A couple things.
We use a cooler for the cure process. Works very well. We also make our own vanilla and with some vanilla and honey and some frozen fruit and you've got something!!!!!!
Today, I'm making another batch of yogurt using Land 0 Lakes brand milk to see if the 83.6% yield was a fluke, or the brand of milk actually makes a difference. My previous batches of yogurt were made using milk from SAMS Club.
I like Mike's idea to use the MES 40, but I'm afraid the yogurt may take on the aroma of my smoker. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm bit sure how "Smokey Yogurt" will go with my granola in the morning...???
I'm using my new Cabelas dehydrator to culture the yogurt
I can set it to 115° and it actually holds temp very well
We'll see in 8 hours!
That's a good question...!
The initial cost is for 1 gallon of milk and 1 cup or so of Greek Yogurt to be used as a starter. Once you make a batch, you save 1 cup of your yogurt to use as starter for the next batch. I also use 1 cup of NonFat Dry Milk to help thicken my yogurt.
The final yield using milk from SAMS Club or Costco was about 50%
The Final yield using Land O' Lakes Brand 2% milk from Walmart was 76%
The brand of milk definitely made a difference in the yield!!!
1 Gallon 2% Milk = $3.98
1 Cup Greek Yogurt = $.99
1 Cup NFDM = $.50
Final Cost for 64 oz. to 97 oz. = $5.47
That's for the 1st batch
Using your own yogurt as starter for the next batch will save you even more
Remember, this is "Plain Yogurt". It needs to be sweetened with sugar, fruit, honey or ???
We make smoothies out of it, so the fruit naturally sweetens it
I am going to have to give this a try. The doc says its time to really watch what I eat. Tried the greek yogurt thing and actually like it, but it is expensive.
I have to wonder if I make and eat my own yogurt, will that offset all the bacon I make? (and also eat)
I'd like to know the answer to doug's question as well. Definitely going to make some yogurt this week, family loves some greek yogurt! Going to drain the yogurt in a nut milk bag. Hopefully, it'll do the job.
Followed Todd's recipe except for powdered milk. 6 hrs in the dehydrator (covered) at 115* and it looked like thinly set white pudding. Strained it for a little over 3hrs and it tastes pretty good. A little tart, so I'll check it at 5 hrs next time.
Glad you posted this.
Made half a gallon so halved the powdered milk and yogurt (starter) and is sitting in my 30" MES at 115 going on for about an hour or two. My oven's warm setting won't go down that low so had to use the smoker. Can't wait to see the results!
Few lessons learned from my initial yogurt making experiement.
I used half gallon of whole milk, half cup of non fat powder milk and used albertson's store brand non-fat vanilla yogurt.
Cooling down from 185 to 110 takes about 40min to hour at about 70 degree room temp and on top of granite countertop so you don't have to standby and constantly take temperature measurement.
At about 6.5 hour mark, my yogurt wasn't as tarty as I like. I had to take it out of my smoker because I had a batch of beef jerky to to smoke. I should have placed it in my oven with no heat to continue the "cooking" process but I placed it in the fridge. BTW, I seran wrapped the pot and my yogurt didn't have any smoky flavor or anything like that.
I used a nutbag to drain it. I left it in the fridge but left it to drain too long. It was like mud so I added some of the whey that was drained to give more moisture.
Next time, I'll use 2% milk with powdered milk and leave it in the smoker overnight - 7 or 8 hours.
My favorite dessert is placing handful of frozen blueberries in a bowl and putting my yogurt on top with some agave and mixing them around. Sort of like semi-frozen yogurt!