Make Your Own Yogurt

Discussion in 'Side Items' started by tjohnson, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So, what does making yogurt have to do with smoking food......Absolutely Nothing!

    I found making my own yogurt is both cost effective, and pretty darn easy

    Commercially produced yogurt can be costly, especially the "Greek" types of yogurt

    Plain yogurt is tart, and needs sugar, honey, fruit or artificial sweeteners to sweeten it to your taste.  You can control this "Tartness" by the length of time you culture your yogurt.

    You can use 1 cup of commercially produced yogurt with "Live Cultures" to actually culture your own yogurt

    Save 1 cup of yogurt from your batch, before you add any sweetener or fruit, for the next batch

    I also add 1/4 cup of Nonfat Dry Milk to help with the texture of my yogurt.  This step is not necessary.

    What is "Greek Yogurt"?

    When yogurt is made, a by-product is "Whey".  You can mix the Whey back into your yogurt, but it's going to be very runny.

    Draining off the Whey will produce a very thick yogurt that's known as "Greek Yogurt"

    Commercially produced yogurt can contain chemical preservatives and thickening agents.  They don't necessarily disclose the milk they use.  By making your own yogurt, you control what's in it!

    I followed some different recipes I found on the internet.  Thru some trial and error, I found a recipe that works for me.  You may have another method or recipe.

    Thanks For Looking!!

    Todd

    Here We Go!

    I used 1 gallon of milk, 1 cup of nonfat dry milk and 1 cup of yogurt for a starter culture

    Yogurt Made with Whole Milk                                               Yogurt Made with 2% Milk

    Commercial Yogurt Used as my "Starter Culture"                   My own "Starter Culture" Saved From a Previous Batch


    Pour your gallon of milk into a stainless steel pan.  I use a large stew pot.

    Heat your milk to 185°.  Keep stirring, so you don't scorch your milk on the bottom of the pan

    I use a large whisk to keep the milk moving, until the temp hits 185°

    Remove from the heat, but keep stirring for about 5 minutes

    You can smell the sweet heated milk!!

     

    Cool your milk to 110° - 120° and then add your Starter Culture

    The live yogurt cultures will die if the temp is 125°+


    Cover with a lid or stretch wrap, and set in a warm place for 6+ hours

    Some recipes called for using a crock pot, while others used warm towels and a cooler

    My oven has a "Proofing Setting", so I can maintain approx. 115° pretty easily

    The trick is to maintain a temp of 120° or so, and your milk will turn into yogurt

    The process takes about 6 hours for me, but may take longer, depending on the temp you can maintain


    The milk has turned into yogurt after 6 hours

    Leaving it in the heat longer will cause the "Tartness" to increase

    It's important to place it in the fridge.  Cooling your yogurt down will stop the culture, and help reduce the tartness

    You'll notice the Whey on top of your yogurt

    You can drain it off and use your yogurt as-is, mix the whey back into your yogurt, or take one more step, and make "Greek Style Yogurt"

    Some people save the whey for making bread


    Line a sieve with paper towels to drain off the whey                 Finished "Greek Style Yogurt" after draining for about 4 hours

    Place sieve over a bowl and into the fridge until you get the     You lose about 50% of the weight after draining the whey off

    desired texture you like.                                                       Add sugar, honey, fruit or artificial sweeteners to taste

     
     
  2. Well that's very impressive!!! We have GOAT yogurt in this house (only dairy we have is all goat) and so making our own goat yogurt could be interesting...

    I think you did a beautiful job!!!!

    Cheers! - Leah
     
  3. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks great Todd.  I like it on my morning cereal!  I'm sure it tastes so much better than store bought.

    So am I reading this correctly that one gallon of whole milk will make 1/2 gallon of yogurt? 

    What did you use for starter the very first time? 

    Thanks pal.

    Brian
     
  4. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That would be interesting!!!

    Maybe try making a quart as a test batch and see what you think

    Since it's not pasteurized, you will have to make sure you run the temp up to 185°

    Remember, the longer you leave the milk to culture, the more "Tart" the yogurt will be

    So, I pull my yogurt at about 6 hours or as soon as it gels up
     
  5. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I eat granola every morning with a cup of homemade yogurt.  I drizzle some honey and vanilla coffee syrup on it for flavoring.  Vanilla powder works well too, but real vanilla can leave an alcohol flavor to your yogurt

    For starter, I bought a small 8 oz. bucket of plain yogurt at the store.  It has to state "Live Yogurt Cultures" on the label, or you'll end up with warm milk, instead of yogurt.  Save 1 cup of plain yogurt out of your own batch to use as starter for the next batch of yogurt.  I guess yogurt can be frozen without killing off the bacteria, so some people will freeze their starter for the next batch.

