For the past several months, I have been making my own yogurt. It is actually fun, easy, good, and I think good for the world too (no more little plastic containers!). I have wanted to share this process with my SparkFriends, so last batch I took some pictures.
No excessive equipment required. A pan, a thermometer, and a small cooler. Ingredients are milk and a starter yogurt. Flavor options are endless though, and I will talk about that in my next blog.
I make 6 cups of yogurt each week, usually on Sunday. This is perfect for me to get through the week.
On starter culture, you need either some plain store bought yogurt to start, or a couple tablespoons from your previous batch. Either way it should be plain without additional flavors or additives. When I start a new series from store bought, I use Fage 2% plain. Then I use the previous batch for several generations.
On milk, yogurt is pretty forgiving. I like nice fresh milk, but is doesn't have to be anything special. I use the local common store brand. You can make yogurt with almost any milk. I use fat free, because I want a fat free (or very low fat) yogurt when I am done. It might come out thinner, but I really can't tell.
Ok, lets gather our stuff:
6 little 1 cup jelly jars with lids
5 cups of milk (I have found that 5 cups + addins is enough for 6 jars)
2 Tablespoons of starter yogurt
--- flavoring options, not covered here, but you can see I put some things in the bottom of my jars.
Step 1: Heat the milk to 190 degrees F.
This sterilzes the milk, and kills any bad bacteria; we will add the good yogurt making bacteria back in.
Step 2: Cool the milk in a water bath in the sink to 120 degrees F.
The yogurt bacteria like this temperature.
Step 3: Stir in the yogurt.
I usually mix a little of the milk into the yogurt, and then mix that back into the pan.
Step 4: Pour into the prepared jars, and then put the lids on.
Step 5: Place the jars in a small cooler, and fill around them with 120 degree F water.
My hottest tap water is about 120, so I just use that.
Step 6: Wrap up the cooler with towels or blankets, and let it sit undisturbed for 6 to 8 hours.
The longer it sits, the tangier it will get. I do mine for just 6 hours.
Thick and creamy yogurt.
Put it in the refrigerator to chill, and enjoy your yogurt!