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Greek Yogurt

I love this homemade yogurt over other yogurt because of its mellow flavor. With so many homemade yogurts they are quite tangy and require too much sweetener to mask the tanginess of the yogurt. Not so with Greek yogurt.

Ingredients

1 gallon of raw, whole milk
2 cups Greek yogurt starter (Obtain plain Greek Yogurt from Costco for initial starter)

Instructions: Use a wire whip to gently fold yogurt starter and raw milk together into a pan that can be placed into your oven. Stir it in starter until it is spread throughout all the milk. Then place into oven at 100 degrees and allow to sit for 24 hours. Remove from oven and then spoon yogurt into containers that can be stored in your refrigerator. Place in refrigerator until ready to use. Can be enjoyed plain, or sweetened, and with various recipes. You can save back two cups of this starter that may be later used to start any future batch of yogurt. Enjoy!

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How long does the yogurt last in the fridge and when saving a starter for later, what's the best way to "save" it long term? Does it freeze well? - Thanks.


I know that raw whole milk is best, but if it is unavailable, can pasteurized whole milk be used with good results?

What brand of greek yogurt does costco carry?

I've heard that the bacteria in the yogurt and the bacteria in the raw milk react in a funny way to make the yogurt sour.  It's as if the bacteria are fighting one another.  I've had this same reaction with kefir in raw milk.  Have you heard of or experienced such a thing?  Do you heat your raw milk up first?

Also, do you turn the oven off or leave it for 24 hours at 100 degrees? 

Janalyn, you could heat up the raw milk first, but we just stir in the starter with the milk and place it in the oven for 12 to 24 hours, depending upon how long it takes to turn into yogurt. We keep the temperature set to 100 degrees the whole time. There are many strains of friendly bacteria, each of which have their own properties. The strains in the greek yogurt act differently then say the strains found in Dannon yogurt or Albertson's yogurt and create a mellow flavor versus the more tangy or sour flavor of other strains we've tried.

I've got a book on culturing all sorts of things - grains, beans, veggies, fruits, milk, etc. The cultures chosen each produce a different effect. For example, I cultured some beans recently using the same bacteria cultures I use for making naturally leavened bread. Fermentation occurred but the result was incredibly sour. In the book I mentioned it names very specific cultures that are used in the orient to culture beans to create natto, miso, tamari, and so forth. Sometimes the easiest way to start your own cultures, it to simply buy a product that is already cultured that you like and then use it as the starter, because it will already have the natural probiotics and sometimes enzymes in the product that were used to create the product originally. Have fun! 

You can freeze starter to keep it longer.

I often use Costco's whole milk for my yogurt.  I heat it in the crockpot to about 180-210 degrees, then cool to 90-110.   Then stir the starter into it and place it in the oven with the light on for 24 hours.

I'll try the raw milk method this week, though.

If you don't mind my asking, what book do you have.  I have just recently started live-cultures and am looking for a comprehensive book on the subject.



James Simmons said:

Janalyn, you could heat up the raw milk first, but we just stir in the starter with the milk and place it in the oven for 12 to 24 hours, depending upon how long it takes to turn into yogurt. We keep the temperature set to 100 degrees the whole time. There are many strains of friendly bacteria, each of which have their own properties. The strains in the greek yogurt act differently then say the strains found in Dannon yogurt or Albertson's yogurt and create a mellow flavor versus the more tangy or sour flavor of other strains we've tried.

I've got a book on culturing all sorts of things - grains, beans, veggies, fruits, milk, etc. The cultures chosen each produce a different effect. For example, I cultured some beans recently using the same bacteria cultures I use for making naturally leavened bread. Fermentation occurred but the result was incredibly sour. In the book I mentioned it names very specific cultures that are used in the orient to culture beans to create natto, miso, tamari, and so forth. Sometimes the easiest way to start your own cultures, it to simply buy a product that is already cultured that you like and then use it as the starter, because it will already have the natural probiotics and sometimes enzymes in the product that were used to create the product originally. Have fun! 

I don't go to Costco--does it matter what brand of plain Greek yogurt I use?  Does it have to be raw and whole milk?  Can't do a non-fat version?

Candice, I believe the book is called Wild Fermentation; I recently moved all my bookshelves and am having a hard time laying my hands upon the book. It is by Sandor Ellix Katz if I remember correctly.

Sunny, any greek yogurt should work. Greek yogurt is using strains of bacteria that produce a more mellow taste than other yogurts. Any brand of Greek Yogurt ought to work, because it will include dormant lactobacilli and spores of lactobacilli (friendly bacteria) that will come to life as you add the yogurt start to a new food source (milk) and then warm that milk to a temperature (100 degrees) in which the bacteria become active again. As they become active they feed upon the new food source. 

My first attempt was not a great success. the yogurt was runny, it tasted ok, but was more like thin pudding. Any ideas at what went wrong?

What was your temperature; how long did you keep it in the oven, and what brand did you use? When ours is too thin we keep it in longer until it thickens nicely. I noticed that when I began using the greek yogurt start it took twice as long as the other yogurt starts to get it to thicken nicely.

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