How to Make Homemade Yogurt

How to Make Homemade Yogurt

by Michelle on January 20, 2011

I learned how to make plain homemade yogurt a couple of years ago at a dairy class hosted by our local Lubbers Family Farm. I start with 1 quart of fresh, raw milk and put it in a stainless steel pan on medium heat. I have my thermometer clipped to the side with a chip clip, but when it gets to the higher temperatures, I just hold the thermometer with an oven mitt it the middle while I’m stirring.

I stir pretty frequently as the milk heats up and I watch for the temperature to reach about 180 degrees F (when the milk is really starting to get bubbly). I’ve gone with a little less and not had any issues yet. Once the milk has reached about 180, I remove it from heat and let it cool to about 110 degrees. This can take a while, I normally plan on about 15 minutes of doing something else.

Once the milk is cooled to 110, I add either 1/2 cup yogurt with active cultures (I really like Oikos plain Greek yogurt), but I also sometimes use frozen packets from a local store. The frozen packet brand is New England Cheesemaking Supply Co. I am using a packet today, but if I could always choose the healthiest I’d start with the fresh yogurt (there’s a few extra ingredients in the frozen packets).

Also, once you have made yogurt the first time you can save 1/2 cup to start the next batch (as long as you don’t wait too long to make the next batch) and really not have to buy a starter again. I am not very good at saving this and usually eat all of mine up in smoothies and have to start again from scratch.

Once I stir in either the starter yogurt or packet, I pour it all into a quart jar again and put the lid on tightly. I place it in my small “picnic” cooler and fill it to the neck of the jar with hot water. I close the cooler and let it sit either for overnight or all day if I make it in the morning. When the yogurt is ready I dry the jar off with a towel and put it right in the fridge to get cold (I’m not a huge fan of warm yogurt) ;). And there you have it, that is really all it takes to make homemade plain yogurt!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

emili January 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Ooo! I’m going to try this. Are you able to use organic, pasteurized milk?

Michelle January 21, 2011 at 10:18 am

Hi Emili! I haven’t tried but it looks like you are definitely able to. Here’s a post from a NT blog I follow-

It’s preferable that it’s not homogenized, but sounds like it may still work. According to NT, you can also place in electric oven pre-heated to warm and then turned off (instead of having it on all night). Hope it turns out good for you!

Julie March 25, 2011 at 11:18 am

I have the same size cooler as you do–will this yogurt recipe still work if I make 2 quarts at a time, rather than just one as you have given instruction for?

Michelle March 26, 2011 at 9:56 am

Julie, yes, when I want a lot of yogurt I double the recipe and use two frozen packets of starter. The two quart jars fit just fine in the cooler. I should have mentioned in the post though that when you use the 1/2 cup yogurt as starter, this will slightly overflow your quart mason jar and you’ll need another one or a smaller jar to hold the rest. This is fine if I’m making one quart, for for two quarts, I can only fit two jars in the cooler so I have to use the frozen packets. Hope this helps!

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post:

OpenEyeHealth on TwitterOpenEyeHealth on FacebookOpenEyeHealth RSS FeedOpenEyeHealth E-mail