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Author Topic: Yogurt -- Make your own  (Read 9266 times)

Offline LvsChant

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Yogurt -- Make your own
« on: March 09, 2010, 02:11:48 PM »
I've been making my own yogurt for more than a year and like it a lot. Generally, for plain yogurt, I just follow the directions that came with the machine I use is a Salton 1 qt. machine. You will need an instant read thermometer.

http://www.amazon.com/Salton-YM9-1-Quart-Yogurt-Maker/dp/B00004SUHY/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1268164557&sr=8-9

For my children, though, I have experimented with making flavors in various ways... They are picky, though, and prefer to have smooth, thick yogurt (like the stuff in the stores). Nearly every kid brand out there has high fructose corn syrup in it, though, so I've been experimenting with gelatin. The newest family favorite is made using packets of jello:

Flavored yogurt

1 qt milk
1/2 c. fresh plain yogurt (with live cultures)
1/3 c. powdered milk
1/6 c. jello, any flavor (1/2 packet)
1-2 T. sugar or honey (optional)

Take plain yogurt out of refrigeration and allow to warm to room temp. in a small bowl... stir it to make it smooth.

In a medium saucepan, mix milk, powdered milk, jello and sugar or honey (if you want a sweeter yogurt). Using a medium heat, bring to 180 degrees fahrenheit, stirring continually. (If you have problems getting the ingredients to dissolve, use a whisk). Remove from heat and allow to cool to 110 degrees (I use a cold water bath to speed up the process).

Stir in the yogurt with live cultures gently. Pour all into the yogurt machine and let it stay for between 4 and 12 hours. The longer it stays, the more tart the flavor. I usually leave it about 6 hrs. If your yogurt hasn't set up by the time you plan to stop it, give it another hour and it should be thick.

Place in refrigerator until well chilled... enjoy.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2010, 03:51:26 PM by lvschant »

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2010, 04:28:09 PM »
Hi lvschant - so nice to see you as a mod!  I too make my own yogurt but don't have a yogurt machine.  It's really easy - all you have to have is a thermos (wide mouth works best); milk; 1 tsp. of plain yogurt for a starter; and a thermometer.

Heat your milk (however much fits in your thermos - mine holds almost 6 cups) gently till almost boiling (180 degrees) and then cool to 110 degrees.  Add your tsp. of yogurt. Pour into thermos and leave overnight or 8-10 hours.  Line a colander with cheesecloth and set over a bowl.  Pour the yogurt out of the thermos and let drain till it's as thick as you like. Save the whey for making bread.  You can anything you like - I add bananas or apples and a little honey.  I also use it plain in place of sour cream. Be sure to keep a tsp. of your completed yogurt for your next batch. 

Thanks lvschant for the post.  I was thinking of this yesterday when I gave these instructions to a girl I met in the yogurt isle of the grocery store.  She was frustrated that most of the yogurt is full of sugar, food coloring and chemicals. Blessings, TBM
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DEV being nice... sorta goes along with GOATS howling, babies bursting into tears, birds suddenly becoming silent, and an ominous greenish lighting spreading across the landscape...

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2010, 04:59:54 PM »
Hi TBM... the thermos method sounds so great... and a wonderful no-power option! I'll have to give that a try, too. It looks like your recipe requires much less live culture, but is otherwise very similar to my plain yogurt method (I don't always add the powdered milk for the plain recipe)... I love the plain stuff and use it for all sorts of things... this jello method was just for my picky kids... I'd rather use a gelatin packet with just plain sugar in it than the HFCS junk in the stores. 1 tsp of plain gelatin can be added to the plain recipe for a thicker consistency, too.

I've also ordered and received a 5 lb. order of plain gelatin from bulk foods... according to Wendy DeWitt (she and her blog -- everything under the sun -- have been mentioned here on the forum several times), a tsp. of unflavored gelatin + 3 Tb cold water +2 Tb hot water can substitute for an egg in recipes... for those of us who don't yet have our own flock... perhaps a useful tip.

