YOGHURT!! Love it (my own version), the store bought......not as much. Too much stuff in it like sugar, thickeners and nasty fruit slimy stuff. And making your own is really cheap and easy. Just be careful that you don't get sucked into the old fermentation addiction. Before you know it you'll be making your own cheese, beer (beer, ohhhhhh) and the list goes on.
Here is how.
TONS of info from someone who really knows what's up. My stuff is pretty much the same as shown in his yoghurt process. There are lots of other tutorials for yoghurt making out there and most are a lot better than this one. There are a few steps that other people skip, but i f you want a good and consistent outcome, this is where you learn.
|On your mark!|
- Two 1 qt jars (duh) with lids. I use canning jars, but don't think that this is real canning or anything. This stuff still needs to be refrigerated.
- A ghetto double boiler (not really necessary, but is a lot easier, so find some pots that will work for this)
- A thermometer that reads up to 200f or so. I have used a meat thermometer in the past (worked fine).
- Milk. Quality matters. I use whole milk (non-fat anything is crap, don't go there) that I just buy at the grocery store for $3/gal. I have used the stuff from Walmart before and it made a thinner, grainy yoghurt. That might have been from the milk or it might have been from the yoghurt starter or something else, I don't know. I plan to use REALLY good milk someday, but for the last three years....
- Bugs. I use a small container of store bought yoghurt. I have also tried pro-biotic capsules and they worked all right. Store yoghurt is fresh (this is important) and easy to get. Look at the ingredients. As Michael Pollen says, buy real food. Plain. No thickeners. It is hard to find anything that isn't non-fat and sweetened (hell-in-a-handbasket, gakk!). I have had good results using the plain generic variety and less optimal results using fancy stuff. What has consistently worked well (with one caveat), has been......
|Nice pic,huh. It says 90C.|
While I am cooling the milk, I am also sterilizing the jars that I will be storing the yoghurt in. They happen to fit into the larger pot that I use as a double boiler. Cool, huh?
|Sterilize the containers while the milk is cooling|
|Time for your inoculation|
|Try not to spill|
|A nice warm bath|
|Yeah, I know|
|2 quarts of yoghurt for $1.70|
You can change it. Like that super expensive Greek yoghurt? Cover the top with mesh, invert for a few hours to drain some of the excess liquid off and.........there you go. Let it drain in the fridge for a few days and you get a soft, fermented cheese that you can spread on bagels. Later, you can dig a cave in the back yard so that you can age your cheese and develop your own strain of bacteria to inoculate the milk from the goats that you raise.
When you've got time.
All too often it seems, the store is out of whatever it is that I am looking for. I will add my results as they come in.....
Western Family ( kind of a generic brand), PLAIN--- occasionally produced a slightly grainy yoghurt, but just fine nonetheless. Hard to find because people want yoghurt that tastes like candy, so pretty much ANY unflavored yogurt is a rarity. I do about a 6 hour brew. 7/10
Yoplait PLAIN NONFAT--- I only found this one time and that was enough. Grainy, watery, thin taste even after a 6 hour brew. 5/10
Stoneyfield Farms PLAIN, NONFAT, GREEK STYLE---8 hour brew and still tastes like..... custard. No tang. Thick, smooth, lots of fluid. I only got nonfat because that was all that the store had, and bummed because I made 3 quarts (Blechh!). 5/10.....!! Stop the presses!!.... after a few days in the fridge, the flavor got richer, more complex, but still super smooth. 7-8/10.
Voskos PLAIN, GREEK STYLE---8 hour brew. Just slightly grainy (Milk freshness and cooking temp have a BIG effect on final texture, soooo....), and a bit too sour for me, reminded me of Nancy's. 6 hours might be better. 8/10
My local Fred Meyers has been out of Brown Cow PLAIN for 2 weeks!!! I miss my BC! Creamy, tart after 8 hours, but not too.... 10/10 ( unless I screw it up by forgetting to turn off the stove, killing the bugs and turning the yogurt into custard..... I seem to have a serious learning disability, :-0
-----!!!! Disaster strikes!!!!!-----
It's official, my local Fred Meyers has stopped carrying the small containers of Brown Cow! So. I bought a large, 1qt size and made a whole gallon of yogurt. Or something that looked a bit like yoghurt! TASTE YOUR STARTER YOGHURT!!!! I'm not sure if something was wrong with this stuff or what, but when I added the starter to the scalded milk, it immediately started to curdle! Hmmm.....I let it brew for 4 hours, and it never really turned into yoghurt, although it did settle out and become semi solid. Taste? 2 days in the fridge gave it the delicate, yet not too subtle, taste of old vomit. CHECK YOUR STARTER! Epic fail......*sad* =-(