Make Your Own Yogurt





Introduction: Make Your Own Yogurt

This instructable produces fresh yogurt for your eating (and educational) satisfaction from everyday cow's milk and an active culture of L. Acidophilus.

Step 1: Collect Your Gear

What you'll need to make about three cups of yogurt:
2 Tbsp dry milk
3 cups milk (2% or skim)
2-3 Tbsp unpasturized plain yogurt
medium saucepan
CLEAN containers

Vanilla yogurt can be used instead of plain yogurt too. The added yogurt must contain a live culture; pasturized yogurt has been heated to kill both pathogenic and beneficial bacteria. If fruit yogurts are used as the source of this culture, the bacteria usually aren't as healthy.

The smallest portion of yogurt I can find comes in 6 oz. and milk comes in half gallons. I personally like this yogurt, though the missus won't eat it--god bless her--so I'm scaling up the quantities accordingly:
1/3 cup dry milk
1/2 gallon 2% milk
6 oz. unpasturized plain yogurt

Those are more appealing quantities anyway.

Step 2: Scald and Cool Milk

The first step is to combine dry milk and milk in the medium saucepan.
Now scald the milk on the stovetop; scalding is as near to a boil as possible without actually boiling. Scalding kills any undesirable bacteria to allow greener pastures for the L. Acidophilus culture we'll add later.

Allow milk in saucepan to cool. The temperature can still be hot, but definately not scalding. If you need an exact temperature, 100F will work. Divide the milk into your clean containers. I'm using five pint jars fresh out of a pressure cooker to ensure nothing will be growing but the L. Adcidophilus culture. Don't sneeze in your milk either.

Step 3: Add Culture

Now add the unpasturized plain yogurt to each container. Err on the side of caution and allow the milk to cool. If the temperature is too high, the added culture will die and your yogurt will never be.

Step 4: Incubate

The last step is the incubation. Fill your cooler with a couple inches of hot but not scalding water. Insert the milk-containing containers. Close the cooler and let sit from anywhere between three and six hours--depending on the activity of the culture. If your cooler allows too much heat transfer, you may add more hot water at any time. The ideal temperature range for the L. Acidophilus is between 40C and 45C (104F - 113F).

I filled my cooler with the hottest possible tap water and the internal cooler temperature leveled out at about 105F for the next hour.

Step 5: Scrutinize Then Enjoy!

When the yogurt is largely solid (some liquid whey may remain at the top--this is okay), open up a jar and take a whiff: if it smells sweet, you've succeeded; if it smells like, well, spoilt milk, you've failed and should dispose of the containers contents. While there's no serious problem from eating spoilt milk, most people find it disagreeable. You'll be able to tell the difference, but for those wanting to make sure, the final product should have a pH of around 4 while the pH of plain spoilt milk will be higher--around 5--milk itself has a pH around 6.5. Refrigerate the success. Enjoy your cold yogurt with granola or fruit.



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    can i ask do u need the powdered milk. I mean is it essential if so, why.....

    6 replies

    It is not essential: you will end up with yogurt without it, but the dry milk does contribute to properties in yogurt that we are more familiar--namely a thicker, less flowing yogurt. The dry milk adds more protein weight per liquid volume which after the pH has dropped to appropriate levels (4.5 - 4.0), congeals (or curds) into a tangled mass of denatured protein that resembles a swollen gel. Personally, I've never tried it and would say it couldn't hurt to go without it.

    ok so is there anything else i can use instead. the reaon being where i live the dry milk comes in bigger containers and itll go to waste so if there is anything could you let me no?

    I've heard of using cheesecloth to take water out of cheeses. I would speculate the same thing could be done with yogurt without dry milk. Take some fine cheesecloth and place it inside a colander, dump the yogurt over the cheesecloth, tie the cheesecloth and hang it from a faucet until it becomes the consistency that you're looking for. I'm not saying its easier, but you wouldn't have to buy the dry milk. Or--excess water could be taken off the when the milk is scalding. Try a fan blowing over your scalding milk until the volume is reduced by a quarter or so. I'd be interested to know if either work.

    If you use cheesecloth to remove enough whey you get yocheez. It's soft like creamed cheese and can be used the same way.

    I recently made some flavored yocheez and blended in onion juice, finely minced cooked ham and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Used it as a sandwich spread. Yummy

    thanks very much. you seem to know alot about yoghurt-lol id like to see a instructable on how to make cheese or even butter thanks again

    Dried milk can be kept in a lidded container in the fridge or freezer for very long periods of time. I make homemade yogurt with only dried milk (no fresh milk). No pics available as no camera. 1 qt milk (made from dried milk) 1/2 c dry milk 2 tablespoons acidophilus yogurt (as a starter) In a pan heat liquid milk to 180°f, cool to 115°f. Blend starter and dry milk into a small amount of heated milk, stir into pan. Pour into clean/ sterilized jars, screw on lids. Wrap a heating pad around jars, cover with a towel and set on low heat. Let incubate til it sets. The longer you let it incubate the stronger it will taste.

    1 reply

    I use quite a bit of dry milk in place of regular milk in cooking as I am allergic to regular milk.

    Yogurt can be drained to make a nice soft cheese. Softness depends on how big of a lump you hang and how long it drains. This cheese (see accompanying photo) was drained for about 3 hours and has shrunk by about 50%.

    1 reply

    I work as a barista (I make lattes and cappuccino's and those other expensive espresso drinks) and I can personally attest that milk scalds at significantly higher temperatures than 100 F (closer to 200 F would be more accurate) as I make 180 F drinks for some crazy customers that like insanely hot drinks and at that temp only some of the froth scalds (as it heats faster than the milk)

    1 reply

    I think you may have misread that. I think he was saying to let it cool to that temp after scalding.

    I am horrible at cooking/making any food other than microwaveables. We'll see how my yogurt turns out.