How do you control the temperature of the yogurt as it ferments? Did you purchase a yogurt maker? I would like to try making yogurt but don't really need another gadget. Any suggestions on how to control the temperature while it ferments without purchasing a dedicated yogurt maker would be appreciated.
Making yogurt is a VERY low tech and simple affair. You can purchase "silly" expensive kits with 4 or 6 small cups but it is MUCH simpler to do it in larger batches with no special components or equipment.
1. Take a gallon or milk (or any other size you want) and pour it into a pan.
2. Heat on the stove stirring under medium heat until you see it start to steam. Don't boil it or you will curdle the milk. Essentially you are going through a simple version of Pasteurization.
3. Put a top on the pan and let it cool on the stove top or any other surface and let it cool off until it is warm but not hot to the touch.
4. Add a spoon or two of plain yogurt with active cultures and stir it. Keep in mind that over half of the yogurts claiming active cultures recently tested for NO active cultures...... Dannon has worked for me
5. Put the lid back on and put the pot in the oven overnight.
6. The next morning you will have yogurt.
You can then put it in any container(s) you choose and refrigerate it. Add fruit & flavors as desired, on a budget, fruit preservers work fine.
Also, you can experiment with using skim or whole, or adding milk powder to enrich and thicken the mixture.
This never quite turns out as thick as store bought, but you know what is in it and how it was prepared.
You can probably skip half the steps and still succeed, but with the price of milk, who wants a batch that didn't quite turn out.
Thanks Andrew! I will definitely give this a try.
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Some people use a thermos (you fill it with hot water for a few minutes, dump out the water and then add your milk+starter), or a heating pad, or a crockpot...
I do have a yogurt maker because with the variations i've been trying I wanted the temp to at least be consistent. I might try the oven method becuase the different cultures ferment at different rates depending on temperature.
If you are using the oven method when the weather is cooler, you can turn or you oven's interior light to add just the right amount of warmth.
It's been a long time, but I used to make it in reused small plastic containers, after having sterized them, by simmering the milk until hot, pouring it into the containers, adding the culture, putting a lid on each and placing them all on a heating pad on low with a moist towel over all of it. Done by morning, put them in the fridge.
Yes, I have been for 20 years or so. I use skim milk now (since 1996). It
is milk and culture. No additives!
Tastes fine. I spruce it up by adding fruits(berries, mango, lychee, etc.)
I haven't tried making my own, but I'm a big fan of the currently popular "Greek-style" yogurts. After having tried these, even the non-fat version, the gelatinous goop that is marketed as regular non-fat yogurt is pretty dreadful by comparison...!
When you use the oven method, do you have a gas oven or an electric oven? I believe the pilot light in a gas oven keeps the temperature where you want it, but it would be too cold in an electric oven.