Making Yogurt

This morning I made a quart of yogurt. Here’s how:

I put a quart of 1% milk into a glass jar, added about 1/3 cup of plain yogurt that has the live and active culture. I used Mountain View but any plain yogurt will do as long as it has the live culture in it.
I stirred this vigourously with a fork, put the lid on the jar and then sat the jar into a deep pan and added water up to within an inch of the top.
I put this on a burner and turned the flame as low as possible.
When the water temperature reached 110 degrees (editor’s note: I believe this is what she meant, the original post was 110o, which I believe was 110 with the letter o for degree)
I turned burner off and covered the pan with a folded dish towel.
When it had cooled somewhat I removed the towel and again turned the burner on and repeated the process, I continued this for approximately 5 hours while doing my usual routine of laundry, cleaning etc.
At the end of this time I had a quart of plain yogurt.

This can be sweetened with a little honey, jelly or jam, fresh sliced fruit or whatever strikes your fancy. The only tricky part is to be sure not to let it heat beyond 110 degrees as the higher heat will “Kill” the live culture. I have heard of people setting the milk mixture on a heating pad and covering it. I might try that next as then I wouldn’t have to watch it so closely.
You can use a 1/3 cup of this yogurt as the starter for your next recipe.

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Diane - September 28, 2011

I have made yogurt while traveling from west to east across the Atlantic Ocean on a small sailboat. This is the easiest and best way I have found. Heat a quart of water to boiling. Put 1 cup of full cream powdered milk into a quart container and add enough room temperature water to mix well. When the water boils, pour enough of the boiling water into a wide mouth thermos to heat the inside, and pour about 1 3/4 cups of the hot water into the liquified powdered milk. Stir well and check to be sure the temperature is lukewarm–very comfortable to stick your finger in. Stir in about 1/3 cup of plain yogurt with active yogurt cultures, then stir in another cup of powdered milk. Empty the thermos (you can use the still hot water for tea, dishes or whatever) and put in the new yogurt mix. Put the cap on and wrap in a heavy towel or blanket and set in a reasonably warm place. Leave it for at least 8-10 hours. And that’s it. You should have nice, creamy yogurt.

    sam hutchison - November 6, 2012

    thank you very much for your recipe. it is nice to know the HBHW site, and people like you to share your recipe.
    thank you

Jane - October 1, 2011

Use however much milk as you want to make yogurt (1-1 ratio). Heat the milk to 180 degrees very slowly in a heavy bottomed pot so as not to scortch it (you can use a double boiler but I don’t). Let the milk stay at 180 degrees F for a minute. Cool milk to 115 degrees F. Use a thermometer like a candy thermometer. When milk is at 115, add the starter which is live culture yogurt – I use 2-3 T. or about 1/4 C from any good source plain yogurt – I like Greek style plain yogurt. After this you can just use your own homemade yogurt for starter. Now, you have to keep it warm at 110 degrees for 5 or 6 hours. I put the yogurt into my oven with the oven light on and wrap the container that the yogurt is in in a towel or blanket and that seems to work for me. If the temperature drops too far below 110 degrees you won’t get yogurt and if it’s too much above 110 degrees you will kill the yogurt culture. Sounds complicated but it’s not. I leave my yogurt in the oven overnight because that’s the way I like it. I prefer a very sour yogurt but check yours after 5 or 6 hours and see. If it’s too watery (I like thick yogurt) pour it into a colander lined with several layers of cheese cloth and let it drain for 1/2 hour or so – till it’s the thickness you like.
Enjoy your yogurt!

Holl;y - October 1, 2011

Any temp between 90 and 110 is fine, the cooler the temp. the less “tart” the yogurt is. Also, I have added sugar, honey, and vanilla to the milk before it is heated and the results have been sweetened yogurt :) Have fun!

Christina Wiler - October 10, 2011

Hello! I found your website this weekend and LOVE your ideas and recipes!! I tried this yogurt recipe yesterday and didn’t seem to have much luck. I followed your original directions perfectly and after the 5 hours of keeping it at 110 degrees I still had thin liquid. I put it in the fridge overnight hoping it would “solidify” some but I still have drinkable yogurt. Any thoughts on why this is or what I may have done wrong? I want to try again but thought I would get some advice first. :)
Thank you!

    Christina Wiler - October 24, 2011

    I’m still waiting for some kind of reply. I was hoping since you’ve made this you’d have some suggestions for me.


      Joanne Peterson - February 29, 2012

      Also, the live culture ideally is very fresh. I have found no more than three to four days old after making yogurt, or if using store yogurt for the first time, as fresh as can be found in the store.

      Terri S. - February 29, 2012

      I just made my own yogurt last week (using a different recipe involving the crock pot). It turned out more liquid like than I would have preferred so I strained it in a colander with cheese cloth as someone else has already pointed out. However on the site that I found my recipe it mentioned that some people are having success adding 1-2 packets of unflavored gelatin to their mix to help thicken it up. When I made my yogurt I only had flavored Jello in the cupboard, so I added approx. 1/2 package of pineapple Jello. It was delicious! i think next time I will add the whole packet though for extra flavor and extra thickening power. Hope that helps!

      Marla - March 20, 2012

      I make my yogurt in the crockpot. Using this method at this site.
      Sometimes I add powdered milk, sometimes not. check it out.

Sue - October 26, 2011

Hi, I just looked at your recent post and see that you are having trouble with your yogurt. There are several things which might be the problem but the two main ones are the temperature and/or the length of time you keep it in the oven to solidify. I use the overnight method abd still find the yogurt is not quite as solid as store bought. As was said before you can strain it to make it more solid. I usually strain some to use in place of cream cheese but that is another story entirely. the other thing is that your thermometer may be off. You can test it by putting some water on to boil and when the water boils check the temperature – it should read 212F If it is not them you need a new one or need to adjust the temp you use however many degrees it is off. Of course your altitude may be higher but if that is the case you must be aware of the adjustments needed for that in baking and such. Just make the same kind of adjustments you do for baking in that case.

Veee - March 21, 2012

I make yogurt with powdered milk so it doesn’t have to be pasterized by heating to 180 degrees and then cooling off. I always missed the mark! Pre-heat a cooler with hot water. Make 1 quart of milk using hot water. Adding 1/2 cup extra milk powder. Then add 1/3 cup of yogurt from the last batch. Place jar in warm cooler (ha ha). Let incubate for 8-12 hours. That’s it.

Sue - May 23, 2012

I make mine using the jar in hot water on top of the sove method. I use my digital meat thermometer (one with the cord and probe which goes into the meat and has the read-out on a magnet which can be stuck onto the stove). I clip the cord onto the pot with a clothes pin ad it tells me what the temperature of the water is. Usually it takes about three hours for the temp to go below 90F at which time I put a bit of heat under it and bring it back up to 110F. I leave it in the water bath for anywhere from 8 to 12 hours depending on what I am doing. This gives me time to even go shopping if it is a quick trip or work in the yard or even (heaven forbid) do some cleaning in between heatings. I also add about 1/3 cup of dry milk if i am using fresh for the yogurt which seems to make it thicker. Don’t throw away the whey if you strain your yogurt – use it in place of milk for baking brad and such. I even used it for brownies and had the most tende gooey brownies ever!

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