You should too.
Stuff you need:
- Milk – I used a half gallon of 2%.
- 1 cup plain store bought yogurt with live and active cultures [most yogurt is going to fit the bill].
- A slow cooker aka a Crockpot.
- A beach towel.
- A thermometer.
- Cheese cloth/paper towel/coffee filters/muslin bag/clean underwear?
- Big bowl to put under the colander.
A lot of recipes I’ve found call for powdered milk and pectin or gelatin. The powdered milk part grosses me out and I’ve read the back of my Fage containers; that righteously awesome yogurt doesn’t contain pectin or gelatin.
Let’s make yogurt!
Let’s take it from the top, people!
- Pour your milk into your Crockpot and add the lid. Turn it up to high and let the milk heat until it reaches 180°. This kills off the stuff that might be [but probably isn’t] living in your milk. I got antsy and turned off the heat when my thermometer registered 177°.
- Let your milk cool to around 120°. I ended up pouring the hot milk into the stainless steel bowl you see in #4 and setting a fan next to the thing and then stirring till everything cooled. I kept my nifty thermometer submerged in the milk the whole time so I knew exactly where the milk was with regards to cooling. When the milk got to a nice temp, I took a couple of tablespoons and mixed it with the Fage. It helps if you eat a few spoonfulls of yogurt before you add the cooled milk so it doesn’t spill. Your goal here is to make the thick yogurt thin so it mixes with your milk easier. Not a necessary step. You can just mix in the Crockpot.
- I poured the milk-yogurt mixture back into the Crockpot and plopped on the lid. I switched on the oven light, dropped one of the racks down a slot and slid in the Crockpot. Hello Kitty was more than happy to lend her services to the whole chore of keeping the milk/yogurt around 110° for a bunch of hours.
- About 12 hours later, I checked to see if I had yogurt. My test is to dunk in a clean finger and if it comes back wet but not white then I’ve done good. Also, when you tilt the container, most of the contents shouldn’t move that much. I lined a colander with some high grade paper towel–no one wants paper towel in their yogurt–and dumped in the yogurt being sure to place colander over a big bowel to catch the whey.
- After about two hours I had just under a quart of whey. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with it but it’s crazily colored and makes me happy. Not sure about that either.
- Once it was all said and done, I had a very rich yogurt that wasn’t as tangy as Fage but still delicious. I added some strawberry preserves and enjoyed.