Yogurt making – temperature

When fermenting, yogurt must be kept around 110o F(43 o C). A cooler environment will not facilitate fermentation, and higher temperatures will kill the bacteria needed for fermentation.  Also, the maintenance of a consistent safe temperature keeps your yogurt safe to eat once finished. The best results are usually assured by the use of an incubator.

YOGURT MAKING – How to Make Yogurt From Unpasteurized (Raw) Milk

Making yogurt with unpasteurized raw milk is pretty much the same as making it from pasteurized milk you might bite the store. However, there are a couple of very important points that need to be made in the interest of your own health and safety:

  • first, you need to be sure that you get your fresh raw milk from a reputable source that you trust.
  • Second, you need to be sure the milk comes from healthy animals that are not taking antibiotics are being treated for some form of disease or illness.
  • Lastly, unpasteurized raw milk must be brought to the boiling point and pasteurize before making yogurt from it otherwise any number of on healthy bacteria can be in that milk, including such nasty critters as E. coli.

I grew up on a home farm where my mother always kept small stable milk cows, and we always drink our milk raw. It certainly didn’t do anything to us except keep us healthy, but my mother and all of us were exceptionally careful about the milking process, collection, and the immediate refrigeration are fraught raw milk. If we were ever in doubt about the safety or quality of the milk or the and health of the animal came from that milk would have been thrown out without question. My mother had a big emphasis on “when in doubt throw it out” the rule which is still rule I live by today regarding all food.

So, here is a quick outline of the process for making yogurt from unpasteurized raw milk.

What You Need:

  • Milk – You can make yogurt from whole milk or skimmed (cream removed) milk fresh raw milk.
  • Starter culture – The options available for your starter culture include powdered starter culture, store-bought yogurt, or homemade yogurt from a previous batch.
  • Yogurt Incubator – The incubator is important for maintaining your milk and culture mix at about 110 F to 115 F for close to five to eight hours. Therefore, options available to you include a yogurt maker, thermos, or heat keeper jugs. You maintain the needed temperatures for the required amount of time, and you ensure equal distribution of heat throughout the incubator to prevent the occurrence of some hot and cool spots.
  • Other requirements – include heavy, large pots, candy thermometer (preferably one with a clip for attachment), large spoon or whisk, storage containers, cheesecloth, colander, ladle, both large and small bowls.

How to make yogurt from unpasteurized milk

1. Clean all your tools

Did you know that you actually need a bacterium known as Lactobacillus bulgaricus to make good yogurt? Keeping in mind all the microorganisms, including other bacteria, present all around us, it is always advisable to wash and even sterilize all your yogurt making equipment and surfaces to avoid introducing other unwanted bacteria. Some clean their tools with boiling water, but thorough handwashing is also enough.

2. Heat the milk

— Important —

Unpasteurized (raw) milk must be heated to near the to the boiling point, not boiled, to kill the bacteria.

—————————-

Additionally, heating the milk for some extra minutes helps in concentrating it so that your yogurt can be thicker.

3. Cool the milk back

After heating your milk to the boiling point, cool it back down to 110 F-115 F. Make use of your thermometer to track the temperatures. Also, keep stirring to ensure even cooling.

4. Add your starter culture

When using a powdered starter, it is okay to whisk it in according to the amount specified on the packaging. However, when using yogurt as a starter culture, it is advisable to first isolate a small amount of the milk and keep adding it to the starter culture and stir until all of it has been mixed. This is because adding cold yogurt directly to the milk will slow down the incubation by suddenly dropping the temperatures too much.

5. Incubate

Use your ladle to transfer the milk and culture mix to your incubator of choice. The main importance of incubation is to maintain your milk and culture mix at the stated temperature for 5 to 10 hours undisturbed. However, keep in mind that shorter incubation periods under cooler temperatures will produce sweeter, thinner yogurt while longer and hotter incubation periods will produce tarter and thicker yogurt.

6. Check if it is done

After the first 5 hours, it is okay to start checking hourly if your yogurt is done. When ready, your yogurt should start looking firm. Moreover, it will get more acidic with each passing hour.

7. Store your yogurt

Once your yogurt is done, it is okay to put it in the fridge. It will remain safe and usable for about two weeks. As always, the “when in doubt throw it out,” the rule applies.

Related References

YOGURT MAKING – Making Greek Yogurt At Home

If you’ve been wondering how to make Greek yogurt at home, this article is for you. In it, we dive into the steps to take to make rich, creamy, and delicious Greek yogurt for less than the price commercial alternatives. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it!!

Ingredients you’ll need for two servings:

  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1/4 plain yogurt with active culture or yogurt starter culture (according to package directions)

Active Preparation Time:

  • 40 minutes

Ready In:

  • 18 hours

How to make Greek Yogurt in 3 Easy Steps:

Step #1 – Heat the milk

  • Heat your milk in a non-stick pot over medium or medium-low heat.
  • Stir frequently, until the milk starts steaming, but before it starts bubbling.
  • Use a candy or instant-read thermometer to determine when it registers 180F.

