Friday, June 27, 2008

Yogurt in a Bag

I'm really liking my new yogurt-making habit. I've refined it from the awkward blanket-wrapped crockpot that I forgot to photograph. I found an insulted silver picnic bag in the basement, and I just used that with nice results. I am pleased to be able to make a quart of yogurt for $1 (commercial milk) to $2 (raw organic milk).

Method: Bring a quart of milk almost to a boil. I suspend a digital thermometer in the milk by slipping it between the tines of a whisk. Stir the milk frequently as it heats over a medium flame. When it hits about 210F, take it off the heat and let it cool down to 120F (took about 15-20 minutes). Put a tablespoon of your previous batch of yogurt in the bottom of a clean quart-size container, and pour in a little of the hot milk, whisking it smooth. Then pour in the rest of the hot milk and whisk to mix. Put on the container lid and pop the quart into the insulated bag. Then fill a bottle or jar with hot tap water and put it in the bag next to the quart. Use a dish towel to fill any empty space in the top of the bag, and zip shut the bag. Leave it alone for 7-8 eight hours, then take it out and put it in the fridge to stop the culturing process. Done!

Later, I will mix in a little honey and some of those cherries or raspberries we picked yesterday.

This morning, the ambient temperature in the kitchen was 80F, and the temperature of the yogurt in the bag was 95F. The water bottle was somewhat cooler at 88F. I don't know if the bag will be enough in the winter, when the kitchen air could be in the 50's. But the bag is simple and easy to store in our tiny kitchen. Liking it a lot.


LisaZ said...

Great post. I've been incubating my yogurt in the haybox cooker I made out of a cooler and alu. foil, and that works too. Still, it's great to know another method. Does your yogurt come out creamy?


Matriarchy said...

It turns out a lot like commercial yogurt. Creamier if I stir it. Liquid tends to separate when I start scooping some out. I can make it thicker by draining it. I want to experiment with letting it cultivate longer, if I can maintain the temperature. Might try it on one of these hot days, instead of overnight. I wonder what happens if you leave it for 10 or 12 hours?