How To Make Yogurt At Home Easily With Or Without A Yogurt Maker?
Making your own yogurt is important. It will save you some money and it is very nice. You can eat as much as you want. In this article, we are going to look at how you can make yogurt at home in a simple and easy way. We will look at what you need to make yogurt at home, the mistakes that you can avoid, the culturing alternatives and other important information that will help you.
Making Yogurt From Scratch?
For better results, you need to incubate the yogurt for several hours without any disturbance. It is not a must to have a yogurt maker for you to have homemade yogurt. You only need a warm place to get your yogurt.
To make homemade yogurt, ensure that you have a canning jar with a cover. You can use a quart size can. Put the heating pad on the counter and lay a towel on it. Put the cultured yogurt in the jar and place them in a large container. Add hot water in the large container. You should fill it to the neck of the yogurt jar. Put in the covered heating pad. Plug in the heating system and let remain undisturbed for about 8 hours. You can let the yogurt continue incubating for more hours if it is not thick. It should be ready after 12 hours. If it is still like milk, something has gone wrong.
To make yogurt from scratch, you need the following equipment:
- A dish towel
- A large kettle
- Canning jars with fitting covers
- A heating pad to maintain the temperatures.
The yogurt from the store contains live bacteria. This can be used as a starter. The starter can be purchased dry. You can freeze the available yogurt or dry it for future use. The starters on the market include the vegan, Greek, and the Bulgarian. The cultures are many and can be used to different milk because they have probiotic bacteria.
All You Need To Make The Best Yogurt At Home:
You need half full gallon of milk and a half cup of ready-made yogurt. You can use 2% or whole milk to get thick and creamy yogurt. Also, the skim milk can give the results that you desire. This is good for the regular or Greek yogurt. You can avoid the flavorings and just make it plain.
Know how the milk will react with the starter culture and the effect on the final results. If you are using non-dairy milk, you need a vegan starter.
2. The Starter
There are various types of yogurt starter cultures that you can use to make your yogurt at home. Different bacteria produce specific characteristics of each yogurt culture. Ensure that the yogurt you are using has the live active cultures. This is what turns the milk into yogurt. The number of the cultures doesn’t matter, even one culture can be used. Different bacteria have different health benefits in the body. The most common are the L. casei, L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, S.thermophilus, and the Bifidus.
3. The Equipment
You need a pot with a cover. A heavy pot is can give you the best results. You can choose the capacity you want. Ensure that the pot is covered well to keep the milk at the desired temperatures and cozy. The pot should be kept warm.
If you have the yogurt recipe at hand, there are lots of changes that you can make. You can add gelatin or dry milk to make the yogurt thicker. To have a dense greek style yogurt, you can strain the liquid whey off. For different flavors, you can use different yogurt to culture your milk to give you different nutritional benefits and flavors.
You can get your favorite starter from a health food store.
This can be easy, simple, fun and can save you a lot of money at the end.
If You Have All The Requirements To Make Yogurt, What Next?
1. Prepare The Milk
Heat the milk depending on the starter you have. This will help to prepare the milk for culturing. Some yogurts don’t require heating of the milk. Others, the milk should be heated up to 160 degrees F and later cooled to 110 degrees F before you add the culture. If you have raw milk, it requires some considerations and other steps.
2. Inoculating The Milk
Use the right proportion of culture for the milk. This will give you the best environment for the culturing and thicken the yogurt properly. You can follow the given instructions for better results.
Put the milk to culture. The temperatures should remain constant. Don’t disturb the yogurt when culturing. If you are making the thermophilic yogurt, keep the temperatures about 105 degrees to 112 degrees F. For the mesophilic yogurt, keep 70 to 77 degrees F. this can be cultured on the countertop.
The culturing time will depend on the taste and the texture that you want. If you want a thicker and tastier yogurt, let it culture longer. Always refer to the given instructions for the culturing time.
4. The Natural Separation
As the yogurt cultures, it may start to separate into curds and whey. The way can be used to cook. It is very nutritious. Some people stir it back in the yogurt. The separation is due to the culturing process. Be sure to monitor the yogurt, this is because it may not take long before the bacteria start to die.
After culturing, you need to refrigerate the yogurt. The thermophilic yogurt needs about 2 hours to cool off. This will help the yogurt to transition to refrigeration. For the finished yogurt, keep it in the fridge for about 6 hours. This will help to stop the process of culturing. As soon as the fermentation stops, it cannot start again.
Before you start making your favorite yogurt, ensure that you have all the equipment and the ingredients with the right conditions.
Making Your Yogurt Thicker
If you love thicker yogurt, you can drain the whey out of the finished yogurt. This will give you yogurt that is Greek-style and very thick.
