Anyone make their own yogurt?

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Peanut
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Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Peanut »

Thinking of trying this to save on the endless pile-up of 2 lb yogurt containers at home. Anyone have a full-proof recipe? Preferably very easy to execute. I am hoping to use my instant pot.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

Yeah! Instapot all the way. The simplest recipe (I’m lazy).

1. Dump 1/2 cup plain yogurt into the bottom of the instapot.I like Siggy skyr.*
2. Pour a gallon of pasteurized milk over it (I like full fat). Whisk a bit if you wanna.
3. Put the closed empty gallon bottle back into the refrigerator
4. SKIP THE BOILING ETC and just Incubate on instapot setting on “yogurt” for 12 hours directly. Your yogurt is finished.
5. With the help of a ladle and funnel, reserve 1/2 cup of the resulting brew in a small container. Refrigerate well.
6. Funnel the rest of the cook back into the gallon bottle. Refrigerate and use as needed.
7. The following week, restart with the 1/2 cup you reserved.


* NOTES ON THE CULTURE:

Supposedly the factory strains of commercial yogurts are like hothouse flowers that die soon in the wild, as opposed to unnamable heirloom varieties.

I overcome this purported limitation by using a variety of yogurts to reseed the first (few) week(s), say 1/4 cup previous batch + 1/4 cup new brand.

I like Siggy as the base because it yields a nice thick yogurt. Not as thick as skyr, which uses rennet plus undergoes straining in addition. **

By reading labels you can add other species and fill up various niches, so to speak. Let Darwin sort them out. At the end you should have a nice wild heirloom mix.

I also seek local yogurts that might not use lab strains but might use heirloom cultures. These will not be named by species but rather generally “thermophiles” and so forth.

My current culture is running a mix of Siggy and a local product, and it just carries forward on its own now. The local gave me a nice but very liquid ferment, the Siggy thickened it.

As for sanitation: I don’t sterilize a thing, but will rinse clean pots and utensils with boiling water just for ritual purposes.This is most crucial with the reserve culture.

** “GREEK”

Use a fine sieve to strain your yogurt in the refrigerator and after 3-12 hours you’ll have “Greek” yogurt or white cheese or whatever you want to call it. The whey that separates can be drunk by itself or as “whey lemonade”, or better yet, made into righteous whey pancakes (see KA website for recipe). Stores well frozen.
Last edited by Alphaville on Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Smashter
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Smashter »

Well if Alphaville considers the instant pot the lazy way, I must be SUPER lazy. I tried that for a few months and found even that to be too annoying. I think a big part was that my thermometer was hard to use / unreliable.

The quality was inconsistent and I found it to be not worth the effort.

I hope it works out for you though, the few batches I did that turned out well were quite good (though still not as good as the Fage I get at the store)

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

Smashter wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:13 pm
Well if Alphaville considers the instant pot the lazy way, I must be SUPER lazy. I tried that for a few months and found even that to be too annoying. I think a big part was that my thermometer was hard to use / unreliable.
notice i don’t boil the milk. hence no overboiled milk and no PITA thermometer. just basically punch a button & let it rip.

eta: i edited above to clarify that. the machine knows the temp to keep.

also: full-fat fage is hard to come by, and the 0% one tastes like.. chalk. 2% is... okay.

ertyu
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by ertyu »

what is the reason for making your own yoghurt? does it come out cheaper or better?

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

ertyu wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:47 pm
what is the reason for making your own yoghurt? does it come out cheaper or better?
For me it's both. I get a gallon of yogurt for the price of a gallon of milk, where I'd pay maybe double for 1/2 the amount? So instead of $3 a week it's $12 per week or so... $468 difference per year?

Plus I control the fat level, acidity, etc.

Plus: fermentation is fun. Like having pets you can eat! :lol:

Frita
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Frita »

Now that our town no longer recycled plastics higher than 2, I am thinking about making my own yogurt. I don’t have an instant pot, just a pressure cooker and a crockpot. Since I don’t like gadgets and am trying to minimize anyway, I don’t see buying one. Any suggestions for easy to make yogurt without an instant pot?

