Friday, January 15, 2010

Yogurt Making

Over the past year I had a few questions about how we make our yogurt. Our family can easily consume 6 gallons every week [yes, we LOVE fresh yogurt!], so finding a good, easy recipe quickly became an essential quest in our kitchen!

So here's how it works...

[Recipe for 2 gallons of yogurt]

Add two gallons of milk to a large stockpot. You may use whole, 2% or skimmed milk. Heat the milk slowly over a medium heat (not so hot that it burns on the bottom). It may need stirred a couple times depending on the quality of the stockpot. Heat milk until the temperature is 180*F. It is not necessary to boil the milk.

Note: Use a sturdy, heavy stockpot to heat the milk. It will avoid scorching the milk. We are so thankful for the high-quality stainless steel cookware Daddy got for our kitchen many years ago! Thank you Daddy!

A double-boiler can also be used to heat the milk, if a stockpot is thin.

When the milk reaches 180*F, turn the heat off and let the milk cool to 110*F. Putting the stockpot into a sink of cold water will quicken this step. Otherwise, this is a good opportunity to move on to other projects for a bit!

When milk has cooled to 110*F, add 1 six ounce cup of Yoplait yogurt. Any flavor can be used, because it doesn't flavor the entire two gallons very much.

With a wire whisk, beat the milk & yogurt starter for a minute. It is important for the starter to get completely dissolved into the milk. The milk mixed with yogurt starter is now called inoculated milk.

Once thoroughly mixed, pour the inoculated milk into the desired jars. Fill to the neck of the jar. We use gallon jars - however, for the smaller family - half gallon or quart jars are much easier to manage and work just as well!

Put lids on tightly and place jars into a cooler. It is helpful if the jars fit snugly into the cooler - it all stays warmer and turns to yogurt faster. Warm water [110*f] can also be added to help stabilize the temperature.

Place the lid on cooler and set in a warm place for 3-4 hours. The yogurt is done when it has jelled. This can be easily checked by gently tipping the jar to see if it is milky or firm. If the milk has not become firm in 4 hours, the cooler may not be quite warm enough and it will just need a few more hours. When it is jelled, place in the fridge overnight to completely cool down and set.

Top with fruit and enjoy!

Yogurt has become such a yummy, healthy part of our diet and we've discovered literally dozens of ways to creatively incorporate it into our meals and snacks. The benefits and uses of yogurt could be a whole additional post in itself! [smile]


bassplayer7 said...

Looks like Elizabeth does well with making yogurt! Based off of your recipe, I could see it being easy to mess up.

WoodSaw4 said...

Interesting. I have wondered how yogurt was made. Definitely sounds like an involved process. Do you make it on the road? I am praying for your upcoming trip!

In Christ,


Abutton said...

Do you ever save some of your previous batch and use it to inoculate the next one? Or do you have to inoculate with store bought every time?

David Kent said...

It looks your family needs a cow on the back 40 (except you're away from home so much).

I ate yogurt for probably 20 years+, then for some reason it fell by the wayside; I think it was the matter of buying a small quantity at a high price, or making (or buying) large amounts and then it lasting forever.

How long would it - can it last?

Lulu said...

Wow!!! Looks fun.

Annie said...

Thanks for the recipe, Rachel! Our family really loves yogurt, as well. For a while we ate it nearly every evening meal. :) Usually we buy plain organic yogurt and then stir in a sweetner, such as agave nectar or xylitol. Yum!!
Love in Christ,

Shay said...

Yes, I must agree with David Kent- sounds like you need a cow! (Or two :) ). We hand milk some cows for ourselves and make yogurt as well.
To get the ultimate health benefits for yogurt, one must use fresh (not store bought) organic whole milk and never heat the milk over 110* . Jersey milk (of course) makes the best-tasting yogurt!
Give it a try sometime.

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Thank you very much! I was just thinking about ya'll and your yogurt just the other day! :D How handy! I shall have to try this!

~ An Indiana Aquaintance :)

Joni said...

Interesting... I thought only we, from India make our own yogurt.LOL :) You are probably the first american family I have come across who make their own yogurt. (I am from India, tho we've lived in michigan the last 13 years..) Yogurt has to be a part of our everyday meal so, it is easy to make it at home.

