Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘tips for making homemade yogurt’

Yogurt Making Tips

Posted by terrepruitt on July 23, 2013

Making yogurt is so easy it is mind blowing.  I always thought you needed a special yogurt making machine or something.  But it is not that difficult at all.  All you need are a few things including a thermometer, a pot, two bowls or a sink, and canning jars.  There are more things but that is the basics.  Even though it is really easy I decided to split the post between yogurt making tips and the actual instructions. I am posting the tips first because if you are like me you jump right to the recipe, skipping the tips thinking they are just “extra”.  Then half way through the recipe I am wondering how to do this or that and realize that information is in the tips.  So tips first, then instructions.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo—Before you begin, wash ALL of your equipment with hot soapy water and rinse well with hot water.

Equipment means anything that will touch the milk:  the pot, the bowl, the ladle, the spoon, the measuring spoon, all jars, lids, funnel and bands (bands don’t generally TOUCH the milk, but close enough), the portion of the thermometer that will touch the milk.

You can use your dishwasher for dishwasher-safe things.

Sterilizing everything helps keep any bacteria or germs from being introduced to and contaminating your yogurt.

—After washing lay out all cleaned equipment on a clean towel.

—If you have used the dishwasher to wash your canning jars right before you make your yogurt, you might want to keep the jars in the dishwasher until you are ready to fill them.  This will keep the jars warm.  Laura, of Beadzilla, who gave me this recipe noted that she has forgotten to heat the jars and has not had any problems.

—Even after you have calculated how many jars you need, have a few more washed and ready to go just in case.  You might decide not to fill the jars all the way to the top so you might need more than you think.

I have made three batches of yogurt and I think it sets up thicker when the milk heats to 180° F and it ferments for TWELVE hours.

—Heating up the milk takes about 20 minutes.  I actually set my timer for 20 minutes so I have an idea of how long the milk has to go.

—The jars you want to use as warmer in the cooler can be pickle jars.  Or a few extra canning jars.  At present I have three jars.  When I place the canning jars in the cooler I like to make sure all the milk jars are touching at least one warm water jar.

—Make sure that your jars of warm water are not any hotter than you can touch or you might introduce too much heat to the process and kill the culture.

I put one towel on the bottom of the cooler, then put the warming jars in then arrange my jars of milk around them.

—When ladling the milk into the jars, I no longer worry about getting it on the rim/lip of the jar.  I would spend so much time trying to keep from spilling and then end up spilling anyway.  I don’t have a funnel.  So I just quickly put the milk in the jars then wipe them well before I seal.  I use a damp paper towel to wipe any spilled milk off the top of the jar rims and seal the jars tightly with a lid and band.  This ensures good contact between the jar and it’s lid.

—Don’t fill the jars all the way up.  Leave some room for your toppings/additions.  If you want to eat the yogurt right out of the jar and you plan on adding to it (honey, granola, fruit, vanilla, etc.) you’ll need room. 

Remember this is an unstrained yogurt so it is going to be much more “runny” than the average store bought yogurt.

—This entire process takes about an hour.  Remember to calculate the amount of time your yogurt needs to ferment and prepare it accordingly.  The first time I made it with my friend I had to take my jars from cooler to fridge at 1:00 am.  Usually not a problem for me but that morning it was.  The second time I had to refrigerate them at 5:00 am.  Now I make my yogurt by 10:00 am or 11:00 am so I am putting the jars in the fridge at 10:00 pm or 11:00 pm.  Whatever works for you, just remember to think of that before you start.

—DON’T EAT ALL OF YOUR YOGURT!  Remember you need at least 2 tablespoons for your next batch.

So these are just a few things I have learned.  A long list.  You will see the instructions are still long, but don’t let that deter you.  It is easy.

I hope you will share your what you have learned making yogurt.  What tips do you have?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Yogurt | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »