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Thread: My Homemade Yogurt Sucks. page

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    KimInGA's Avatar
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    My Homemade Yogurt Sucks.

    Primal Fuel
    So I've recently gotten into making my own homemade yogurt. I signed up for a raw milk share so I'm getting a gallon per week, and we just don't consume that much in milk alone. Yogurt seemed like a good way to use up the excess. However my yogurt is not coming out good. It's chunky, almost like cottage cheese. And there is none of the sour/tart taste I associate with good yogurt. Hmph. Here's what I'm doing ... hoping someone can help pinpoint what I'm doing wrong!

    1. Heat raw milk up to 115 F. (Enzymes, etc. die at 118 so I don't want to kill the good stuff.)
    2. Add 1/32 tsp yogurt cultures. Whisk like crazy to evenly distribute it.
    3. Put bowl into yogurt maker.
    4. Take back out 7-12 hours later. (I've tried this whole range because someone told me that it would get more sour if I left it longer. Didn't work.)
    5. Drain for 5 min - 2 hours. I've tried everywhere in this range, thinking that maybe I was draining it too long and that was leaving it chunky. But the chunks seem to be there even before draining, just hiding out at the bottom.

    So my yogurt basically tastes like chunky milk. The texture is seriously off-putting. I'm trying to eat it but it turns my stomach. (Doesn't actually make me sick at all though - - so I don't think it's actually "bad".) HELP.

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    yodiewan's Avatar
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    I have never made yogurt, so I may be totally wrong, but it seems like you would need more starter culture. You didn't say how much milk you're using (or I didn't catch it), but 1/32 tsp seems like an impossibly small amount. How do you even measure that?

    My only other guess is that since you're not heating the milk very much, the naturally present bacteria dominate and you're getting cottage cheese instead of yogurt. I would be loathe to "cook" raw milk too. Seems like a waste since most of the supposed health benefits come from the fact that it is raw.

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    KimInGA's Avatar
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    The directions for the starter say 1/8 tsp for a whole gallon, so I'm putting 1/32 tsp into a quart. I forgot to say how much milk I was using, oops. And yes it can be a pain to measure, but I found some 1/8, 1/16 and 1/32 tsp measuring spoons which fixed that problem. I suppose it could be that they are inaccurate. I'm not sure if "chunky and not sour" is a symptom of too much or too little starter though!

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    This recipe worked for meA Year of Slow Cooking: You Can Make Yogurt in Your CrockPot!.

    I generally make kefir with my raw milk now.

  5. #5
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    get some heavy cream and a yogurt maker. Then follow instructions on a packet of culture. It's a lot less complicated that way.
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    are you moving it at all while it is 'brewing'? I've found disturbing it while it's working is fatal to texture. I use considerably more starter than you and add some cream. Texture can still be a bit hit and miss, but I only get 'clots' if I disturb it.
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    I've been making my own yoghurt for over a year now, and have it turn out perfect 99% of the time.

    Bring milk to 90C in a double boiler (so as not to scald the milk) to denature some of the proteins which apparently influences the texture of the final product.

    Next, cool the milk in a cold water bath to 40-50C. Mix some of the warm milk with a few tablespoons of yoghurt leftover from the last batch to thin it out to an even consistency, and pour it into the warm milk; mix well and pour the mixture into containers.

    Place the containers in a warm water bath (about 35-45C) and maintain the temperature for 8-20 hours depending on how sour you like the final product to be. Do not move or jostle the fermenting milk. Do make sure to keep the temperature within the above limits for the full time period.

    Finished.

    I make about 3-4ℓ at a time from whole milk (3.6%+ mf) every week using this method; firm, sour and creamy every time.

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    jkr
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    The chunks mean it's culturing at too high a temperature. It's not tart b/c you aren't letting it incubate long enough. It can go 24 hours. Your milk likely has more cream than any store yogurt which contributes to the sweetness.

    All that said, I gave up expecting raw milk yogurt to be like store-bought. If you want thick, smooth yogurt consistently, I would recommend heating your milk to 180 and cooling. The fermentation and probiotics will somewhat make up for killing the original beasties. You could also decide that you're just going to deal with a different consistency, whirl it in the blender to smooth it and and enjoy. :-)

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    I cheat and use UHT milk and milk powder. I also use half skim milk and half full cream milk.

    If you want it more sour you can leave it for about 24 hours. I left mine for about 30 hours the other day accidentally and it turned out fine.

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