Homemade Yogurt-45 Days Later

malnaSeptember 17, 2012

I'm experimenting.

I made a batch and put it in sterilized wide mouth pint jars - left 1/4" headspace. Put it in the dehydrator with just a plastic storage lid on it. When I took them out, I put a canning lid on the jars while they were still warm and put them right in the fridge.

I suppose it's a form of open kettle canning, but I popped open a jar tonight and it's just great. I dated all the jars so I'm going to see how long they will last (flavor wise, too). Any bets? Four more jars to go.

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I'll be curious how well it fares. I've really gotten into making my own Greek yoghurt this summer. Even using a quarter cream, what I'm producing still costs less than a third of the stuff in the store. I drain some (saving the whey for bread!) and pack it in 1/2 pint jars with a big spoonful of jam for easy snacks at work. I freeze some of the undrained in cubes to toss in my morning smoothie. And I keep some of the undrained in a jar in the fridge to cook with -- and to start the next batch.

So far, I haven't been able to make a quart and a half last more than two weeks!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 7:14PM
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My problem is we seem to go through yogurt eating phases. For a while, I can't make it fast enough. Then all of a sudden, we don't eat it and it goes moldy. It just infuriates me to let things go bad (my own fault) and have to throw them away.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 3:05PM
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Yogurt freezes really well. Active cultures survive the temperatures.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 3:49PM
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I was just about to post that! I'm the same way with bread; having active starter sitting in the kitchen encourages me to make (and eat!) way too much. So I freeze the starter, and bring it out every couple of weeks, and make enough to give to friends.

I'll have to try it with the yoghurt starter, too!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 3:55PM
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I opened a jar I made on August 3 yesterday, so roughly 60 days later. Definitely tangier (which we like very much) so the flavor is changing. No mold, no sign of any "ick" factors.

The experiment continues...so far I'm pleased at the longevity.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:01PM
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malna, I'm looking forward to your continued reports on the yoghurt. What did you use as your starting culture?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:41PM
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For this batch, I used some from my previous batch. That batch started with some store bought Greek yogurt (Chobani brand I think).

It's been fun - we'll see what happens next month :-)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:31PM
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How do you make your own yogurt??

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:54AM
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Here's a link to yogurt making from NCHFP. The only tricky part is maintaining the incubation temperature, but once you get the hang of that, it's really easy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Yogurt Making

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 4:12PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I "incubate" mine in the oven.
After heating the milk, adding the culture and pouring into pint jars w/ lids I place in a big stock pot with very warm tap water up to the shoulder of the jar (you should still be able to stick your wrist under the water, but just barely). Put a lid on the pan.

Put a couple of towels over the top and stick the whole thing in the oven with just the light on. I have an electric oven.

I usually make mine in the evening, then pop them in the fridge in the morning.

Sometimes, in the winter, when we have the woodstove going I'll put the pot of water/yogurt by the stove and leave it overnight.

I mix yogurt, berries (fresh or thawed from the freezer), a little oatmeal (dry) and sweetener of choice in the Ball 1 cup freezer containers. I prefer the plastic container for breakfast on the go. I'd probably drop my glass 1/2 pint jar and break it!! :)


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 4:42PM
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Elery used to incubate his in a cooler with hot water and a towel wrapped around it.

I'm more technologically advanced, LOL, I just take all the racks out of my Excaliber dehydrator and set quart jars in there, I make a gallon at a time in quart jars.

I use the last of one batch as a starter for the next batch, but after several months/batches, it gets too sour and I have to buy a cup of plain yogurt to start a whole new batch.

I don't think any has never lasted 60 days, it's gone before then. I eat it, my girls use it to make fruit smoothies, I use it in place of sour cream for chili topping/etc, and I bake with it, using it in place of sour cream or buttermilk.

So, if it doesn't get eaten, it gets used anyway!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 12:44AM
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Well - I didn't do this on purpose. I had made yogurt and we often eat it frozen. I had probably made a batch in May of 2011 and then made frozen yogurt and just so happend I had a dieing tooth at the time and spent two days in pain from eating the frozen treat. Ended up with a root canal and all - end result, I had no desire to eat yogurt for a long, long time.

But after a year (yes a YEAR)I figured I should clean out my small fridge of the yogurt I never opened. I make mine in quart jars and it goes from the dehydrator to the fridge.

Though I was not going to eat it, every jar looked and smelled just fine. No sign of any mold, discoloration or anything like that. I made my current batch in June, and it's still fine. I think I either need to start eating more yogurt or making smaller batches. I normally make two gallons at a time - store bought milk heated to pasteurize, quickly cooled and inoculated and put into sterilized jars and into the dehydrator for 8 hours, then right into the fridge. BTW - I put those plastic Ball storage lids on the wide mouth canning jars, and they get very tight.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 8:18AM
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I just had to see what would happen if I tried making yogurt w/o heating the milk or incubating at higher than room temps so could compare to my kefir.

