I was very intimidated by making my own yogurt but after some initial research, I decided it did not seem too difficult and that I should jump in and give it a try. I am very happy to have done, because the process was so easy and the results were wonderful.
During my research I found that like most things, there are a million different ways to make homemade yogurt. You can order a dish or use a commercial yogurt as your starter. You can use a dehydrator, heating pad, electric cooker, yogurt maker or oven to act as its incubator.
I opted for the oven because I do not have a dehydrator and what comes out the pot of dirty mud when I can just throw the bottles in the oven (I’m all for giving me less to wash dishes) . I discovered that when I was doing the GAPS diet that was using a little canning jars to store things in the fridge ( bone broth soup sauerkraut kimchi, etc.) so decided and I would more than likely use jars to store my yogurt, might as well just do it in jars (again, less washing)
How to make yogurt :. the basic process
Step 1: Choosing your milk
First, choose your milk. This can be any type of milk, but the healthiest milk is the healthiest your yogurt will. Raw milk is best, especially following the GAPS protocol but do not have access to raw milk at the time I started doing this. Instead, I used the milk produced locally by a low pasteurisation process which is not homogenized, which means I had that delicious layer of cream on top.
can also use goat’s milk. Whatever you decide to use milk make sure it is not ultra-pasteurized (milk label will say whether it is ultra-pasteurized or homogenized). In order to get the best nutrition, which also opted for whole milk.
I usually start using a gallon and a half of milk. I do not just fill the jars to the end, so you end up with 2 bottles of a quart and 1 bottle of half a liter
. Step 2: Heating the milk
Put the milk in a stainless steel frying pan over medium heat until it reaches 180 degrees. The first time I did my yogurt I had only a basic candy thermometer, so you had to really stay with her to see the temperature.
More recently, I bought a digital quick-read thermometer . This makes the whole process much easier because you can configure the alert temperature to 180 degrees and the alarm will be activated when it reaches that temperature. This is also useful later, during the incubation period
. Step 3: Cooling milk
Once the milk reaches 180 degrees, pour into jars of preserves. The use of stainless steel wide mouth funnel made this easy to do, but only flows from the pan or use a glass measuring cup also works.
The milk then be cooled to 115 degrees. You can do this by either putting the milk in a cold water bath or just let it sit on the counter, keeping a good eye on him anyway. Loosely put caps on top of the jars to prevent dirt.
With my first batch, I used the technique of cool water bath and cooled much sooner than we thought it would be. At that time, I did not have a thermometer with an alarm to warn that it had reached 115 degrees. Before I knew it, the yogurt was 110 degrees and dropping and I flew into panic mode.
Yogurt still worked, demonstrating that it is very hard to mess up this process and it does not all have to be exact. The other thing to be careful with cold water bath is that if it is too cold then you risk cracking bottles.
The second time I made a batch that was more patient and let cool on your own at the counter. It took longer, but was not so stressed by the rapid drop in temperature of cold water bath
Step 4 :. The addition of Culture
Once the milk has reached 115 degrees, you want to add 2 tablespoons of yogurt pre-made to each liter of milk. Yogurt can come from any of a previous batch (if it has already done some) or from a store bought yogurt. You can also use a yogurt culture store-bought, but the use of pre-made yogurt is easier and less expensive.
Personally, I use the plain organic yogurt Greek Stoneyfield for my main course. Shake gently just to incorporate yogurt in warm milk
Step 5 :. Incubating yogurt
Once the culture has been added, which is ready to go into the oven for hatching (with lids on). You want a fairly constant temperature.
The first couple of times I made my yogurt just used the appliance bulb 40 watts was in the oven. I have found that the temperature was dropping lower than I wanted, so I would have to turn on the oven to heat back up every couple of hours. I incubate during the night and woke up to check the temperature or turn on the oven, but when I woke up in the morning the temperature was reading 100 degrees, which is less than optimal incubation temperature (115 degrees would have been better).
Interestingly, not ruin my yogurt and still went very well. Again, just it goes to show that this method is difficult to disaster (even with all the setbacks during my first experiment). I have since (ok, my husband has) replaced our 40-watt bulb with a 60 watt bulb and now has the temperature closer to the optimal 115.
If the temperature rises above 115 degrees you run the risk of killing their culture. You may have to do some tests with your oven light to see what temperature is kept when the light is on for a period of time and try 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs. The optimum range is 95-115 incubation degrees.
Yogurt is necessary that at least incubated for 10-12 hours. Calls BPA protocol for an incubation period of 24 hours so that most of the lactose to be consumed by bacteria ( This article does a great job explaining all that). The longer incubate, tangier yogurt will be finished
Important note :. Just make sure you do not forget that yogurt is incubating in the oven and accidentally turn on the oven. My new digital quick read thermometer makes this less likely to happen. The thermometer probe enters the oven sitting on one of the jars, while the portion of the digital display located on the top of my stove so you can easily control the temperature of the yogurt. Seeing the digital display sitting on my stove top will not let me forget the yogurt incubating in the oven and accidentally switched on.
Once the yogurt is performed by incubating, refrigerate to set yogurt and overflow out of the extra milk serum. Whey can be saved to use for other recipes, especially if you are following the GAPS protocol.
If you want a thicker yogurt then you can always cast the remaining serum using cheese cloth. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of yogurt super thick so I found that I liked the way it was once the serum was poured off after the yogurt was cooled and adjusted.
My favorite way to eat yogurt is with local raw honey drizzled over it. It is also very good in smoothies or soups
How to make yogurt -. Tutorial
The total time
- canning jars and lids (size 2 room, 1 pint size)
- ½ gallon of milk-preferably raw
- 3 tablespoons start (pre-made yogurt)
- Heat milk in a stainless steel saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 180 degrees.
- Pour hot milk canning jars clean and fresh, either by sitting on the counter or in a cold water bath until the temperature drops to 115 degrees.
- Add culture-2 tablespoons (yogurt from a previous batch, store bought yogurt) per liter of milk. The light must provide a constant heat of about 110 degrees.
- Put the jars in the refrigerator until the yogurt is cold and set.
- Once it is established that yogurt can decant the liquid whey from the top or strain the yogurt using gauze to a thicker consistency.
Have you tried your hand at making your own yogurt? How did it turn out?