Quantcast
I just CAN NOT get yogurt to set! - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Come enter the Lehman's Aladdin Lamp Giveaway!

Go Back   Homesteading Today > Country Homemaking > Dairy

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


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 07/20/10, 06:15 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Beautiful Ozarks
Posts: 1,371
I just CAN NOT get yogurt to set!

I've tried using the plain Dannon yogurt for a starter and now I bought one of the youghurt dried culture packs & followed the directions exactly (heat milk to 180 degrees, cool milk to 112, add starter, incubate for at least 5 hours).

I even let it sit in the cooler overnight (12 hours) and I still get runny yogurt. Not like runny stuff you get in the store, but like runny just barely thicker than milk. It TASTES like yogurt, but what the heak am I doing wrong???

__________________

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07/20/10, 07:18 AM
suzyhomemaker09's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: SW Missouri
Posts: 4,000

You can always strain it and make something more like a Greek yogurt product.
What's sold in most stores has added thickeners .

__________________

SuzyHomemaker
rtfmfarm.com
LaMancha & Nubian goats

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07/20/10, 07:38 AM
Callieslamb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 15,836

I think 112 is too hot. I try more for 100 or so. My homemade yogurt is always more runny than store bought. It also might not be staying consistantly warm in the cooler. Wrap it in towels. I let mine sit for a LONG time - over night usually.

__________________
The future is as bright as your faith.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07/20/10, 07:47 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,523

To strain it.
Place a clean cotton tea towel over a large bowl, pour the yogurt into it, tie up the corners and sides with some twine and hang over the bowl or over the sink for an hour. Then spoon the thickened yogurt into containers to refrigerate.
The longer you leave it strain, the thicker it will get.

Mix in sugar and vanilla, it reminds me of cheese cake.
Mix in salt and herbs, it makes a wonderful spread or dip.

I use 1/4 cup dannon plain yogurt to start it, to a 1/2 gallon milk, heat milk to boiling, let cool to 100 degrees, whisk in the yogurt, leave overnight in the gas oven with pilot light.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07/20/10, 07:51 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 3,353
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynRenee View Post
I've tried using the plain Dannon yogurt for a starter and now I bought one of the youghurt dried culture packs & followed the directions exactly (heat milk to 180 degrees, cool milk to 112, add starter, incubate for at least 5 hours).

I even let it sit in the cooler overnight (12 hours) and I still get runny yogurt. Not like runny stuff you get in the store, but like runny just barely thicker than milk. It TASTES like yogurt, but what the heak am I doing wrong???

Try adding some powdered dry milk and if you're not a yogurt purist try adding an envelope of unflavored gelatin. I do this while the milk is hot.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07/20/10, 08:56 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
Posts: 4,651

are you using cow or goat milk?

goat milk is always runnier..... absolutely always.

Seconding the advice to try cooling to 100 degrees.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07/20/10, 09:26 AM
Macybaby's Avatar
I love South Dakota
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 4,859

Are you sterilizing your jars? The only time I had yogurt not set up was when I didn't have enough jars and took a few clean ones, rinced them well and filled them up. The others in the batch set just fine, but the two in the non-sterilized jars were runny. They tasted just fine but were not thick.

Before I start heating up the milk, I put my jars in my pressure canner with a few inches of water and then I bring it to a boil (I leave the weight off). I boil for ten minutes and then turn it off and leave it alone until I am ready to fill the jars. Mine is a 21 qt so I'll put 7 quart jars in the bottom and put on the second ring and lay 3 more on top, with a pint (for next batch starter) in the middle, then add all my plastic lids. It does all fit under the lid.

Here is a picture with the canner filled and ready to have the lid put on. I do not "Lock" the lid like I would if I was actually canning.



I usually make 2 gallons at a time.



Cathy

__________________

Last edited by Macybaby; 07/20/10 at 09:45 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07/20/10, 10:05 AM
linn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,441

I use the Yogotherm Yogurt Maker. It is about $40. at the New England Cheese Making Co. It is basically a heavily insulated container that keeps the milk at the optimum temp. while making yogurt. I have uniform results almost every time using it.

__________________
Visit the Christian Homesteader
http://farmwoman.proboards.com/index.cgi
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07/20/10, 10:23 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macybaby View Post
Are you sterilizing your jars? The only time I had yogurt not set up was when I didn't have enough jars and took a few clean ones, rinced them well and filled them up. The others in the batch set just fine, but the two in the non-sterilized jars were runny. They tasted just fine but were not thick.