After 3 days at aprox 72 degrees the mixture had thickened up nicely and was 3.9 pH. Maybe comparable to the consistency of heavy cream. Wish I had opened the jar and tested at 24 hours.

Has anyone else tried this? Any safety issues here?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Been making lots of yogurt the last few weeks....

I much prefer my Excalibur because of the more precise temperature control, but the AH only varied by 5 degrees over 7 hours. Rather surprised me that I didn't have to drill air holes near the bottom of the bucket. I do 6 pints at a time.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 6:32PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I incubate my yogurt in my oven! I do heat it to pasteurization even though it is purchased milk, then cool it, inoculate and pop it in the oven in a big glass mixing bowl with a towel over it. PERFECT yogurt over night, every single time.
I will also use my oven as a dehydrator. The pilot light is on (vintage stove) all the time, so I like to keep things dehydrating in there all the time to get use from it. Herbs drying in the oven keep the house smelling so nice!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 11:38PM
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gardenman101(Z6 Spingfield, Ma)

I opened a jar that was about 3 months old and it was still good, no mold at all. I dont think Id risk it on a regular basis (im the only one who likes yougert in my family) I did mine in sterile canning jars (lids and all (covered) using an electric heating pad set to medium as the incubater and covered the jars (while incubating) with a heavy beach towel, has worked everytime. I do have a question, I like vanilla flavored yougert and I know Vanilla extact has alcahol in it, but would just putting in some vanilla bean itself still allow the yougurt to form?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 8:46PM
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>I do have a question, I like vanilla flavored yougert and I know Vanilla extact has alcahol in it, but would just putting in some vanilla bean itself still allow the yougurt to form?

I have read on yogurt websites that it does work, but haven't personally tried it. And I like vanilla in my yogurt too. Even 41% alcohol vanilla extract does not seem to hinder the process much in my observations and I have tried adding as much as 1 tsp per 12 oz of milk and starter(s) in pint jars. (all my yogurt is made in pint jars)

You might want to try adding maple syrup or raw honey to your yogurt in addition to or in place of vanilla. Adding flavors and/or sweeteners just before eating the yogurt seems to be the best way to go though.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 5:34PM
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I simply slice open a vanilla bean, scrape the innards out with the back of a knife, and toss the innards and the shell in with the milk while I heat it. Heavenly.

I tried steeping other spices with the milk with mixed results. Since I use the yogurt for both sweet and savory items, I found -- with the exception of the vanilla -- it was better to add the flavorings in after the whole process was done.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:18PM
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jomuir(z5 detroit)

I used to make my own yogurt approx. 20 years ago. A Lebanese lady taught me how, it was just using starter from commercial yogurt, warm milk in a crockery bowl, into the oven that was warmed & turned off as for raising bread dough. It was so good. I tried recently, and the results are fine. But. The yogurt now is 'slimy' and when I used to make it, a spoon would leave a distinct hole in the bowl of yogurt. Is there any way to get that old style? I used organic commercial yogurt this year. Taste is fine, but I'd really like to lose the slimy look it has....Does anyone know what I'm talking about here, or maybe it's my imagination.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 4:18PM
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My last jar of yogurt made on August 3rd has survived one hurricane, a two week power outage, a kitchen fire and is still yummy!

129 days is not bad considering the circumstances LOL.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:26PM
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missemerald(7 (Virginia))

Hmmm... I've never tried keeping yogurt that long; it never lasts around here. I make mine with soymilk in the crockpot, about 1/2 gallon at a time, and my daughter and I eat smoothies every morning for breakfast. I know to save a bit from the current batch as a starter for the next but can you save starter for the future as well? Would it freeze well? Or dehydrate?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 10:22PM
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gardenman101(Z6 Spingfield, Ma)

I have since made yougurt using vanilla and 2tbls honey in a 1gal batch and I tell you it tastes as close to Danins Vanilla as I can get. I made 5 qts and several pts the other day and they are all gone (last time I let family sample....lol) Before the only person that liked it was my son, so Im guessing I did something right. I dont think I will get the oppertunity to save it that long.
Miss Emerald, yes you can freeze some of your starter, just make sure when u use it it is completly thawed. I did try using it frozen but the results wernt as good.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:20PM
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missemerald(7 (Virginia))

Thanks, gardenman, I will try freezing it. I've also been making dairy yogurt in the crockpot for the family that can eat dairy, and everyone has been loving the results. I've just started straining the whey off it to make it thicker. Anyone have any good suggestions on how to use the whey? I have used it in one bread recipe (last week) and the results were awful. Need to keep trying!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 9:05AM
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