Contact Me

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Making yogurt--uh oh

homemade yogurt and home processed peaches
Since  I love yogurt, and yogurt can be less-than-wallet-friendly, I decided to make yogurt in my freecycled handy-dandy Salton Cosmopolitan Yogurt Maker. Besides, it's always fun to do something myself instead of depending on the grocery store. When I get this method down pat, maybe I will try some of the other methods of making yogurt that do not require a special machine or electricity.

I used a smidgen less than a quart of whole milk, measure in a two quart bowl. Then, almost a half cup of powdered milk was mixed into the milk. I never could get it smooth. So, I ended up putting the little globs of powdered milk into the hens' food. That dried milk thing in my milk did not go well.

A Corningware pan with water and a cooking utensil to keep the bowl from touching the bottom was the next step. "Do not boil." I don't think I did but a skin came over the milk. That means I did not stir enough. I fished it out and added it to the hens' food. When the milk got near 150 degrees, I thought I had had enough. But, it almost reached 180 degrees, the temperature on the Salton directions (online) said the milk should reach. This heating to 180 did not go well. I forgot to take a picture of that.
waiting to cool
Once the mixture cooled, I poured some milk into a little bowl in order to mix yogurt as a starter. I used Greek yogurt and mixed about a half cup from the Oika container into the bowl of milk. Once again, I could not get it to completely dissolve. Whatever!
I poured the mixture into the little glass jars and set them into the Salton Cosmopolitan Yogurt Maker that had been on for about four hours, preheating. This did go well. Even though I was exhausted, I spilled nothing.
Neither the dry milk or the yogurt would mix until smooth and thoroughly mixed like the directions said. Soooo, we will see what happens.

Do you see the sweet potato sprouts in the saucer on top of the jar of kidney beans? Or, is that pinto beans? Since I won't eat either, it does not matter. I cut these sprouts from the sweet potatoes to see what happens if I plant them.

I worried. I read more on the Internet. One place said use a tsp of yogurt! Most places said DO NOT boil the milk.

I found this set of instructions that described yogurt-making differently.
1. boil the milk
2. use 1 heaping Tablespoon of  yogurt.

Once I put the mixture into the Salton Cosmopolitan Yogurt Maker (I love to say the whole name), timing began. There was no way I was getting up in the middle of the night to check on yogurt after the hard day I had. After 13 hours, it was refrigerated. Still, I could not wait the 3-4 hours to check on it. I tasted it at 1 pm and promptly ate some with peaches I cooked and put in the refrigerator yesterday.

Delish. Success. Cheap.

This cost me $0.90 for the milk, $0 for the powdered milk. That makes this cost $0.03/ounce. Actually, it was $0.028/ounce, so the rounding takes care of the electricity spent. That makes 8 oz yogurt cost $0.24 cents. A serving for me is around 4 oz=$0.12....not too bad. Oh, I forgot the $0.50 cents worth of store bought yogurt. Make that $0.04 cents/ounce and $0.16/serving. I am sure I can bring that back down to 3 cents even for each ounce if I ever figure out where to buy the yogurt starter.

Remember, the yogurt maker was free from Freecycle. My friend picked it up in Birmingham and brought it to me...not trouble for me either. And, he does not like yogurt! So, no sharing with him.

If yogurt needs instructions and the methods vary as to amount of ingredients and temperature, it's no wonder more people don't make yogurt. 

This endeavor was a success, even if it was stressful for me. I am not sure if I need to use a half cup of yogurt starter or a Tablespoon. I am not sure why the milk has to heat to 180 degrees.

The stress and indecision are over. I have yogurt. This will be repeated.

Your turn
Do you have a yogurt maker? Do you have a Salton yogurt maker? Or, do you make yogurt without a special small appliance?


  1. I buy yogurt, lol. I usually buy Yoplait Strawberry yogurt in the tub for about $2. (I like that it's creamy too, no chunks).

  2. Once this was stirred and stirred and stirred and the milk skin was out, it turned out with no chunks, smooth as can be. I will never buy commercially made yogurt again.

  3. I have only made yogurt once, but did it in my crockpot. It came out very well. I'll see if I can track down the instructions/recipe and share them with you. I would have done it again (and maybe will now that you remind me) but for liking too much the convenience of the storebought tub of greek yogurt!

  4. I make yogurt the old fahioned way. I usually use a half a container of storebought yogurt to a half gallon of milk. You could make it in your Excalibur too. I've done that but usually, I just wrap the pot or jar in two thick towela, keep them away from drafts and forget about it until the end of the day...usually 12 hours in winter, less in summer. Glad you are making it yourself. If you epwant Greek style yogurt, strain it in a cheesecloth for just a bit. For cheese, strain it for a longer time.

  5. Rochelle, I like the convenience, too. But,I asked for and got this off freecycle about three years ago, so I decided to unbox it at last and just do it. I am very pleased. I think since I muddled through it once, trying to determine the true way to make it, I will keep doing it for awhile. Now, I want more of the cups and lids so I can just get it all over with at once. I only have a tiny crock pot that boils things on low, not much help. But, I paid $1 for it at a yard sale. I think it was used once or not at all...forgot.

  6. I read somewhere that the Excalibur would work. But, I had the yogurt maker already. I may make a whole bunch of half pint canning jars in the Excalibur and make some into cheese. That would be sooper Not buying yogurt, not buying cheese...this is getting better all the time. Plus, all the powdered milk was $0. This is so strong that I am sure I can use it for starter. Maybe that will be a weekend project.

    Every dime I don't have to spend and eat well is a great boon to me since my ssi does not cover things like car repair...rack and pinion repair today.

  7. I make it in the slow cooker, too, using the recipe from the "A Year of Slow Cooking" blog. I go the extra step and strain it, though, using a flour-sack towel from the dollar store.
    Just enjoyed some, in fact, with stewed rhubarb given to me by a friend. It's so good I can't stop eating it. As vices go, it's a fairly healthy one.
    I don't buy starter; I just save half a cup of each batch (before straining) for the next one. My initial one was a plain, Greek-style variety. Since I'm about to hit the road for a solid month, I'll need to start all over again with a new container of Greek yogurt.
    Part of my trip is a visit with my dad, who's asked me to show him the process. I don't know if he has the time or patience to strain the yogurt, but that's the way I prefer it.

  8. Donna,
    Thanks. I would kill for some rhubarb right now! I had to buy the first little OIKOS yogurt, but will try with the present batch to start the next.

    I will read your post. I feel like I am addicted to it now that it is relatively cheap AND abundant right now.
    Hopefully, your father will have the patience to strain it. I did not strain mine and it is fine, but I will strain one of the cups and see what happens.

    This is really good. Today, I am going to microwave a chopped potato and put the yogurt on the top like sour cream.

    Okay, off the read your post.


For the present, I am taking comment moderation off the blog.