My kids love yogurt, me not so much. But they eat yogurt so much that we buy boat loads. OK, probably not that much, but it just seems like it.
My husband decided he wanted to try his hand at making homemade yogurt in the crockpot. Well, our first batch was over-cooked and turned into Feta Cheese. AND that Feta Cheese was WONDERFUL!
TAKE TWO: After doing more research and hitting the next town over’s Beer Making Shop we came across a Y5 Sweet Yogurt culture packet that contained Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium (the most Probiotic). We have been making Soda Kefir and were buying bottles at the shop when we came upon the culture. Glad we stopped in and of course the Kefir will be another post later on.
Anyhow, the process was easier with the culture and fairly simple using the crockpot but it took about 4 hours to make using the crockpot.
Take a gallon of whole milk and pour it into the crockpot and get it heated up to 185º F. And then have it hold at that temp for around 20-30 minutes. This will prepare the whey proteins which are largely responsible for the thickening of the yogurt body.
The next step is to cool the milk quickly back down to 112º F to complete the fermentation.
When the milk reaches the proper temperature for inoculation, is time to add the yogurt culture.
Your next step will be to incubate the cultured milk for the required time in an insulated container (we used two large insulated thermos jugs).
This will then need to set quietly for 8-10 hours and will determine the thickness and texture of the final yogurt as well as the final acidity.
Your final step will be to chill the yogurt quickly as possible once you find the texture and acidity is to your liking. When cooled it will have a much more solid texture.
My husband drained the yogurt through cheese cloth to give it more of a “Greek Style” texture and it provides a more concentrated yogurt flavor and a rich creamy texture for mixing with fruit or jelly.
This morning for breakfast we mixed the yogurt with frozen berries and I have to say for me the flavor was nice and mild and not so tangy — I think the tang is what I don’t like about yogurt.
Next we took the remainder of yogurt and placed it in small containers with a large dollop of Flavored Jelly — Raspberry, Peach and Cherry — into the container and then topped with the yogurt.
1 gallon Whole Milk
2 Packets Y5 Sweet Yogurt Culture Packet by New England Cheesemaking Supply Company
Heat milk in a crockpot to 185º F, cool to 112º. Pour into a thermos-like container. Add culture packet, let re-hydrate 2 minutes, then stir to dissolve. Cover and let set at 110º F for 6-12 hours, or until thickened. Refrigerate.