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How to Make Yoghurt at Home

Home Made Yoghurt

 

Home made yoghurt with raspberries 

If you are a new reader, you may not know that my family has joined Tricia from Little Eco Footprints in her family’s quest of Skipping the Supermarket.

When I committed to skipping the supermarket yoghurt was one of the items I was most concerned about replacing. My two little boys, and Mr Fresh eat lots of yoghurt. The most obvious alternative was to try to make it myself. I did, and it is with a great sense of satisfaction that I have been watching Cuddles and Punky greedily spooning my home made yoghurt down and requesting it as a dessert treat.

I have discovered that home made yoghurt:

  • is easy to make
  • doesn’t take long to make – once in the esky there is nothing else to do except remove it at the end of the time and place it in the fridge
  • is cheaper to make than buy
  • is preferred by my children
  • has a smoother, milder flavor

If we return to the supermarket in the future, I will not return to purchasing store brought yoghurt. Why would I ?

Yoghurt is so loved in our home that before I commenced skipping the supermarket I Googled home-made yoghurt to research how feasible it was for me to try to make it. I found many recipes, and an amazing number of variations in technique! The recipe I selected to try was from The Frugal Girl .   I have re-written the steps of the process The Frugal Girl describes because I found it challenging to complete each activity at the correct time when I first tried it. I made some changes to the recommended timing and I changed the measurements to metric. (I have a background in writing training material and in documenting processes…..I can’t help myself)

Equipment:

  • 2 large saucepans/stockpots
  • Wooden spoon for stirring
  • Whisk
  • Measuring cups
  • A pouring jug
  • Funnel
  • Spoon
  • Candy Thermometer or similar that can sit on the edge of the saucepan/stockpot
  • Esky (Chilly Bin, or Cooler Box)
How to Make Yoghurt at Home
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Make your own yogurt at home. Smooth and creamy, add your own choice of flavors when you serve.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert; Snack
Ingredients
  • 3.75 liters of full cream milk - I used Un-homogenized Jonesy's milk
  • 200grams of yoghurt to act as a starter.
Instructions
  1. Pour the milk into a large saucepan or stock pot
  2. Heat the milk slowly to 185-190 degrees Fahrenheit (F) (85-90 degrees Celsius (C)). Do not heat quickly or the milk will burn on the bottom of the pan. This takes approximately 20 minutes
  3. Stir occasionally & monitor the temperature via the thermometer
  4. As the temperature nears 185-190 degrees F fill the kitchen sink ½ full with cold water
  5. When the milk reaches 185-190 degrees F remove the pan from the heat and sit it in the cold water of the sink and allow the temperature to drop to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees C)
  6. As the temperature of the milk is dropping in the cold water fill the second sauce pan with 3.75 liters of water and heat it to 120 degrees F
  7. When the milk drops to 120 degrees F add the yoghurt and whisk so that it is evenly distributed
  8. Check the temperature of the water in the second pot has reached 120 degrees F and pour it into the esky and close the lid
  9. Work quickly. Dip a pouring jug into the yogurt or ladle and add the milk to the jars. Leave space at the top or the jar if you intend to add fruit prior to eating
  10. Add the filled containers and jars to the esky close the lid and place in a location that will be undisturbed and draft free for 7 hours
  11. At the end of the 7 hours the milk should have set to the degree that it is not a runny liquid but starting to solidify
  12. Remove the jars from the esky and refrigerate overnight
  13. The yoghurt should be set in the morning
Notes
Dannon Brand yoghurt was recommended by Frugal Girl and a number of other recipes as a good starter yoghurt. I have used various good quality organic yogurts and they all work well. Try to remember to save some yogurt from your previous batch to use as the starter in the next batch.
I have left the yogurt in the esky overnight by mistake and it resulted in a thicker yogurt. Makes approximately 3 liters. Recommended usage within a few weeks.

Hints and Tips:

  • Frugal Girl recommends using full cream milk for a thicker style yoghurt
  • Note: home made yoghurt is not as thick as store purchased major brand name yoghurt, it also has a smoother, less sharp taste. It has a lovely creamy taste
  • When placing the jars into the esky ensure they are not totally submerged
  • Note: The image above shows that I used small plastic containers as well as jars – I do not use them now as the yoghurt lasts longer in steralised jars. I re-pot the yoghurt into small containers for kinder etc at the time it is needed.
  • Adding the yoghurt to the milk spreads the cultures and aids the setting process
  • We use the yoghurt as an alternative to cream or ice-cream
  • Add fruit or muesli just prior to eating the yoghurt if desired: I have added:
    • raspberries
    • strawberries
    • blueberries
    • stewed date, apple & walnut

Yoghurt is not as thick as store purchased yoghurts

I would like to try a batch of soy milk based yoghurt next as I am intolerant to dairy. I had a tiny taste of this yoghurt and I really liked the smooth mild flavor but I would like to be able to eat more than a 5 cent sized spoonful!

Stay tuned if you are interested in dairy-free yoghurt made with a soy base.  If you “like” my Face Book Page you will be sure to know when I write about it.

