How to Make Yogurt at Home (Cheesemaking Part 6)

How to make thick creamy yogurt

Making yogurt at home is EASY! There are many methods out there. I’ve tried most of them and settled on six steps to fantastic thick creamy yogurt.

The Cliff Notes: Heat milk to 180°F. Cool milk down to 110°F. Add culture and wait 2 hours. Jar milk. Incubate milk at 110°F for 6 to 24 hours. Cool completely in refrigerator and enjoy! This yogurt will last one month in the refrigerator! 🙂

The devil’s in the details, watch the below video and print off these directions. I’ve included all my tricks for delicious thick and creamy yogurt!

 

INGREDIENTS:

EQUIPMENT:

  • Stock pot, made from solid stainless steel. I use this 20 QT stock pot, since I make 3-4 gallons at a time
  • Water-bath canner w/ rack. To make a double boiler system. Nothing fancy, just a 21.5 Quart canner
  • Thermometer. This is your most important tool. You want an accurate one with a long stem, hook on the side and the degrees need to be 0 to 220°F.
  • Glass Mason Jars – available here
  • A skimmer or long spoon. Here’s the one I use, Stainless Steel Skimmer
  • Mini measuring spoons.
  • An oven or an Excalibur dehydrator

DIRECTIONS:

Step one: Clean and sterilize equipment. Gradually heat milk to 180°F in a water-bath double boiler. Put milk pot in a canner with the rack upside down. Make sure to use thermometer and stir every so often to distribute the heat evenly. Keep lid on as much as possible to avoid a skin forming on top of the milk. I love raw milk… but for yogurt you do need to scald the milk at 180°F if you want a thick creamy consistency.

“High-heat treatment (of yogurt) does two wonderful things: It clears it from all bacteria (normal pasteurization doesn’t), leaving a clan slate for the yogurt cultures to work on and provide their probiotic qualities, and it helps create a yogurt with a better texture and body by capturing the whey proteins in the coagulum.”  ~ Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking by Ms. Caldwell

Step two: Cool milk down to 110°F in an icy bath. Stir occasionally to distribute the new temperature. Keep lid on as much as possible to avoid skin forming.

Step Three: Sprinkle dried culture OR mix in a previous batch of yogurt as your culture. Wait 3-5 minutes before stirring culture. Use 20 round top to bottom circle strokes.
My favorite starter is a dried powder from Glengarry Cheesemaking called ABY-2C. If you’re making one gallon you’ll need 1/16 tea. If you’re making 3-4 gallons, you’ll only need 1/4 teaspoon. The culture is very inexpensive comes in a tiny pouch to store in the freezer (see picture below) it makes 60 gallons.You can also use store bought whole plain yogurt, you’ll need 4 tablespoons of yogurt per gallon of milk.

“Yogurt can be re-cultured for several batches however, the acidity level will increase from one batch to the next. Yoghurt made from goat’s milk has the tendency to be less thick than cow’s milk yoghurt. You can either drain the yoghurt to make it thicker.”The Cheesemaker’s Manual by Ms. Morris

Step Four: Wait 1-2 hours. Cover and do nothing.

Step Five: Stir milk really well, use the 20 top bottom strokes then pour milk into glass jars.

Step Six: Incubate jars at 110°F for 6 to 24 hours in an Excalibur dehydrator or until the yogurt sets up like thick cream. Six hours for a mild yogurt and 12-24 hours for a stronger tart flavor. Refrigerate for several hours before consuming. The cold will help the yogurt finish setting up.

If you don’t have an Excalibur dehydrator, you can use an oven. Wrap jars in several towels, turn the oven on the lowest setting, STANDING THERE THE WHOLE TIME, wait until temperature gets to 120 and turn the oven OFF. You’ll need to do this a few times to keep the temperature between 100 – 110°F.

How to make Greek Yogurt at Home

OPTIONAL: If you want a thicker yogurt, pour your finished yogurt into a clean kitchen towel and let it drip for 2 – 5 hours, until desire consistence is reached. Then you can call it “Greek Yogurt”.

Use the whey for culture veggies, smoothies, soaking liver, whatever… whey is powerful stuff, don’t throw it out 🙂

How to make whey from yogurt for culture veggies, smoothies, soaking liver etc.

STEPS IN PICTURE:

How to make yogurt at homeIMG_2349IMG_2345IMG_2357Step two: how to make yogurtIMG_2373IMG_2374IMG_1987IMG_2382IMG_2388IMG_2038

 

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Comments

  1. I admire you so much!! In like everything! Great instructions! How do you store the extra bottles? Do you freeze them or can they sit on the shelf? Sorry…I’m just starting out. I want to get into wild fermenting 🙂 I LOVE your blog by the way. By far my favorite!! My husband and I are strongly considering buying a jersey milking cow. We are in west Oklahoma, moving to east OK in a few months. Keep up the awesome work!

    • Victoria,
      I make enough yogurt for about a month and a half and keep it in the refrigerator. Since my recipe gently pasteurizes the milk and then lowers the temperature and adds culture it extends the shelf life (it’s not a raw milk recipe). Some people just put the finished yogurt in the freezer. What you don’t want to do is leave it on the counter for longer than 24 hours, it’ll get so sour you won’t like it and start getting kind of funny… it won’t hurt you, but not very pleasant to eat. Just do what works for you make enough for a week or two or enough for whenever and freeze or refrigerate.

  2. How long does this keep for in the fridge?

  3. Nearly the easiest thing you can make. My husband is our yogurt maker. We add vanilla beans to ours and pure maple syrup for a sweeter yogurt. We make ours in 1/2 gallon jars. Our goat milk does produce a more pourable yogurt.

    • Sounds yummy. If you wanted a thicker consistency… you could had a bit of dried gelatin when you’re initially heating the milk to 180… it’d give you a firmer consistency.

      • He seems to not mind the runnier version but if we ever want to thicken it up we’ll try that. Our sour cream is also that way and we use milk run through a separator to get cream from the goat’s milk. That one I would prefer thicker.

What are you thoughts?