Yogurt

Full fat yogurt from organic milk is expensive. Make your own, for the cost of milk and an heirloom starter culture. You can use plain, store bought yogurt to culture your milk, but I have had better success and more consistent results using a dedicated starter. The Bulgarian strain is hearty and produces a thick, mildly tangy yogurt. There are many unique strains, experiment and find one or two you enjoy. With proper care, you will be able to make your own yogurt indefinitely with the same starter.

These are instructions for making thermophilic yogurt. Thermophilic yogurts are thicker than mesophilic yogurts, most similar to what you buy at the store. You will need a meat or candy thermometer and a way to keep your milk warm as it ferments. I’ll go over two fermentation methods, using an insulated cooler and using a large food dehydrator.

If you live in a warm climate or are making yogurt in a kitchen without air conditioning in the Summer, you can wrap your pot of milk in a thick blanket or towel. The cultured milk must maintain a temperature of 110-115F for 6-8 hours.

This recipe can easily be halved, doubled, tripled, etc. Use the ratio of 2 Tbs yogurt to one quart of milk.

Recipe
Yields 2 quarts yogurt

Ingredients

2 quarts/64 oz whole milk
1/4 cup yogurt (store bought or from previous batch)

Tools

2 glass mason jars with lids
Meat or candy thermometer
Insulated cooler or large food dehydrator

Method 1: Insulated Cooler

Gently heat milk in a large, heavy bottomed pot until it reaches 160F. Allow to cool to 110-115F.

While the milk cools, preheat your insulated cooler (I use one with a 28 qt capacity) by adding 2-3 inches of boiling water and closing the lid.

When the milk has cooled, temper your yogurt with a little warm milk and add to the pot. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Pour milk into quart jars, seal the lids and place into pre-warmed cooler. Add enough 115F water so that it comes about half way up the sides of your jars.

Check your jars after 6 hours. You are looking for a thick consistency. The yogurt should cling to the side of the jar as you tilt it to one side. If it has not yet set, take some water out of your cooler and replace it with more 115F water. Check again in 2 hours. Repeat if necessary.

Once your yogurt has set, refrigerate.

Set yogurt

Method 2: Food Dehydrator

Gently heat milk in a large, heavy bottomed pot until it reaches 160F. Allow to cool to 110-115F.

While the milk cools, place your mason jars on the bottom shelf of your dehydrator and set the temperature to 110-115F.

When the milk has cooled, temper your yogurt with a little warm milk and add to the pot. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Pour milk into warmed quart jars, seal the lids and place into dehydrator.

Check your jars after 6 hours. You are looking for a thick consistency. The yogurt should cling to the side of the jar as you tilt it to one side. If it has not yet set, check again in one hour. Repeat if necessary.

Once your yogurt has set, refrigerate.

When your yogurt has cooled completely, make Greek style yogurt by straining in a colander lined with a flour cloth placed over a bowl. Keep the whey for another use.

Make sure to save some of your yogurt, at least 2 Tbs, for your next batch.

5 thoughts on “Yogurt

    1. I’ve kept yogurt in my fridge for as long as 4-5 months and it still was able to culture a batch. Freezing it may kill the cultures.

      Like

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