Before I start heating up the milk, I put my jars in my pressure canner with a few inches of water and then I bring it to a boil (I leave the weight off). I boil for ten minutes and then turn it off and leave it alone until I am ready to fill the jars. Mine is a 21 qt so I'll put 7 quart jars in the bottom and put on the second ring and lay 3 more on top, with a pint (for next batch starter) in the middle, then add all my plastic lids. It does all fit under the lid.

Here is a picture with the canner filled and ready to have the lid put on. I do not "Lock" the lid like I would if I was actually canning.



I usually make 2 gallons at a time.



Cathy
Entirely off topic, but where did you get the burner your canner is on and what brand/model is it?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07/20/10, 10:23 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Beautiful Ozarks
Posts: 1,371

I've been using a small cooler & have the temp of the water in the cooler at 112 degrees (maybe I'll try 100 degrees like suggested).

Yes, it's goat's milk.

I do sterilize the jars, but now that I think of it, this one was in the pantry cubbord for a few days so something funky could have got into it.

I've strained my yogurt, usually every time, because it's never thick enough. I'd even be happy with "store bought" thickness, but it doesn't even come close to that. I LOVE the greek style yogurt though & would like to aim for that, but know that if I wanted it that way, I'd definately have to strain.

I'll strain this batch (was only one quart), but I'll probably only get a 1/2 cup out of it.

Thanks for the posts, will try everyone's recommendations & try again tonight!

__________________

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07/20/10, 11:27 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
Posts: 4,651

I have NEVER sterilized jars and never had a problem with milk that I brought to temp.

I have had varied results with using warm from the cow or goat milk that I never brought to temp - just used it as is. Sometimes that works and sometimes it does not.

I don't think it is possible to get 'store bought thick' from goat milk without thickeners. I've come to love the texture of goat milk yogurt - very elegantly silky - and yes, it will always run from the spoon.

Mixed milk yogurt is the best imo - 1/2 cow and 1/2 goat. You might try it - you'll definitely get a thicker body to it.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07/20/10, 11:35 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Beautiful Ozarks
Posts: 1,371
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathleenc View Post
Mixed milk yogurt is the best imo - 1/2 cow and 1/2 goat. You might try it - you'll definitely get a thicker body to it.
What a great excuse to finally get that Jersey I've been thinking about!
__________________

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07/20/10, 11:41 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Beautiful Ozarks
Posts: 1,371

I let the yogurt strain, although not as long to get it as thick as I normally like it. So I'm now eating vanilla flavored yogurt.

Next question is.....

Can I use the drippings from straining the yogurt as a starter? Is there still enough culture in the drips for it?

I'm going to probably try it anyhow, but was wondering if anyone tried using it like that.

__________________

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07/20/10, 12:11 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,523

If I were to guess I'd say yes there is enough culture in the drippings to work, but, why add more clear liquid to an already thin yogurt? It will just be thinner than you like it again. Try using a yogurt culture (dannon or plain or dried cultures) and a richer milk, adding milk powder, whole milk, or cow's milk mixed in?

Glad you tried straining it, hope it works out for you.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07/20/10, 02:18 PM
highlandview's Avatar  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 741

I use Stonyfield Farms plain yogurt as a starter with great success. There are several ways to incubate yogurt - in the oven overnight with the light on, in jars placed in a cooler of warm water, in a crockpot. You could add a pack of unflavored gelatin or some powdered milk for thickener. You can strain the liquid of through cheesecloth or a coffee filter. There is a recipe for crockpot yogurt on my blog that works for me linked below. It is listed under cultured milk recipes. Also don't use ultr-pasteurized milk.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07/20/10, 03:44 PM
Macybaby's Avatar
I love South Dakota
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 4,859

I think sterilization is sort of like dealing with sour dough. Every home is a bit different and different locals have different natural "stuff" in the air, so what one person ends up can be way different than another.

I can get a real good batch of sour dough starter going here in SD, but could not get much of anything going at my home when I lived in MN - so maybe I've just got some naturally occuring "stuff" that interferes with the yogurt bacteria. I did read up on it, and it's a rather delicate bacteria and does not take much to interfere with it.

Actually it's two different types, the second (what makes it thicken) actually takes off when the acidic level gets to the point that the first type dies off (it poisions itself in it's own excrement) the second type stays dormant until the acid level rises.

I was also just reading on Joe Pastry site - he says the culture will die if much over 125 and growth will slow way down at temps under 105. He does not recomend sterilizing jars - but the other sites I've seen do. I'd be glad to find it did not matter, but for me it does seem too. I have not got brave enough to only heat the milk to 120 and add the starter instead of heating it up and cooling it back down.