If you have questions about making yoghurt I will do my best to answer based on my experience to date. I found a great resource at: Make Your Own Yoghurt with a range of Frequently Asked Questions that may also assist.

 

 

 

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{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Marlene Goh March 20, 2012, 12:33 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I will try this as my children just love yoghurt

    • Kyrstie March 20, 2012, 9:26 pm

      Hi Marlene, I hope your children enjoy it. My boys are eating it every day! I forgot to add to the post that another way we have been using it is to mix some of the batch with berries and freeze it in ice block containers for a treat.

  • Jessica Hughes March 23, 2012, 1:22 am

    Thank you for the fantastic recipe. My daughter loves yoghurt but one of my concerns has been the amount of sugar in some of the supermarket varieties. I think this might just be the answer I have been looking for.
    http://mumsmoneybox.com/

  • Bianca Condon April 30, 2012, 9:02 pm

    Thanks for the recipe, I am contemplating whether to try it. Just wondering what the “fridge life” of the yogurt is. Not sure whether my family would eat 3L of yoghurt before it went off

    • Kyrstie April 30, 2012, 9:20 pm

      Hi Bianca, I have halved the recipe successfully when not wanting to make such a large quantity. I recommend putting it into glass jars that are steralised first (in an oven at 160 degrees for 15 minutes-more steralising pointers are at http://afreshlegacy.net/chutney-relish) It has never lasted past 3 weeks before being all eaten here so I can’t say for sure beyond 3 weeks! My kids eat a serve almost everyday and I use it often in cooking as a replacement for cream and other dairy. Hope this helps.

  • Bianca Condon May 24, 2012, 7:13 pm

    Thanks Kyrstie for the yummy recipe, halved the quatities with success.

    • Kyrstie May 24, 2012, 8:31 pm

      That’s great Bianca. I am pleased. Thanks for returning to let me (and others) know. After numerous batches I have noticed that the shelf life is impacted by the containers you use. In my experience the yoghurt will last the longest if potted into glass steralised jars. If you use any plastic containers make sure you use them first and I recommend they be used within 2 weeks. Potted into steralised glass jars it should last at the full 4 weeks.

  • Linda September 26, 2012, 7:49 am

    Just had some of my first batch for breakfast this morning. So shocked at how easy it was and how well it worked!

  • Debbie July 17, 2013, 7:13 pm

    Kirsty rather than soy try using coconut cream. Geelong fresh sell it and I think the organic shop in Torquay also have coconut yoghurt. Buy a small container, follow your same process as above.
    Also if you want thicker dairy yoghurt add a cup of powdered milk as it does make it thicker. If the kids like things sweeter you can add raw honey…

    • Kyrstie July 17, 2013, 8:54 pm

      Funny you should say that Debbie, I have a batch in progress right now I am trying with coconut milk. I am not sure if it will work but I made a little batch to see. If not I will try coconut cream next 🙂

  • Jodie December 3, 2013, 10:31 am

    OK so all this time I have been making easiyo – I have re-read your post today and I am closer to giving my own a go!!! (lol – I am a bit slow ) I want to ask about the probiotics – or is it prebiotics in yoghurt, can you add your own into the starter? Like a teaspoons of the Kids Inner Health plus?

    • Kyrstie Barcak December 3, 2013, 2:02 pm

      Hi Jodie, I use a yogurt that is good quality as a starter. I do not add anything else. I guess you could add your own if you wish 🙂

  • Beth July 19, 2014, 3:10 pm

    If the coconut milk doesn’t work out, try Almond milk. As soon as my almond tree starts putting out more than 20 nuts I’ll be trying to make milk from them.

    Going to give your recipe a go next weekend – after I’ve been to the farmers market and picked up some organic unhomogenised yoghurt from the Tilba Dairy. Going to try your butter recipe too with Tilba cream. There are no local organic dairies – we have to wait for the south coast farmers to bring their goodies inland.

    What I’d really like to try is making mozarella for our pizza. Perhaps if my butter is edible I’ll try soft cheese next. 😀

    • Kyrstie Barcak July 20, 2014, 12:45 pm

      I’d love to hear how you go Beth. My one try at mozarella was a failure, I must try it again soon. Thanks for dropping by.

      • Anonymous August 9, 2014, 2:14 pm

        Hi Kyrstie
        I finally got a starter yoghurt!
        Do you put the lids on the containers when they go into the esky, or do you wait until they have fully cooled?
        I’m praying for a successful first attempt as my hubby is resisting my using up 2l of unhomogenised milk in an experiment – it’s often hard to get around here.

        • Kyrstie Barcak August 9, 2014, 2:37 pm

          Good luck with it, yes put lids on the jars and then also on the esky, allowing the least amount of heat to escape while you are filling it as possible. Eg: put a few jars in close it and then do the next ones. It will help them reach the correct temperature. Keep in the esky overnight and then place into the fridge for a day. I make it often, there is no reason why it will not work if you use a thermometer to reach the correct temperatures. Enjoy 🙂

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