Caution

  • Don’t leave the milk unattended as it is likely to boil over quickly, stick, or burn.

Optional

  • If working with pasteurized milk, this step is not strictly required but may impact the texture of your yogurt.  At a minimum, your yogurt should be brought to room temperature before starting the process.

Step #2 – Make yogurt

  • Get a clean 5-8-cup container that is heat-safe and pour the milk into it.
  • Leave it to stand for a while, stirring it frequently.
  • Once it has cooled to about 110 F – 115 F, it’s time to combine the yogurt with 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl or yogurt starter culture.
  • Then stir the mixture into the rest of the warm milk and cover the container.
  • Place in an incubator and leave to stand until mixture is thickened and tangy (8-12 hours).

Step #3 – Refrigerate and Filter

  • Line a strainer or funnel with either a coffee filter or two layers of cheesecloth. I use a clean square of an old white tee-shirt for this, and it works just fine.  This is what will allow the liquid to drain out of the yogurt while leaving the milk solids behind.
  • Fill the funnel or strainer with the yogurt.
  • Cover the top of the strainer with cellophane wrap. Make sure that you get a tight seal.
  •  Place the strainer over a large bowl with space between the bottom of your strainer and the bottom of the bowl to capture the liquid that is going to drip out.
  • Put the strainer with the bowl under it into your refrigerate.
  • Let yogurt set in the strainer for eight hours or more, longer if you want your Greek yogurt thicker. I usually check the catch bowl and empty a few times to keep too much liquid from accumulating. The longer your yogurt sits in your refrigerator, the thicker your Greek yogurt will be. But don’t leave your yogurt too long or you will have yogurt cheese with a text similar to cream cheese.
  • That’s it; now you can remove your Greek yogurt and store your Greek yogurt in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Conclusion

These are the concise steps to follow to make Greek yogurt easily at home.

Related References

YOGURT MAKING – How to Make Yogurt From Pasteurized Milk

These days, a quick trip to the grocery store will reveal an ever-increasing number of yogurt flavors. So, why learn to make your own yogurt when you can easily rush to the nearest grocery store and grab several cups? Well, for starters, doing it yourself gives you the chance to learn many facts about yogurt. For example, did you know that pasteurized milk makes the best yogurt? If you didn’t, now you do, and here is a complete guide on how to make yogurt from pasteurized milk.

What You Need:

  • Milk – You can make yogurt from whole milk, 2% skimmed milk, organic and local milk. However, pasteurized milk makes the best yogurt, and that is what we shall use in this discussion.
  • Starter culture – The options available for your starter culture include powdered starter culture, store-bought yogurt, or homemade yogurt from a previous batch.
  • Yogurt Incubator – The incubator is important for maintaining your milk and culture mix at about 110 F to 115 F for close to five hours. Therefore, options available to you include a yogurt maker, thermos, or heat keeper jugs. You can also use several mason jars filled with hot water and placed in a cooler. Feel free to get creative as long as you maintain the needed temperatures for the required amount of time, and you ensure equal distribution of heat throughout the incubator to prevent the occurrence of some hot and cool spots.
  • Other requirements – include heavy, large pots, candy thermometer (preferably one with a clip for attachment), large spoon or whisk, storage containers, cheesecloth, colander, ladle, both large and small bowls.

How to make yogurt from pasteurized milk

1. Clean all your tools

Did you know that you actually need a bacterium known as Lactobacillus bulgaricus to make good yogurt? Keeping in mind all the microorganisms, including other bacteria, present all around us, it is always advisable to wash and even sterilize all your yogurt making equipment and surfaces to avoid introducing other unwanted bacteria. Some clean their tools with boiling water, but thorough handwashing is also enough.

2. Heat the milk

While it is possible to make yogurt without heating the milk first, it is always advisable to first heat your pasteurized milk to the boiling point. This will help get rid of any bacteria present. Moreover, heating the milk for some extra minutes helps in concentrating it so that your yogurt can be thicker.

3. Cool the milk back

After heating your milk to the boiling point, cool it back down to 110 F-115 F. Make use of your thermometer to track the temperatures. You can also use an ice bath to speed up the process. Also, keep stirring to ensure even cooling.

4. Add your starter culture

When using a powdered starter, it is okay to whisk it in according to the amount specified on the packaging. However, when using yogurt as a starter culture, it is advisable to first isolate a small amount of the milk and keep adding it to the starter culture and stir until all of it has been mixed. This is because adding cold yogurt directly to the milk will slow down the incubation by suddenly dropping the temperatures too much.

