Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Making Yogurt, part 1

I am on doctor's orders to eat yogurt every day.  Well actually, she told me to eat yogurt three times a day, but I just can't consume that much yogurt.  She recommended that I try to make my own yogurt because it's easier, cheaper, and tastes better than store bought.  I bought some freeze dried yogurt starters, and I finally got around to trying it out.

My first attempt was a total failure.  What I ended up with was essentially stinky milk.  Why didn't it congeal?  You are supposed to heat up the milk to the boiling point and let it cool to 108 degrees.  Then you add the packet of bacteria and let it incubate for four hours. 

I think this is where I failed, "incubate".  Am I supposed to have some sort of yogurt machine that keeps the milk warm while it is incubating?  Great, one more appliance to clutter up my cupboard.

What do you all think?  Have you tried this before?  What am I missing?  Your advice is much appreciated.


  1. I agree, 3 times a day seems a bit much! Making it doesn't really seem easier than buying it does it? Good grief! I hope someone can give you some tips :) PS what flavours will you make?

  2. I have never made yogurt, but I do know (thanks to my microbiologist little sister) that for growing cultures you need to keep the milk warm. This link (http://www.makeyourownyogurt.com/) has really good instructions and suggests using a heating pad to maintain the warm temperature. I would imagine you could also place it in a warm water bath (though you might have to change the water out every 20-30 min).

    Good Luck!

  3. My sister used to make her own and she had some incubator that she used. When you are not making yogurt, you can use it to hatch eggs.

  4. @Mellowlee: I prefer plain yogurt mixed with real fruit. When there isn't any good fruit in season, I might put some maple syrup or honey in there, or I might just eat it plain.

    @Kami: Thanks for the link!

    @Barb: :)

  5. Would your doctor let you take a probiotic instead? Acidophilus works wonders for me.

  6. I do take Acidophilus/Lactobacilus as well. It doesn't seem to quite do the trick, though. I've been wondering maybe if I refridgerated the pills, they would work better.

  7. Definitely refrigerate them. They do have a shelf life at room temp, but like yeast, they keep fresher and more potent for a longer time when stored in the fridge. Good luck with the yoghurt! (I can't digest it which is why I do the acidophilus.)