by Cal and Shawn Griggs
Great Home Made Yogurt
It’s that time of the year again when the weather is warming up. Springtime and early summer are the best times of the year to make homemade yogurt. Once you know how easy it is you will do it every chance you get. The most expensive part of store bought yogurt is the package!
We have goats and so I use goat’s milk for our yogurt, however you can use store bought milk if you wish.
What you will need is one 1/2 gallon of pasteurized milk (goats or cows), an accurate thermometer, a heavy pot to heat the milk in, a heavy, deep dish baking dish with cover to set the yogurt in and a mother culture. For a mother culture I use a small store bought plain yogurt or Greek yogurt. This has no sugar or flavoring in it but is rich in the little microbes (culture) that make the yogurt set.
So here’s how you do it:
1-Measure 1/2 gallon of milk and 2 tbsps. plain yogurt (Greek works great) into the milk and stir, heat on the stove slowly until the temperature reaches a maximum of 110 degrees F, continue stirring to make sure the mother culture is fully blended. Be really careful not to go beyond the 112 F temperature as it will kill the microbes in the mother culture.
2-I like to pre-heat the setting pot prior to pouring the unset mixture into the set pot, I usually put hot water into it to warm it so when I do put the mixture into it the temperature will not drop significantly. Pour out the hot water and pour in the yogurt mixture to set. Place a cover on the pot.
3-The setting temperature should be 90-100 F degrees for best results. Again, if you go above 115 F degrees you will kill off the culture. If you do kill off the culture you can re-seed it and incubate it again.
4-Wrap the pot or bowl in a thick towel and set outside on a table but not in direct sun, we don’t want to cook the yogurt. It will take about 6 to 8 hours to fully ripen. During the setting time, do not disturb it. It’s OK to gently put a spoon into it to taste, but don’t shake or stir.
5-After about 6 hours the mixture will thicken. Take a spoon and dip a small portion to taste. It would be best if you have a pH meter, and the pH should be in the 4.2 to 4.5 range. If the mixture is in that range or tastes like yogurt should, take it into the house and put it into small containers. You can put preserves into it if you would like or just put fresh berries or fruit on top of it when you eat it.
If it wheys off don’t worry, this is natural, just remove the whey.
6-Place it in the refrigerator to cool and it will thicken more. When cool, enjoy!
If you wish to not put the product outside, put it into a standard oven, no heat, just the oven light on. This will maintain an even heat and you will get the same results as dragging it outside.
Cal and Shawn Griggs
Thank you so much for this detailed and very informative writeup on yogurt making...and with using the sun to boot.
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