I don't have a source of fresh milk so I use 1% from the store.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07/20/10, 04:28 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Beautiful Ozarks
Posts: 1,371
Quote:
Originally Posted by highlandview View Post
There is a recipe for crockpot yogurt on my blog that works for me linked below. It is listed under cultured milk recipes. Also don't use ultr-pasteurized milk.
Going to check out your yogurt blog next, thanks!

I'm using raw goat milk from my Saanen goats.

Is there a reason that you have to heat it to 180 degrees before cooling it down again? Is it to pasteurize it first?
__________________

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07/20/10, 07:10 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
Posts: 4,651

there is some technical reason about how at 180 degrees the protein strands change in milk? something like that but please, do not send the 'wrong info' police after me. I read it here on the dairy board, I swear I did, and it drastically changed my goat yogurt results 2 years ago from negligible to absolutely reliable.

umm, the jersey is a great idea. Our jersey milk yogurt is so thick it stands up in the spoon - not strained, not thickened, just natural yogurt. I love my goats but well... they are leaving the farm this month and the jersey is staying. Long live the queen!

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07/21/10, 09:31 AM
Macybaby's Avatar
I love South Dakota
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 4,859

The milk I'm using is already pasturized, so that is why I'm not sure if I need to repasturize it to kill anything that might have gotten in there in between.

I don't think I would skip that step if I was using raw milk.

I hope someday to have a milk cow, but we have to find homes for our three pasture pet horses first - and that is not easy right now. I know those knuckle heads would run cows, and setting up an maintaining two pastures is more work and cost than I want to deal with at this time.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07/22/10, 05:39 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 3,830

Yes there is something scientific about 180 degrees. i actually keep mine at 180 for 15 mins. It bonds the proteins. It does make for a thicker yogurt.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 07/22/10, 09:10 PM
lonelyfarmgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Hoosier transplant to cheese country
Posts: 6,355

I actually do something different than eveyone here, (I am not even really sure how to set yogurt) and I am going to follow with a directly related question I was going to post anyway, so I am not hijacking.

I heat my yogurt to 180 than cool to 116. then I add yogurt for starter. I keep my own yogurt to use as starter for next time.

I add 1 drop of rennet to 4 T of cool, unchlorinated water, then add 1-2 T of that mix to the milk at the same time as I add the yogurt starter. mix for 5 seconds, stop the movement with your spoon, then wrap in a towel and let sit over night.

In the morning its like one giant curd floating in whey. I just stir it all together. Now I have never stirred it to creamy, so I dont know how that would go. I always leave it chunky and use when making bread. I guess if you use the whole drop of rennet, then stirred it up it might be more thick.

NOW my question. We bought some yogurt called brown cow (delicious BTW) and I noticed the thickener they used was pectin. If you have to boil to get the pectin to work like when making jam, then how would it work for yogurt when you dont boil the milk?

__________________
www.infowars.com
www.angorafiber.com
Licensed ARBA Registrar
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 07/24/10, 09:57 AM
Alice In TX/MO's Avatar
More dharma, less drama.
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Texas Coastal Bend/S. Missouri
Posts: 28,873

Just a note on Greek yogurt. It *is* strained. That's how they get that degree of thickness.

Shoot. Now I'm hungry.

__________________

Alice
* * *
"No great thing is created suddenly." ~Epictitus

Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07/24/10, 11:03 AM
SueMc's Avatar  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Central IL
Posts: 1,386

I like these two sites for help:
http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser...yogurt2000.htm

http://hubpages.com/hub/How_to_make_...ustrated_guide

The posted comments by others on the second site are helpful too. Lots of people with lots of different experiences.

Natren culture is my absolute favorite to use because it makes a very thick, greek style yogurt that doesn't have to be strained, although you can. I also use Stonyfield brand as a starter when I'm out of Natren (as I am today). Often, I'll add a little Stonyfield along with the Natren just to get a wider variety of bacteria.

Here is the Natren site (can also be found in some health food stores in the refrigerated section): http://store.natren.com/Merchant2/me...uct_Code=60175

I'm no expert but have made alot of yogurt and may have just been lucky as I haven't had any problems with it! I make a gallon at a time, using qt. canning jars which are incubated in my canner filled with approx. 120 deg. water. I put the lid on it and let it sit in the turned off oven overnight. I do leave the oven light on but don't know if it helps. The water is usually still about 80-90 deg. in the morning.
As hot as it is today, I'm thinking about putting my canner outside to incubate.

I always use whole milk, boil my jars and don't add any additives like milk powder, etc. I have read many recipes that have those items in their yogurt though.
I guess my only advice is to keep plugging away at it, because it's fun and you do get a good product even if it is thin (great smoothie ingredient).

Good luck!!

