Reply Hey Mom! Learn more about the Gerber Life Insurance Grow-Up Plan!
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-02-2011, 11:33 AM   #1
emmaegbert
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New York City
Posts: 44
making yogurt and other cultured dairy, I really want to make this work

okay I tried yogurt-making when I was living in San Diego and just wasted a ton of high quality milk. I tried using room-temp cultures (3 different kinds!) from cultures for health to no avail. I tried using at least different kinds of natural yogurt as started and using warm milk (wrapped up, in a thermos). I didn't try an actual yogurt maker and I am just resisting buying a contraption (due to lack of $$, space, and desire to not accumulate stuff). anyway I felt like a yogurt failure and just stopped trying. (FWIW I am a good cook and baker, so this was a surprise to me, to fail so miserably at yogurt-making).

Now I am in NYC and want to try again. There is a raw milk delivery coop and I think a gallon of milk a week would work for us IF I could make about a quart or so into yogurt or kefir.

SO...

any experts have advice? Is it really as simple as it sounds? do I just need to forget my former failures and move forward?

I like the idea of the room-temp cultures but I feel like my home is not going to stay in this really narrow temperature range. What about people who don't live in temperature-regulated places? Does it work for you? I could put it in the boiler room which is pretty warm... I'm afraid it might be too warm. But our house isn't staying above 70 at night (its a garden/basement apt in a single-family house, NOT your typical overheated Manhattan building).

if I was making my own yogurt, couldn't I just thin it down a bit to use in place of buttermilk and to drink instead of kefir? The idea of culturing multiple things is daunting.

If you start culturing from store-bought yogurt, do you need to rebuy the yogurt to make more or can you reculture from your own yogurt?

does anyone strain yogurt to make it like greek yogurt?

we are low income but I try to eat organic as much as possible especially dairy. And I want this to be CHEAPER than buying the same full-fat organic products in the grocery store.

Advertisement

emmaegbert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2011, 04:42 PM   #2
Farm_Mama's Avatar
Farm_Mama
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: South Central Minnesota
Posts: 2,345
Re: making yogurt and other cultured dairy, I really want to make this work

I've never made yogurt because of the problems you encountered. However, I make kefir with raw milk and it's ridiculously easy. It doesn't require and specific temperatures or equipment. I don't think you could screw it up if you tried. I use kefir in any recipe that calls for yogurt or buttermilk and in all my grain soaking.
__________________
Courtney, wife to Chris. BFing, BWing, Real Food Eating, Crunchy Christian Mama to
Ian 4/01, Audrey 10/03, Ellenie 2/09, and Emelia 12/10
Farm_Mama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2011, 05:11 PM   #3
3rockstars
Registered Users
Formerly: FaeryGnomeHome
seller
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,544
Re: making yogurt and other cultured dairy, I really want to make this work

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008...-crockpot.html

this is what I do. I've done it many many times and it's delicious every time. Obviously you would have to add flavor yourself. It comes out slightly thicker than drinkable yogurt smoothies so I strain mine after it's done because I like it super super thick like greek yogurt. I line a colander with coffee filters and strain it over a glass pie plate.

ETA: it really is as simple as these directions state. Set a timer for the crockpot. If you can turn on a crockpot and turn off a crockpot and mix together 3 ingredients, you can make yogurt. Oh and to incubate overnight, I wrap the crockpot in a bath towel and then put another bath towel folded in half over the top and down the sides. It works quite well shoved into the corner of my little kitchen counter. My house is heated to 66 and it doesn't really STAY there. We have forced hot air so it gets quite cool and then all of a sudden hot air will BLAST out of the vents. But my yogurt still does well. I think it's because it's wrapped in towels inside the crockpot. I mean, it doesn't just sit in a jar on the counter to culture. So it's protected a little from temp extremes.
__________________

Last edited by 3rockstars; 01-03-2011 at 05:21 PM.
3rockstars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2011, 07:44 PM   #4
photocat's Avatar
photocat
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,539
Re: making yogurt and other cultured dairy, I really want to make this work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farm_Mama View Post
I've never made yogurt because of the problems you encountered. However, I make kefir with raw milk and it's ridiculously easy. It doesn't require and specific temperatures or equipment. I don't think you could screw it up if you tried. I use kefir in any recipe that calls for yogurt or buttermilk and in all my grain soaking.
Yep, what she said. Except a loooong time ago I used to make yoghurt with the powdered mixes. Ick. Not now, but I am afraid of wasting the raw organic milk I get by my yoghurt not working. But the kefir is dead easy.
__________________
Mum to 3 boys, Hunter '05, Rowan '08 and Lightning, stillborn 2011

photocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 07:44 AM   #5
va703's Avatar
va703
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 2,534
My Mood:
Re: making yogurt and other cultured dairy, I really want to make this work

I've been making kefir, too....so easy and it always seems to work. I do keep it sitting in my microwave, because I think the temperature stays more consistent in there (plus it's above the stove, so it's a tad warmer.) Kefir makes the best smoothies....I'm drinking one now.
__________________
Jessica

Happy mama to my 4 handsome boys
va703 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 12:48 PM   #6
Sarah
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 9,266
My Mood:
Re: making yogurt and other cultured dairy, I really want to make this work

I will echo everyone elses comments on kefir. I've been making it for a couple years now with the "mother grains". Sadly only Leah and I drink or eat it,but it's sinfully easy and we like it a lot
Sarah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 06:59 PM   #7
emkeegan's Avatar
emkeegan
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: CNY
Posts: 305
My Mood:
Re: making yogurt and other cultured dairy, I really want to make this work

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmaegbert View Post
okay I tried yogurt-making when I was living in San Diego and just wasted a ton of high quality milk. I tried using room-temp cultures (3 different kinds!) from cultures for health to no avail. I tried using at least different kinds of natural yogurt as started and using warm milk (wrapped up, in a thermos). I didn't try an actual yogurt maker and I am just resisting buying a contraption (due to lack of $$, space, and desire to not accumulate stuff). anyway I felt like a yogurt failure and just stopped trying. (FWIW I am a good cook and baker, so this was a surprise to me, to fail so miserably at yogurt-making).

