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Making GR8 Yoghurt at Home, no mess, no fuss.

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Wanted to post this set of instructions that I wrote up about making yoghurt at home. It is so quick and easy, and does not involve the messing about and cleaning involved with heating and coolingv of milk in pans with thermometers etc like a lot of people expect. 

To use this method yoghurt, get yourself one of these

https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/67373/easiyo-yogurt-base-maker

They are sometimes often on special for $12, have even seen as low as $8.  

You just want that red cooler thing and the 1L container within. These work by boiling the kettle and filling to the top of the red insert inside the unit, then you put the 1L container in there with the milk and culture, this results in the milk heading up to just under 50c, perfect for the lacto and other bacteria that makes tasty natural yoghurt

So I take a tablespoon of natural yoghurt from the previous batch (you can use say Farmers Union greek yoghurt to start you off, or any other pot set natural unflavoured yoghurt)

Mix that up with half a cup of full cream milk powder, and the best part of a 90c 1L Coles or Woolies brand long life full fat milk. now closer to $1.. 

Using long life (UHT) milk means you don’t need to heat up the milk in a pot (and then cool back to room temp for this easiyo thing) and make a mess that needs washing up, as the milk has already been heated.

The milk needs to be heated to make yoghurt, mainly to modify some proteins that allow it to set. If you don’t heat like this or don’t use the long life milk, you get more of a drinking yoghurt consistency.

You can use cream instead of the milk powder, or leave it out completely for a lower fat version but it tastes a lot more creamy with the milk powder in there.

May sound a bit dodgy with the powder and the UHT but these forms of milk I believe actually have less chemicals added to preserve as their processing does the job of the chemicals used to make fresh milk last.

So you put the kettle on to make about 1.3 litres of hot water to run the batch, while it's heating, you mix up the 1 tablespoon of live yoghurt, the milk powder, and the longlife milk in the 1L easiyo thing (all at room temp including the LL milk - 20c or so  then pour in the hot water into the contraption to the recommended level (the top of the red insert), put in your container of mix, and leave for 8hrs or overnight.

Note that milk powder is not so easy to mix in milk, so I use the stick blender to make this happen quickly. 

So for about $1 you get 1L of great yoghurt for as much effort as making a cup of tea effectively. As good as the shop stuff.

I often add a teaspoon of vanilla, the extract stuff in alcohol to the mix which doesn’t seem to mess with it and gives a nice flavour. I do love vanilla.. Spice of the gods!

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👍 Well done headmaster.

I have been making yoghurt this way in the Easiyo for the last couple of years and my personal experience is that it works best if you begin with an unsweetened Greek style - you can do what ever you like once you've made the first batch but if you are making it from powder the Easiyo Greek style is the way to go.  Then I seem to be able to make 3 viable batches from a remnant of the previous batch before it starts to thin out to drinking yoghurt.

I also find it best to take the starter for the next batch from a freshly made batch rather than from the end of a batch.  That way the culture is more alive

I have always just used milk powder.  I haven't used the UHT method and I am keen to give that a try.  

Have you ever tried to make yoghurt 'cheese'  (Labneh) ?

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Yes it's great, have been doing it for a couple of years, but using fresh milk, heating and cooling before innoculating.

Cheers,

John

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2 hours ago, James of Bayswater said:

 

Have you ever tried to make yoghurt 'cheese'  (Labneh) ?

Have done a few batches for my 'more cultured' better half. From memory muslin into a sieve with a bowl underneath. Pop the Greek yogurt in and leave in the fridge overnight. Easy as and tastes delicious. Must make it again someday.

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You're more cultured than me.  I have been known to use a fresh Chux rather than muslin.    Some function : Hold the curds, lose the whey. 

I used to cut the yoghurt cheese with olive oil and salt and use it as a spread replacing butter (my major weakness)  when I was on a diet crusade a few years back.  It's really versatile.  

I drop balls of labneh into the curry for a creamy sauce, its good in soups and its a great base for a dip.  Just use it like any cream cheese really.  You can freeze it like ice cream.  

You don't need to throw the whey awhey either.   It's a light acid that is good in cooking, smoothies, fruit juice, bread making, tenderizing meat, etc and can often sub for lemon juice/vinegar. 

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12 hours ago, James of Bayswater said:

 

 Then I seem to be able to make 3 viable batches from a remnant of the previous batch before it starts to thin out to drinking yoghurt.

I also find it best to take the starter for the next batch from a freshly made batch rather than from the end of a batch.  That way the culture is more alive

 

I have actually not experienced this, I've run the same yoghurt for 30 plus generations, maybe more with no changes to the outcome. And because the turnover is pretty high, a few days per litre, I have not had issues with viability.  If you happened to be making it on a 30 deg day and the UHT was say 30C then if you used the same amount of boiling water in the Easiyo, then you could damage the bacteria, so that's worth keeping in mind when using this method. 

I also use the same gear to make starters for the Cube Sours... Put starter wort in the easiyo with a couple of teaspoons of this yoghurt. 

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12 hours ago, James of Bayswater said:

 

Have you ever tried to make yoghurt 'cheese'  (Labneh) ?

I haven't tried that, I must give it a go, sounds good, thanks James 🙂

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My 'three batch viability' is probably something I am doing that makes the culture degrade over time.  Maybe I am not consuming it quick enough and that is why I find when I take a remnant to start another it is weaker than the previous.  Quick turnover could be the key to sustaining viability.  

I must admit I learned this from a Hare Krishna mate who used to culture his yoghurt in a dish in the cupboard with a tea towel over it. ( It reminded me of how I brewed beer in the old days.)  But his yoghurt was the binding of his daily bread so he used plenty and his turnover was high.  Like you he just kept making batch after batch.  

The other thing I am doing differently is that I am only using milk powder rather than the UHT.  I am not sure what difference this would make but it is a difference nonetheless.

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Made my first ever yoghurt culture today.  So simple and the results were spot on - real yoghurt!  I used the "Greek" style packet mix, just to see how it all worked out, but now I'm ready to give Headmaster's method a go. 

It being summer in Central Queensland, I did have to adjust the water temp (29°C out of the tap) to begin at the recommended 15-20°C start temp.

Thanks again HM and others for the info. Hopefully I'll be posting in the "Cube Sour" thread very soon!

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