Here are my first reactions to making yogurt:
- I can't believe how easy it is!
- I love having control of how much/little fat is in the yogurt
- I love having control of how much I make each time rather than having to buy containers that are too large/small
- I love the flavor--the plain yogurt isn't sweet but it definitely tastes like a dairy product unlike the commercial ones that taste like sweeteners, thickeners and stabilizers
- I love the texture. I'm already successfully producing a nice thick yogurt that mixes easily with fruit and is smooth on the tongue either plain or mixed
- I like the fact that my home-made has a full complement of live, active cultures and has no appreciable shelf life as I make it every 3 days
- I bought a yogurt maker. Living in a 5th wheel RV, temperatures are comfortable but quite variable. In winter, it gets cool overnight and in summer it's quite warm despite 2 air conditioners and a ceiling fan. I bought one that allows me to use my own container of preferred size. Many people are able to make yogurt without a yogurt maker, though, and advice is easy to find online.
- I buy organic whole milk and heavy cream (the cream also goes in my coffee.) I purposely tried mixtures of different strengths--milk plus a little cream, half/half and mostly cream. My strong favorite is 1.5 cups of whole milk and 1/2 cup of cream. It sets up beautifully but still has a milky taste.
- Few supplies are needed other than the yogurt maker. I use a stainless steel bowl for heating the milk/cream, a silicone spatula to stir, my full-purpose glass measuring cup, an instant-read thermometer and 2 2-cup ceramic mugs-with-handles that are nice for handling the warm liquid and yogurt. The only things I purchased for the yogurt project were the 2 2-cup mugs and a package of culture starter.
- To make the yogurt, you heat the milk/cream to 185 degrees, then cool to 110. You then add the starter culture (I used the one I bought for the first batch only) or 1 tbsp live-culture yogurt per cup of liquid. I reserve 2 tbsp of yogurt from each batch to start the next.
- My yogurt is ready in about 5 hours; I cool it briefly then cover and put it in the fridge. Right now I'm using about 2/3 cup per day.
|Sample for Next Batch|
Resources: The most complete information I've found about making yogurt at home is at makeyourownyogurt and I recommend you check it out.