The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Is discussing yogurt making OK here?

Precaud's picture
Precaud

Is discussing yogurt making OK here?

If so, which forum is best place to discuss it? Misc?

jo_en's picture
jo_en

I love making 3 quarts of yogurt at a time using th BrodTaylor proofer set at 110F. 

I usually buy Strauss' Yogurt (here in Nor Cal) to inoculate the milk (heat each qt of milk- about 5 min in microwave on high; stir once at around 3:30m and there won't be an overflow).  The temp is around 180F after the microwave. Let it cool for a few hours to 110F and stir in 2-3 TB of yogurt thinned with a little milk.

Put it in the proofer for 6-8hr.

I like starting each batch with Strauss' Y but many just use the yogurt from their homemade  batches.

Precaud's picture
Precaud

for the B&T proofer, Jo. 3 qts at a time is large! Does the container you use have a sealed lid?

I'll have to try the Strauss as a starter, though I don't recall see it in any of the stores I shop at around here. So far I haven't found any of the store-bought yogurts to give great results on their own. The closest is Fage 5% which has a thick and rich taste but has no tartness/zip to it at all, so I combine it with 1/2 a packet of Yogourmet starter and then freeze a couple small jars with 2 tbsp of it for when the generational strength inevitably peters out.

 

tpassin's picture
tpassin

It's interesting to me that this happens with yogurt but not (apparently) with sourdough.  I don't know why the difference.

Precaud's picture
Precaud

I hadn't thought about it that way before. With higher temps over shorter time periods, it's a narrower spectrum of bacteria being developed in yogurts.

Abe's picture
Abe

Once you have some live yoghurt a cup of that can be culture for the next batch. And if you don't have any culture to start the process off then you don't need to source anything from a special store just a plain live yoghurt - preferably one which you like! 

tpassin's picture
tpassin

Not everyone can find a live-culture yogurt that they like in local stores.

Precaud's picture
Precaud

as mentioned previously, there is a generational decline in strength. Even of ones I don't like  :)  So I find myself starting from scratch after G3 or G4 to maintain the taste and consistency.

tpassin's picture
tpassin

I have only made yogurt a few times.  But I have a related question.  Back in the mid-2000s I used to make cheese.  Nothing fancy or highly flavored, mostly soft cheese one would eat in a few days.  I made a few harder cheeses. The one that lasted the longest went for a month in cheesecloth before I couldn't wait any longer and nibbled it to death slice by slice.

But a decade or so later I couldn't make cheese any more.  It stopped curdling,  both by acid and by rennet.  I know not to use ultra-pasteurized milk, but I just couldn't make it happen.  This was both in the US southwest and the US eastern seaboard.

Can anyone shed light on this?

Precaud's picture
Precaud

... I couldn't make cheese any more... I know not to use ultra-pasteurized milk...

Same is true with yogurt. I have experimented with using numerous types/brands of milk, and to my surprise I get the best, most consistent results from one of the least expensive:

Plains Dairy Whole Milk

You won't find it in ANY high-end grocers. It's sold under several brands through a couple big chains and at some of the convenience stores here in the Southwestern US. Other than NOT being ultra-pasteurized or homogenized, I don't know what it is they are doing (or not doing) that is different, but it consistently gives me the thickest, best tasting yogurt of any of them.

tpassin's picture
tpassin

Hey, I remember that brand from my New Mexico days.  I don't remember if I ever tried it for making cheese.

Precaud's picture
Precaud

until recently, because I have, let's say, negative associations with their home town, Amarillo, TX... one of the worst-smelling places I've been. The smell of manure from the cattle feedlots is simply awful and permeates the whole town!

tpassin's picture
tpassin

I've stayed overnight many times in Amarillo and didn't usually notice the smell.  Maybe the wind direction at the time... Talk about feed lots, the area around Dodge City, KS is littered with them.  Driving into town was a wretched experience.

Precaud's picture
Precaud

"getting out of Dodge"...

Yippee's picture
Yippee

of the yogurt-making process that you'd like to discuss? There isn't really much to it.

Yippee 

Precaud's picture
Precaud

just curious how others were doing it.

Yippee's picture
Yippee

I noticed this a while back, so I've stopped using homemade yogurt as a starter.