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07/24/10, 11:14 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 39

Have you ever tried crockpot yogurt? That's what I do and it's SO easy.

Heat milk for 2 hours on low. It should be bubbly around the edges. Turn off and leave with lid ON for 4 hours. Mix in 1/2 cup of starter yogurt (I use Dannon Plain) per half gallon of milk. Turn on crockpot on high for about 5 minutes at the most. JUST enough to get the crock warm again. Turn off, unplug and wrap the crockpot in thick blankets. We use a sleeping bag and leave overnight. In the morning it's thick fabulous yogurt.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 07/26/10, 07:17 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: "W"est of Boston
Posts: 440

I read somewhere about the 180 degrees, and the longer you can keep the milk at the 180 degrees, the more the proteins will break down, and the better your yogurt will set. I had absolutely no luck making my own yogurt until I kept the milk hot for a couple hours.

So I heat my (skim) milk in the microwave (in my crock pot crock) to 180. Then I wrap the crock in heavy bath towels. It takes about 4-5 hours for the milk to drop to 120. I then add my starter and some dry milk powder (1/4 c per quart of milk). I then put into quart containers and place in a cooler filled with hot tap water. Another 4 hours and I have yogurt.

On a separate note - has anybody had any success making lemon yogurt? I've tried the powdered lemon (Just Lemon), but my yogurt still curdles.

__________________

Last edited by PixieLou; 07/27/10 at 07:06 AM. Reason: correct dry milk ratio
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 07/26/10, 07:39 PM
linn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,441

I haven't tried this, but I wonder if a little finely grated lemon rind would do.

__________________
Visit the Christian Homesteader
http://farmwoman.proboards.com/index.cgi
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 07/26/10, 09:16 PM
minifarmer's Avatar  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 163

I strain my goat yogurt, add grated lemon zest and a bit of sweetner, It is a superb sweet and tart lemon greek yogurt!

On another note, you can make a go-gurt type goodie using up runny yogurt. Just make a batch of jello using half the liquid and after it cools to room temp, add cold runny yogurt and stir. Kiddos love it. They call it..... goat-gurt.... lol

__________________
www.minifarm.4t.com
www.amenglass.com


“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
-- Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 07/27/10, 12:21 PM
Heritagefarm's Avatar
The cream separator guy
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Southern MO
Posts: 3,912
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathleenc View Post
there is some technical reason about how at 180 degrees the protein strands change in milk? something like that but please, do not send the 'wrong info' police after me. I read it here on the dairy board, I swear I did, and it drastically changed my goat yogurt results 2 years ago from negligible to absolutely reliable.

umm, the jersey is a great idea. Our jersey milk yogurt is so thick it stands up in the spoon - not strained, not thickened, just natural yogurt. I love my goats but well... they are leaving the farm this month and the jersey is staying. Long live the queen!
Well, if you don't, you don't kill the microbes that are living in the milk, and then, if you set it out, it probably won't turn into yogurt because the yogurt culture was fighting with the other bacteria. Am I right?
__________________
"Life is too short to be in a hurry."
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 07/28/10, 07:18 AM
Alice In TX/MO's Avatar
More dharma, less drama.
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Texas Coastal Bend/S. Missouri
Posts: 28,873

I don't think bacteria fight with each other.

Here's what Ricki Carrol says about heating the milk (www.cheesemaking.com)

"The next and probably most important step in making Yogurt is to heat the milk to 185F, and then hold it there for 10-20 minutes. This will prepare the whey proteins which are largely responsible for the thickening of the yogurt body."

Here's what Dr. Fankhauser says:
http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser...YOGURT2000.htm

"Scald until the temperature of the milk is 85-90 C (185-195 F). It is not necessary to boil, and do not let boil over...what a mess! (Many claim success leaving out this step. But... results may work, but interemittently...)"

Me again:

I must admit that I have *never* done this. Going to try it today and see what happens.

__________________

Alice
* * *
"No great thing is created suddenly." ~Epictitus

Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 08/02/10, 09:54 AM
Pony's Avatar
Shifting My Paradigm
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: South Central Missouri
Posts: 18,786

I have attempted two batches of crock pot yogurt this past week. Both of them were absolutely soupy.

The first batch was simply following the directions for crock pot yogurt to the letter.

Milk soup with the occasional small chunk of "yogurt" in it.

Second batch, I used Knox gelatine per the suggestions for thickening, and once again, got soupy yogurt. Less soupy than the first batch, but I've had kefir with more body to it.

My MIL told me she read that, if it's a hot, humid day, you shouldn't even bother attempting yogurt, as it won't set up.

Has anyone else ever heard/read that?

__________________
Pony!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:47 PM.