How to Make Yogurt - an Introduction

Did you know that you can make yogurt and Greek yogurt at home for a fraction of the cost of the store-bought stuff, without a yogurt maker or any special equipment? It's true, and with the possible exception of a good thermometer, everything you need to make yogurt is probably already in your kitchen. This was news to me when I first discovered it. I just figured yogurt came from the yogurt factory via some magical process, and that was that. Of course the truth is that people have been making yogurt at home for centuries, and I set out to learn how they do it.

After a bit of Googling, I found some recipes that worked sometimes, but not others. My yogurt would come out too thin, or too tangy, or not all. But after a bit of trial an error, I finally hit upon a technique that works for me every time. This is by no means the only way to make yogurt at home. But it is the way that I do it, and if you follow the instructions provided, it will work for you too.

Why Homemade Yogurt?

Like most things homemade, yogurt you make yourself is just better:

  • It tastes better
  • It's better for you (no preservatives, sugar or chemicals added)
  • It's less expensive
  • There's no packaging waste

So if you are ready, let's learn to make yogurt »

Just Want the Homemade Yogurt Recipe?

If you would rather skip the tutorial and simply dive right into the recipe, here's everything you need to make your own yogurt at home without a yogurt maker.

Homemade Yogurt

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You will need to leave a total of about to complete the process: prep time, and for incubation, depending on your tartness preference. The yield for this recipe is 1 half gallon of yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Half gallon of milk (any fat % you like)
  • 2-3 Tbs of plain yogurt (as a starter)

Equipment:

Directions:

  1. Create a double boiler using the two stock pots and bring the milk to 185°F, stirring to avoid a skin forming.
  2. Cool the milk to 110°F using a cold water bath, stirring to avoid a skin forming.
  3. Pour 2-3 Tbs of plain yogurt into 110°F milk and stir well.
  4. Cover and place on a heating pad undisturbed for 7 hours.
  5. Remove pot from heating pad and stir well.
  6. Refrigerate overnight to completely chill.

Note: I developed the recipe and techniques demonstrated on this site through lots of trial and error. I suggest that you follow it exactly the first time through. Then make adjustments to suit your personal tastes.

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