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Homemade Yogurt (In A Crockpot)
July 17, 2010
7:23 pm
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Farmgirl wannabe
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I have been making yogurt in the crockpot (Thanks to Suzanne) weekly for about a year now.  In all that time I have only had one failure. The tricks are to use a plain yogurt (you can flavor later) that has no sugar, cornstarch, pectin etc. Just milk and live cultures. I sometimes use whole fat yogurt for my culture and sometimes 2%. I always use skim milk. The whole fat culture yields a slightly thicker yogurt a little quicker.

It is important to heat milk to 180* because that kills off whatever prevents yogurt from thickening. Any hotter kills off what causes it to thicken.  Let cool to 116* before adding yogurt, otherwise it kills the live cultures. I temper the yogurt with about a half cup of the hot milk before stirring the yogurt in. Stir well and then I pour into a crock pot that has been prewarmed.  I usually put it on low while the milk is cooling to 116* and turn it off when I pour the mixture into the crockpot. I wrap in a couple of big towels and keep it warm for a few hours. 2% yogurt takes about 8 hours to thicken and whole fat yogurt takes anywhere from 4-6 hours. Summertime yogurt is good to go a little quicker than wintertime yogurt.

I eat daily with fresh fruit and in the fall with fresh cranberry relish.

I hope this helps

Sandrasun 

July 18, 2010
9:33 am
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becky3086
Thomson, GA
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Thanks. I am trying again today since I put the yogurt in too soon yesterday. I umm, hadn't really found my way around the site here yet and was trying to use some videos on youtube but now I found the instructions here so everything should go good today.

July 18, 2010
12:25 pm
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blueberrylu
Michigan
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Question for Cindy or whomever————–what size crock pot are you all using?  I have a rather large crock pot (I think 5.5qt or such, not sure).  It seems like it would be too big for a 1/2 gallon of milk.  Could you do a double batch, or would that be too much?

July 18, 2010
5:27 pm
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becky3086
Thomson, GA
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I have a question as well, how long will yogurt store in the frig? I am thinking about that cup that I will have to keep for the next time I make it. I would like to make some every week but I know I am just not that consistent.

July 18, 2010
8:28 pm
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Farmgirl wannabe
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I use a 2 quart crock pot.  I can't imagine that size would matter. Once the milk and yogurt are mixed and poured into the crock it is just a matter of keeping it slightly warm (maybe 98-105) for a period of time long enough for it to thicken. You can just as easily make a half gallon, a qt is perfect for me,as that is what I use each week.  At the end of the week the yogurt is beginning to separate but still tastes fine.

I don't keep a cup of yogurt back as my next starter, after a couple of batches it begins to weaken and is no longer viable as a starter.  So, I just go ahead and buy a small container of yogut each week.   It is still much cheaper. The large containers at my store are only 3 cups as opposed to the 4 cups I make and they charge a good deal more than one small container and a qt. of milk costs. Recently I was on a vacation and the thing I missed most about home was my daily yogurt.

I wish you much success. Let us know how it goes.

Sandrahappy-flower

July 18, 2010
9:11 pm
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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I use a 6 qt crockpot for the 1/2 gallon I make now……….. it doesn't take as long to heat I've found, though.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

July 18, 2010
10:28 pm
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becky3086
Thomson, GA
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Mine seems to have set very nicely today and I have moved it to the frig. I can't wait to taste it tomorrow. We will add some homemade strawberry syup topping to it.

July 18, 2010
10:45 pm
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Ruthmarie
Northern CA
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CindyP said:

I use a 6 qt crockpot for the 1/2 gallon I make now……….. it doesn't take as long to heat I've found, though.


 

This was a really interesting thread … glad to see what sizes work as the only crockpots I have are the hefty 6 qt and a mini size (too small for half a gallon!).  From the ridiculous to the sublime!  How does one take the fresh yogurt and turn it into the Greek style or is that simply a softer version of draining for yogurt cheese?  I haven't tried the technique yet.  And yet I'm seriously hooked on thick yogurt with honey and nuts (better than ice cream!), however, the Fage brand is a little dear to the pocketbook.

July 19, 2010
6:42 pm
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Farmgirl wannabe
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Greek Yogurt, as far as I can tell, has had some of the whey drained off to produce a thicker yogurt. 

I drain it occasionally but not very often, the whey is great for making bread or just to drink.

Yogurt with fresh fruit as a midmorning snack has helped me cut back on the amount of food I eat at lunch and I feel so much healthier for it.

Let us know how yours turns out!

Sandra

January 16, 2011
12:17 pm
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Sundownr
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I'm glad to find this post with other ways to ferment yogurt. My yogurt-maker went crazy and started overheating. It took me a while to figure out what was causing the sudden ferment failures. I started using my dehydrator which worked very well, but it uses so much electricity and it's noisy, too. I was about ready to buy a Styrofoam cooler (as suggested on another site), but I like this crock-pot idea better. Plus, I doubt I could find one of those coolers this time of year.

