

I like it with honey drizzled on top.

We both like it very thick.

I slowly heat a quart of milk and half a cup of powdered milk until it steams. I let it steam for several minutes until I think enough liquid has evaporated. Then I cool it down to 115 F and add however much yogurt is left from the last batch. I let it sit out at least 12 hours (overnight) and finally put it in the fridge when I notice that it's still sitting on my dining room table.

I don't see any reason to ever buy it again. Unless I run out and need some for a starter. I make it because making it is a no-brainer and because it's thicker than any yogurt I can buy and it tastes better. :wub:

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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I started out making yogurt in my oven by placing a 60w lightbulb on a dimmer cord inside and adjusting the dimmer to keep a constant 109 degree temp. I'd put the mixture in mason jars and set them in a pan of water inside the oven. The water helped keep the temp constant. I now use my recirculating waterbath (used for sous vide) to keep the temp at 109. I'm pretty careful will getting the temps on everything with a digital probe. The waterbath makes things really easy.

Like fannus I put a lot of dried milk in the mix. 1-2 cups a gallon. I like my yogurt firm but not too tangy so I let it go about 5 hours. I use Brown Cow brand for a starter.

As a sweetener I've recently discovered Agave nector/syrup. It has a really nice flavor. I'm using a light nector, but would like to try some dark if I can find it. The glycemic index is also low for those watching that kind of thing.

My soup looked like an above ground pool in a bad neighborhood.

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