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Old 03-25-2008, 11:20 AM   #31  
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Here are the variations I've tried:

3 cups 2% milk and 2 T Stoneybrook plain organic yogurt, incubated for 8-ish hours in the oven set to 100deg. Flavor was good, tangy, but very watery. I strained for 3 hours in a mesh strainer lined with coffee filters and got a very thick, very creamy, very yummy yogurt which I mixed with home canned jam for a really good bagel spread. But after straining I was left with ~1 cup of yogurt. Not much out of 3 cups of milk.

4 cups 2% milk, 2/3 cup dried fat-free milk solids, 4 T Stoneybrook plain organic yogurt. Incubated for 8-ish hours in the oven set to 100deg. Much, much thicker yogurt. I strained in the strainer lined with coffee filters for 1 hour and got a good consistency and a little over 3 cups of yogurt. Flavor was slightly sweeter (due to the milk solids?) but became tangier after a day of refrigeration. This I've mixed with thawed frozen fruit and a little honey, mixed with a mashed avocado, mixed with chopped cucumber and mint, and just eaten plain by the spoonful. I have about a cup left and will probably use it in tonights salad.

Today's batch:
4 cups 2% milk, 1 can ff evap milk, 4 T Stoneybrook plain organic yogurt. Currently incubating in the oven, will see how it comes out tonight.

This is really a lot of fun. I found out that it's easier to keep track if I work in batches that start with multiples of 2 cups of milk. I also think the proportions of 1 T of yogurt to 1 cup of milk makes a nice, tangy yogurt. I might try with cutting that back ... but we'll see. So right now I'm working on a basic recipe of:
For every 2 cups millk:
1/3 cup milk solids
2 T yogurt (starter)

Then multiply or adjust accordingly. My medium sauce pot holds 4 cups of milk easily, so that's the amount I'm mostly working with.

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Last edited by PhotoChick; 03-25-2008 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:10 PM   #32  
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Can you tell how much fun I'm having making my own yogurt?! I just made frozen yogurt using a really really tart yogurt that I made. I just added a little bit of honey to it and threw it in the ice cream machine. It is sooooo good! It tastes like Pinkberry's original tart but better! I <3 homemade yogurt!
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:15 PM   #33  
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Default Hey, great idea!

I'm kind of a slow thinker and if I can keep my Dh head out of the yogurt container I just might be able to make some frozen yogurt. That would be excellent, considering the the SF ice cream stuff is making me a little "pooty"!
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:59 PM   #34  
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I haven't tried frozen yogurt yet, but I think I will with the next batch. I have a large jar that I picked up at the Container Store, so I can incubate a larger batch. I think I'll start with 6 cups milk this time and instead of straining, throw the whole thing into the ice cream maker w/ some fresh fruit and honey.

Mmmm. That already sounds heavenly.

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Old 04-01-2008, 07:57 AM   #35  
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Hey PC: Did the frozen yogurt turn icy or were you able to scoop it after it came out of the freezer. I made a diet ice cream and it was like eating ice!
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:18 AM   #36  
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I am using up all of my purchased yogurt before I make any more. After that all of my yogurt is going to be homemade. Thanks for starting this thread!

My purchased yogurt (Stater Brothers house brand) has modified corn starch in it. Is that related to the dreaded HFCS? I am probably going to Trader Joe's this week, so I will get some yogurt from there that is organic and corn free (I hope).

What do any of you think about freezing yogurt in ice cube trays to use for future starters? I think that was mentioned in the Hillbilly site. It seems to me that freezing might kill the culture. Has anyone tried it? I can only get regular commercial yogurt here, so if I could freeze from TJ's it would be very helpful.

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Old 04-01-2008, 11:31 AM   #37  
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What do any of you think about freezing yogurt in ice cube trays to use for future starters?
I just started doing it and it seems to work well. It's not cold that kills the cultures - it's heat. My last batch was made with yogurt cubes and it incubated just fine.

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Old 04-01-2008, 01:10 PM   #38  
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Great! Thanks. The other thing that kind of irks me about my grocery store is that except for the store brand, I have to buy Mountain Home (not sure of the name), and Stony farm in a quart container. Since I'm the only one who eats it, I need a smaller container.
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:32 PM   #39  
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Frozen yogurt = success. I used my Cuisinart ice cream maker - the one where you put the bucket in the freezer for 24 hours first. I mixed a quart of yogurt with 1/8 cup of Splenda and a bag of frozen tart cherries. Then put it in the ice cream make and treated it just like ice cream.