I typically make either 1L or 3L of yogurt at a time.

For a 1L batch, I use a yogurt machine that accommodates a 1L milk carton. I add 1-2 tablespoons of store-bought plain yogurt directly into the carton, shake it, set the machine to 40°C, and in around 6 hours, I have fresh yogurt.

 

To prepare a 3L batch, I use the Instant Pot by placing a jar with 3-6 tablespoons of store-bought plain yogurt and unheated milk (preferred method; less cleanup/work) or pouring the milk and yogurt directly into the pot. I set up a 45°C water bath to cover most of the jar. As the jar rises above the pot's rim, I use an inverted 5 Qt Dutch oven as a lid. After pressing "yogurt," it's ready in about 8 hours.

 

I can achieve a firm yogurt texture similar to commercial ones without adding milk powder or boiling the milk by using ultra-filtered, high-protein milk, such as Fairlife.

 

Yippee

albacore's picture
albacore

Actually I think there's quite a lot to making yoghurt. Just a few things to consider:

  • milk: fat content
  • milk processing - raw/pasteurised/UHT
  • addition of milk powder to increase solids content
  • starter - freeze dried culture or made yoghurt. If made yoghurt, then what type? Eg bio yoghurts not good for reculturing.
  • Milk heat treatment - time and temperature - eg 85C 30min or 90C 5 min
  • Inoculation rate
  • Fermentation temperature and time
  • strained or non-strained

So I would say that there are quite a few things to think about.

A good read from Mr.Sandor Katz, he of the fine moustache: 

https://www.splendidtable.org/story/2013/07/26/commercial-yogurt-starters-degrade-but-heirloom-cultures-last-generations

and for a scientific overview:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5302305/

Lance

Precaud's picture
Precaud

Thanks for the links, Lance. My process is identical to the one the article decribes, except a) I like it tangy and let go for 16 hours, and b) AFAIK, I don't have acccess to an "heirloom culture". 60 generations sounds great.

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

I purchased Dahi brand . It’s amazing compared to anything available in regular US stores. I found it at Costco. The difference is it has 4 different live cultures and it is a fermented yogurt , undergoes a different process to produce it. Supposedly one can’t replicate that fermentation process but I have to say the yogurt I’ve been making over the past months with 1 Tbsp per qt of organic milk has been amazing. I heat my milk to 150° cool briefly to 125° very very gently stir in 1 Tb of yogurt from last batch and put on lid and use my $15 heating pad from Walmart inside a small zip up cooler. 7 hrs exactly and I have incredible mild yogurt. We like a very mild yogurt and this fits our tastes perfectly. 

Using less yogurt per qt to inoculate gives a thicker result… counterintuitive but in this case less is definitely better. Also never ever stir in culture vigorously barely mix it in. Use organic whole milk and barely heat … see above. A cheap heating pad from the pharmacy is perfect I have mine on high. 

Hope this provides some alternative information. c

Breadzik's picture
Breadzik

and other dairy go into making some great loaves. I started making yogurt after I got a sous vide machine and was looking for more things to do with it. I found a recipe in Cook's Illustrated where you take 3 3/4 cups of milk and heat it in a pot to 110 F and add 1/4 cups plain yogurt. Then it goes into a jar and into a sous vide bath at 110 F for 5 - 24 hours, but I found it best at about 8 - 10 hour mark. I use UHT milk (current favorite is A2) to skip the scalding step. I try different commercial yogurts and they all work, including skyr, although I stay away from lower fat ones. Whole milk is where it's at for me.

wilkins.robert's picture
wilkins.robert

I just started using sous vide to make yogurt....

I had a vintage one quart yogurt machine that could no longer generate enough heat to get the culture to do its thing. I though about replacing it, but I thought I'd see what kind of results I got with the sous vide machine. I set the machine a 12 hrs at 112 F.  I got outstanding results: great texture smooth finish  Better. yet, I managed to process a gallon of whole milk with a culture I salvaged from my previous attempts. Great texture, smooth finish. Once cooled and refrigerated, the yogurt was comparable to the best I've purchased. 

SueVT's picture
SueVT

I have a cheesemaking background, so that influences how I approach this.... I make a gallon of yogurt at a time in the Instant Pot.