5. Incubate

Use your ladle to transfer the milk and culture mix to your incubator of choice. The main importance of incubation is to maintain your milk and culture mix at the stated temperature for 5 to 10 hours undisturbed. However, keep in mind that shorter incubation periods under cooler temperatures will produce sweeter, thinner yogurt while longer and hotter incubation periods will produce tarter and thicker yogurt.

6. Check if it is done

After the first 5 hours, it is okay to start checking hourly if your yogurt is done. When ready, your yogurt should start looking firm. Moreover, it will get more acidic with each passing hour.

7. Store your yogurt

Once your yogurt is done, it is okay to put it in the fridge. It will be sweeter within the first few days, but after that, it will start tasting sour over time. It will remain good for about two weeks.

Final Words on How to Make Yogurt from Pasteurized Milk

While pasteurized milk makes the best yogurt, use ultra-pasteurized milk does not culture as easily as regular pasteurized milk and some people have reported failed incubation when using ultra-pasteurized milk to make yogurt.  Having given this advice, I will admit that I have not had this problem and I have been using ultra-pasteurized milk to make yogurt for years.

Related References

What is Yogurt?

Yogurt is milk, which has been fermented using bacteria referred to as yogurt cultures. When yogurt cultures ferment the lactose in milk, it produces lactic acid which works on milk protein resulting in a characteristic tart flavor and texture that separate yogurt from other dairy products.

Although most yogurt available globally is made using cow milk, yogurt can also be made using milk from goats, buffalos, camels, yaks, ewes, and mares. The milk may or may not be homogenized or pasteurized. 

The process of making yogurt, as well as the milk used makes it possible to have different types of yogurt. 
Some countries have regulations governing the number of bacteria (colony-forming units of bacteria) that should be contained in yogurt. In China, for instance, yogurt should have 1 million CFU+ of lactobacillus bacteria per milliliter.

To make yogurt, the milk must be heated to approximately 185 F or 85 C. Heating is necessary for denaturing milk proteins and prevent them from forming curds. The milk is then cooled to about 113 F or 45 C before the yogurt culture is added. The temperature is maintained for 4 -12 hours to enable fermentation. The resulting yogurt is usually sweetened and flavored to remove its natural sourness. 

Related References

How To Make Yogurt Cheese At Home?

Have you ever wondered how to make yogurt cheese at home? Well, if you have, it’s probably a lot easier than you might have imagined it would be. In fact, it’s so easy that you can do all of the prep work in just a few minutes. What is yogurt cheese? It’s yogurt that is thickened, which makes it similar in consistency to cream cheese. How do you make it at home?

  • Start with 1 cup or more of yogurt and make sure that it is real yogurt with live active cultures.
  • Take a strainer or funnel and line it with either a coffee filter or two layers of cheesecloth. Actually, I use a clean square of an old white teeshirt for this, and it works just fine.  This is what will allow the liquid to drain out of the yogurt while leaving the milk solids behind.
  • Fill the funnel or stainer with the yogurt.
  • Cover the top of the funnel or strainer with plastic wrap. Make sure that you get a tight seal if you don’t; then your yogurt cheese may not come out with the right consistency.
  • Place the strainer or funnel over a large bowl with space between the bottom of your strainer and the bottom of the bowl to capture the liquid that is going to drip out.
  • Put the strainer or funnel, with the bowl under it into your refrigerate. Let yogurt set in the strainer for at least a day, longer if you want your yogurt cheese thicker. I usually check the catch bowl and empty a few times to keep too much liquid from accumulating. The longer your yogurt cheese sits in your refrigerator, the thicker it will become.
  • That’s it; now you can remove your yogurt cheese and store your yogurt cheese in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Conclusion

Once your yogurt cheese is finished, make sure that you keep it refrigerated. It is a dairy product, so leaving it out at room temperature for a lengthy period of time will cause it to spoil. You should also use the yogurt cheese you’ve made within about a week. Any longer and it could spoil.

Related References

Is Milk Yogurt Fermented Food?

Is Yogurt Fermented Food?

  • In a word, yes. Yogurt is produced when specific types of bacteria are added to milk. These bacteria produce lactic acid, which is what gives yogurt it’s unique sour taste. The fermentation process also results in the milk becoming thicker, which transforms it from liquid milk into a semi-solid yogurt.

Yogurt Is A Popular Food Worldwide

  • Yogurt is a very popular fermented food around the world, and that popularity has only increased in recent years as more people have learned about the health benefits that it offers. The live active cultures in yogurt aid in digestion, and help to improve your overall health.

Live Active Culture Milk Yogurt Is Best

  • If you are interested in the health benefits of yogurt, make sure that you only buy and eat real yogurt. There are many fake or look-a-like products on the market which are marketed as yogurt, but they are, in fact, simply artificially thickened products and may not even contain milk. To get the health benefits of yogurt, make sure that you only purchase yogurt that is made the traditional way with live active cultures

Related References