Anyone make their own yogurt?

What skills to learn, what tools to get
Solvent
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Solvent »

We have homemade yoghurt in my house, but while I know how, 99% of the time it's DW actually making it.

A few differences with our technique. We use small, approx 80mL I think, reusable plastic pots. I believe the smaller containers make temp control easier and fermentation faster.

Rather than just milk, we use a combo of UHT milk (don't trust the fresh milk in Addis anyway...), condensed milk and hot water. And of course the starter reserved from last time. The initial batch was made from a store-bought yoghurt so idk the specifics of strain.

Then once everything's mixed, the small pots filled with yoghurt mix are nested in a big pot and boiling water poured around them, so they're sitting in the hot water. About six hours later they're ready, depending on ambient temperature.

I'm quite interested in expanding my fermentation knowledge. I used to make great kimchi, but haven't done so in ages. I'm looking to branch out into fermented hot sauces as well.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

Solvent wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:50 am
I believe the smaller containers make temp control easier and fermentation faster.

Rather than just milk, we use a combo of UHT milk (don't trust the fresh milk in Addis anyway...), condensed milk and hot water. And of course the starter reserved from last time. The initial batch was made from a store-bought yoghurt so idk the specifics of strain.

[...]

the small pots filled with yoghurt mix are nested in a big pot and boiling water poured around them, so they're sitting in the hot water. About six hours later they're ready, depending on ambient temperature.
Evaporated and condensed milk were staples of my tropical upbringing, and it’s great to see you can make yogurt out of them. I had no idea. We used them more as replacements for cream.

The boiling water method works well in warm climates. My mom tells me when she was growing up people would just curdle milk by leaving it on a sunny windowsill. It would curdle and not rot, I assume because it was unpasteurized, therefore already loaded with lactobacteria that colonize cow udders.

I think your fermentation speed here is boosted by the sugars in condensed milk. You might even be picking up some wild yeasts in the process. You can verify this if you let a test pot ferment longer. If it gets slightly alcoholic, there’s yeast in it. This is not a bad thing btw, this is probably how kefir grains (a SCOBY) formed in the first place.
Solvent wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:50 am
I'm quite interested in expanding my fermentation knowledge.
Injera + tej??
Solvent wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:50 am
I used to make great kimchi, but haven't done so in ages. I'm looking to branch out into fermented hot sauces as well.
I make a fake kimchi by seasoning sauerkraut: add scallions, ginger, gochujang or some other hot pepper, etc. Not 100% legit, but close enough for a decent fake. Sauerkraut is way easier to make than kimchi. I tried kimchi once and wrecked it: I think it ended up rotting or getting moldy, I forget which one. On the other hand, sauerkraut is hard to mess up.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

Turns out the instapot “yogurt” setting is also a great dough proofer when you need a quick rise. The stainless steel pot allows for an easy cleanup.

Solvent
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Solvent »

I use Maangchi's guide for easy kimchi: https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/easy-kimchi. There are a lot of steps but it's not difficult.
I've done sauerkraut a few times but I don't really eat enough of it for it to be worth it, and it takes up fridge space.

The yoghurt we make is definitely a dessert thing. Good for the kids. I would be interested to try something a bit more sour and savoury though, to use for cooking purposes, or dips.

I'm afraid I'm not so interested to make injera. That requires some specialised equipment. Tej? Well, maybe... I have made ginger beer a few times, tej might be similar, maybe a little trickier since honey has some antimicrobial tendencies, right? I'd need some big food-grade plastic jugs.

davtheram12
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by davtheram12 »

I've been making homemade yogurt for about 3 months. The product is vastly better than most of the yogurts I've eaten from the market. I use whole milk purchased from either Whole Foods (365 brand) or Costco (Kirkland brand) and the best yogurt I can find at the grocery store (used as my starter).

I use the yogurt in a lot of my meals (e.g. chicken curry, 'crema' for my tacos, parfaits, onion dip, etc). I'll likely keep this up for a long while since my DW and I really enjoy the yogurt. The cost-savings from purchasing something comparable is a huge plus.