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

Frita wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 5:13 pm
Now that our town no longer recycled plastics higher than 2, I am thinking about making my own yogurt. I don’t have an instant pot, just a pressure cooker and a crockpot. Since I don’t like gadgets and am trying to minimize anyway, I don’t see buying one. Any suggestions for easy to make yogurt without an instant pot?
crockpot is too hot but people have rigged thermostats to them to disconnect at 42C.

beauty of the instapot is that it’s pressure cooker+slow cooker in one, plus yogurtmaker (some models) and steamer, and now they sell a convection oven lid (“air fryer”) that broild and dehydrates etc. great if you live in a small place (i do)

my suggestion would be culture mesophiles. they like temps around 70F and require no nothing. usually nordic origin.

if you wanna try a sample, siggy was selling filmjolk recently. see if you like the stank of it (lol), and maybe reproduce. just pour some culture into the next milk bottle, etc. science! (i had plans for it, but like yogurt taste better)

kefir (kuh-fear, but americans pronounce it like sutherland because ‘merica) is also a mesophile. needs some babying, grains can be obtained free from others, cultures in reusable containers.

there are some other mesophiles around but i’ve never tried. vilii (sp.?) is from finland, and the last one... what’s the name... matsoni? i think so yeah.

one of these can be used to culture heavy cream, btw. forget which one.

but yeah, mesophiles would be what. leave on counter and blam.

ETA: I almost forgot. I my homesteader days, after we got electricity, I used to culture yogurt in the oven with the lightbulb on. Also, people sell foldable proofing boxes that generate the required warmth but I’ve never tested one.

Frita
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Frita »

Thanks for all the info, Alphaville. I can understand now why the instant pot is the way to go. Next time I am at the store, I will get some Siggi’s and start there. If it’s not really easy, I see myself buying it anyway.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

Frita wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 7:33 pm
Thanks for all the info, Alphaville. I can understand now why the instant pot is the way to go. Next time I am at the store, I will get some Siggi’s and start there. If it’s not really easy, I see myself buying it anyway.
kefir is cool though. i wanna make kefir some day.

eta: check it out: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-m ... chn-202022

mooretrees
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by mooretrees »

I used to make yogurt from a Tightwad Gazette recipe. Hazily I remember you have to heat the milk and all the normal stuff. The easiest part was she recommended using a cooler that can fit a few mason jars with yogurt and one with very hot water, incubating all of them together over night and voila, yogurt. I did try using the insta pot but it didn't turn out well and I haven't repeated it. Likely I didn't set it up correctly. Here's a version of the tightwad gazette's recipe: http://thinklovesleepdine.blogspot.com/ ... maker.html

Peanut
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Peanut »

Thank you all, especially Alphaville. "A pet you can eat!" Too funny.
Coronavirus stockpiling aside, a gallon of yogurt is a daunting proposition. I will try with a half gallon first.

I've tried kefir but found it really odd. Like a soda version of yogurt or something. I understand it has amazing properties for your gut tho.

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Sclass
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Sclass »

This is such a cool idea. I made garbanzo curry in my instant pot tonight. I kept staring at the “Yogurt” button wondering how to do that.

Wow. Now I want to start a batch of fresh Kurds from my favorite Afghan restaurant. They have the creamiest salted yogurt that goes great with rice. Thanks for the tip. I guess I’ll bring some home in a takeout container and start my own supply with my IP.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

Peanut wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:22 pm
Thank you all, especially Alphaville. "A pet you can eat!" Too funny.
Coronavirus stockpiling aside, a gallon of yogurt is a daunting proposition. I will try with a half gallon first.

I've tried kefir but found it really odd. Like a soda version of yogurt or something. I understand it has amazing properties for your gut tho.
eh, you’re welcome.

so, i cook for 2 people and eat this daily, hence the gallon.

