Basic Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1Q Milk (whole preferred, 2% should be fine but low fat will not work well)
  • 2-3T Yogurt (make sure your starter yogurt contains Active Cultures, for your second batch, make sure you save 2-3T of yogurt from your previous batch)
    • Note: the type of yogurt/cultures you start with does make a difference! My first batch came from a cheaper (low quality) yogurt which made very sour and course yogurt. I actually like it and have saved the strain; however, my family found it too tart. We then tried using a higher quality yogurt which produced a batch (from the same gallon of milk) that was more sweet (not tart at all), creamy, and very refined tasting. From my (two) experiments, the yogurt you get out is going to be similar to what you put in ;-)

Directions

I use a double pot to heat the milk as it eliminates the need to constantly stir the milk as you heat it. The process is as follows:

  1. Grab a large pot and insert a small stand
  2. Place a second (smaller) pot inside the large pot and add your milk in the smaller pot and cover
  3. Fill the larger pot with water, ensuring the water is not above the rim of the smaller pot
  4. Heat the water over medium heat until the water reaches 185F
  5. Reduce heat and "cook" for 20-25 minutes
  6. Remove the inner pot and allow it to cool to 110F (use an ice bath to quickly cool the milk)
  7. Slowly stir the yogurt into the milk
    1. I pour the milk/yogurt mixture into a pyrex (glass) dish at this point and add its rubber lid as this is what I store the yogurt in later
  8. "Cook" milk/yogurt at 110F for at least 7 hours
  9. Stir yogurt to mix curds with liquid
    1. Note: My family prefers thick yogurt so I do not stir it after "cooking" rather I let it cool in the refrigerator over night. I scoop out one serving by making a "hole" in one side of the yogurt all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Within a few hours (or overnight at least) the hole will fill with the water from your milk leaving very thick yogurt - you can discard the water and have thick yogurt or keep it and mix back in as you like.
  10. Cool yogurt in refrigerator for at least 3-5hrs

Enjoy your yogurt! I suggest adding a bit of honey and molasses to sweeten. Don't forget to save 2-3T of yogurt to use as your starter on your next batch (note: you can freeze 2-3T of the yogurt if you do not plan on making another batch immediately, simply allow it to thaw before adding as your starter).

Source: I believe I started with this recipe (http://www.makeyourownyogurt.com/make-yogurt/what-you-need) and modified.