Yogurt is a wonderful treat, as well as an excellent addition to any diet. With its live and active cultures, it is very beneficial to a healthy digestive system. Buying yogurt already made can get expensive, but you can easily make your own yogurt at home at a fraction of the cost. What you will need is:
– ½ to 1 gallon of milk (low fat or whole)
– 1 small cup of plain yogurt (store bought)
– A large saucepan
– A cooler
– Glass jars
– Candy thermometer
You will want to start by sterilizing your jars by pouring boiling water into them and letting them stand for about 10 minutes. Then just pour the water out and let them cool and dry on their own. Get another pot of water on the stove to heat, and maintain a temperature of 105 – 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat the milk in a separate pan, and using a candy thermometer, heat the milk until it reaches 170 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure not to exceed 180 degrees Fahrenheit, as it will cause the yogurt to taste foul.
Once your milk has reached the desired temperature, keep stirring it for two to three minutes to ensure that the milk does not burn. Then, let it cool to 105 – 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the plain store bought yogurt and stir it into the milk. Be sure to blend it thoroughly. What this does is lets the cultures in the yogurt to grow and spread in your milk mixture.
Take your sterilized jars and pour the mixture into them. Take the water that has been maintaining its temperature of 105 – 110 degrees Fahrenheit and pour it into your cooler. Place all of the jars of yogurt into the water inside the cooler, and cover it. Do not cover the jars. Let it set in a warm area for at least 5 – 6 hours to incubate. Make certain not to open the cooler or move it, as this will prevent the yogurt from setting up properly.
After about six hours, test your yogurt by pressing gently on the top of it inside the jar. If it feels a bit firm, then it is ready. Cover your jars and refrigerate. Your yogurt will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.