Whole milk produces a bit more than non-fat and is also quite a bit thicker when finished. I like a really thick yogurt so I usually strain out a lot of the whey when I'm done. The whey strains out quicker in the non-fat than the whole, but again you're left with less of a yield that way.
Step 1: What You Will Need.
- a large pot
- a glass jar with a lid (sterile)
- a starter (can be a couple tablespoons from store bought yogurt with live cultures)
- a spoon (sterile)
- a candy thermometer (optional)
- a wash cloth (optional)
Step 2: Preparing the Milk.
1. Pour milk into jar.
2. Put jar into pot of water on stove. Make sure the water line comes to about half way up the jar of milk.
3. Turn stove on high.
4. Periodically check milk until it reaches the temp of 185 F, or if you don't want to use a thermometer just wait until you can see tiny bubbles starting to form around the edges of the milk. It will also begin to form a skin on the top.
Step 3: Removing the Jar to Cool.
Also, take out your starter from the refrigerator while the milk is cooling to bring it up to room temperature.
I also turn my oven on warm at this point to make sure there is no temperature fluctuation while the yogurt is in incubation phase.
Step 4: Adding Starter.
Step 5: Incubation Phase.
My oven vents it's warm air through the back stove top burner. Which works perfectly when I have the oven on warm to incubate my milk into yogurt.
Step 6: You Got Yogurt!
I usually get my jar incubating right before I go to bed and wake up in the morning to strain it in the fridge.
Remember to remove some of the yogurt for your next batch. I remove a few tablespoons before straining.
Step 7: Straining the Yogurt.
I usually let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour with non-fat or a few hours with whole, but then again I like a really thick yogurt. If you leave the yogurt straining overnight you get a nice spreadable yogurt cheese.
After it is to the thickness you want, just spoon into a storage container and you're done.