Homemade Yogurt

Mike $

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I've been making my own yogurt for quite a while now, a few years and it is much more delicious than any yogurt I have bought. It's pretty simple, all you need is a quart of milk, 1/4th cup of cream, 1/4th a cup of full fat yogurt, cheese cloth and a thermometer.

-In a thick bottomed pot, over medium heat bring 4 cups of fresh milk and 1/4th of a cup of cream up to about 190 degrees Fahrenheit. While it is heating, turn on the light in your oven (which you will need for about 12 hours...overnight works perfectly), put 1/4 of a cup of yogurt into a small bowl and prepare a bowl of Ice large enough to put the pot you are using to warm your milk into to cool it down rapidly.
-When the milk gets to 190F, remove the pot from the fire and set it on top of your ice bowl, and stir it until it comes down to about 110-115F. Remove from the ice.
-Temper your yogurt with a small splash of warm milk and stir until it is smooth, repeat until you have about a cup or more slowly and smoothly blended and add it to the rest of your warm milk and stir it all together.
-Put your mixture into glass or ceramic bowls or containers cover them with cheese cloth held on by a rubberband, and stick them on a pan in your oven with the light on for 12 hours.
-After 12 hours, line a colander with cheese cloth and make sure it's sitting on something to collect the whey that will separate from the yogurt.
-In 1-2 hours your yogurt should be thick enough to set in the fridge to cool down. You can use a cup of the leftover whey in soups to replace water. Eat it in the next 2-3 weeks. You can use a fourth of a cup to make your next batch.

add a teaspoon of your favorite jam and enjoy.
 
Anyone with an Instant Pot can use the Yogurt feature for incubation if you don't have something that works otherwise. The oven trick isn't quite warm enough for me, but a cooler with two half gallon jars full of just boiled water, snuggled with towels around the jars of water and the yogurt jar(s), also works great for up to 12 hr incubation. Also, cold water bath without the ice works too for bringing down the temp, if you're like me and never have ice on hand 🙄

After a while, I noticed it's worth getting a new inoculant. So maybe every 5th or 6th batch I'd get some new store yogurt to reboot.

It's fun and delicious to make yogurt from scratch. So much better than store bought. Oh and if you want to thicken it, you can add a little gelatin just before incubation, or let it drip through a cheesecloth (or makeshift cheesecloth tea towel) overnight after incubation.
 
Anyone with an Instant Pot can use the Yogurt feature for incubation if you don't have something that works otherwise.
This is what I used to do. So easy and so good.

My favorite way to eat is to mix in a dollop of lemon curd and a bunch of blue or blackberries. It's a wonderful summer treat
 
I haven't been able to make my own yogurt since I moved here in June. I haven't found any whole milk yogurt anywhere in town. They have 2%, 1%, non-fat, lactose free, and a ship ton of soy and other alternative yogurts...none of which will make a decent yogurt. So, I found some Bulgarian heirloom yogurt starter online that arrived today. I'm hoping it sets up properly so the day after tomorrow I can eat some fresh yogurt. From this starter, all I have to do is save a few tablespoons to make my next batch, and since it's heirloom, I can make yogurt from this batch for the rest of my life. Pretty good deal.
 
Looking forward to hearing how it does after repeated culturing. I sometimes found that it gets kinda yuck, but maybe your culture won't! I sure hope it's good, it sounds yummy.
 
I found some Bulgarian heirloom yogurt starter

I'm not a yogurt fan, but my wife is, and had recently locked in on Bulgarian yogurt. Not only did they invent it, but the bacteria strain that triggers yogurting has it in the name! Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus.

Let us know how it goes!
 
I had a Bulgarian girlfriend who told me all about L. Bulgaricus and that you don't get good yogurt without it...she may be biased, but she is a chemist and a biologist.
Sad to say, my yogurt didn't set well overnight. But the directions said this may happen, it says save some and use it to start the next batch, which they feel confident will be successful. I will wait until shopping day (tues) and pick up some more milk. I am sure fresh milk will help as well. I will let you(pl) know. I saved half (2 cups) in the fridge and left the other half in the yogurt maker (the oven with the light on) in hopes it sets up. I am thinking of adding some lemon and culture it like sour cream, at room temperature. That should still be yogurt since it has the yogurt cultures. We'll see

Update:
4 hours later, or so, the batch I left in the oven set up after about 20 hours of incubation. So, I heated up the refrigerated half to 110F and stuck it in the oven and hopefully it will set as well. I am happy that it set up, I will set some aside to make my next batch, and maybe even freeze a bit in case I slip up and don't keep the starter going often enough with a fresh batch. Kippy kay yea yogurt makers!
 
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