Homemade Yogurt - The Tutorial (with Pictures)

2:12:00 PM

A while ago I posted a recipe for making yogurt at home, in your crock pot.

The yogurt was good, in fact it was downright tasty - but it was a little runny and I didn't like the overall texture, so of course I decided to see what I could do to improve it.

After several trials I finally have settled on the following process.  Beware - it is very intensive, and if you don't have time to baby sit - well, it won't turn out right.  But,in the end, it is completely worth it - AND it brings the cost of yogurt down to about $2.00 for a 1/2 gallon.

IMG_9318Ingredients:
1/2 gallon whole milk.  (I prefer organic)
1/2 cup of room temperature starter yogurt - once you make your own batch you can use your own yogurt as a culture.  If this is your first batch, use an organic yogurt with live cultures and no additives.  I prefer Stoneyfield.

Equipment needed:
1 large pot with a lid(big enough to hold 1/2 gallon of milk)
Digital thermometer
Plastic or metal spoon or whisk (so it can be sanitized. Cultures on wood may ruin the yogurt - and on a side note...eeewwww...)

Process:

IMG_9321Bring the milk to a simmering boil in the large pot stirring constantly.  With the digital IMG_9323thermometer make sure you watch the temperature. When it hits 180 degrees remove the pot from the heat.  Allow the milk to cool to 110 degrees either naturally or by placing it in a cool water bath and stirring until it reaches the right temperature.

Add the yogurt culture to the milk once it has reached 110 degrees.  Stir it in thoroughly with a whisk or spoon until fully incorporated.

Heat your oven to 200 degrees.  Allow it to sit for 10 minutes and then turn off.  IMG_9328Place the pot inside the oven with the thermometer inside and the lid on.  If your thermometer has the feature, set it to alarm if the temperature goes above 110 or below 102.  This is the tricky part.  The yogurt MUST STAY BETWEEN 100 and 110 degrees for a minimum of 7 hours.

IMG_9331I usually keep the pot in the oven, and when it starts to alarm, I'll turn the heat back on to 130 degrees and then turn it off again...ALL WITHOUT OPENING THE OVEN DOOR. The cultures need a stable environmenIMG_9333t to grow in.  Too hot, and they'll die, too cold and they'll go dormant.

After 7 hours, remove from the oven and scoop into containers.  Put in the fridge overnight.  Your yogurt should be thickened enough in the morning to pass for regular American yogurt standards.  If you want something a little thicker...you can always follow this tutorial on how to make Greek Yogurt .

Flavor your yogurt with honey or your favorite fruit and enjoy! Just be sure to keep 1/2 cup reserved for the next batch. The cost of this yogurt is the market cost for 1/2 gallon of milk, usually around $2.00.

Enjoy!

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