Polp
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Polp »

Alphaville wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:14 pm

Plus I control the fat level, acidity, etc.

Plus: fermentation is fun. Like having pets you can eat! :lol:
Haha so true. I just started a new sourdough culture today for my bread.

I tried to make yoghurt about a year and a half ago. It worked okay some times and sometimes it didn't. I might try it again tomorrow since I have time now.

I think even if making your own food isn´t necessarily cheaper it is so useful if you can just make it and adapt to your taste. I´m baking bread every week and it would take me longer to go to the bakery that makes that kind of bread than making it myself.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

@ Polp:

if you have a steady warmer with a timer, making yogurt is nothing. i have a batch going in the instapot right now. i put the culture in the morning, about to funnel back into the milk jug for cooling.

if you don’t get instapot in spain (i don’t know the ins & outs of global brand distribution), i know fagor makes a similar olla multiusos.

my yogurt works week in & week out like clockwork. if you have questions feel free to ask.

Peanut
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Peanut »

We finally got around to trying to make the yogurt last week, but unfortunately it was runny and didn't taste right to me either (very sour). I could only find 5% Fage at the store so that was the base. I used 2 Tbsp to four cups 2% milk. I thought it was whole milk at the time but realize now it was 2%. It ran for 8 hrs. I checked it at 6 but super runny at that time. I did wonder about the ratio, whether it should be 1/4 cup of base to 4 cups milk instead? Perhaps I will try again when I can find Siggi.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

Peanut wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:14 pm
We finally got around to trying to make the yogurt last week, but unfortunately it was runny and didn't taste right to me either (very sour). I could only find 5% Fage at the store so that was the base. I used 2 Tbsp to four cups 2% milk. I thought it was whole milk at the time but realize now it was 2%. It ran for 8 hrs. I checked it at 6 but super runny at that time. I did wonder about the ratio, whether it should be 1/4 cup of base to 4 cups milk instead? Perhaps I will try again when I can find Siggi.
Don't sweat the texture, texture is fake.

Yogurt doesn't naturally consolidate into a thick lump, it needs to be manipulated to do so, either by additives (pectin, starches, gelatin and other thickeners) or by straining out the whey (the case of "Greek" yogurt, using a fine sieve or a cheese cloth) or by additional processing with rennet before straining (like Siggy).

Cultures alone don't give you at thick texture. Siggy and Fage likely use the same bacteria (check the labels).

Also, scalding the milk before inoculating adds a little better coagulation post-fermentation, but it also increases labor (risk of overboiling + cooldown temperature). And fermenting on individual pots (e.g. surrounded by water in a bain-marie) will help with structure also.

Also, it will thicken more after it cools down, especially in its own pot.

Acidity is good, acidity is a sign that fermentation has taken place, breaking down sugars into lactic acid. The more sour the yogurt, the less sugar it has left. If overly done the mix might curdle and separate the whey. For a milder yogurt, try fermenting for a shorter period and/or reducing the inoculation. It sounded to me like a successful trial, I would just adjust the time (eg. try 4 hours instead of 8) or the inoculation size (try 1 tablespoon instead of 2) and see what works.

Also please note, when I spoke of tablespoons I meant measuring tablespoons, level, so, 1Tbso = 15ml, 2Tbsp =30ml ≈1oz. A heaping soup spoon might be a lot more than that.

Lastly, a good use for acidic yogurt is salad dressing--it saves on the vinegar and adds a milky taste (Ranch base?). As dressing/sauce could be great on potatoes, which are alkaline (this is why potatoes like vinegar, and/or sour cream). Also could be a great marinade for lamb or chicken.

