Homemade Yogurt

I started making my own homemade yogurt about a year ago when I ran across a recipe on the Frugal Girl website.

I still use this same process because it’s easy and now that I’ve done it so many times I’m able to whip it up pretty fast.

I like making yogurt mainly because it taste so much better and it cost a lot less than store bought.

It’s easy as could be, all you do is

  • heat up milk
  • cool it down
  • add a cup of prepared yogurt
  • pour it into jars
  • let the jars sit in a cooler with warm water for several hours.

I can get local raw milk so that’s what I make my yogurt with, but you can use commercial whole milk too.

The yogurt keeps for a month in the fridge so I just use a whole gallon of milk which turns out 5 pints of thick greek yogurt and 2 quarts of whey for me.
Yep, whey.  You know that protein whey that everyone wants in their diets now and most people have to buy the powdered stuff at the store.  Well, make your own yogurt and you’ll have plenty of it.  (more on that later)
The ingredients you’ll need is:
  • 1 gallon full fat milk
  • 1 cup of non flavored yogurt (your starter yogurt)
The equipment you’ll need is:
  • A heavy bottom stock pot (not cast iron)
  • A thermometer
  • A Whisk
  • Canning funnel
  • Measuring cup or ladle
  • Quart size mason jars (preferably wide mouth)
  • A cooler

This is what I do:

  • Pour your gallon of milk into a heavy bottomed stock pot
  • Gradually bring the temperature of the milk up to 190 – 195 degrees while gently stirring occasionally (do not scrape the bottom of the pot as it may scald a bit and you don’t want that in your yogurt)
  • Fill a sink with ice cold water while milk is reaching temperature
  • Gently lower the pot of milk into the ice water to cool the temperature down to 120 degrees
  • Remove the pot from the sink of water on to a towel on the counter
  • Thoroughly whisk in your starter yogurt
  • Ladle the mixture into your jars and put the lids on tight
  • Put the jars in a cooler and pour 2 quarts of warm water into the cooler
  • Keep water in cooler at 120 degrees for 4 hours
  • Remove yogurt from cooler and refrigerate

yogurt 15                  yogurt 16             yogurt 19

At this point you have yogurt that is ready to eat.

However if you want a thicker yogurt like a greek yogurt (especially if using raw milk, which tends to make a thinner consistency)  then continue on doing this:

  • Let yogurt refrigerate overnight in the jars
  • Strain all but 1.5 cups yogurt through a fine cloth to release the whey (I have to do this in batches and it usually takes a few hours)

yogurt 12               yogurt 13              yogurt 14

  • Whisk the 1.5 cup of thinner yogurt into the thicker yogurt to end up with a perfect creamy textured yogurt.
  • Spoon yogurt into jars, put lids on and refrigerate.
                yogurt 20              Yogurt 2
Remember to set aside 1 cup of your yogurt as the starter for your next batch.
I’m afraid that my post has made it sound like making yogurt is a long difficult process, but really it’s not. 
Keep in mind that most of the process is giving it time to set up and time to strain, but that’s not hands on time.
It really is easy and so worth it. 
I hope you’ll give it a try.
We use yogurt in place of sour cream because not only does it taste great it’s better for us too.
Once you taste your homemade yogurt you’ll never go back to store bought yogurt again.
Till next time,

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