It’s relatively easy to make yogurt at home without any special tools. After getting a brief demonstration from my uncle, I decided to give it a shot. Although my uncle uses an Instant Pot to incubate the yogurt, I had success with a 1 gallon insulated Coleman jug. The insulated jug is definitely the cheapest way to proceed and for now I don’t see a need to buy a special appliance.
Homemade yogurt is smoother and less tart than similar, store-bought yogurts. Although you can do so, I did not add any flavoring or sweetener to the yogurt. I got enough sweetness from adding granola and fruit to the yogurt when I eat it.Here is the recipe I used to make yogurt at home.INGREDIENTS
- 1 Gallon Milk
- 3 tablespoons plain, unsweetened yogurt with live cultures (fat content does not matter)
- Prepare an ice bath by filling the sink with ice and water.
- Attach a candy thermometer to a heavy, large pot and add the milk to a large, heavy pot and place on medium heat. Heat the milk until it reaches at least 180°F or boils, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming and making sure the milk doesn’t scald or boil over.
- Remove the milk from the heat and allow it to cool to 110°F to 115°F. The optional ice bath will speed the cooling process. Stir occasionally to speed the cooling process. (If the temperature drops too low, return it to the heat.)
- When the temperature nears 115°F pour 1 cup of mil in a small bowl and combine with yogurt, stirring to combine. Add the yogurt-milk mixture to the remaining warm milk and stir until completely incorporated. Do not stir vigorously.
- Pour the mixture into yogurt maker containers, Instant Pot or another incubator such as an insulated jug (if using an insulated jug, first warm the inside with hot tap water) and incubate between 110°F and 115°F for 5 to 10 hours, depending on the desired flavor and consistency—longer incubation periods produces thicker, more tart yogurt. Do not disturb the yogurt during incubation.
- Cover the yogurt and refrigerate until cold, 2 to 3 hours. (If you used a thermos to incubate, transfer the finished yogurt to a non-insulated container for chilling so the temperature will drop.) Stir any flavorings into the yogurt just before serving. (For thicker, Greek-style yogurt, after incubation, spoon the yogurt into a cheesecloth-lined colander or nut bag and set over a bowl and let it drain, covered in the refrigerator, for at least 1 hour or overnight. Discard the whey that drains out of the yogurt or reserve it for another use.)
- Straining will yield about 1 quart of whey, leaving 3 quarts of yogurt.
- Yogurt can be stored in the refrigerator, in covered glass, ceramic, or plastic containers, for up to 2 weeks, but the flavor will be the best during the first week. As yogurt ages, it becomes more tart. If more whey separates out of the yogurt, just stir it back in before serving.
- Add vanilla flavor, sugar or artificial sweetener as you see fit to the final product.