My dad and I have always discussed making homemade yogurt but never really got around to trying to make it until last week. Essentially you start out with 8 cups milk (preferable whole fat milk), heat the milk up in a slow cooker for a few hours, let it cool down so it doesn’t kill your culture once you add it, then add your culture base (about 1/2 cup plain yogurt of choice) and cover with thick blankets and basically incubate your concoction for 8+ hours to allow the bacteria to grow.
Needless to say, my yogurt didn’t quite turn out nice and thick as I had hoped. I ended up with 64 ounces of very watery yourt. I think past of,the problem was that we used skim milk. Whole fat milk is higher in fat which will ultimately result in a thicker product. In addition, I probably should have temped thE milk throughout the process to ensure it was the optimal temperature for bacterial growth. Too cold and the bacteria won’t grow, too hot and the bacteria will be killed. Lastly, dry milk powder or gelatin can be added to increase protein as well as help thicken. However, I didn’t add either of these things as I wanted to see how the yogurt would turn out on its own.
So if you wish to try making your own homemade yogurt here are some tidbits of advice I can pass on:
1) use whole milk
2) constantly temp your milk throughout the process to ensure it is the proper temperature
3) add dry milk powder or unflavored gelatin to up the protein and help thicken the end product
4) this is a very lengthy process (13+ hours), it may be best to start this process later in the day so it can sit overnight and be ready in the morning
5) it is best to not try making flavored yogurt. If you want flavored yogurt, add fruit to your yogurt after it has already been Made. Beware though that adding fruit will cause the yogurt to liquify and never thicken back up. Only add fruit if you plan on eating it right away. Don’t add it to all of your yogurt otherwise your yogurt will not thicken back up.
Have you ever made homemade yogurt before? How did it turn out?