The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Yoghurt & Soft Cheese Maker

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Yoghurt & Soft Cheese Maker

Twas my birthday on Boxing Day and my good friend bought me this Yoghurt & Soft Cheese Maker. It arrived yesterday and can't wait to try it out. I'm also thinking it'll be great for my starter/levains and at 1.65 litre capacity it might even be good for the dough.

Time and Temperature control is 1-99 hours and 25-65°C

Sounds just perfect.

Weizenbrot's picture
Weizenbrot

What is the brand name?

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

you definitely will be able to play with your starter in that!

belated happy birthday Abe

have fun

Leslie

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Up till now it's was just make do and try to get as warm as possible. Now I can fine tune things. 

Ideas are forming and a new recipe has been started. 

This nifty machine has a very good write up. Can't wait to try yoghurt and cheese too. 

albacore's picture
albacore

Very unusual to get a yoghurt maker with temperature control. Mostly they have a low wattage (7W?) element permanently connected to the mains and just work on the principle of heat in = heat loss at about 42C.

The price is very fair, too. I could be tempted!

Lance

Lechem's picture
Lechem

But it was very expensive. My second option was a yoghurt maker but I quickly found out that most of them are very basic and have little temperature range, as you have pointed out. A lot are just glorified flasks. Until I came across this one. Has some presets for given recipes and a bigger range for one's own recipes. Has a strainer for Greek yoghurt too. One person wrote they use it for kefir and another said they use it for their sourdough starter. All at a great price.

I think one has to boil the milk in a pan, allow to cool till a certain temperature (you'll need a thermometer), add a bit of live yoghurt then transfer to the yoghurt maker. Choose the preset and voilà 8-12 hours later you have a litre of yoghurt. Some use UHT milk so they don't have to boil the milk first. If you wish for Greek yoghurt then when it's done pour it into the strainer and allow it to drop through for a few hours. For cheese all you do is add milk, some lemon juice, choose a setting and that's it. 

It's basically a fancy proofer.

albacore's picture
albacore

I already have a homebuilt proofer and a yoghurt maker - is a slow cooker hacked with PID temperature control.

The one you have is a bit bigger though, so might be useful for small doughs, poolish, biga etc.

As always, however, it's where to put everything - unless you have a kitchen the size of Nigella's!

I did quite a bit of research on yoghurt making. To do it properly, you are supposed to heat the milk to 85C and hold it there for 30mins (best), or heat to 95 and hold for 5 mins. The milk shouldn't boil.

So, both a bit fiddley. I prefer the simple method of 1l UHT full cream milk + 80g skimmed milk powder to give it a bit of body. No need to heat up. I do warm it in the tinger, just to dissolve the milk powder.

Lechem's picture
Lechem

How would one heat to a certain temperature and keep it steady etc. You'd need some pretty exact equipment for that. Thanks for the tip on how you make yours. It's all new territory for me. 

If this can do a dough of about 900g it'd be just perfect! 

Now where would I store this machine? If only we all had a kitchen like Nigella :) 

BreadBabies's picture
BreadBabies

Actually, this is an interesting topic...

There is a lot of different information on why this is necessary.

One camp believes this has to do with killing unwanted microbes. In fact, it does do that if you have somehow contaminated it with dirty equipment. But unless you're using raw milk, this isn't really necessary.

The other camp, and this is the one I ascribe to, says this has nothing to do with germs. This is done to drive oxygen out of the milk. The resulting yogurt is a much better consistency. I do indeed find that this is the case.

In any case, as long as you don't boil it, which will take some of the sweetness from the milk, you're fine.  And you don't have to get the time and temperature perfect on this.  We're not fermenting microbes at this stage, so we don't need to deal with the delicacy of living things. Just don't beat a bunch of air back into your mixture after it cools and you're adding your inoculation.

Like bread, it's so much about particular taste.  I find that I really taste the personality of the culture in yogurt far more than I do in bread.  Makes sense, right?  We don't bake yogurt.

This is one area I am relieve to say I figured out how to make what I like and it was...shockingly...the easiest possible procedure.

Careful, you might become as obsessed with yogurt as you are bread. If that happens, you won't have time to sleep.

 

Lechem's picture
Lechem

I can follow and understand that. We heat the milk but not boil it. This is to take out the oxygen but not spoil the flavour. I suppose if I do by mistake boil it'll still make yoghurt though. So with a little trial and error I'll find the sweet spot. Then cool it enough so it doesn't kill off the culture and when adding the culture try not to reintroduce the oxygen taken out. 

The microbes are not cultivated like a starter where a lot of the work goes into the Pre-Ferment and build to coax out the flavour. The fermenting comes later so this milk heating stage won't be the make it break of getting a yoghurt out of it. Logical! 

Thanks for that. And yes, yoghurt isn't baked so the culture really comes out more so. I suppose it's like tasting starter albeit more palatable. 

I'm quite partial to Greek yoghurt with honey. Think that'll be my first attempt. 

And you're right. I need more days in the week. I'll start a petition. 

