If you usually purchase yogurt, now it is time to consider making homemade yogurt. This way has many benefits. For example, yogurt you bought contains much sugar and other preservatives or it may be not fresh at all. You can read the supplement facts and you will know the truth. Therefore, we should make yogurt at home if possible. Of course, the easiest way to make your own at home is to use a yogurt maker; you can read my previous to find the best yogurt maker. However, if you don’t plan to get one, such a maker is not necessary. This means we can make yogurt without a machine. In the past, there were not makers, but our grandmothers also could make yogurt.
Things we need
- A candy thermometer – we know the temperature is very important In the process of fermentation. Therefore, we need a thermometer to measure the temperature.
- A large container – we need to use a container for mixing. Both glass and stainless steel containers are OK.
- A sterilized and a whisk or porcelain containers – use them for storage.
Sterilization is also very important, or your yogurt will be ruined by undesirable bacteria. Sterilization is also very easy. You can put your clean equipment in a large pot and add water to boil for one minute. All the bacteria will be killed in boiling water. You also can run clean equipment through the rinse cycle of the dishwater. And there are many hot resources you can choose from, like oven, hot sun, crockpot, or a wide-mouthed Thermos container.
You also can check my previous posts for full details: How to make yogurt without a Yogurt Maker.
If you find your yogurt is not thickening properly, there is something wrong. If you use a starter yogurt, make sure it is enough and active. You also need to control the temperature and the best temperature should be between 100 to 110 degrees F. Too high temperature will kill the starter yogurt, while too low temperature will cause insufficient and slow fermentation.
Make sure the utensils must be clean and don’t move them once the milk mixture begins to incubate. If you don’t love too tart yogurt, just make it incubate for less time. And don’t incubate for too long time, or you will find the whey is separating the yogurt. This problem also happens if the mixture is stirred or the utensils are moved.
The whole process will cost about 8 to 10 hours, so you need to be patient and don’t need to worry about spoilage. The perishable protein in milk will be attacked by the lactic acid causing fermentation. Basically, the longer it incubates, the more lactic acid is produced. However, too long time (more than 10 hours) at 100 degrees is also not recommended, because mold might be produced. Therefore, once the yogurt has ripened, it is time to stop the fermentation process. Add some sugar if you love sweet taste. You also can add some fruit with sugar and sugar will help to preserve fruit. At last, put it in your refrigerator for long time storage. It is recommended to drink it within a week.
I have to admit that a yogurt maker helps me a lot, because I don’t need to monitor the temperature and the machine can keep the temperature between 100 to 110 degrees F. Therefore, if you want to make yogurt easily, a machine is the best choice.