Making Yogurt at Home

Who is making yogurt themselves at home? I believe this should be really quite simple, and can be very healthy, if starting with the right cultures. Where to obtain this? Thanks :slight_smile:

Go to City Super or Jason’s and buy some of their ‘living’ real Greek yogurt or other … use part to make your own new batch. From the moment your new yogurt is ready you can use part to make another batch. But work as clean as possible, sterilize all your utensils and make a batch a few times a week to keep the culture healthy.

Thanks BP. And are you using whole milk in the process? What are the signs of culture that is beginning to decline in health?

I just started doing this. You don’t need to buy the (outrageously expensive) Greek yoghurt: there’s a drinking yoghurt you can buy in 7-11 for NT$25 with live cultures. Process is simple: microwave the milk (I aim for about 60-80’C), let it cool to about 40’C, add your starter, and leave it in a warm place (ie., somewhere with no aircon). You can use dofu muslin for straining. The end result is exactly like store-bought Greek yoghurt - really delicious. So far I’ve only attempted to “recycle” once; it worked, but not very well. There could have been any number of reasons for that - most people do it successfully.

As BP says, the key is to make sure everything is absolutely sterile and uncontaminated. Fit a lid during the fermentation process (it’s anerobic). I use ordinary 7-11 pasteurized, homogenized, full-fat milk.

I use one of these (second hand, paid 80NT$) yogurt makers, the square milk packs fit in there, I just cut it open and poor it in a sterilized pan, where I first sterilized my beater and spoons in … than heat the milk (I used to do that to 72 C) but now because everything is sterilized even the milk (or pasturized) I just heat to 45C, add culture and beat it for half a minute or so, than return the milk to the pack (you can poor boiling water in the empty pack first to rinse and pasturize) and put it in the yogurt maker … leave it somewhere from 6-8 hours or until it’s firm. Scoop out some yogurt into a small conainer (spoon and conatiner should be pasturized) to use as a culture for the next batch. You could do this indefinitely but 20-25 times should keep the quality high enough.

Any milk will do … you can even use low fat milk and add some low fat milk powder to get a firmer yogurt with less fat. Dairy companies do that all the time to even out fat content throughout the year. Some use gelatine or another thickener for their fake yogurt instead because it’s cheaper.
You can ven make yogurt cheese …

I actually use packs of starter culture which you can get at many of the health-food chain stores. It’s definitely more expensive (~$250 for 12) than trying to start from yogurt drink or other store-bought yogurt, but in my experience the success rate is higher and the yogurt sets up better. To get more bang for your buck, you can of course use a couple tablespoons of the previous batch to start the next instead of more culture powder. I have found this works about 3-4 times before the culture becomes less healthy and effective… but it also depends on the time between batches. As the culture gets older, the yogurt doesn’t seem to set as well (kinda chunky) and it gets more sour.

I also use regular whole milk, which I heat to about 80 or 90C in a sauce pan until it’s about to froth and boil over. A metal meat thermometer like the kind used for steaming milk comes in handy here. Then I let it cool to 35-40. If you leave the lid off while it cools, a thick skin will form on the milk, which you should scoop off. Then I just mix in the culture powder, pour it into a glass container, and set on top of my espresso maker covered with a towel. This happens to keep it at the perfect temperature (~40C), but I’ve also kept it warm by placing it next to a light bulb in the bottom of a pot, and you can put it in a warm water bath in a cooler too. Ten to twelve hours later, presto, yogurt. The longer you leave it the more sour and solid it gets.

Some years ago there was a home made ‘yogurt’ fad in Taiwan … they sold culture with flavourings added to it … expensive.
Commercial dairies use new culture for every new batch … for home use you can re-use part of the yogurt to make new.

I used to have kefir cultures for a long time until I didn’t have the time to use them regularly and they died off … I used it many times with sweet soy milk, resulting in a light alcoholic sparkling soy ‘yogurt’.