Thanks Amy

BreadBabies's picture
BreadBabies

Yogurt is the easiest, cheapest, biggest no-brainer thing to make at home. It's so much tastier, healthier and less expensive than store bought!

The Europeans totally ruined me with yogurt. When I was in Germany I became completely and totally addicted to the very sour yogurt they have there. You just can't get anything that flavorful in the U.S. That's when I started making my own. Yogourmet was the best for this purpose. I didn't find that store bought yogurts imparted enough flavor. The result just tasted like the original store-bought yogurt...makes sense, huh? Also, I found that using a store-bought yogurt with any sort of thickeners, i.e. pectin or cornstarch really ruined the texture.

In fact, the only thing I had ever purchased from Cultures for Health before the recent experience was their heritage yogurt starter. Most yogurts are not stable enough to continually inoculate the next batch. Theirs is and is designed to basically continue forever. But in the end, I didn't love the flavor as much as the Yogourmet, so that's what I stick to.

Now that I have a Brod & Taylor, I'm considering getting rid of my yogurt maker. Hypothetically, it should be able to make yogurt just as well.

Lechem's picture
Lechem

It might be easy but totally new territory for me so I'm a bit apprehensive. I'll start off simple and build on that. Thanks for the tips. I suppose I could get yoghurt culture or if not go for something as pure as possible without all the add ins. Instructions say to use yoghurt but I'm sure culture is fine. I'm not a big fan of plain sour yoghurt but I do love honey with it, or fruit. I suppose you add that later according to taste. I've heard of people using acidophilus capsules - did I hear right? 

I'm going to look for the yogourmet. Never heard of it but worth a try. 

Can't wait to try. 

BreadBabies's picture
BreadBabies

oh and happy belated birthday!

Lechem's picture
Lechem

:)

bread1965's picture
bread1965

Either more time to try out things like making yogurt, or more counter space to make room for great looking gadgets like this one!

You'll have to share your yogurt making experiences with us.. maybe you should start up a new sister site to TFL and call it TFC - the fresh culture and make it a yogurt site! :) 

Happy belated.. !! :)

 

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Taken a week to get going but tonight is the first time I'm using it. What we have here is a Levain build fermenting for 8hours at 26C with a feed of 1:5:5

gillpugh's picture
gillpugh

I use the capsules to make my first batch of yogurt, it makes a thick and strong yogurt.  I'll use some of this yogurt to make the next two batches, but then I find the last batch does it thicken up so well and is not so creamy so I revert to using the culture capsules for the next batch.

if I knew how to add a link I'd put it here !!  I'll have a look how to do it !

 

Lechem's picture
Lechem

In the yoghurt maker. Photos and description above. 

Looking forward to making yoghurt too. Bought some capsules. 

Hope this works ok and I'm using it correctly. 

albacore's picture
albacore

It looks like there's plenty of room inside. What's it like for temperature accuracy actually in the levain itself?

Regarding yoghurt, I've used commercial plain yoghurt and freeze dried heritage Bulgarian culture in the past.

Not too much difference and the commercial yoghurt is cheaper - and you can eat the rest! Then I just save 2 tablespoons of mine and seed the next batch; this way is good for about 6 generations.

I always sterilise the culture container before each use as I think it's important. Mine's all plastic, so I put 1cm of water in the bottom, put the lid on with a small gap (cocktail stick) and put it in the tinger for 1m 50s. The gap stops suck-in as the steam cools - found out the hard way!

Lance

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Instant Pot.  It makes yogurt too.  I wonder if you can set the temperature for the yogurt cycle? That would be perfect for making bread in the winter around here.  Happy birthday Abe.  That yogurt maker is pretty cool.

Happy Yogurting!

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

incubate the yogurt at 110-115F. Isn’t that kind of on the top end for yeast growth? I know that 140F will kill it but 110-115 F seems kind of hot to me for bread making. 

ETA: Oops! Reread the first post and realized that the temperature can be adjusted. Can it be adjusted in the Instant Pot too?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

temperature but the Instant Pot I got (Chef Geek) was purchased because it had a Sous Vide function that allows you to set temperature and time!  I've already lost the operations instruction that came with the Chef Geek but I will get it out and check the yogurt setting right now

Can't adjust the yogurt temperature and the sous vide setting only goes to down to 140 F.  But the timer for the yogurt setting can be adjusted.  Now I just have ti see what temperature it is set for on yogurt.  104 F would be OK for LAB but might be OK for yeast .....especially to increase the LAB to yeast ratio and make bread the way I like -  more sour!

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Broa de Milho fresh out the oven. I'd be interested to know a table of what temperatures to ferment a starter to bring out different flavours. 

Hope your idea for your yoghurt maker works out ok. I got this especially because of the 1-99 hours and the temperature control with a perfect range for a starter. 

cgap's picture
cgap

If you are bored and want to try something cooked sous vide, it may be  worth an experiment, despite the lack of recirculation, as there is time and temp control.

Results may not be great but who knows?