The last few days we've talked about making homemade villi yogurt at room temperature! If you're new here and would like to catch up, cruise on over to Yogurt Saga, Chapter 1 to see the inspiration behind this latest yogurt venture, or Yogurt Saga, Chapter 2, to hear how easy it is to get started.
It worked! Refreshing the dehydrated starter culture from Cultures for Health couldn't have been easier! I checked on my yogurt every 12 hours or so, and after 48 hours, it was a lovely, semisolid mass! Of course, that was just the starter (and only a 1/2 cup), so Phase 2 has commenced: making yogurt in quantities sufficient for family consumption.
This phase is also insanely simple: stir 1 tablespoon of yogurt into each cup of milk I want to culture, and leave it in a warm (70-78) spot for 24-48 hours again.
Since I had 1/2 a cup of yogurt starter, I went ahead and used it all to start 2 quart jars of (future) yogurt (8 Tbsp starter makes 8 cups yogurt).
When this yogurt is done culturing, I'll be able to use it to culture future batches, and so on.
So, what has this experience left me thinking? I had no idea making yogurt could be this simple and painless! Also, I am experimenting with abandoning the magical fermenting sock idea (one of my quarts this time around has the sock, one just has a towel over the mouth, with a screw band holding it on). I found little pieces of black lint on the top of my yogurt after the last culturing period, and I don't know if eating lint is worth the sock method. Laurie at Common Sense Homesteading really like the sock because she could put the jar in the sun and have the dark sock help absorb some heat. But I don't have a sunny window in my kitchen at this time of year. We will see if my towel-covered jar does just as well as my sock-covered one did, and if so, I think I'll give my husband his sock back. :)
Update on the yogurt: it cultured beautifully! It is not as thick as store-bought (which has gelatin and sometimes powdered milk added in to make it a solid mass), but the flavor is tangy/mellow and delicious. The kids have been asking for seconds (possibly because they spill half of their "firsts" all over themselves).
And the towel-covered jar worked just as well as the sock-covered one, so the sock returned to its drawer where it will wait for me to find its partner in my giant laundry heap.
This post is shared at Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS , Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet, and Foodie Fridays at Designs by Gollum