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Dairy butter, cheesemaking, yogurt, processing milk, etc.

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Old 09/06/07, 01:29 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 887
runny yogurt

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.


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Old 09/06/07, 02:00 PM
jerzeygurl's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: mo
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I heat to and hold at 180 for 45 min that will help make a firmer yogurt

I also use the powderedmilk

you can also use unflavored gelatin, i do believe knox is made from non animal protien because it is labled kosher...but im not sure what is actually in it.

homemade is naturally runny store bought has all sorts of stuff like guar gum ect and those mysterious emulsifiers(thickeners)

you could strain some whey out through cheese cloth?
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Old 09/06/07, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 591
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.

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Old 09/08/07, 12:06 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 887
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.


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Old 09/08/07, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 591
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.

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Old 09/08/07, 01:40 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: SW Missouri
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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.
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Old 09/11/07, 10:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,370
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.

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Old 09/11/07, 11:24 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
Posts: 4,662
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.
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Old 09/11/07, 11:29 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
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Originally Posted by MamaDee
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.
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Old 09/13/07, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: South Texas
Posts: 948
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.
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Old 10/05/07, 09:12 PM
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An Ozark Engineer
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Location: Powhatan, AR
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Sometimes mine turns out runny, but if the flavor is good, I will whisk in some Kleer Jel with a wire whisk.

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Old 11/28/07, 12:18 AM
East Central MN
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: MN
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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.
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Old 11/28/07, 05:43 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Victoria Australia
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My raw milk yoghurt is runny too...thick but runnier than store bought...tastes the same though. I would imagine once I start adding fruit to it that it will be thicker.
Shazza the Vegemite Kid
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Old 11/28/07, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 293
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.

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