It froze up nice and creamy with swirls of cherry juice and chunks of cherry in it. It's a bit tart, since i only used 1/8 cup of Splenda, but I like it.

I'll definitely make this again as the summer gets hotter.

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Old 04-03-2008, 04:54 PM   #40  
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I made my second batch of yogurt last night. I added more powdered milk this time under the impression that it would make the yogurt thicker/creamier - but hmm, it's not setting up so well! This morning after it had incubated for 9ish hours, it's kind of wobbly. Not like liquid but not set up nice like store-bought yogurt is. It reminds me of jello and thoroughly grossed out my coworkers when one compared it to the consistency of snot Tastes just fine, though!

There was this layer on top about a half inch thick of really beautiful, thick yogurt, and then the rest of it was wobbly. Like the bacteria only worked so hard and then gave up

Like I said, it still tastes fantastic and I'm very proud of it, I just hope I master the art of making yogurt that doesn't have the consistency of snot at some point

EDIT: It occurs to me that I think I know went wrong. I think I didn't keep it warm enough. That would account for the partial result I feel I got... I'll need to make the next batch during the day when I can check on it, instead of at night when I just let it sit and let the heat escape.

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Old 04-03-2008, 05:00 PM   #41  
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Two things: I keep my oven set at 105 when I'm incubating. I'm lucky that I can set my oven that low.

Also mine is still a *tad* watery for my tastes, even though adding the powdered milk does help some from just straight milk/yogurt, so I strain it through a coffee filter for about an hour before refrigerating it. It thickens it up just enough. You can strain for longer (my first batch I strained for about 3-4 hours) and get a creamier, almost cream-cheese consistency.

Edit: Also as it chills, it will thicken up some as well. Give it a good stir after a day in the fridge and it'll be thicker.

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Last edited by PhotoChick; 04-03-2008 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:14 PM   #42  
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I have a "warm" setting which is below 200 - I'm unsure what the exact temp is. I've been preheating it to "warm" and then turning it off when I stick the yogurt in... Perhaps that's the problem!! How long do you incubate in your oven, PhotoChick?
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:08 PM   #43  
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Last night's batch I put in at about 12:30 in the morning and took out at 8 a.m. or so. It was a little runny when I pulled it out, so I gave it a good stir and put it in the fridge. Tonight it's just the right texture.

Another thing you can do is leave it on the kitchen counter, but set the jar on a heating pad set on low, and padded with a couple of dishtowels.

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Last edited by PhotoChick; 04-03-2008 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:46 PM   #44  
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Incubating at a consistent temperature is key for yogurt success! So is heating the yogurt to 180 degrees F to kill off any competing bacteria (obviously letting cool to 115 degrees before adding starter.) I use a yogurt maker that I found at a yard sale. If other incubation methods don't work out for you, maybe you can check out yard sales and thrift stores for a maker. I think Amazon sells one too.

Photochick~I'm confused that you say stirring helps thicken it. Have you tried leaving it to chill in the fridge without stirring before? I've always been under the impression that stirring it breaks down protein bonds and makes it less thick. At least that's what Alton Brown said on his yogurt episode. Who knows, maybe the info I've heard is wrong?

I find that adding 1/2 cup powdered milk to 1 quart of fresh milk produces a yogurt that is very close to the consistency of store bought. Of course given the variables everyone's "recipe for success" will be different. I also use whole milk, so I wonder if the fat helps with thickness.

Does everyone know that the yellowish liquid that ends up on the top can be poured off and used in place of buttermilk? The liquid is whey and can be used in any recipe calling for buttermilk. It has a lot less calories then buttermilk too. Whenever go go to scoop out some yogurt, I pour the whey into another jar to save for this purpose.
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:09 PM   #45  
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Quote:
Photochick~I'm confused that you say stirring helps thicken it.
No no no no no. I'm not saying that stirring helps thicken. Chilling it helps thicken it. I just give it a good stir to incorporate the whey that rises to the top during incubation.

It's just part of the process I follow ... rather than straining off the whey and then chilling it.

Edited: I see the confusion. When I say "give it a good stir after a day in the fridge" is to say that you'll see it's thicker when you stir it - it will feel thicker after a day in the fridge. Not that the act of stirring it makes it thicker.

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Last edited by PhotoChick; 04-03-2008 at 11:10 PM.
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