Also: liquidy sour yogurt would make great pancakes, as the acid reacts with the baking soda for great loft. Just do a search for "Scott Jenson pancakes" and follow the instructions. That recipe is gold.
Last edited by Alphaville on Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Polp
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Polp »

Alphaville wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:17 pm
@ Polp:

if you have a steady warmer with a timer, making yogurt is nothing. i have a batch going in the instapot right now. i put the culture in the morning, about to funnel back into the milk jug for cooling.

if you don’t get instapot in spain (i don’t know the ins & outs of global brand distribution), i know fagor makes a similar olla multiusos.

my yogurt works week in & week out like clockwork. if you have questions feel free to ask.
Thank you for your feedback. I don't have an Instapot, I think the most popular version of that is the Thermomix here in Spain.

The first try I did some time ago was heat the milk, take it off the stove and let it cool down a bit and mix it with yoghurt I had bought. I then left it in the oven over night with the lid on top(oven was turned off, just for insulation).

It worked well once and not so well after that (did that three times I think)

So today y did the same but filled the mixture in glass yoghurt containers that were sold with yoghurt. Looks professional. I am storing it in a makeshift hay box, basically a cardboard box with a nylon sweater as insulation. Let's see how that works out.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

Polp wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:21 pm
heat the milk, take it off the stove and let it cool down a bit and mix it with yoghurt I had bought.
It worked well once and not so well after that (did that three times I think)

[...]

filled the mixture in glass yoghurt containers that were sold with yoghurt. Looks professional. I am storing it in a makeshift hay box, basically a cardboard box with a nylon sweater as insulation. Let's see how that works out.
oh, scalding the milk plus a haybox should be great actually. it just takes more work and vigilance, but if you can spare the attention it should be no problem. i used to make my yogurt with just a lightbulb, in the oven (oven off, light on).

the real danger here is not a below-optimal temperature that would just take a little longer, but using milk that is still too hot, which could kill the bacteria (maybe).

as for the survivability of the culture over multiple generations, it might be a problem if you’re using a commercial yogurt as the starter, especially a variety with just one or two lab strains. i explained the problem and how to solve it in a previous post, especially how to find a “wild” strain at the store (no species names is how).

best wishes—eager to hear how it turns out.

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Stahlmann
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Stahlmann »

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Last edited by Stahlmann on Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

Stahlmann wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:48 pm
[...]
i can't read those articles but yeah, gut health is important for the whole body of course because that's where we absorb nutrients and get some important vitamins synthesized. gut health is of course the health of our intestinal microbiome and how well it gets along with our own tissues.

besides the nutrition aspect, we know from more recent research that gut health is central to immunity and to the state of nervous system, yes.

i'd go further and say that in fact the intestines have our oldest, more essential nervous system--the brain is just an extra computer, and 90% of serotonin is made in the intestines. so yeah, we are the old worm that lives inside the belly, not the brain the worm sprouted to take care of itself.

this is why emotional problems are often reflected as intestinal problems and viceversa. they are.

having healthy guts beats taking SSRIs and other pills. not sure it's so much a biohack as it's a way to reverse the damage of our modern diet-- sugars and additives and etc which wreck our gut flora just like bolsonaro bulldozing through the amazon. having said that-- if you have a prescription please check with your physician before you make changes to it.

the buying of a special yogurt pot is not necessary, and it's not necessary to stand 8 hours in front of it either-- you can start the brew before you go to sleep and it should be ready in the morning. if it's not, maybe check back later. i make mine in 12 hours so leave in the morning collect at night or viceversa. the pot is a convenience, not a requirement. i didn't have a self-regulating pot for many years and still made the stuff.

if yogurt is too high maintenance for your setup, there are other lactofermentations that are easier, like sauerkraut. basically do it at room temperature and it's ready in weeks. all you need is cabbage and salt and clean water.

and for milk cultures i also mentioned mesophilic bacteria that work at room temperature-- no heating required.

also if you're in eastern europe (are you?) kvass might be an option available to you for cheap. i hear it's great and would like to try it some day.
Last edited by Alphaville on Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

J_
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by J_ »

Yes we make yogurt too. Plant based. No special equipment required.
Just plain sojamilk in a used glas-jar, three spoons of sojayogurt added, a theaspoon of honey and then in the standard oven at 42 Celsius (107 F) for some six hours. Oven on just some minuts per hour. It works.