    I usually get 2% or Whole Milk at SAMS for around $3/gallon

    If it yields 50%, you get 1/2 gallon of Greek Style Yogurt for about $3

    This equates to about 4 +/- lbs. of Greek Style Yogurt

    So, do the math........

    It's pretty darn cheap to make your own Greek Style Yogurt!!!
     
  6. We've been making it for a few months now. We make Greek style. I find that the kind of milk you use is whole or 1% or nonfat also determines the tartness. Whole milk is less tart.

    Yours looks very good. It looks very much the same as the way we do it.

    Mel
     
  7. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now that's interesting
    The last batch of yogurt I made was with whole milk and we really liked the flavor. Not tart at all. This batch is being made with 2%, so I guess we'll see if 2% is more tart than whole milk
     
  8. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I used 2% Milk with the batch I made today

    First thing I noticed is this batch is much creamier than my last batch

    I certainly would have thought the whole milk would be creamier than the 2% milk

    Could it be the brand of milk?

    Did the whole milk have more water?....Hmmmmmm.......????


    Cooling off on my deck in 32° weather

    Draining off the whey

    Very creamy texture

     
    bdskelly likes this.
  9. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Awesome Todd. 2 more question then I'll give it a rest.. LOL

    How long will this fresh yogurt keep in the the old Kenmore? 

    And.. The one cup of starter. How long will that keep in the fridge before you must use it?

    Gracias!

    B
     
  10. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My yogurt st seems to keep well for 2 weeks

    The starter keeps for 2 weeks too

    I'm gonna try freezing 1/2 my starter and see if it works the next time I make yogurt

    Others say freezing will not hurt the culture, but I'll have a "Back Up Plan" just in-case!
     
  11. I just use started from the batch I just made. When we get to where we need more, we take some from what is in the fridge and use it. the longest batch that has lasted this far has been 2 weeks. So I don't know how long it will last in the chill chest.

    We mix homemade jam in it for sweetness and fruit flavor. My wife mixes flax seed and wheat germ in it with a bit of raw sugar and frozen berries. Mixes it up and takes it for lunch. I like it but don't want to take the time to make it. The flax seed and the wheat germ soaks up the yogurt and make for an interesting texture.

    We also use it place of some of the mayo recipes call for. It cuts down the fat.

    HTH

    Mel
     
  12. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I drained the yogurt for almost 2 hours, and it has a great consistency

    I'm very surprised at the small amount of whey that drained off

    Makes me wonder if the last gallon milk I bought had more water?????

    Maybe the producer waters down their milk??

    Todd
     
  13. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Started With:

    8 lbs.(1 Gallon) of 2% Milk

    12 oz.(1+ Cup) Yogurt Starter

    Final Yield:

    7 lbs. 5 oz. Greek Style Yogurt

    22.4 oz. Whey

    Conclusion:

    The brand of milk can make a difference in the final yield

    This batch I used Land O Lakes Brand yielded 83.6%

    Last batch I used Milk from SAMS Club yielded approx. 50%

    Today for breakfast

    Homemade Yogurt w/vanilla flavoring, honey and a splash of lemon juice

     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  14. mike johnson

    mike johnson Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I do this all the time in my MES 40.  I love homemade yogurt. Yours looks great.
     
  15. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just had a "Duh Moment"!

    Never thought of using my MES 40

    Thanks for the idea Mike
     
  16. charcoal junkie

    charcoal junkie Smoking Fanatic

    Did I miss something here? What was the powdered milk used for? Did u mix it with the milk or in the yogurt!
     
  17. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I add the powdered milk right when the milk starts to boil. It seems to help to thicken the yogurt
     
  18. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks for posting this Todd. Growing up my mom made yogurt all the time. Of course as a kid I thought it wasn't all that great. Always too tart, not enough sugar, not enough fruit, etc.. We make ours now and found like you did that certain brands of milk make better and more yogurt than others. We have a local dairy here and their milk (they also make ice cream and their chocolate and vanilla have own national awards!) makes better yogurt than the others.

    I like to add some grape nuts or granola and some berries!
     
  19. Very timely discussion, as we just last night started experimenting with making our own too. I have a proof setting on my oven too, but it does not get anywhere near 115 degrees in there. I'm going to see if the MES works! Good idea!
    Kim M in PA
     
  20. Very nice work. I am inspired to make some. That bowl of honey vanilla looks great and wold be a great bedtime snack.
     

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