2qt culture is actually canonical (some people recommend not making a bigger batch, i like to not give a damn and see what happens).

for 2qt: try maybe 2 tbsp inoculation + 6 to 8 hours incubation.

too much inoculation can yield a gummy yogurt (why?). the longer the ferment the more acidic. i did 24h once to test, and it was sharp! almost like vinegar. a shorter ferment gives you a mild taste (and more lactose).

the traditional scalding of the milk was done to kill bacteria. i buy pasteurized milk and use right after opening because we have modern technology.

scalding also changes the texture of the final product supposedly. a bit more jelly-like. that’s helpful if you ferment in small cups and like the single jelly cup. for me that’s a waste of time and extra labor though. i funnel, and reusing the milk bottle also spares me extra containers, i can pour it at will, pack lunches, etc.

sandor katz is a fun person to read if you’re curious about fermentation (wild fermentation, the art of fermentation). he discusses dairy, vegetables, grains, meats, etc. .. even pruno (ha ha). not big on details, but inspiring. on the advanced end of the spectrum, the noma guide to fermentation is like a wizard’s book of supreme spells. i’ve read it but am not ready to work on it yet. maybe some day. i currently only do yogurt, bread, and sauerkraut, for maximum bang for the buck.

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fiby41
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by fiby41 »

Also buttermilk.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

just occurred to me the yogurt instapot setting could be used to proof dough maybe... i might try next weekend & report.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

Sclass wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:15 pm

Wow. Now I want to start a batch of fresh Kurds from my favorite Afghan restaurant. They have the creamiest salted yogurt that goes great with rice.
if this is an heirloom culture that they keep going, all you need to do is keep on keeping on. luckeeeeeeeeee....!

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Sclass
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Sclass »

Yeah I’m a total addict for this restaurant’s yogurt. It keeps me coming back. You can just eat it on top of long grain basmati and life is just good. None of the other places in the area have yogurt like this. Doing something like this almost feels like stealing! :)

Myakka
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Myakka »

Can the yogurt culture (the yogurt you reserve to make the next batch) be frozen between uses?

I like yogurt and those mesophiles sound lovely to work with, but I want it only sporadically. If they could be into a state where I don't have to keep them fed to keep them alive and well and then bring them out when I want them again, that might really be useful.

I am really in an early stage of my research so if this question is thinking about the whole thing wrong, please do set me straight.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

I’d assume it can be frozen because when you buy cultures they come freeze-dried, but I’d be wary of crystallization killing your bacteria in a liquid medium. Freeze in glycerine? Haha... not sure how that would work. Freeze with added cream and an emulsifier maybe? Perhaps...

Best way would be to just experiment and see what happens. Worst case scenario it fails and you go spend a few dollars in fresh yogurt at the store.

If you’re only going to do it every so often, starting from store-bought single cups might be the way to go. I’ve had good luck with the cups of plain 365 greek yogurt at Whole Foods (they were on sale), I just don’t know if they will keep going in perpetuity all by themselves, because I’ve mixed it with other brands to make my “heirloom” blend. I’ve heard of people who’ve had good results with plain Dannon, the problem is just that it doesn’t live on through successive cultures. So Dannon might be all you need.

Now back to the frozen: I’m thinking if it freezes successfully you could do a tray of yogurt cubes, freeze, and then activate a single cube at a time when ready for a new batch. Obviously it would need to be kept from freezer bacteria etc. And if it fails to activate, just make a smoothie with some bananas with the rest of the cubes?

Re: mesophiles, kefir grains can be stored refrigerated for weekly or longer intervals, provided you keep it fed, sort of like a sourdough starter. And they can be frozen too with some process. However I only know about kefir from books, not empirically, so I cannot vouch for those methods.

I read in one of the Sandor Katz books that a (Finnish?) immigrant family had brought their milk culture wrapped in a cloth over a transatlantic sea voyage and kept it going for generations. Apparently viili can get a ropey texture—maybe they dehydrated it for travel? But again, I don’t know first-hand, only from books. I know viili culture is sold online though, so if anyone wants to experiment it’s totally possible. Plus maybe someone in Finland is reading this and can tell us...

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