Making the initial heating longer. In most recipes, they require just warming of the milk up to 200 degrees F. It is then cooled down to add the yogurt culture. To make it thicker, hold the milk at 200 degrees F for about 20 minutes longer. The moisture in the milk will evaporate and leave the milk concentrated with solids. This will give you the best yogurt that is thick.
Allow the yogurt to sit for some time. If the yogurt is allowed to sit longer, it will become thicker. The yogurt will also get sour as it sits longer.
Adding the dry milk powder that is nonfat. This is added before heating the milk. This good for making the yogurt thick from the nonfat milk.
Adding gelatin. The gelatin will help to thicken the yogurt and make it creamy. Ensure that you use the right amount. Mix the required amount in a small amount milk and allow it to bloom. Stir the mixture into the pot of milk as it starts to boil. The other ingredients include the pectin, agar, guar gum and others.
You only need to adopt basic methods which can help you get the best yogurt. You can even make your batch of yogurt now and eat it in the next 12 hours. You don’t need fancy or equipment or cultures to incubate the yogurt. You can do it tonight and enjoy it for breakfast the next day.
There are different types of yogurts that you can prepare at home. This depends on your preference and taste.
There are a million ways that can be used to make homemade yogurt. You can use a yogurt maker or any other alternative to having your yogurt ready.
6 Ways That You Can Use To Prepare Yogurt At Home
1. The Best Yogurt At Home Using A Dutch Oven
- Fresh milk, a half a gallon, skim, whole or 2%.
- A half cup of yogurt
The equipment I need
- A heavy pot with a cover/Dutch oven
- A spatula
- A thermometer, a candy or instant read.
- A measuring cup.
The procedure to follow
Boil the milk and pour it into the Dutch oven. Place the Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Heat the milk up to 200 degrees F. Stir gently as it boils to ensure that it does not scorch at the bottom.
The heating step is essential in changing the milk protein structure to set it as a solid instead of separating.
Let the milk cool and have a warm touch about 112 degrees F.
Stir the milk often to avoid the skin on top. If it forms, you can pull it out or stir it in. If you want the milk to cool faster, place the Dutch oven in ice water bath. Stir the milk gently.
Use a measuring cup to scoop out about a cup of milk and add the yogurt.
Whisk until the yogurt is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
Add the thinned yogurt as you whisk the milk. This will inoculate the milk with the yogurt culture.
Place the pot in the oven while it is covered. The oven should be turned off and leave the lights on. You can also wrap the pot in warm towels to keep the milk warm. The milk should be about 110 degrees F.
The yogurt should take about 4 hours to set or the whole night. The time that the yogurt will take, depends on the cultures that are used, the yogurt preferences, and the temperature of the yogurt. Ensure that the yogurt is not stirred or jostled until it sets fully.
When ready, take the yogurt from the oven and let it cool.
If there is any watery whey on the surface, it can be drained off or whisked back into the yogurt before placing it in the containers. If it is whisked, the yogurt will have a creamy consistent texture.
You can serve the yogurt immediately and keep the remaining yogurt in the fridge while covered.
The homemade yogurt can be kept up to 14 days in the fridge.
The above is one of the basic methods that you can use to prepare yogurt at home. You can keep a batch of the yogurt culture to make the next batch of yogurt. You only need to keep a half a cup. Or you can buy a commercial yogurt as a starter.
You can use a dehydrator, a crockpot, heating pad, and other yogurt culturing alternatives. Just use what is available.
2. Making Yogurt At Home Easily In The Oven
The ingredients you need:
- A half-gallon of (raw) milk
- Canning jars
- Three tablespoons of pre-made yogurt or a starter
The procedure to use
Use a stainless-steel pan to heat the milk over medium heat until it is about 180 degrees.
Place the heated milk in the clean jars and let the milk cool. You can place it in the cool water bath or let it sit on the counter. Wait until the temperature drops to about 115 degrees.
Add the premade yogurt as the culture. Use 2 tablespoons per quart.
Slightly stir enough to incorporate in the milk.
Put the jars in the oven the is off with the lights on.
Leave the jars in the oven for about 12 hours or more as desired. Ensure that the heat provides a consistent temperature of about 110 degrees.
When the yogurt is ready, place it in the fridge to set and stop the culturing process.
You can drain the liquid whey or strain the yogurt using the cheesecloth to have a thicker consistency.
Serve and enjoy your homemade yogurt!
3. The Greek Yogurt
The required ingredients
- 8 cups of milk
- 4 tablespoons of plain yogurt, with active and live cultures or dried or frozen yogurt starter.
