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How to make homemade yogurt

Sterilization of yogurt-making equipment is imperative


Michael Maes/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Homemade Yogurt

It is easy to make your own at home with one of the many yogurt machines currently on the market, but a machine is not necessary.

You will need a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, a large container for mixing, a whisk and sterilized glass or porcelain containers for storage.

Sterilization is important. Undesirable bacteria could ruin your yogurt. Run your clean equipment through the rinse cycle of the dishwater or boil for one minute in a large pot. Heat source options include a wide-mouthed Thermos container, oven, heating pad, crockpot or hot sun.

Check these recipes for full details:

Homemade Basic Yogurt
Homemade Flavored Yogurt
Making Yogurt Without a Yogurt Maker

If your yogurt is not thickening properly, it could be due to a number of reasons. If using a starter yogurt, be sure it is still active and enough is used. The temperature should be 100 to 110 degrees F. Too high heat or too low will ruin it.

The utensils must be clean and once the milk mixture is set to incubate, it should not be moved. If the result is too tart for your tastebuds, then let it incubate for less time. If the whey is separating from the yogurt, it most likely has incubated too long or it was stirred or moved during incubation.

No need to worry about spoilage if you watch the timing. The lactic acid that causes fermentation attacks the perishable protein in milk. The longer it sits souring, the more lactic acid is produced. It can rest at 100 degrees F. for a good 8 to 10 hours with no danger. However, beyond that time limit, mold becomes a distinct possibility. Mold will feed on that protective lactic acid rendering the yogurt defenseless. The optional addition of sugar should be done after your yogurt has ripened. Sugar helps preserve fruit added to yogurt and lengthens its storage period.

More about Yogurt and Yogurt Recipes:

Yogurt Cooking Tips, Measures, and Substitutions
What is yogurt? FAQ
Homemade Yogurt
Homemade Yogurt Cheese
Yogurt Storage
Yogurt History
Yogurt Recipes
Yogurt Photo © 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.


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