Thanks!

January 16, 2011
12:26 pm
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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This latest batch I made, I used a gallon of 2% milk in my 6 qt crockpot.  There was about 2″ left.  I also added a cup of powdered milk as was suggested somewhere on this thread, it helped to thicken.

I also found somewhere on the internet…leaving it sit for about 8 hours will give you a sweeter yogurt.  The longer it sits–12-15 hours–the more tangy it is.  That was interesting.  I always leave mine sit at least 12 hours because I usually make it in the evening and let it sit overnight in the oven.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

January 16, 2011
12:55 pm
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Sundownr
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I may try making a quart of yogurt in my crock-pot tonight (I think it's a 3-qt size). I cannot always find plain yogurt, so I keep a box of powdered yogurt starter in the fridge. I have also had some success with the “Fruit on the Bottom” yogurt, just using the top yogurt before stirring up the fruit and sugar. I usually add 1/2 cup powdered milk to help with thickening, and sometimes 1/2 cup heavy cream to help with creaminess, of my yogurt made with commercial, pasteurized, whole milk.

I can get fresh goat's milk from the Amish community nearby, but the yogurt made from it doesn't seem to want to thicken, regardless of how long it ferments. The Amish women told me they add unflavored gelatin granules to thicken theirs. I have used gelatin in cow's milk yogurt and it was very good. You just have to watch how much you use! It doesn't take very much to get tasty rubber yogurt . . . which is actually kinda cool, lol. 

I'll let you know how it goes!

sun

January 16, 2011
1:13 pm
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Sundownr
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When/how are you supposed to let the yogurt “sit” to sweeten? I agree, the longer it ferments the tangier it gets! Yogurt is also better for you the longer it ferments. There are diseases (celiac, lactose intolerance, etc.) that are helped with the long (24 hour) ferments, but they are very tart.

January 16, 2011
1:32 pm
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TeresaJM
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Could I use skim milk and fat-free yogurt in this recipe? 

Thanks!

January 16, 2011
2:18 pm
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Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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When I was a youngster one of our nieghbors came by and wanted to buy a gallon of fresh morning milking before it had been chilled. This was a strange request so Dad asked what he want it for. The poor man said he want to make yogurt. My Dad was outraged. He said “you want to take nice sweet, fresh jersey milk and let it sit out and sour?” He wouldn't sell it. LOL

January 16, 2011
2:37 pm
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CindyP
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The lower fats in the milk, the thinner they will be.  I wouldn't hesitate to add more powdered milk to help thicken it up (I would personally add a cup or more to a 1/2 gallon of skim milk).  There are recipes around the net using just powdered milk to make yogurt — so actually if you wanted fat free yogurt, I would start with the powdered milk, it's cheaper!

(this would be like using almost a quart of milk)

3-3/4 cup warm tap water

1-2/3 cups instant nonfat dry milk

 

When I was reading the ingredients on my YoCrunch on their site, their lowfat yogurt ingredients were lowfat milk and food starch (modified).  So they're adding something like an instant ClearJel into the yogurt to give it thickness?

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

January 16, 2011
2:38 pm
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Mark
Texas
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You can put some sweetener in the yogurt before you let it ferment to offset some of the tang without changing the consistency of the yogurt. I have seen recipes that include some honey for that purpose.

January 16, 2011
2:39 pm
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CindyP
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Yes, you can use the fat-free yogurt….it just has pectin in it to thicken it wink but it just has to have the active cultures.  It will say in or around the ingredients!

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

January 16, 2011
2:40 pm
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CindyP
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Sundownr said:

When/how are you supposed to let the yogurt “sit” to sweeten?


When it's fermenting.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

January 16, 2011
4:17 pm
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umstetter
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Sundownr said:

I'm glad to find this post with other ways to ferment yogurt. My yogurt-maker went crazy and started overheating. It took me a while to figure out what was causing the sudden ferment failures. I started using my dehydrator which worked very well, but it uses so much electricity and it's noisy, too. I was about ready to buy a Styrofoam cooler (as suggested on another site), but I like this crock-pot idea better. Plus, I doubt I could find one of those coolers this time of year.

Thanks!


If you have a cooler that you use for picnics or even a 1/2 gallon thermos that you'd take on picnics, you don't need to go buy a separate cooler. You can put the yogurt in a quart canning jar and put it inside the cooler with another jar with hot water in it. It will keep the temp for you. You could even preheat a thermos with boiling water. Dump the water out and pour the prepared yogurt mixture in. close it up and put it out of a draft and that would work too. No need to go buy “stuff” – use/recycle what you already have. You could even put this in a cardboard box lined with towels and it will hold the temp.

Just an idea.wave

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