My kids eat my homemade yogurt very quickly when I make it using the jello flavors... not so much when I make plain and then flavor it with real fruits... silly kids don't know what is good! I thought this might be of interest to others who have a similar issue with the homemade yogurt and their kids. You still have the issue of all the artificial colorings, etc., that you have in the gelatin packets, but I still think it is a step up from the HFCS variety....

Great to see you as a moderator, too...

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2010, 05:37:00 PM »
Really liked your idea of the gelatin and yes you are so right about the HFCS!  I was looking for juice yesterday (wanted carrot since I just finished off what I made-couldn't find any) and there is nothing without HFCS and a ton of sugar. I will have to go to Whole Foods or Sunflower Market to buy it or just spend the extra money and buy carrots and make some every few days. Trying to really ramp up my nutrition as the Lupus is flaring and kicking my buns. :P

You might try letting the kids make their own yogurt and see if that inspires them to eat it with just honey and fruit or try stirring in jam or jelly. Sometimes this works - sometimes not.  Thanks for the info.  Blessings, TBM
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America will never be destroyed from outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed GOATS." Abraham  Lincoln

DEV being nice... sorta goes along with GOATS howling, babies bursting into tears, birds suddenly becoming silent, and an ominous greenish lighting spreading across the landscape...

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2010, 05:40:02 PM »
Awesome!  THANK YOU for the recipe!

I wonder.... My husband's dehydrator has a "for making yogurt" setting on it... would that work as a "yogurt machine"?


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Offline LvsChant

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2010, 05:49:42 PM »
absolutely... Tammy on dehydrate2store has a video showing how... it is basically the same as the above recipe, but use your own container(s) for the yogurt and put them in the dehydrator at the yogurt setting and let it go...

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2010, 05:54:03 PM »
Awesome, thank you!  I'm sure now TW will be watching more Tammy videos and making yogurt from my preserves.  :D  THanks again!


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Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2010, 06:27:02 PM »
I like my crock pot method.  but it isn't really mine, I just stole it from someone, and I cannot remember who now  :-[

I need to find that, but it worked better than any other method I have ever used, including a yogurt maker, which only makes 1-quart at a time, and is kind of silly when you are going to be straining it through cheesecloth and still want a good quantity of stuff to eat!!!  hmmm - I found it.
http://www.nourishingdays.com/?p=912

easy peasy.  and it was the first time I managed to get yogurt at home - I tried the oven, the yogurt maker, and some other method too, but no yogurt.  this worked for me consistently.  I think I need to make it more often  :):) after all, I have a source for raw milk  :)
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Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2010, 06:36:17 PM »
after all, I have a source for raw milk  :)

Mmmmm, raw milk.  Do you know what kind of cow you get your milk from?


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Offline Dr. Horrible

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2010, 07:07:43 PM »
Mmmmm, raw milk.  Do you know what kind of cow you get your milk from?
Hopefully, a female.  ;D
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Offline antsyaunt

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2010, 08:01:55 PM »
What a great idea, Lvschant!  The instructions for my yogurt maker state that flavorings should be added after the yogurt has finished 'cooking'.  For added flavor and sweetness, I have used maple syrup in the finished product.  I will try the gelatin next.  Thanks for sharing!

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2010, 09:26:57 PM »
Just remember to save yourself some plain yogurt for starting the next batch... forgot to mention that!

A slight bit off-topic, but another use for yogurt...

We give a generous dollop of yogurt to our dog with her dog food... supposed to help with digestion for them, too (and reduce gas issues).

Offline mxitman

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2010, 09:47:31 PM »
we make our own yogurt as well, i've found that different milk makes different yogurt. We tried various brands from the store and percent of milk fat, 2% & Whole but the consistency was never the same. We finally found a local milk producer who delivers a whole lotta milk to our neighbors across the street and now get a 1/2 gallon of whole milk every week for making yogurt, turns out really thick like greek yogurt. We also have experimented with good results using live cultures bought from the vitamin & supplement store instead of reusing the same yogurt all the time.

http://ricksdiy.com http://heezy.com/ http://woodybeds.com

I'd rather have it and not need it, than not have it when I do need it.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2010, 09:52:04 PM »
we make our own yogurt as well, i've found that different milk makes different yogurt. We tried various brands from the store and percent of milk fat, 2% & Whole but the consistency was never the same. We finally found a local milk producer who delivers a whole lotta milk to our neighbors across the street and now get a 1/2 gallon of whole milk every week for making yogurt, turns out really thick like greek yogurt. We also have experimented with good results using live cultures bought from the vitamin & supplement store instead of reusing the same yogurt all the time.