Polp
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Polp »

Okay, so here are the results :)

After 12-14 hours: https://imgur.com/OnZ1bEt
Consistency: https://imgur.com/rMmrnlE
Yoghurt with berries: https://imgur.com/Li4KjN3

Some thoughts on this trial:
  • The yoghurt was a bit too liquid for my taste but the taste itself was perfect. I think in part that was because it's quite cold at the moment and the bacteria didn't produce that much lactic acid. When I did the same recipe in summer the first batch was a lot thicker probably due to the higher ambient temperature
  • It just made a lot of sense to me what @Alphaville said before: When I made the yoghurt the last time I wanted to use the bacteria from the first batch for the second batch. That didn't work very well. It makes sense now that the lab bacteria from the bought yoghurt are not very resistant and that that was the reason why it didn't work well
  • I'm making the yoghurt with lactose free milk because that is what we have at home. However, as far as I've understood the process the bacteria will split the lactose anyway and then "digest" the byproducts of that and create lactic acid. So as far as I understand by using lactose free milk the bacteria just don't have to split the lactose but the rest of the process would be the same. Does that make sense?
Looking forward to your feedback :) Next time I will try it in the oven at 50°C (lowest setting I can choose).

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

Polp wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:20 am
Okay, so here are the results :)

After 12-14 hours: https://imgur.com/OnZ1bEt
Consistency: https://imgur.com/rMmrnlE
Yoghurt with berries: https://imgur.com/Li4KjN3
those look great!
Polp wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:20 am
Some thoughts on this trial:
  • The yoghurt was a bit too liquid for my taste but the taste itself was perfect. I think in part that was because it's quite cold at the moment and the bacteria didn't produce that much lactic acid. When I did the same recipe in summer the first batch was a lot thicker probably due to the higher ambient temperature
how much did you heat up the milk? for a better texture ideally you want to heat it up near boiling, aka “scalding”. this can be a problem in a kitchen because it can easily create scum and boil over and spill, and the bottom can burn. i hate the problem of boiling milk. it would give you a better consistency but it takes more labor. worth it? depends how much you want it.

see article here:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalded_milk

unfolding proteins (i used to know this but forgot it through disuse and now i re-membered) will change consistency, will coagulate more as a custard rather than float as particles, so if you’re daring (lol) and have a thermometer you could scald. you need 83C not 100C but you can go over 83. some people just boil.

then again there is a special device that keeps milk from overboiling, it’s a kind of bubble concentrator that sits at the bottom of the pot. i never bought or made one but would save the headache of cleanup. what’s the name...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_watcher

with one of those you could heat up and not worry, but then you still have the question of waiting to cool the milk to 42C to inoculate. patience! what is that? :D
Polp wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:20 am
  • I'm making the yoghurt with lactose free milk because that is what we have at home. However, as far as I've understood the process the bacteria will split the lactose anyway and then "digest" the byproducts of that and create lactic acid. So as far as I understand by using lactose free milk the bacteria just don't have to split the lactose but the rest of the process would be the same. Does that make sense?
yeah i had read somewhere else not to use lactose free milk, but i did a search after reading this and found something interesting which i’ll post.

but first, what i knew before:

all regular yogurt has residual lactose because the bacteria don’t break it down completely, and you can see it in the label as the sugar content. a long fermentation yogurt can have a lot less sugar but it will be more sour. i have made 24h yogurts that are *tart* and will curdle your teeth haha. but i cant measure residual lactose so dont know how much was left.

regular lactose free milk has turned all lactose to simple sugars and is sweeter. so it has the same amount of energy minus a few chemical bonds. ultrafiltered milk on the other hand is also lactose free, but think has too little sugar to culture yogurt. then again, it has *some* so maybe something could grow in it.

now, i wouldn’t use lactose free milk because it costs double, but apparently it’s a thing to use it, and some people like a lot, so maybe i will try when i can go to the supermarket again and get a jug.