Heat the milk in a heavy pot to about 180-degree F.
You can stir the milk frequently to avoid scorching.
Allow the milk to cool to about 110 degrees F. You place the pot in an ice bath to cool faster.
Add the yogurt as soon as milk cools and whisk properly to combine.
Pour the mixture into 2-quart jars and close with lids.
Place the jars in a cooler that is insulated and fill it with hot water, 120 degrees F. Ensure that they are submerged up to the necks.
Cover the cooler and leave it undisturbed until the yogurt achieves the tartness that you need.
Remove the jars when the incubation is over. Keep them in the fridge for about 6 hours to stop the culturing for the yogurt to set.
The yogurt is ready, but you need to strain it to get the Greek style yogurt.
Use a mesh strainer to strain the yogurt into a bowl. You can line the mesh with two cheese cloth.
Strain the yogurt until you achieve the desired thickness.
Transfer the yogurt into a container and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.
You can keep the whey for another use.
4. Making The Lemon Yogurt
The following information will help you to make the best lemon yogurt. This requires the following ingredients
- ½ cup of lemon juice
- 6 cups of plain yogurt
- A cup of sugar
- 2 packages of gelatin, unflavored
- A teaspoon of grated lemon rind
- Few drops of yellow food coloring
Heat the mixture until it boils to dissolve all the gelatin.
Take the saucepan off the heat and add the lemon rind, the food color, and the sugar. Mix them well.
Add the six cups of yogurt and pour the mixture into the jars.
Close the jars and keep them in the fridge until the mixture is thick.
This will make about 2 quarts of lemon yogurt.
You can use this lemon yogurt recipe to make the best yogurt from scratch. You can also think of your favorite yogurt and try to make it at home.
5. Making Raw Yogurt At Home
You need 12 hours to make a quart of the raw milk yogurt. This is very nutritious and satisfying. This is because the ingredients that you will be using are wholesome. The milk is from the grass-fed animals.
The required ingredients
- 2 tablespoons of yogurt or Greek or Bulgarian starter, or unsweetened plain yogurt.
- A quart of fresh milk.
Boil the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
Remove the milk when it reaches 110 degrees F and add 2 tablespoons of thermophilic starter culture.
Place the jar of milk and the starter in the cooler or the slow cooker and pour water that is approximately 110 degrees F. The water should be slightly below the lid of the jar.
Insulate the cooler with a towel that is warm and place it in a warm place in the kitchen.
Allow the milk to culture for about 12 hours. The yogurt should not be disturbed for you to achieve the best results.
If you are using a dehydrator, place the jar in the dehydrator and set the temperatures at 110 degrees F. Allow the milk to culture for about 12 hours.
As soon as the culturing process is over, remove the yogurt from where you placed it and keep it in the fridge to chill and thicken for about an hour.
You serve it plain, with a touch of maple syrup or honey, or combine the yogurt with nuts or fresh fruits.
Enjoy this perfect homemade yogurt.
6. The Homemade Yogurt Using A Yogurt Maker
The required ingredients
- A tablespoon of yogurt (as a starter) or a commercial starter
- A saucepan
- Yogurt maker with a thermometer
- 1 quart of 2% or regular milk
- 8 jars
Warm the milk on medium-low heat.
Remove the pan from the heat as steam starts to rise and bubbles appear around the edges.
Place the thermometer in the milk.
Add the starter to one of the jars when the temperature is about 115 degrees F.
In the jar of the starter, add some of the warm milk and stir to blend.
Place the mixture back in the saucepan slowly as you stir.
Pour the mixture into the 8 jars and cover them with their lids and put them in the yogurt maker.
Follow the given cooking instructions.
After about 8 hours remove the jars from the yogurt make and put them in the fridge for a couple of hours.
When ready serve and enjoy.
The remaining yogurt can be kept for up to 14 days in the fridge.
11 Different Ways To Make Yogurt Without A Yogurt Maker
If you like consuming more yogurt, having your own yogurt at home is better. For most people, it is easier to use a yogurt maker although there are many ways you can make yogurt without the yogurt maker. You can’t mess up with the maker.
You don’t need a yogurt maker for you to make yogurt at home. The following are some of the ways that you can use to make your yogurt at home. You can keep the yogurt for about 5-6 hours at 110 degrees F. This will help you to make it thick and set it properly. The alternatives will help you to culture your yogurt without a yogurt maker. The following are some of the alternatives:
1. Using The Oven Method
Preheat the oven up to 115 degrees and turn it off. You can use the oven thermometer to gauge the thermometer temperatures in the oven. If the thermometer is not available, you can turn it off after 5 minutes. You place a baking stone as it preheats, this will help to retain the heat. Some people leave the oven light on to keep it warm.
