Inoculation of Yogurt

After my friends and I finished class at Meyer Hall, we decided to get lunch at one of the food trucks by the Silo. After purchasing our food, we entered the Silo and sat down and started eating. We got into a conversation about breakfast and we were all sharing about what foods we eat for breakfast. One of my friends shared that she eats yogurt with fruits everyday. She added that she makes her own yogurt. My other friend and I were shocked. When we asked how she makes her own, she said it was very simple, and it was indeed very simple. She told me that she just adds live active yogurt to milk and lets it settle. After a while, a new batch of yogurt is created. I couldn’t believe this. Being able to make yogurt from yogurt was news to me. In this article, I’ll be sharing a recipe that I found online that explains how you can make your own yogurt from yogurt. All you need are two ingredients: Milk and live active yogurt which you can buy from the grocery store!

Homemade Yogurt 

Ingredients

  • ½ gallon of milk (8 cups of milk) – 2% or whole milk produces thick, creamy yogurt, but skim milk could be used too
  • ½ cup of yogurt that contains live, active cultures (this could be purchased in normal grocery stores!)

Equipment

  • 3 quart or larger dutch oven or heavy saucepan with a lid
  • Thermometer that can be inserted into food
  • Small bowl or a measuring cup 

Instructions 

  1. Pour all of the milk into the large saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high heat. Warm the milk to 200F, right before boiling. Don’t let the milk scorch. Mix the milk gently. 
  2. Let the milk cool down to 112F-115F which is about warm to the touch. To prevent a layer of skin from forming on the surface, stir the milk occasionally. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt with a cup of warm milk. Mix the yogurt and milk in order to thin out the yogurt. Stir until the yogurt dissolves in the milk.
  4. Transfer the mixture into the saucepan of milk. Gently stir the mixture. This is the inoculation step!
  5. Move the saucepan into a turned-off oven. Cover the saucepan with its lid. Turn on the oven light or use towels to wrap the pot. This ensures that the milk is kept warm. The ideal temperature of the milk is 110F. You can also use a yogurt maker or a dehydrator that is set to 110F.
  6. Keep the yogurt in the oven for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight. The time will depend on your yogurt preferences, the type of culture you used, and the temperature of the yogurt. The yogurt will taste more tart the longer you let the yogurt sit. Check after 4 hours if this is your first time making yogurt. It’s okay if the temperature of the milk drops below 110F. It may take a bit longer for the yogurt to set and the yogurt product may be a bit loose. You don’t need to worry about the milk spoiling because the bacteria in the yogurt will prevent spoilage. Until the yogurt is fully set, avoid stirring the yogurt.
  7. Once the yogurt is at a texture and tastes to your liking, take it out of the oven. You can either whisk the water that formed at the top or remove the water. Whisk the yogurt so that it has a creamer texture. Transfer the yogurt to containers and refrigerate them. Homemade yogurt lasts for about 2 weeks in the fridge. 

References: 

https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-yogurt-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-125070

https://www.britannica.com/topic/yogurt

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