Catalyst Cooks

Make. Food. Happen!

The Homemade Yogurt Mistake! August 18, 2010

With some milk and a couple tablespoons of live-culture plain yogurt, you can make your own yogurt.

Apparently it’s “easy.”  Yah, Right!

I’m determined to make it happen.  Seems making yogurt is just like making bread but it takes longer and seems to be more detailed.

For anyone that’s not scared yet, here are the steps I followed and where I made mistakes.

I took out my milk and yogurt to bring them to room temperature.

While they were warming up, I boiled water to sterilize my equipment.

I dipped my metal spoon, my mason jar, a candy thermometer and my tongs.

Herewith, MISTAKE No. ONE.  Don’t pour semi-cold milk into a super hot mason jar to measure how much will fit.

Because the bottom of the jar will crack off due to the extreme difference in temperature.

Jar in garbage, Jar #2 Sterilized, Cold milk heated on low temp in microwave, resume.

I poured about 3 cups of skim milk into the jar, put the thermometer into it, and brought the milk to 185 degrees to completely kill any bacteria, stirring the entire time to keep the milk from forming a skin.

REGRET No. ONE.  I wish I had used a metal bowl or pan for this step.  Because now that the milk is hot in a glass container, I can’t rush the next step (of cooling the milk).  I need to wait for it to happen naturally.  Which took about 45 minutes. 

The milk cooled to 110 degrees, the optimal bacteria temperature.  (Think hot tub, baby milk, or something you can put your hand into and count to 5.)

Next, I put some water in a crockpot on low.  I put a folded washcloth in the bottom of the crockpot so the glass wouldn’t directly touch it.

I added the jar to the pot, stirred in my 2 T of active yogurt, put the thermometer in there, and covered it with a towel.

This is what the next seven hours looked like… or could have if I hadn’t experienced:

REGRET No. TWO.  I wish I had a heating pad as some online recipes recommended.

The crockpot temperature was a bit high, even with the lid off.  It wanted to keep the water at about 125 degrees.

So I frequently took out some of the hotter water and added some cool water to keep my yogurt at 110 degrees.

MISTAKE No. TWO.  I stirred too much during this part of the process.  Don’t stir when you hit the seven hour waiting time, or your yogurt may curdle later on.  Trust me.

At the end of seven hours, this is what I had.

It is okay, in fact supposed to have a green liquid on the top of the yogurt.

I stirred it in and put the lid on the jar.

Ready for the fridge overnight.

Today, I woke up to:

Drinkable yogurt.  Yuck!

I strained it just now, and it’s thicker.  But amazingly I only ended up with 1/4 a mason jar of yogurt.  I guess that’s why people on the message boards say that if you use skim milk, add powdered milk to it so it will end up more creamy.

I am trying the entire process again today-

Using a metal pan instead of a glass jar;

Using a mix of half and half and Skim Milk to increase the creaminess;

Not stirring during the 7 hour wait period (blogging instead!)

and I’ll let you know how it goes!


8 Responses to “The Homemade Yogurt Mistake!”

  1. Molly Says:

    Is it worth it?

  2. […] And, like most experiments, some things went wrong. […]

  3. […] I’ve been making yogurt, and making mistakes making yogurt. […]

  4. Thanks for sharing!!! I have been making my own yogurt for years and I’ve never had any issues. Try my recipe, see if it works for you.

    • Jen Antila Says:

      Hi Diethood,
      Thanks for visiting the blog! Your recipe sounds very easy, thanks for sharing it.

      I tried very hard to find a yogurt starter that had active cultures I wanted without additives I didn’t want. (I settled on Greek Gods as the starter, probably 5 or 6 generations of my yogurt ago.) Do you know if Danon Nonfat Plain yogurt has any of these additives?

      My focus now is to avoid eating anything that wasn’t around a century ago!

      • Diethood Says:

        Hi Jen Antila!

        I just read the ingredients on the tub that I have in the fridge and it states that it is made with, “Cultured grade A milk. Contains active yogurt cultures including L.acidophilus”. I looked up their version of “All Natural” – ingredients: “Cultured grade A milk”.
        But, I have used all types of yogurts to make a homemade one…it has always worked out; it should work with the Greek Gods Yogurt.
        Let me know how it goes!

  5. […] The Homemade Yogurt Mistake! […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s