I’ve been doing this for a couple years. Yup, $20 live yogurt works; needs to say “活菌” (live bacteria). It can even be sweetened stuff (e.g. President AB in little cups), as you only need a tablespoon of it, so the sugar content won’t affect the final batch. The milk can be any type, even UHT. I’ve tried, and it still sets up fine. I prefer Fourway organic milk, myself, but not because it makes ‘better’ yogurt.

I find that a clean Glasslock-type container works fine. You can microwave the milk in this, let it cool to 115F, add your 1 Tbsp starter yogurt, stir well, cover, and leave out 12 hours, and you’ve got yogurt. I generally don’t bother to strain it, and use as is in marinades, or as a replacement for sour cream. I add a hint of brown sugar and stir it with some blueberries for breakfast.

Yes, that’s what I’ve started using now. Works great.

I only strain it because I like it that way :slight_smile:

Following.

(although what I actually wanted to do was cheese… but cheese needs a lot of milk and that’s expensive here… and the cheese I like also needs a colder weather.

[quote=“jesus80”]Following.

(although what I actually wanted to do was cheese… but cheese needs a lot of milk and that’s expensive here… and the cheese I like also needs a colder weather.[/quote]

De que hablas? Queso blanco o fresco?

[quote=“Dragonbones”][quote=“jesus80”]Following.

(although what I actually wanted to do was cheese… but cheese needs a lot of milk and that’s expensive here… and the cheese I like also needs a colder weather.[/quote]

De que hablas? Queso blanco o fresco?[/quote]
That’s the thing… that I don’t want queso fresco… I would like something more… solid? aged? :lick:

Yeah, I got a cheese book a while ago and was disappointed to discover that cheese is really a cold-country thing. I suppose it would be doable, if you had the aircon set at full chuff while you’re working, and a dedicated fridge set up for maturing cheeses, but you’d burn a lot of energy and need a lot of kit.

Pretty much the only ones you’d get away with in the tropics would be queso blanco, panir, and mozzarella. Any cheese using a bacterial starter and a long maturation … whole different story.

What kind of cheese can you make without bacteria?

The ones I mentioned :slight_smile: Mozzarella still needs bacteria but no maturation.

There are two components in cheesemaking: the bacteria, which develop the acidity and flavour, and the rennet, which cuts the curds from the whey. The cooking, pressing and maturation processes will modify the basic properties of the cheese.

You can make cheese by just making the milk coagulate; what you get looks like yoghurt. Either an acid, or rennet, or a combination of the two, added to warm/hot milk, will have this effect. You then slice it and the whey drains away. Cook and press the remaining curds and you’ll end up with something like cheese. But it’ll be really, really boring cheese, because there are no bacteria to give it flavour.

Having said that, panir is really just acid-separated milk. It’s still useful because you cook it with other things that complement it’s rather bland flavour. Same principle as dofu, really.

This is funny guys. I just join this thread and I find the milk + honey I left over the kitchen shelf at the office last Friday. Now it looks like Spanish “requeson” (wikipedia translates it as ricotta). I took some pictures so that if I get sick I have something to show to the doctor.

So far it tastes no bad and I feel OK :smiley:

Not sure how this happened, if it was just the temperature, some bacteria in the bottle, or perhaps the yeasts that are in the honey… anyway, I’m eating it now :smiley:

What finley said. Acid-set cheese is easy. You can get something like cottage cheese.

Well, you get a cheese that is useful for its mildness, color and texture, good to crumble atop tostadas and sopes, for instance. Good in tacos.

[quote=“Dragonbones”]What finley said. Acid-set cheese is easy. You can get something like cottage cheese.

Well, you get a cheese that is useful for its mildness, color and texture, good to crumble atop tostadas and sopes, for instance. Good in tacos.[/quote]

Check the pictures from the post above yours :smiley:

[quote=“Dragonbones”]What finley said. Acid-set cheese is easy. You can get something like cottage cheese.

Well, you get a cheese that is useful for its mildness, color and texture, good to crumble atop tostadas and sopes, for instance. Good in tacos.[/quote]

And for use in one of Belgium’s most famous ‘cheese’ cake recipes … :discodance: