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John Barleycorn

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This is an account of my first attempts at yoghurt making. Photos will follow later.

 

live yoghurt + milk + time = more yoghurt + whey

more yoghurt + milk + time = even more yoghurt + even more whey


financial:
----------- 1 litre milk makes 500ml yoghurt --- costs 90p
----------- 500ml supermarket yoghurt --------- costs £1.50 - £2.00


Yoghurt is created by the action of bacteria upon milk.
The functioning bacteria, there are several types, are present in live, unpasteurised yoghurt.
One tablespoon of live yoghurt is plenty to convert a litre of milk.
Yoghurt can range between thick and thin, creamy and acidic and can be made to suit any particular taste.
Temperature, time and specific bacteria used, each have a hand in the flavour and texture of the end product.

Temperature needs to be kept roughly in the range 40-50°C.

Times can vary from 3 hours to 24 hours.

Starter yoghurts can contain a couple of strains of bacteria, some will contain four or five.
Lots of flavourings can be added to yoghurt, but the starter must be plain and unpasteurised.


Here is a brief list of live yoghurts commonly available in supermarkets.
This list is not comprehensive, but will get you started:

from the internet, I quote:

TOTAL Fage Classic Greek is superb. Even their 0% is gorgeous
Yeo Valley – Their Greek is gorgeous, but also their green natural pot.
Rachel’s and Onken Natural – are both very nice!
Marks & Spencer and Lidl's Greek are excellent!
Tesco’s Greek and Sainsbury's Greek are also fine.

---

There are lots of outlines of methods on the internet.

I found this one by an Australian guy, which worked, with slight modification, for me.


https://forums.overclockers.com.au/threads/making-yoghurt-at-home.1051234/

This method is one among many.
I aimed, successfully, to create a creamy, thick, greek style yoghurt.
This is achieved by controlling temperature, time and starter.
I will post pictures next time I put a batch together but for now I hotch-potched a method together. [see next post, below]

I started with the smallest pot of Fage Total Greek yoghurt. Not the cheapest but contains a few more strains of bacteria. It only took a tablespoonful. My wife devoured the remainder of the pot.
First time I did this with Channel Islands milk. Second batch I tried ordinary supermarket full fat milk. If anything the second batch was the nicer of the two.
Each time a I added dried skimmed milk powder, which bumps up flavour and texture, so I am told.
With this method the yield from one litre of milk is about 550ml yoghurt, the rest is 450ml whey which can be poured away, drunk or reused as a ingredient in the kitchen.

Re-using a spoonful of yoghurt kept back in the fridge for a starter worked fine on my recipe.
---

Done it twice, works for me. Won't be giving up on this.

Decided to up quantities to 2 litres milk to make 1 litre yoghurt in the future, a more realistic quantity.
Will need to heat milk directly in slow cooker, no water bath, as I couldn't fit more 500ml jars in there - I've yet to discover how that will work out.

More will follow with pictures.

 

 


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John Barleycorn

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the recipe I used:


ingredients

1 litre supermarket whole milk
3 tbsp dried skimmed milk
1 tbsp Fage Total yoghurt


equipment

kitchen pan
stove top
tablespoon
temperature measuring device
2 x 500ml jars
slow cooker [non-digital]
inkbird [i've ordered another so I can brew and yoghurt-make at the same time]
fruit straining bag from wilko brewing section [£7]

[The straining bag needs to be sterilized, use home-brewing cleanliness procedures throughout.
I don't know whether starsan and yoghurt microbes can co-exist so beware, you don't want to wipe out your culture]


method

I dissolved the dried milk into the whole milk and warmed the mixture in a pan on the stove top.
This will sterilize the milk and help the product become creamier, so I have read.
Technical point, whisking the warming milk in the pan until there is a froth on top helps prevent the liquid skinning over.
With mid-afternoon half of bitter in one hand and thermometer in the other I kept the temperature at 80-85°C, as required, for half an hour.
Being regularly skint, making a half last 30 minutes is no big deal, I've had loads of practice. Tasting notes, the home brew tasted just fine.

Next the milk was cooled to 45-50°C. A little was mixed with a tablespoon of starter yoghurt. Then all was combined mixed well and split between two 500ml kilner jars.
I connected a slow cooker to the inkbird set at 43°C. Warm water was put in the slow cooker bowl at around 45°C. The jars of cooled milk were placed in the resulting water bath and the lid placed on the crockpot.
Water almost filled the slow cooker bowl. I used a home-made thermowell fastened to the side of one of the jars to hold the sensor from the inkbird, It was a bit heath robinson, held together with string, but after a bit of panic the milk/yoghurt held at close to 43°C for the whole time.