see here, just found this:

http://immigrantstable.com/2013/11/10/l ... n86AMpMGhA
Polp wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:20 am
Looking forward to your feedback :) Next time I will try it in the oven at 50°C (lowest setting I can choose).
at 50C you might kill the culture or you might “unnaturally” select more heat-resistant mutations. i’d do it for the science...if it fails you can always make requesón/paneer by boiling milk with an acid (lemon, vinegar), curdling, then straining out the whey ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Peanut
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Peanut »

So I actually had a successful trial? That new is more disappointing that the results I got. :D Does store-bought plain yogurt have added sugars? I would have had to add so much sugar to make it edible, I felt. I don't have a strainer so the runniness was avoidable. My husband has been eating it bc food doesn't get wasted if he can help it, but I assume he's just been forcing it down. I'll have to ask him if he thinks it is so dissimilar from what we buy.

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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by jacob »

Some American store bought yogurt definitely have added sugars or "natural flavors", but in general, the plain/natural varieties do not. Yogurt seems to be very national/cultural in what people from various nations think it should look/taste like. Different bacterial cultures generate different outcomes, so it also depends on your starter.

Runiness correlates inversely with the fattiness of the milk; and also to some degree with the strength of your starter/primer; could also be a temperature issue.

Alphaville
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Alphaville »

Peanut wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:19 pm
So I actually had a successful trial? That new is more disappointing that the results I got. :D
lol why?
Peanut wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:19 pm
Does store-bought plain yogurt have added sugars? I would have had to add so much sugar to make it edible, I felt.
Plain has no added sugar but the public usually likes a mild fermentation which leaves residual lactose (see my reply to Polp). So it has sugars, just not added sugars. But your problem is not a sugar problem, it's an acid problem: your yogurt was over-fermented, hence the maximum lactic acid. It was "too successful."
Peanut wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:19 pm
I don't have a strainer so the runniness was avoidable.
Strainer aside, you can get a more custardy texture with scalding. See my note to @Polp

When I strain my un-scalded yogurt to make it "Greek" it comes out creamier and softer.
Peanut wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:19 pm
My husband has been eating it bc food doesn't get wasted if he can help it, but I assume he's just been forcing it down. I'll have to ask him if he thinks it is so dissimilar from what we buy.

;\\
If you happen to have Netflix, check out Samin Nosrat's "Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat" show. She also has a book with the same title which I haven't read.

Anyway, if tl;dw: think of acidity as a companion to savory flavors, not necessarily as a counterpoint to sugar. Nosrat has a buttermilk fried chicken recipe that's supposedly great. I'd use sour yogurt the same way. I've used store-bought yogurt to marinate lamb. With the "overbrewed" yogurt I could cut the 18 hours to probably 6. Also, again, salad dressing, or over falafel...

But if you still want sweet(ish) and for breakfast: my wife actually made pancakes with our runny yogurt this morning. They were excellent.

ETA: https://scottjenson.wordpress.com/artic ... 4q-vzc3bg/ (she made that base but with 50whole/50bread flours, coconut oil instead of butter. but for precise results follow his instructions to the letter, except for the buttermilk part)

Peanut
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Re: Anyone make their own yogurt?

Post by Peanut »

Alphaville wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:31 pm

Strainer aside, you can get a more custardy texture with scalding. See my note to @Polp


Anyway, if tl;dw: think of acidity as a companion to savory flavors, not necessarily as a counterpoint to sugar. Nosrat has a buttermilk fried chicken recipe that's supposedly great. I'd use sour yogurt the same way. I've used store-bought yogurt to marinate lamb. With the "overbrewed" yogurt I could cut the 18 hours to probably 6. Also, again, salad dressing, or over falafel...

DH said he thought it mostly tasted like milk. He just put it on his granola. Thinking back I would compare it to Ayran, the Turkish drink. Your food suggestions are good. I just don't have a need for sour yogurt as I rarely make lamb or raw veggies or fried chicken.

We use 2 pints of plain per week sweetened with a blueberry or orange sauce and DH's granola. DH offered to try again next week, using stovetop heating. We'll see how it goes.

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