Friday, May 4, 2012

Making Yogurt

Early this week, we had accumulated enough excess milk for me to try making yogurt. I was excited to give it a try and had fun making it . . . the process was so simple!

Checking the temperature of the milk (it needed to get to 180 degrees)

The end result was not quite as good as I had hoped . . . a little on the runny side (which we don't mind) and very tangy. In fact, it was a little too tangy for us to eat, but Dad had the great idea of adding some sugar to it and it was just enough to make it delicious! We have been very much enjoying it, and Dad said that he liked it just as well as ice cream. :)

The yogurt that I used for the culture (I couldn't find any plain yogurt with live cultures so used French Vanilla instead.)

Stirring in some of the yogurt to the warmed, and then partially cooled, milk

Next time I try making it, I'm going to add a little more culture (the amount varies depending on which recipe you look at), and I won't let it set as long (I let it set for 8 hours.) It will be curious to see how it turns out with both of those changes!

A half-gallon of future yogurt ready to go in the cooler with three 
jars of hot water to help keep it warm while it incubates

For those of you who have made yogurt before, do you have any tips to share?


  1. I don't know that you could call it a TIP, but my MIL has lots of cheats at things like this. She has been doing this for about 15 or more years now, so she has come up with lots of shortcuts. When making yogurt, we just stir in some starter (which we use yogurt from the store as you did if we run out) into some fresh milked still warm milk. Then set it somewhere warm. In the winter, near the woodstove. In the summer, on top of the water heater or something. Then in 8-24 hours you have yogurt. Our yogurt is often more runny than the store stuff. If you'll read, many of them add gelatin to make it 'pretty' and firmer. It also works great instead of things like sour cream in recipes if you happen to be out. Or strain it and have some cream cheese.

  2. I've never made yogurt, but am fascinated by the fruit mixtures used here, such as gooseberry, rhubarb and pineapple.

  3. I admire how adventuresome you are, Sarah! You have certainly tried out many new things over the past few weeks/months/years and they all have turned out so well! We have been making yogurt for the past 8 or so years from raw cow's milk we get from friends. My sister always makes it, so I'm not exactly sure of the process. I will ask her how she does it and send it along to you in case that will be of any help. Enjoy your new ventures!

  4. We've tried yogurt making as well, but it never turned out quite the way we wanted it. I may have to try some other methods of incubating. You can read a short blog post about our yogurt making experience here:

    We did have fun making greek yogurt! Straining the yogurt made it thicker, but it decreases the amount of yogurt you are left with.


  5. I have never made yogurt as I am not a fan. But I think some may add milk powder to the mix to help make a more dense yogurt. Also the older a yogurt gets the less sour it is supposed to be.

  6. It was so nice to hear from you again, Becky! And thank you for sharing all of that . . . it sounds like your mother-in-law has a simple method for yogurt making. :) I wouldn’t have thought to incubate the yogurt on top of the water heater! But I can see how that could work.

    Yes, I have heard that some add gelatin to make it firmer. We talked about possibly doing that, but I’m not sure if we will or not. Thank you for mentioning that yogurt can be used in place of sour cream in recipes – I’ll have to try that!

  7. Those are some interesting mixtures, Elizabeth! I’d imagine that the yogurt would be really tart with rhubarb in it. :) Pineapple, though, actually sounds kind of good!

  8. Thank you for your sweet note, Anna! It has been fun being adventuresome . . . though it can lead to a lot of flops and failures. :) The successes make it all worth it, though!

    That is wonderful that you all have been able to enjoy fresh yogurt from raw cow’s milk for so many years. I am sure it is delicious. And I would love to hear how your sister makes yours!

  9. Thank you for sharing the link to the post on your blog about your yogurt making venture, Bianca! I will have to stop by and take a look at it. I have heard of Greek yogurt before, but don’t really know what it is. I’ll have to do some looking to find out! :)

  10. Yes, Suze, I have heard of adding milk powder to the yogurt to make it more dense – we might have to try that. I didn’t know that the older yogurt gets the less sour it is supposed to be! Now that you mention it, though, it does seem like ours might have gotten a little milder as time went on. Or maybe we just got more used to it. :)

  11. Hello! I recently have started making yogurt, and it has been turning out very well for me. This is my method: heat 2 qts of whole milk to 180 degrees. cool to 110 degrees. whisk in 6 oz. of starter....for starter I use a store bought yogurt cup. I have used yoplait, which works well, but I prefer to make a completely plain yogurt, so I have found at my grocery store, a brand of yogurt called Chobani, it is a greek yogurt with all natural ingredients. I buy the 6 oz. cup of it and I WHISK ( i have tried just stirring it in, but that doesnt work nearly as well) that into the 110 degree milk. Pour into jars, and screw lids on. Then I place the jars in an airtight cooler, and pour lukewarm to hot water in around the jars, I fill the cooler up intil the neck of the jars are showing above water. I check the water to make sure it is at least 110 degrees...sometimes a little bit warmer. Leave the jars in the cooler for 4-5 hours. When you take them out of the cooler, it should be set. If at 4 hours its not set, leave it in another hour. Then refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight. My yogurt has turned out really thick and also runny, lol. I have yet to figure out what makes the difference. But more often than not, it turns out pretty thick. I have been making yogurt for about 3-4 months, so I'm still learning. I was recently told that you can add 1/3 cup of powdered milk per qt. of milk when you whisk in the is supposed to make the yogurt thicker and creamier, but I have not tried this yet. Hope all this helps you and hope it makes sense! I enjoy your blog.

  12. Welcome to my blog, Anna B., and thank you so much for all that you shared! That was indeed helpful. I look forward to implementing some of the things you mentioned next time I make it (such as filling the cooler with 110* water.) It sounds like they should really help!

    Thank you again!


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)