Heat and mix the milk with the yogurt culture. Transfer it to a saucepan, Dutch oven, a glass container, or in the pan. The Dutch oven is recommended because it retains more heat as compared to the others. Cover the pan and wrap it in several towels then set it in the oven. Let it sit for up to 6 hours or until the yogurt thickens.
2. Using The Slow-Cooker Method
This can be used in the yogurt making the process from heating to keeping the temperatures steady as it sets the yogurt.
3. Making Yogurt With A Thermos
The thermos will keep the temperatures steady. As you cool the milk and add the yogurt culture, you can transfer it into one or more thermoses and close with lids. As soon as the yogurt sets, pour it into a container for refrigeration.
4. Making Yogurt On A Sunny Sill Or Any Warm Spot In The Kitchen
This method may not give the best results due to temperature fluctuations. But it is the best way to make yogurt without any equipment. You can do this on a sunny day.
5. Food Dehydrator
This is a dehydrator in form of a box style. The shelves are removed and the door open or closed. It is used to maintain the desired temperatures. You heat the milk and add the yogurt starter, put it in the culturing containers and place them in the dehydrator.
6. The Folding Proofer
This proofer is set to the desired temperatures for culturing the yogurt. You only need to arrange them starters and the milk jars and place them in the proofer. You can keep the jars to the edges if the proofer is not filled up. If its full, ensure that you rotate the jars while they are culturing for better results.
7. Using The Crockpot
The crockpot is used for cooking in the kitchen. This can be helpful in yogurt making at home. This will allow you to prepare and culture the milk in just one vessel.
8. The Insulated Water And Cooler
The yogurt jars are placed in the insulated cooler. Then pour hot water that is 105 -115 degrees F. The water should fill up to ¾ of the jars. Close with the lids tightly and cover them with a towel or a blanket. Change the water as soon as the temperature drops below 105 degrees.
9. The Insulated Cooler And The Heating Pad
The jars are placed in an insulated cooler that has a heating pad. Cover the cooler with a lid to allow the cord to hang out. The cooler can also be wrapped with a towel or blanket. This will ensure that there is added insulation.
10. The Insulated Cooler In The Sun
During the summer, you can take advantage of the heat and culture the yogurt outside your house. Set the yogurt in jars and place them in a cooler and then place them outside in the sun.
11. The Hot Water Bath
Put the set yogurt jars in a large bowl and fill it with hot water. The water should be about two inches from the top of your jars. Keep on replacing the water with hot water until the yogurt is ready.
The Benefits Of The Homemade Yogurt
Eating yogurt is important. This is because it has several benefits in the body. It is widely used as a snack or for breakfast. Some of the benefits include:
- Most yogurts have bacteria that are beneficial in the body functioning. The bacteria can crowd out the microorganisms that are harmful to the body. Some of the yogurts have bacteria that regulates and strengthens the digestive and the immune system.
- Yogurt has vitamins. They include riboflavin, zinc, iodine, potassium, vitamin B12 and B5, and phosphorus. The vitamin B12 is important for the body. It maintains the red blood cells and keeps the nervous system to function properly. This is mainly found in fish and chicken; the vegetarians may fall short of this important vitamin.
- The yogurt helps to cover after a workout. This is because it has high protein which makes it an excellent snack after a workout. The proteins in the yogurt may help to increase the amount of water absorbed in the intestines. This will improve the hydration.
- Yogurt has calcium naturally. But different yogurts do not contain the same amount of calcium. For example, the plain yogurt has more calcium as compared to the fruit yogurt. In most yogurts, vitamin D is added to improve the calcium absorption rate.
- Prevention of high blood pressure. If we consume a lot of salt, it can lead to hypertension, heart and kidney diseases.
- The yogurt can keep colds away. The bacteria in yogurt helps to signal the body to boost the immune system.
- The yogurt cannot cause cavities. The ingredients cannot erode the enamel which is the main cause of tooth decay. The lactic acid can protect the gums too. Eating yogurt lowers the risk of getting the periodontal disease as compared to those who don’t consume the yogurt.
- Can be used as a beauty product. The yogurt has lactic acid which can help to exfoliate the layers of skin. This helps to clear discolorations and remove the blemishes.
- Helps in digestion. The yogurt can ease the troubles of your tummy easily. This is because the bacteria in the yogurt helps to balance the microflora that is in the gut.
- To get more yogurt benefits, ensure that your yogurt has at least a billion CFUs of cultures. These are the colony-forming units.
What You Should Avoid When Making Yogurt?
