thanks. The yogurt maker costs only 50 - 90 kuai , I guess worth the investment. Ive checked the tmal culture supplier , but no word about free maker when purchase bigger amount. So I guess the offer is over. I'm just not sure what is the difference between
using powder milk ( which type ? ) or fresh milk ( which one? ). I would appreciate any experience with this. I have never even made a milk from powder.
There are lots of powdered milks on the market. Just follow the instructions carefully, as you usually need to mix in only a small amount of warm milk first to dissolve the powder before making up to full volume. If you skip the first step you will get lumps.
Any fresh milk works. I use UHT with no problems, I usually buy the cheapest. The bacteria comes from the culture, and so it does not need to be fresh milk. The only milk I avoid is Altiplano, as I think it has added lactose (milk sugar) to sweeten it.
In order to make yoghurt the milk has to be denatured, that is a process that stops the milk proteins from turning into cheese. This is simply done by heating it up to about 85C. Milk powder and to a certain extend sterilised milk (The long life UHT milk you buy in cartons) by its nature is already denatured so can be used as such. Real fresh milk (straight from the cow) and pasteurised milk (as sold in cartons as fresh milk) need some more heat treatment to reach this stage. Therefore using UHT milk or milk powder are the easiest and cheapest. As the Tiger above mentioned “any fresh milk works” but it needs the heat treatment.
Be aware that a lot of milk powder in China is sold as sweetened. This means it is a blend of milk powder and sugar. Because people don’t know the difference they can sell milk power / sugar blends at slightly lower prices than that of pure milk powder but in reality you are buying sugar at milk prices.
In milk powder there are apart from the sweetened and unsweetened types, variations in the fat content. Cheapest is DSM (Dried Skimmed Milk) which does not contain fat (The fat is sold as butter or gee so the most expensive component of the milk is already taken out). It has the advantage of being cheaper and not containing fat which makes it a bit healthier and gives it a longer shelf life (Fats tend to get rancid and give a bad taste when aging).
I personally use a 50-50 mix of DSM and full cream milk which gives a good taste to price ratio.
Indeed in China there are all kind of “funny” milk products like the above mentioned Altiplano which contain extra milk solids without the fat (and some protein) to still get a rather creamy taste like it would be extra creamy full cream milk.
Traditionally milk products are hardly used in China but there is a great belief that milk is good and therefore it is hardly consumed by the elderly and mainly by kids. This leads to a situation in which producers tend to adjust their flavour to kids; thus sweet.
Yoghurt in China is thus mainly a product consumed by the little emperors and therefore ridiculous prices can be asked. Therefore it really pays to make your own; better quality (Less sugar and better taste) at more normal prices.
See above about sweetened and unsweetened milk powder and no fat (DSM) and full cream milk powder.
“Trim” from Fonterra, the New Zealand milk cooperative, is a good and cheap option of DSM. It is available at both Wal-Mart and Metro. Fonterra sells as well a full cream milk powder and UHT milk in cartons. Their milk powder tends to be cheaper than any liquid milk.
Trim has a bit of lecithin in it as emulsifier and will not give lumps. I use just boiled tap water but others use filtered water (I work on the presumption that any bacteria left in the boiled water will be completely outnumbered by the bacteria in your starter culture).
Does anybody know anything about fengweisuannai, a local brand of yoghurt that comes in 200ml bottles for 3 kuai each?
Without understanding any of the technicalities I use the fresh milk from my corner shop. It's called 24 hours milk, comes in green and white packets and makes perfect yoghurt. It costs 18 kuai for a litre. I also use the slightly cheaper 14 kuai milk which comes in blue and white packets. Also has no problem turning into yoghurt. I use delivered water in the blind faith that it's better than tap water.
Ishmael I used to buy little bottles at stands in the street. You drink the yoghurt there and give them the bottles back. It was nice yoghurt but slightly sweetened if I remember right. Haven't seen them in a while.
The 200ml glass bottle yoghurt that was common all over China disappeared from shops last year. I think still some milk and yoghurt is available in reuse glass bottles but only from some home delivery schemes. These schemes install small metal lockers on the wall outside and deliver your orders into these. If you are interested in this look for these lockers, they usually have a telephone number on them.
The reuse glass bottles were hated by shop owners because the returned bottles take up a lot of space and stink like sour milk because people didn’t clean them before returning them. In the earlier days this was no problem because they were mainly sold on the street and daily delivered because there was no cooling. Indeed usually they were consumed on the spot. These bottles show a whole lot of transition over time in China. When I first came to China some 25 years ago they were closed off with a piece of paper and a rubber band that was cut from a bicycle tube. Later they came with plastic pop-off caps that could be reused as well.
Then the shape of the bottle changed. They then got plastic tear-off caps and a plastic skin over the glass with brand name and nutritional information. And then they disappeared.
In general I use local products but I don’t like to buy dubious products. Quite some Chinese milk products that are sold as fresh milk are in fact made from milk powder. Simple calculation: milk powder at retail prices is 7 kuai/litre. Bulk thus even cheaper. Add water and put it in a carton. Cost one to two kuai. Add cost for distribution cost, again one to two kuai and sell for 18 kuai. Profit some 8 kuai. Cloudtrapezer you say that you never used powder milk; well I am pretty sure that the products that you buy here are at least partly made from milk powder.
The other trend is that milk products are sold more in more in disposable plastic bottles, usually very high grade heavy plastic. All end up as waste. Yoghurt comes as well in plastic cups with aluminium tops, these products usually taste to plastic.
Yoghurt is a hype at the moment and in our block they even opened a yoghurt bar. Not many customers so I think that it will close again soon like most shops in our neighbourhood.
You guys have broke the new record. Four pages on gokunming without any nonsensicality or jabbing, even looks like a conversation. Almost like a diploma mark reached. What has happened. Is yogurt the key for world peace.
I had no idea milk has to be denatured before making yoghurt... Another plus for imported milk powder from a major supermarket is that it's probably genuine & risk of contamination is negligible. New Chinese parents certainly remember the melamine in babymilk disaster; I've been asked where to get imported milk powder a couple of times.