So, once set up, I retired to a safe distance for 6.5hours. At the end of the time the product had set firm. Got a straining bag from Wilko. Poured the yoghurt into it and the whey went go straight through. The yoghurt is easy to get out from the bag which washes up and dries easily too. Store your yoghurt in a jar in the fridge. It will last quite a few days if you don't gobble it all up first. We've been eating ours with a spoon of runny honey but you can add fresh fruit, tinned fruit, jam, whatever takes your fancy, good for cooking too I would imagine.

Keep back a spoonful of yoghurt in the fridge as a starter for the next batch.

...and enjoy!


When you begin calling your starter spoonful 'my precious' you'll know you are hooked.





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Robert

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Reply with quote  #3 
Got one of these...
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tower-T16008-Digital-Pressure-Stainless/dp/B00SX8SGDO/ref=mp_s_a_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1552519006&sr=8-13&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=tower+multi+cooker
Didn't pay that much for it though.

It has a yogurt setting. Boil milk. Cool. Add live yogurt. Bung into multi cooker. Wait. Easy. :-p
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Pesho77

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Reply with quote  #4 

 When I make yoghurt I use 100g of powdered milk per ltr and I dont bother straining, I dont see the point, I just whisk the whole lot back together.

 Pesh
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John Barleycorn

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert
Got one of these...
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tower-T16008-Digital-Pressure-Stainless/dp/B00SX8SGDO/ref=mp_s_a_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1552519006&sr=8-13&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=tower+multi+cooker
Didn't pay that much for it though.

It has a yogurt setting. Boil milk. Cool. Add live yogurt. Bung into multi cooker. Wait. Easy. :-p


A nice piece of kit, but a bit too pricey for how much I'd use it.
I suppose if you were setting up home and wanted a slow cooker, pressure cooker, steamer etc then an all in one could well look attractive and pricewise would work out about right.

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John Barleycorn

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pesho77

 When I make yoghurt I use 100g of powdered milk per ltr and I dont bother straining, I dont see the point, I just whisk the whole lot back together.

 Pesh


I too add powdered milk.
The idea of straining is to remove the whey and make a Greek style yoghurt, which is thicker, creamier and more to my taste. About 50% of the milk comes out as whey. 
Stirring some or all of the whey back in will give you a thinner yoghurt.
That part of the process is a matter of taste.
If you enjoy your yoghurt, then I would say you are getting it right.

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Robert

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Barleycorn


A nice piece of kit, but a bit too pricey for how much I'd use it.
I suppose if you were setting up home and wanted a slow cooker, pressure cooker, steamer etc then an all in one could well look attractive and pricewise would work out about right.


We wanted one that did pressure cooking, which are about forty quid I think. That one was on offer for about sixty so we bought it. Gets quite a lot of use but would never have paid £90.

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Tigermoth

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Reply with quote  #8 
Another idea on top of what has already been said and done above is to get mixture to the desired temperature then place in thermos flask to coagulate. We use a plastic insulated container and poor boiled water into that then set the yogurt mix cold into that in a separate container, plastic or glass and leave for 8 hours or overnight, simple and it works a treat.
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John Barleycorn

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigermoth
Another idea on top of what has already been said and done above is to get mixture to the desired temperature then place in thermos flask to coagulate. We use a plastic insulated container and poor boiled water into that then set the yogurt mix cold into that in a separate container, plastic or glass and leave for 8 hours or overnight, simple and it works a treat.


I'm only using an inkbird because it is something I recently acquired, it is a new toy to play with.

As you say, Tiger, yoghurt making is a very simple process, though you can make it as complex as you wish. There are probably as many 'methods' as there are yoghurt makers.

However all you need, as Tiger says, is some already active yoghurt, a quantity of whole milk, a container of some description and somewhere to keep them warm for a few hours.

If you like yoghurt you really should try making it. I'm sure you will be pleased with the results.
It is economical, easy and if you like to experiment there are all sorts of variations possible on the theme.


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Tigermoth

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Reply with quote  #10 
Yes you are right John, it's not rocket science and to make yoghurt doesn't have to be an expensive mission, a long time ago we used to just make it in a kilner jar and leave in the hot water cupboard overnight (where our electric hot water cylinder is, it was warm enough there).
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