First, I do a 3 minute steam cycle on the Instant Pot to sanitize it. Use about a cup of water then dump it out at the end.

Next, I put in a gallon of very good quality whole milk. I cover this with the silicone lid or parchment paper, and place in the Anova Precision oven at 50% steam, 195F for about 45 minutes, or until the milk temperature is at least  185F. This is to ensure that the milk proteins are denatured, which ensures a "short" texture instead of "ropy" yogurt. Covering the milk while heating prevents skinning. I have found that this method of heating the milk is best, as it does not "cook" onto the bottom of the container while gradually heating.

All thermometers, spoons and other utensils that touch the yogurt must be sanitized by boiling.

I put the hot milk (in the Instant Pot dish) in a bath of cold water until it reads 120F. Then I mix in 2 cups of dry milk powder until fully dissolved. This will produce a thicker final product. The temperature should drop to about 110F while doing this, at which time it is ready to accept the yogurt culture. I use Yo Prox 569 from Bioprox, available from cheeseconnection.net.  There are many other cultures available, and they all will last a long time in the freezer if tightly wrapped. Only a very small amount is needed for one gallon of milk.

Sprinkle the culture (I am only adding about 1/8 tsp) over the surface of the milk while stirring, incorporating it fully for a couple of minutes. I do one more thing, adding two drops of rennet, but this step is optional.

I cover the Instant Pot container with a piece of waxed paper held in place with a rubber band just below the edge, trimming away the excess paper. Then put it in the Instant Pot, put on the metal lid and use the yogurt setting, I do 9 hours.

Refrigerate overnight and enjoy......

albacore's picture
albacore

A great procedure! I am interested in your rennet addition; do the 2 drops of rennet per gallon give a noticeably firmer product?

Lance

SueVT's picture
SueVT

Hi Lance,

Yes IMO there is a small improvement with the rennet; however, ONLY two small drops and only if it is added to milk while vigorously stirring. Stir and lift from the bottom of the pot to help it mix in uniformly. Too much rennet or milk which is not absolutely fresh and it coagulates and releases too much whey, which you don't want. Not for the beginner..

I did a stage at Mons (affinage and cheesemaking) in Auvergne, and fell in love with the thick, set style of yogurt in France. So that has been my target. It is actually pretty easy to do. 

 

 

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017991-creamy-homemade-yogurt

Well over 1000 responses on NYT. Everyone has  THE BEST way to make yogurt LOL . It's wonderful that it is SO easy and attainable with almost anything you might have in your kitchen . Try placing  ingredients in a goat skin bag. c

Abe's picture
Abe

After being inspired by this thread, that rennet was discovered when they stored milk in waterskins made from the stomachs of ruminants. Fascinating. 

SueVT's picture
SueVT

Yes exactly. Both baking and cheesemaking have complex technical factors that work together to produce a result. It's interesting to consider how heat, salt, fermentation and chemical reactions were developed over time to convert or extend the life of various foods. 

I see it as a continuum with sour cream at one end and panettone at the other

Abe's picture
Abe

https://www.youtube.com/@GavinWebber

And I would take up chees making if I had the space and means. What is also fascinating is kefir grains. Making more kefir with a previous batch of kefir will not produce more grains. But when you make a new batch of kefir with grains the grains multiply. They came about through a spontaneous ferment, much like keeping milk in waterskins made from stomachs of ruminants, but so far it hasn't been able to be replicated. So every kefir grain today came from that original batch. 

rondayvous's picture
rondayvous

I make a Greek style yogurt, mostly for the whey for bread making. 

I've found I get a much thicker yogurt when I hold the 2 quarts of milk at 185 -190 F for about 15 minutes,  then leave it covered to cool for a little over an hour to hour and a half. Once it has cooled to 115-120F I mix in a tbl of whatever store bought yogurt my wife happens to have in the fridge/or use leftovers from my last batch.

If the milk is not thoroughly denatured it is much less likely to be thick . After sitting @110F overnight it is ready to be cooled,  then strained. 

Ultra pasteurized milks don't work well, and adding dried milk as a thickener, can work,  but I think it alters the flavor. 

Thoroughly denaturing milk and keeping everything extremely sterile will let you keep a strain vibrant longer. 

jo_en's picture
jo_en

delete