Making yogurt

This morning I have a gallon of yogurt straining on top of my stove.  I’d had several unsuccessful batches or too small batches so I wanted to make new yogurt and record exactly what I did so that if it worked I’d have a process for future batches.  I did follow some instructions from a blogger but I will not share that link because it was probably the most annoying blog post I’ve ever come across.  Over 30 pictures with many of them being almost repetitious and that wasted so much time.

First, I “sterilized” my pot. Even though it was clean, many people suggest you do this to make sure there is no bacteria present that could interfere with the bacteria needed to make the yogurt.  I put in a couple of cups of water and hit “Steam”, reducing the time to 5 minutes.  While this was going on I went and took shower and got dressed.

I added a gallon of Cooper’s Hilltop Farm milk and pressed the Yogurt button.  Then did the Adjust so that the “boil” function started.  I took a look at the clock and it was 9:45.  At 10:40 the IP beeped that the boil was complete.  I checked the temperature and it as 181°.  The blog I was reading (and several others I’ve read) said that if you want extra thick yogurt you should raise the temperature to 185° and let it sit at that temperature for 5-10 minutes.  After this step, I stirred the milk and turned the pot off.

I’d left the milk in the inner pot but took the pot itself out of the Instant Pot to just sit on the stove top to cool.  It took approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes for it to cool to 110°.  I have only cooled to 115° at times, but I followed the instructions I was using explicitly.  I added 1/4 cup of Fage Total 0 (which is what I had in my fridge) and set the pot to incubate for 8 hours.  I often have “yogurt” after 5 to 6 hours,  but I left it at 8 knowing I could stop it when I decided it was ready.

At 5 hours it still appeared to be very runny and I was a bit nervous.  I checked at 6 hours and there seemed to be a bit of whey separating so I left it longer.  Actually, I forgot about it and it was at 7½ hours by the time I remembered.  At this point there a good amount of whey and taking a spoon from the yogurt I could see the good consistency that I was hoping for.  So I covered the pot and put it into the refrigerator.

This morning I had some really good yogurt.  It’s been draining now for about 4 hours and I am going to put it into jars now.  I am going to save the whey and see if I can use it as a starter next time.  And I am going to use some of the whey as liquid in a recipe I plan on making later today.


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