There are simple mistakes that may affect the end results of your yogurt. Some of the mistakes that can be avoided include:
- Don’t be over anxious. Don’t anticipate for the success of the yogurt too much. This is not necessary although it is normal for the beginners. Avoid disturbing the yogurt often. This may alter the culturing process. You can check it after about 6 hours. Don’t stir the yogurt before it sets.
- Avoid using milk that is not fresh. It is not good to use the old milk for your yogurt. Fresh milk can give you the best results.
- The yogurt should not be incubated in the oven that has been used to baked immediately. This can lead to the killing of the available microbes in the yogurt and cancellation of the culturing process. This is because it may take a long time to cool down.
- Don’t forget to boil the milk that you will use for the yogurt. The heating process is important because it rearranges the milk proteins to make them beneficial for the bacteria in yogurt. If the process is skipped, the yogurt will be thinner.
- Don’t eat all the yogurt. You can keep a little in the freezer for future use. This will be the best starter for your next homemade yogurt.
The Following Are Some Of The Factors That May Lead To Failure In Yogurt Making
- Using high temperatures. The culture will be killed at high temperatures. This will prevent the milk from thickening. Ensure that you don’t heat the milk above 115 degrees F.
- Using low temperatures. The incubation temperature should not be too low. The yogurt needs about 100 degrees F. The culture will not grow below the recommended temperatures.
- Using old or inactive culture. This will spoil the starter. Ensure that the culture has live bacteria. It should not be too old if you are using culture from the previous batch.
How To Make Yogurt Without A Starter?
There are some bacteria which can be used in yogurt making. They can make the milk to ferment at warm temperatures. They are called thermophilic. There are other bacteria that are not tasty at all. So, don’t let your milk to spoil and expect to get the yogurt bacteria.
- You can make yogurt the same way you make the buttermilk. You only need to add some few drops of lemon juice into the boiled milk. Allow the milk to ferment overnight. The fermenting process will help to create the required bacteria for making yogurt. You can use this as a starter for your homemade yogurt.
- You can make non-dairy yogurts from almond, coconut, and others. For this, you need the probiotic starter. This can be achieved by using the non-dairy probiotic that is in powder or capsule form. Before you add the capsule or the powder, warm the milk that you want to use to make your yogurt. Add the powder or capsule when the milk is lukewarm. Pour the mixture into a jar and close. Let it sit for about 6 hours and keep it in the fridge. This can be used as a yogurt starter within the first three days.
- The red chilli can be used to create the bacteria for making yogurt. Put the dried red chilli in the milk and keep it in a warm place to set. The bacteria for yogurt will be created. This can be used as a starter.
- Another way that can be used to make the yogurt is by adding chickpeas that are boiled into milk. Six chickpeas are enough for a liter of milk.
What Is The Difference Between Curd And Yogurt?
Yogurt is not curd. There is a big difference between the two. They are different forms of milk resulting from fermentation. Both of them are used in cooking in various parts of the world. Yogurt is made by fermenting milk with bacteria. The lactose in milk is fermented to produce lactic acid. The curd is obtained from fermenting the milk with an edible substance like vinegar or lemon juice and then the liquid part is strained to get the curd.
How To Enjoy The Homemade Yogurt?
Yogurt is delicious. It can be dipped, spread, frozen, added to fruits, or eaten plain. The following are some other ways that you can eat your yogurt:
- You can dip the raw vegetables in yogurt.
- You can layer the yogurt, granola or dry cereal, and top with some fruits for breakfast.
- At midday, you can blend the yogurt with ice and fruit to make a smoothie.
- The yogurt can be used to dress salads and dips.
- The plain yogurt can be served on tacos, chili, quesadillas, and soups in place of sour cream.
- The kids can also be served yogurt. You can make fruit kebabs with yogurt dipping sauce for a delicious and quick snack.
The above are the tips and ideas on how you can easily make yogurt at home. Ensure that you avoid all the mentioned mistakes to get the best yogurt. Try to make yogurt at home to save money and enjoy. If you have any other idea or question, please feel free to share in the comments section.
- How to Make Yogurt From Scratch + Recipes by Countrysidenetwork.com
- Three Ways to Make Yogurt Without a Yogurt Maker by Thekitchn.com
- How to make yogurt in a Crock Pot by Culturesforhealth.com
- Difference between Yoghurt and Curd by Differencebetween.info
- Healthy Homemade Greek Yogurt (Fat - Free) by Salad-in-a-jar.com
- The benefits of Yogurt by Webmd.com
- 4 Surprising Health Benefits of Yogurt by Health.com
- 10 Healthy reasons to eat Yogurt by Ecowatch.com