Is it normal for homemade yogurt to be runnier than store bought? I assume so. I do have a recipe from the yogurt maker's instruction guide that uses powdered milk. It is thicker when I do that, although I don't like adding it.
Does anyone add anything to yogurt to make it thicker? Most of the flavorings I can think of that you add after it's done thin it out even more--honey, fruid juice, etc.
Also, the directions say to heat the milk to "just below the boiling point". Does anyone have a more specific temp. they use. I'm scared I'm going to inadvertantly boil it.
I make mine like Jerzeygurl, but without the powdered milk. Mine is usually pretty thick, but it tends to "break" after it's chilled, so I normally drain it for a short time (1/2 hour maybe?) through a tea towel lined colander to thicken it up. I love it that way. Thicker than storebought, tastier, and healthier, too, without all the additives in it.
I like the tea towel idea. Would cheesecloth work, too?
And when you hold the temp at 180 is that high enough to kill the good bacteria--I'm guessing "no".
I actually don't mind the yogurt thin....I can pour the really thin stuff into a sipping cup for my one year old and she loves to "drink" it. Like a smoothie. But my three year old makes a huge mess trying to eat it with a spoon at the table! The straining idea would work b/c I could keep some thinner and thicken up the rest.
It kills the bacteria that was in the milk, unfortunately, but when it cools down and you add your starter yogurt, the bacteria in the yogurt multiplies, so you end up with live-culture yogurt. I've tried to do it with raw milk, just heated to 110 degrees, then the starter added, but I haven't been happy with the results of that. I have to kill the milk first in order to make good thick yogurt. I accept that, because the rest of the things I make, the milk is still alive (sour cream, cream cheese, buttermilk, etc.), and I drink plenty of raw milk besides, so I'm getting the good stuff elsewhere.
Regarding the cheesecloth, I don't know if that would be too loose a weave or not. You could try it, though. I haven't done it because I just assumed it would all drain out, not just the whey, and I have plenty of flour-sack dishtowels, so that's what I use. It doesn't take very long to drain it through the flour-sack towel. I haven't timed it exactly, but I'd guess half an hour? Not much more than that, I'm sure.
I make raw milk yogurt and it sets up fairly thick...I did add powdered milk for a while but have stopped doing that now. I warm my milk to around 80 to 90 degrees add culture mix and incubate overnight at around 85.
I'm experimenting with home-made yogurt for the second or third time, as I write. I really don't like runny yogurt - always go for the 'custard' style at the store. I've never successfully made home made yogurt to my liking.
Will the tea towel straining method work, even without adding gelatin? I can't add powdered milk due to my son's severe cow's milk allergy.
try a different culture! Each culture results in a diferent style of yogurt. My current favorite is using a whopping TB of greek-style yogurt to make 1 qt of yogurt. Really thick, really delicious. Also, skim milk makes yucky yogurt imo. And adding gelatin or powdered milk, blech to my mouth. Good whole milk plus starter from a yogurt that you like (plain with live cultures) should give you good starter. And I never boil my milk - just bring it to 180 degrees and then let it cool before adding the culture.
I like the tea towel idea. Would cheesecloth work, too?
double or triple layer the cheesecloth - it works nicely. Sometimes I tie the ends around a chopstick balanced on top of a jar - allowing the whey to drip into the jar. You can drain it for up to 2 days, slightly salt the curd that remains, roll it into small balls (like meatballs), and pack it in olive oil with fresh cloves of smashed, peeled garlic and a few crushed red pepper flakes and a few crushed black peppercorns. Store in the fridge, eat within a month - absolutely heavenly on good bread or crackers or crumbled on a salad or pizza.
I've used disposable paper coffee filters and a cone filter to drain yogurt - works great UNTIL it comes time to lift the paper filter out of the cone. The paper filter always splits and spills yogurt. Cheesecloth is preferable.
I make mine with raw milk and plain dannon yogurt for the starter. I don't add powdered milk or sugar. I heat to 185 and then turn the heat off. I then add stevia for sweetner and put it in the ice chest with warm water to set. It is always nice and firm and then we add berries or whatever we want for flavor when we eat it. My husband was doubtful until he tried it but he said it almost tasted like ice cream. He loves it now and eats the heck out of it. I have read that the key to firm yogurt is reaching the 185 degree mark but I don't hold it there, I turn the heat off once we reach that point.
I made a batch for the first time yesterday. Brought 2 quarts of milk to 180 then shut off the burner. At 110 I added 1 cup of store bought yogurt with live cultures and mixed it up, I also added 1/3 cup powdered milk. I pour that into pint glass jars and put them in a warm cooler for 5.5 hours. The yougurt is a little runny, which I can tolerate, but the yogurt taste is terrible. There's a hint of a plain yogurt flavor, but it's almost bitter. I say it's bitter but my wife insists it's sweet. In either case it doesn't taste right. Any idea's on what's causing that? I had it in my head that the homemade stuff would just be a stronger flavor of the store bought.
I have wondered about using low methoxyl pectin. I know some commercial yogurts have pectin added and the l-m pectin sets with calcium. Haven't figured out exactly how to do it, any ideas? Probably just add it to the milk with the yogurt culture, I don't know. This is the pectin used for making sugarless jam or jelly.