Today, Olivia and I made homemade yogurt, this year we’re committed to getting more beneficial bacteria into our daily diet. Specifically, we are trying to find ways to incorporate healthy raw dairy into Luke’s diet (Luke is Olivia’s husband).
Making yogurt at home is not complicated nor time consuming, it is really very easy!
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Total Time, including incubation: 5 & 1/2 to 24 hours
8 – 1/2 pint jelly canning jars with lids
Crock pot (that will hold all 8 jelly jars)
5 quart (or larger) pot with lid
Candy or cheese making thermometer
1/2 Gallon Organic Raw Milk
2 packs of Yogourmet (or yogurt starter culture of your choice)
2 teaspoons Organic Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Local Honey
Over medium heat bring 1/2 gallon of milk to 120 degrees, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, add honey and vanilla, mix well to incorporate. Again, over medium heat, bring milk mixture to 185 degrees, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover pot with lid and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Place covered pot of milk mixture into kitchen sick (with drain stopper in place) add cold water 3/4 of the way up the sides of the pot, cooling mixture to 110 degrees, remove from water bath. Combine 1/2 cup of the cooled milk mixture with 2 packs of Yogourmet, make sure culture is fully dissolved, then add back into the pot, stir very well.
Using a ladle and canning funnel, fill jars and cover with lids. Place the jars in your crock pot and fill 1/2 way up the sides of the filled jars with warm water (about 100 degrees). Put lid on crock pot and incubate yogurt on the warm setting – occasionally check the temperature of the water in your crock pot, it needs to stay between 100 and 125 degrees. You can turn off your crock pot (wrap with a bath towel for insulation) if it’s getting too warm.
Depending on desired taste and consistency, your yogurt will need to incubate in your crock pot a minimum of 5 hours up to 24 hours (at low temperature incubation) I have found that 10 hours yields a flavor I like best. Keep in mind that your yogurt will thicken and deepen in flavor after it is cooled in the refrigerator.
It’s really important to not let your yogurt incubate at temperatures over 130 degrees, it will kill the culture. If you need to leave your yogurt incubating unattended (over night, at work, etc) bring crock pot water to 125 degrees, insulate by wrapping with a bath towel, and turn off crock pot. At lower temperatures your yogurt will incubate slower, but a safer method.
Personally, we love the portability of the individual 1 cup serving size jelly jars filled with yogurt.
I toss a few frozen berries into the yogurt jar in the morning and then take with me for lunch, maybe take along a a little granola to mix in too!
Remember to reserve about 1/4 cup of your homemade yogurt to use as your starter culture for your next batch!