Great idea... I'll have to look for cultures there... I've bought cultures online specifically for yogurt-making, but they are cost prohibitive to use each time. I find it pretty easy just to buy a small (1 cup) starter cup of plain organic yogurt and then use it (for many, many batches) for my yogurt making at home. I have some of the dried cultures stored in my freezer, but it would be nice to know a less-expensive source!

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2010, 08:30:04 AM »
I like my crock pot method.  but it isn't really mine, I just stole it from someone, and I cannot remember who now  :-[

I need to find that, but it worked better than any other method I have ever used, including a yogurt maker, which only makes 1-quart at a time, and is kind of silly when you are going to be straining it through cheesecloth and still want a good quantity of stuff to eat!!!  hmmm - I found it.
http://www.nourishingdays.com/?p=912

easy peasy.  and it was the first time I managed to get yogurt at home - I tried the oven, the yogurt maker, and some other method too, but no yogurt.  this worked for me consistently.  I think I need to make it more often  :):) after all, I have a source for raw milk  :)

Thanks MS for this post.  I like my method but sometimes wish for a larger amount since I only start with about 6 cups and end up somewhere around 4.  This is a great idea and one I will definitely try.  Blessings, TBM
My goal in life is to be as good of a person my GOAT already thinks I am.  ~Author Unknown

America will never be destroyed from outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed GOATS." Abraham  Lincoln

DEV being nice... sorta goes along with GOATS howling, babies bursting into tears, birds suddenly becoming silent, and an ominous greenish lighting spreading across the landscape...

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2010, 08:57:29 AM »
Mmmmm, raw milk.  Do you know what kind of cow you get your milk from?

I don't.  it is a family milk cow shared by 2 families in my area.  they offered to sell me some as they are learning about having a cow.  This is making me think, though, that when/if we get a cow, I think I will go with one of the smaller breeds - I am leaning towards Dexter.

sorry - thread jack over.......
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Offline LvsChant

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2010, 11:07:51 AM »
an extension of thread jack... I found an interesting article dealing with the potential health benefits (reduced asthma in children) associated with raw milk and a warning about brucellosis as well:

http://www.realmilk.com/asthma-brucellosis.html

I would love to have a source so that I could begin learning to make cheese, as well as homemade yogurt.

Offline keepitlow

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2010, 01:27:10 PM »
I use 2% milk.  Culture it for about 8 hours. Pretty good thickness. 1% also does OK, but it yields a slightly thinner product. Whole organic milk makes the best if you got the $ and don't care about the fat content.

Store bought stuff is thick from pectin or gelatin, but mine is pretty thick for homemade stuff.

I use 32 oz canning jars making a gallon of yogurt at a time. Yogurt keeps for 4 weeks+ without problem.

Raise milk to 180F then add starter at about 100F. Test your thermometers to make sure they are accurate. I use about 2 -3 ounces of starter for every gallon to a gallon of milk. Culture it in an ice cooler with heating pad for 8 hours and cool down.

And remember cleanliness is next to godliness with yogurt making!



