Make yogurt with your fileserverPosted by Steven Luscher on Sunday, September 26th, 2010
Tags for this Article: DIY, homemade, yogourt, yogurt
Listen, yogurt is expensive, and I’m cheap.
Somewhere along the way I acquired a taste for the stuff, and now I have a yogurt addiction. To satisfy my habit, I usually buy whatever’s on sale – quality or not. Here’s the thing though: milk is cheaper than yogurt, and bacteria split for free.
The only thing stopping me from making my own yogurt was the notion of having to introduce another piece of single-use hardware into my kitchen: an incubator. Wasted heat in the home, however, is not hard to come by. Upon reflection, I realized that I’ve had the perfect incubator right under my nose all along.
Taking this yogurt making article‘s lead, I proceeded as follows:
1) Starting with 1 litre of 2% milk from Avalon Dairy Ltd. ($2.41 at Marketplace IGA downtown Vancouver) quickly heat the milk to 85°C, stirring occasionally. Heat it slowly if you find that you have an attention deficit.
You’re supposed to use a candy thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature, but I used a meat thermometer instead. One day I will ruin it by dropping it in the milk. Hey, if you want to buy me a real candy thermometer, please do!
2) Plug your sink and draw a cold water bath to quickly cool the milk to 43°C. Any hotter and you’ll kill all of the bacteria you’re about to introduce. Too much cooler and they won’t feel like dividing as quickly. Try to hit the temperature bang on.
3) Spoon a little bit of the tepid milk into 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt at room temperature, mix it around, then return it to the saucepan. Start with yogurt that has “active cultures” printed on the label. After your first batch, you’ll be able to use your previous batch’s yogurt as starter for your next one.
4) Pour your bacteria/milk mixture into clean containers.
5) Find a warm place to incubate the yogurt, and cover the containers with cloth. I’ve chosen the top of my server hardware as the place where I incubate my yogurt, and it works well! Search out a hot spot in your home and put that waste heat to good use.
6) Set the timer for 7 hours. The longer you let it go, the more tangy the yogurt will become. In any case, the contents should appear to be the consistency of custard, topped with a layer of liquid (whey).
7) Stir the yogurt well, and refrigerate it overnight.
This has become my typical morning breakfast: slices peaches covered in homemade yogurt, with a spoonful of jam and a drip of vanilla extract. Your yogurt will likely not be as thick and creamy as the store bought stuff, but at least you’ll know what went into it.