Making yoghurt at home

Discussion in 'Geek Food' started by Wolfy, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. Wolfy

    Wolfy Big Bad Wolf

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    I've been making yoghurt for a while and am at the stage whre I feel it's better than store-brought stuff in every way (flavour/taste, texture, cost, health/knowing exactly what is in it etc), and it's very simple and easy to make at home.

    I use an 8L Aldi Urn and a STC-1000 (digital temperature controller):
    [​IMG]
    ... and 'extra creamy' milk:
    [​IMG]
    ... so the yoghurt costs costs about $2/L.

    Since we'll be growing cultures of micro-organisms, cleaning and sanitation is important, I usually sanitize with boiling water, all spoons and jars and stuff are soaked in boiling water before use. Last time I posted something like this people got upset about growing bacteria and stuff at home and eating it ... well I'm still alive and this time I'm even deliberately growing Streptococcus!

    Yoghurt making steps:
    1) I use 500g jars, filled almost to the top and add 3 spoons of skim milk powder (shake well to mix):
    [​IMG]

    2) Heat milk to 85C and hold for 20-30 mins:
    [​IMG]
    This helps to both pasteurize the milk and also and to denature the proteins (so they set rather than form curds).

    4) Cool to about 40C.
    (Put jar in a sink of cold water to do it quickly, empty hot water from urn and fill with cold water or just let cool naturally).

    5) Add yoghurt starter-culture and mix well. This can be done by adding the culture and some milk in a small bowl and mixing, but I usually just add the culture to the jar and shake well (until there are no lumps).
    (See note below regarding culture)
    [​IMG]

    6) Hold temperature between 40-50C so the culture can grow and the yoghurt thicken (at least 4 hours).
    Any temperature between about 40 and 50C is fine, different cultures like different temperatures, I set the digitial controller to 43C and leave it for about 6.5hours.
    If you like yoghurt more tart and acidic leave it longer or even overnight.

    7) Refrigerate yoghurt culture:
    [​IMG]

    8) When it's been cooled it should be ready to eat, add fruit, flavour, sugar, honey etc as per your own tastes:
    [​IMG]

    Ingredients:
    I get the best results using a good quality full cream cow's milk, cheaper milk tends to make the yoghurt less creamy and more runny.
    Skim milk powder improves the flavour and texture of the yoghurt making it smoother with less whey formation.

    Culture
    Yoghurt cultures can be purchased online.
    However I just use some shop-purchased yoghurt for my starter culture - choose whatever brand you like best and try that.

    I use 1 spoon of Gippsland Organic (same as Jalna) plus 1 spoon of Ski Activ, both of these contain a range of useful bacteria. The shop-yoghurt can be frozen in ice-cube-trays, saved and re-used as a new starter-culture at a later date.

    For each batch of new yoghurt, I use about 2 spoons of the previous yoghurt (less than a week old is best) to culture the next one. I presume that the temperature and conditions I use may favour specific bacteria strains, but as long as it tastes good I continue to re-use it. After a while (especially if I don't make more yoghurt for a week or two) I use a new starter-culture.


    Temperature control
    Digital temperature control is not essential - it just makes it easier and I like the tight level of control it gives me (and I already have the equipment).
    The milk can be heated in a saucepan on any normal stove, and then the yoghurt cultured in any insulated container, in the oven on low, in a thermos or even an electric yoghurt maker.

    Additional reading and reference can be found here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/15/dining/15curi.html?_r=2
    http://www.abc.net.au/local/recipes/2011/01/17/3114435.htm
    http://extension.missouri.edu/publications...b.aspx?P=GH1183
    http://www.ochef.com/r171.htm
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  2. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    That's full on. I just use the easy easy-go system of making cheap yoghurt. Nothing as good as the proper stuff but not too bad. I have tried using non packet mixtures but just never came out right for me.
     
  3. maryusdemetry

    maryusdemetry Member

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    Hi wolfy, thanks, something to do pecorino cheese?
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Wolfy

    Wolfy Big Bad Wolf

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    I tried the EasiYo pack stuff and the thermos/kit as well as making my own on the stove/thermos/esky and could never get it how I liked it.
    With the ingredients and process outlined above, I can get it exactly how I like and IMHO it really is better than the shop stuff (not just because it's cheaper).
    Cheese is next on my list of things to do, I have much of the gear but am having trouble sourcing the sort of milk I'd like to use.
     
  5. pugsley

    pugsley Member

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    Buy a cow! :p

    Good stuff. I find the easy-go a bit hit and miss. It may be because sometimes we forget about it and it ends up staying warm for too long allowing the bacteria to consume more of the sugars.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Wolfy

    Wolfy Big Bad Wolf

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    Cow would be ... interesting, especially on a suburban block.

    I found the same with EasiYo, their instructions say to let it culture for 12 hours, which I think was far too long for the more milder yoghurt I prefer.
     
  7. arytel

    arytel Member

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    subscribed.
    The missus loves her yoghurt and I might have to start making this fresh.
     
  8. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    I think that's simply because they are packet stuf and never really going to be like the original.
     

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