Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Yogurt Chronicles I

I've made yogurt several times now, and I still trying to figure out the most efficient way to get the best yogurt.  Although I started with the crockpot method, lately I've been following Kitchen Stewardship's instructions.  My first few attempts at yogurt I used store bought plain yogurt as the culture, but now I'm experimenting with the awesome yogurt cultures I got for Christmas.  Yogurt naturally comes in different flavors...who knew?

On my first attempt using the cultures, I divided one packet between 2 mason jars of milk. (Per the directions, I should have added a packet to each jar.)  I let it incubate for probably 4 or 5 hours.  The flavor was fantastic -- sweeter and not as tart as regular plain yogurt.  However, the consistency was almost that of a drinkable yogurt.  I ended up straining most of it through cheesecloth.

This time, I divided 3/4 gallon of creamline milk between 3 mason jars.  After heating the milk to 185 degrees and then allowing it to cool on the counter to 112 degrees, I evenly divided two packets of cultures between the 3 jars (~1/4 tsp each).  I let the yogurt incubate in a cooler for about 14 hours, adding more boiling water after 5 hours (before I went to bed).  I'm pretty pleased with the results.  I wish the yogurt was a smidge thicker, but that's nothing that a bit of cheesecloth can't fix.

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