Darxus

Made yogurt

Made yogurt

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August 2011
  1. Heat Milk to 85°C (185°F) for 30 minutes to prepare it for fermentation.
  2. Cool milk to 43°C (110°F) (optimal for fermentation).
  3. Add a few spoons of Stonyfield plain yogurt.
  4. Keep roughly around 43°C (110°F) for 7 hours.
  5. Refrigerate.
I'm very happy with the results.

Of course, you can add fruit or sugar if you're into that kind of thing. I've been enthusiastically enjoying it plain.

I just did the initial heating slowly in a pot on my stove. Then I ended up pouring the milk in a ziplock and putting it in 43°C (110°F) water in my cooler. I made no attempt to maintain the temperature. The website I followed recommended using a heating pad (like you might use for cramps).

I used whole fat plain yogurt, and whole fat organic milk, Hannaford store brand I think.

My plan is to reduce / cut out dairy, as my cravings for sugar fade. But fermented foods with live cultures are generally supposed to be good, so I don't think this should be too bad. Although it's kind of scary easy for me to consume lots of calories of it, even plain.

Of course, you can use any plain yogurt with live cultures to seed, Stonyfield was just one I was familiar with.

I'm curious about yogurts that can be cultured at room temperature.
  • Maybe you should check out Kefir (if you'd use something more liquidy than yogurt, it's ideally cultured at room temperature, and you can make it weak or strong according to personal preference.

    You need some Kefir 'grains' (microbial colonies that get strained out) as a starter. Depending on how many you have to start with, you can make a quart of Kefir in about a day, just sitting in a jar on the counter. The grains will slowly multiply over successive batches, then you find an unsuspecting person to pawn off the excess to. ;)
    It's even easier to do than yogurt.

    Coincidentally, we currently have excess grains that could use a new home...

    Also note, you can thicken your homemade yogurt to make greek-style yogurt, or even 'yogurt cheese' (spreadable) with a very simple strainer/funnel. The separated liquid is useful too.
    • I've been vaguely interested in kefir for a while.

      What is the liquid separated from yogurt useful for? I did like the texture a lot more before I mixed that stuff in.
      • It's a lot like whey, it's rich in protein and can be used like whey in soup stocks, etc.

        There's also fil, the Scandanavian milk culture that also works at room temperature, but you'd probably have to mail-order to get a culture of that to start.

        Both kefir and fil are easier to make in that you don't even need to heat your milk first - just pour it from the bottle into your culturing jar, cover, and let it sit on the counter until it's ready.
  • You don't need to keep the milk at 85C for 30 minutes. It just needs to reach that point. At least that's what I've always done and always got a consistently thick yogurt. You might do slightly better by keeping it there for 30 mins but I've never tried.
    • Thanks, I'll have to try it without maintaining that temperature some time.
      • In efforts to do my prep as quickly as possible, my standard method for making yogurt is:

        1) microwave 3.25 cups of milk in (my) microwave for 5 mins. Stir. Microwave for 4 mins. Stir. Microwave for 2 mins.

        2) pour into old aluminum ice cream maker cylinder and put this into an ice bath. (aluminum allows better heat transfer than the plastic or glass measuring cups I use in the microwave).

        3) When the milk gets down to ~110F I pour some milk into a yogurt cup with a teaspoon of yogurt, mix well and pour this back in with the rest of the milk (it's easier to mix in a small amount of yogurt this way).

        4) pour the milk into 5 lidded 5oz yogurt cups and and put into the yogurt maker (which is just a small thermostatically controlled heated container but they can be gotten from garage sales/craigslist for cheap).

        I wish there were a good and cheap manner of doing a fire and forget yogurt maker (similar to a bread machine, load in a quart of milk and a teaspoon of yogurt and hit "go"). It's just that you need both heating and cooling aspects in the device. Maybe if you also add a quart of ice and water to it and let it drain into a sink / reservoir. Or maybe an ice plug that you store in your freezer until you want to make yogurt. The heating part is relatively easy.
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