Your idea of putting the jars in a cooler is great. I will try that the next time I make yogurt!!

Thanks for the idea!

Elizabeth said...

Hello Rachel!
Thanks for sharing how to make yogurt! It's nice to see some helpful, step-by-step tips! I am going to show this post to my mom and perhaps we will make some soon!

Thanks for sharing!

Plattner Ranch said...

I just started making yogurt a couple weeks ago. I would be interested in a post of the ways you use yogurt when you get around to it.


Anonymous said...

This is such a simple easy to understand way to go about making yogurt. Thanks for sharing it! I think I could do this! Becca and I really enjoyed visiting with you and Elizabeth and Ruth at the Rebelution Conference this weekend.

Marissa said...

We will have to try that! Thanks for posting about it! :)

Our Army of Six said...

Thank you! I am SO glad that you posted this. I had decided recently I would research making our own. We only have 4 children but can go through a gallon of yogurt a week! (but aren't able to because it's so expensive to get quality yogurt that's not full of extra sweeteners). How long will it last in the fridge after making it? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe! I've been discouraged in the past to try making yogurt because so often the recipe called for ingredients that I can't get here in Mexico. This one's simple and I look forward to trying it!

Shiloh Strang said...

We do this too!

Our goat milk makes great yogurt!

Rachel said...

Hi! My name is Rachel! I am 14 years old! I am true Bible believing Christian
I love the Lord and want to live for Him only!

I have been visiting your blog for 2 months And its very wonderful!!

I really would like to get to know you all:)

May God bless

Anonymous said...

Hello Friends,
We tried it, it came out ...wonderful!
We really loved it!
Thanks for sharing the recipe!
This post makes me think of old time posts! We were blessed!
Our love & prayers,
Jessica & Annamarie

Gail said...

Very similar to how we do it, but we pour ours in a crockpot and wrap it in towels for 6 hours. (Do NOT turn crockpot on!) Yum!

Anonymous said...

Ohhh, Yogurt making is fun. =)

Ruth Wissmann said...

Thank you for all the comments! It is so good to hear from our readers. To answer a few questions:
- Yes, we do make yogurt on the road. We still try to make it a couple times a week!
- We have tried to use some of a previous batch to inoclutate the next one. However, it doesn't turn out near as thick & creamy as that first time. For ease on the road, we do inoculate with store bought every time.
- If the yogurt is kept cool in the fridge, it has lasted around 2 weeks. An unopened jar will last even longer. And we've found that it gets thicker with 'age'! Yum!
Enjoy your yogurt!

::Kourtney:: said...

Oh! I love yogurt!
I tried to make it once, but it didn't turn out very well.
Maybe I will try your method sometime soon!
Thanks for sharing it!
Lord bless!

Rachel said...

Very yummy looking yogurt!
My gran also makes yogurt this way.

God bless

Kimmy:O said...

That is a wonderful idea, and I think I might try it sometime. :):):) It looks sooooo delicious.

Anonymous said...

When we make yogurt, we save the needed amount to innoculate the next batch from this batch! You only have to use store bought yogurt when either the batch doesn`t work out, or your ``starter`` goes bad!

Anonymous said...

Yogurt is great!
Nice to read you make it in the same easy way as I do.
However, perhaps you could make it even easier. I only heat half of the milk, and let it boil. You can use the other half of the milk just cold, directly from the fridge. When you mix the boiled milk with the cold milk, it has exactly the right temperature. No need to keep watching the thermometer! And no need for cooling the milk down after heating it (at least I never do that and the yogurt turns out great.)

Rinette (South Africa)

Kristi said...

I usually make a gallon at a time, and it's pretty simple once you have done it a few times. The only problem I've run into is trying to use some yogurt from my previous batch to use as starter for the next one. It often has a LOT of whey on the top. Because of this, I usually use store-bought as a starter for my next batch. Any thoughts on this?

Sofia from Spain said...

Thanks very much for the yog.recipe and instructions.Must buy a kitchen thermometer. Why does the milk need to be heated then cooled? Is it fresh milk that you use? We use U.H.T. here. Does it make a difference?