Offline CookingtoSurvive

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2010, 04:10:59 PM »
I have quite a bit of experience with making yogurt. I used to run an indian restaurant and we made our own homemade yogurt 5 gallons at a time. We never used any yogurt makers or crockpots. The method we used was to simply bring half of the intended milk to scalding point. We would then combine with the remainder cool milk and stir together. We would then stir in our yogurt for the active culture. We would then just store the lexan container next to the tandoor oven overnight. If you want your yogurt thicker or are using a reduced fat milk I would use powdered milk. THe powdered milk adds extra protein to the mix which is what actually thickens the yogurt. I would recommend using whole milk however. My recipe is as follows:
1/2 gallon whole milk scalded
1/2 gallon cool milk
3/4 cup yogurt
2 tablespoon powdered milk

As I am sure none of us have a tandoor oven in the kitchen I have made some at home and just left the sealed container next to the hot water heater.
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Offline LvsChant

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2010, 11:11:57 AM »
Thanks, prepchef! I did not know that just heating half the milk would do the trick... certainly would speed up the preparation process, since you don't have to wait around for the milk to cool before adding the culture... I'll give it a try next time around!

Offline littletea

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2010, 09:19:52 AM »
I used 50% whole milk and 50% reconstituted powdered milk.  When I make homemade yogurt I use 100% fresh milk but I wanted to experiment with powdered milk to reduce the cost of homemade yogurt.  Normally I make my yogurt in the crockpot and I prefer it over using my dehydrator.  Using the dry milk I found the results to be VERY runny compared to using 100% fresh milk.    Anyone have input on what I can do differently? 

For my starter I used a hispanic yogurt which stated "active cultures".  It was pretty runny yogurt and was already sweetened.  In addition I used the yoplait Greek style yogurt even though it didn't say active cultures.  I had already opened the container to not let it go to waste.  I must say I've had the best results using Dannon plain as my starter.

Offline JoshRonin

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2010, 09:55:48 AM »
I've been wanting to make my own yogurt.  I found I could do it in my dehydrator but need to buy the trays for it.  I never thought of using the crockpot.  I used to work in a dairy department at a Kroger.  The dannon boxes had in big letters, Please don't drop us, we are still alive.
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Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2010, 10:47:24 AM »
I've only made homemade yogurt 1 time and that was years ago.  That was also pretty runny, I believe I used 2% milk.  How about adding something like unflavored gelatin?  Would that thicken it up?
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Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2010, 01:18:00 PM »
now, I am NOT an expert, I have only started making my own yogurt, using this method here: http://www.nourishingdays.com/?p=912, and I use raw whole milk and a plain "greek" yogurt starter
you used a sweetened yogurt.  From everything I have read, this will make your yogurt not quite right.  It needs to be plain and "live"


if it is too runny, you could try draining the whey.  I started doing this when we moved from Yoplait Thick and Creamy (and stuffed with HFCS) to natural and homemade.  put a coffee filter in a larger thin-mesh strainer and let it sit for a few hours.  the longer it sits, the thicker it is.  The problem with this is that you get 1-2 cups of thicker yogurt out of a quart of yogurt.  and a whole lot of whey.
but, the whey is good stuff - use it instead of water in breads for extra protein and a tang.  Throw it in a smoothie, or lacto-ferment your veggies.  I have found now that I use the whey almost before my yogurt cheese is gone.

oh, and also, you could buy one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Cuisipro-Donvier-Yogurt-Cheese-Maker/dp/B000064841, but don't bother.  The idea is good, but the container is not deep enough, so the "cheese" sits in the whey that has already drained, and then you have to drain it again.  very annoying.
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Offline littletea

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2010, 09:55:27 PM »
Thanks Morning Sunshine - I think I may try the next batch with an unsweetened yogurt.  If that doesn't turn out as well I may try adding a little more of the unconstituted powdered milk.  One of the methods I've used if using lowfat milk calls for an additional 1/4 cup of powdered milk.  I'd like to skip adding gelatin if possible.  I'm not fond of the dairy products that add it to their product so I'm not sure I'd like it in my homemade stuff!

I was just going to ask about the whey!  I drained the yogurt to make a greek style yogurt - I use this to make frozen yogurt.  Oh so good! 

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2010, 10:21:13 PM »
Merged topics... I love making my own yogurt! I would second the advice you already have above about using plain (not sweetened) fresh yogurt with live cultures as your starter. I have not tried substituting powdered milk for the fresh milk, but have added extra powdered milk to increase the thickness. Perhaps just adding more powdered milk will also help you. The addition of gelatin also makes the yogurt thicker... you can use unflavored gelatin or jello packets (as above in the recipe I use for my kids).