Now I am in NYC and want to try again. There is a raw milk delivery coop and I think a gallon of milk a week would work for us IF I could make about a quart or so into yogurt or kefir.

SO...

any experts have advice? Is it really as simple as it sounds? do I just need to forget my former failures and move forward?

I like the idea of the room-temp cultures but I feel like my home is not going to stay in this really narrow temperature range. What about people who don't live in temperature-regulated places? Does it work for you? I could put it in the boiler room which is pretty warm... I'm afraid it might be too warm. But our house isn't staying above 70 at night (its a garden/basement apt in a single-family house, NOT your typical overheated Manhattan building).

if I was making my own yogurt, couldn't I just thin it down a bit to use in place of buttermilk and to drink instead of kefir? The idea of culturing multiple things is daunting.

If you start culturing from store-bought yogurt, do you need to rebuy the yogurt to make more or can you reculture from your own yogurt?

does anyone strain yogurt to make it like greek yogurt?

we are low income but I try to eat organic as much as possible especially dairy. And I want this to be CHEAPER than buying the same full-fat organic products in the grocery store.
I was just thinking today that I'd like to try my hand at this.... thanks for the post!
emkeegan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 08:56 PM   #8
comom
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 760
Re: making yogurt and other cultured dairy, I really want to make this work

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaeryGnomeHome View Post
http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008...-crockpot.html

this is what I do. I've done it many many times and it's delicious every time. Obviously you would have to add flavor yourself. It comes out slightly thicker than drinkable yogurt smoothies so I strain mine after it's done because I like it super super thick like greek yogurt. I line a colander with coffee filters and strain it over a glass pie plate.

ETA: it really is as simple as these directions state. Set a timer for the crockpot. If you can turn on a crockpot and turn off a crockpot and mix together 3 ingredients, you can make yogurt. Oh and to incubate overnight, I wrap the crockpot in a bath towel and then put another bath towel folded in half over the top and down the sides. It works quite well shoved into the corner of my little kitchen counter. My house is heated to 66 and it doesn't really STAY there. We have forced hot air so it gets quite cool and then all of a sudden hot air will BLAST out of the vents. But my yogurt still does well. I think it's because it's wrapped in towels inside the crockpot. I mean, it doesn't just sit in a jar on the counter to culture. So it's protected a little from temp extremes.
I have been using the same recipe for about 6 months. We make a gallon of milk into yogurt every two weeks. We also strain it (about 12-16 hours) to get really thick yogurt. DH uses the whey to make other fermented foods. I did notice when the weather changed from summer, after wrapping the crockpot with 2 beach towels, I put in into the oven with the oven light on. The temp of the light is just enough for the warmness. We keep our house at 66 constant too.

For flavor, I like to add fruit puree to it (or pumpkin). DH also uses it as a mayo and for a dip base. Tonight we used it as sour cream on our tacos.

We really do enjoy this recipe!

ETA: When we made the 1st batch, we used a store bought local yogurt. Now each time we save a bit from the current batch to make the new batch.
The yogurt has gotten richer every time.

Last edited by comom; 01-05-2011 at 08:58 PM.
comom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 09:00 PM   #9
foxynursejo's Avatar
foxynursejo
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: colorado
Posts: 1,180
My Mood:
Re: making yogurt and other cultured dairy, I really want to make this work

I second putting it in the oven with the light on. I've never had any problems. Good luck!
__________________
Jolene, RN, - Proud mommy to Dylan 09-27-05. Twins Bryce and Kaia born 12-02-09.

I've donated 1,000 oz of mamas milk!

Babie's are weaned (32 months!), potty trained and I'm not BWing much anymore, but I still occasionally hang around here.
foxynursejo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 08:18 AM   #10
emmaegbert
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New York City
Posts: 44
Re: making yogurt and other cultured dairy, I really want to make this work

thanks for the replies everyone!

I will start with Kefir... good idea. Nice to hear its not really fussy about the room temperature. We could stick it in the boiler room which is quite toasty. Hopefully not TOO toasty

My kids like kefir and I don't mind it poured onto fruit or in recipes.

Can you strain it to make a thicker version for eating like yogurt? I just LURVE greek yogurt. (and we all like plain yogurt just fine)

I do like the idea of doing one batch of cultured milk per week or so, not fussing with all these different things.

I don't have a crock-pot or a microwave. We live in a very small space- about 550sf for 4 of us, with no garage or basement or anything. and on a very small budget so I am trying to figure out the lowest-investment way to make cultured dairy! Like I said-- I need this to SAVE us money in the short term (as well as the long term)
emmaegbert is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Copyright 2005 - 2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.