Offline littletea

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2010, 02:15:40 PM »
Wanted to update - I've been having great success doing 50/50 powdered milk and fresh store bought milk to make my yogurt.  I've been using whole milk and it comes out great - smooth and creamy.  I make a gallon at a time 4 cups water/2 cups milk powder.  I do the crockpot method so I put the milk and the water to warm and then once it reaches 115 F I add the powdered milk and mix well.  I also add the room temp yogurt starter at this time.  Eventually I may try 100% powdered milk.

Question about yogurt starters. Is there a starter I could put in my long term food storage that will always give me a supply of yogurt culture.  I've read about someone buying the yogourmet packets and storing those in a freezer.  What about the acidophilus in capsule form - can this be part of food storage?  I'd love to always have a supply of cultures - I know about saving some from each batch but sometimes I forget to do that!

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2010, 08:55:40 AM »
Hi LTea - I found this resource although I haven't used it but I think this is a great idea you brought to mind.  It would be wise to have this or something of this nature on hand.  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/yogurt-starter

I had another resource but can't find it (too much stuff in the inbox) but when (if) I do I'll send it along.  I just bought the Excaliber Dehydrator and found I can make big batches of yogurt in it - so excited to try as when I make it with the thermos method it only makes a few cups at a time. Happy cooking! 
My goal in life is to be as good of a person my GOAT already thinks I am.  ~Author Unknown

America will never be destroyed from outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed GOATS." Abraham  Lincoln

DEV being nice... sorta goes along with GOATS howling, babies bursting into tears, birds suddenly becoming silent, and an ominous greenish lighting spreading across the landscape...

Offline littletea

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2010, 03:20:20 PM »
Wanted to report back with the results using yogourmet.  I found boxes of this at Whole Foods so I picked one up to test out.  I once again did a 50% fresh milk/50% powder using the crockpot method.  It worked just fine - the flavor is a little different.  There is a flavor that comes across as slightly salty to me. I think it's the ascorbic acid.  Each packet is meant for 1 quart though I made 1.5 quarts and it's fine.  There is an expiration date (mine say sometime mid 2011). 

Just a couple of nights ago I came across this site http://culturesforhealth.com/splash.php
they have all kinds of cultures and their yogurts cultures should be cared for as you would a sourdough starter.  If done properly you could have yogurt for a very long time.  I've read that with store bought yogurt used as a starter eventually the bacteria looses strength.  True?  These yogurt cultures look like another option.

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Yogurt -- Make your own
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2010, 08:53:16 AM »
Wanted to report back with the results using yogourmet.  I found boxes of this at Whole Foods so I picked one up to test out.  I once again did a 50% fresh milk/50% powder using the crockpot method.  It worked just fine - the flavor is a little different.  There is a flavor that comes across as slightly salty to me. I think it's the ascorbic acid.  Each packet is meant for 1 quart though I made 1.5 quarts and it's fine.  There is an expiration date (mine say sometime mid 2011). 

Just a couple of nights ago I came across this site http://culturesforhealth.com/splash.php
they have all kinds of cultures and their yogurts cultures should be cared for as you would a sourdough starter.  If done properly you could have yogurt for a very long time.  I've read that with store bought yogurt used as a starter eventually the bacteria looses strength.  True?  These yogurt cultures look like another option.



Thanks for the input - I will definitely check this out as you brought up such a good point with having something storable to make yogurt with - something I never thought of and would be cranky if I couldn't get some and had to pay big $$ for yogurt if groceries get sky high (and I believe they will and we haven't seen anything yet - I truly feel that it's coming and we will be grateful for every last morsel we've stored).
My goal in life is to be as good of a person my GOAT already thinks I am.  ~Author Unknown

America will never be destroyed from outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed GOATS." Abraham  Lincoln

DEV being nice... sorta goes along with GOATS howling, babies bursting into tears, birds suddenly becoming silent, and an ominous greenish lighting spreading across the landscape...