In addition to making my own bread, I am now making my own live yoghurt. I am doing this so that I can try and control/cut down on some of the crap I am eating.
Easy peasy. My experiences are at the bottom of the page.
-Spoon/spatula to stir
-Thermometer (optional but not essential)
-Some live yog.
——you can use part of the last batch you made
——or a little of some store bought to get you started
Instructions (not critical)
1. Sterilise container and utensils by soaking in boiling water.
I put it all in the microwave with a few spoons of water and zapped for 3 mins making lots of steam.
2. Scald milk on a low-med heat. Or you can use microwave. Small bubbles should form around edge but not boil.
80-85*C (not critical)
3. Cool milk until barely warm.
about 45*C, a bit warmer than body temp (not critical).
If it is too hot you will kill the live culture.
4. Stir in about 4 tablespoons of live yog.
5. Incubate in the Yog machine for 8-12 hours.
Longer time means a tarter firmer youghurt.
6. Refrigerate. A day in the fridge will improve texture and it will become firmer. If it separates a little this is OK just stir.
I bought a BEAR 1L yog. maker from Metro, under 100rmb. Downloaded English instruction from the internet.
After reading around about yog makers, many bloggers said that the machines with several little pots are a pain in the butt to use, and so I bought a 1L model. They do make bigger for families.
My practice attempts.
I used skimmed milk (0.3%). Personal choice.
The cartons of pasteurised from Metro are fine.
Attempt one - fail :(
Skimmed milk and I used Yakult type live yog drink as a starter.
Maybe live yog drink is acidic, but I got curds and whey. As a result I left it for the full 12 hours. I ended up with cottage cheese that had an orangey flavour, yield about 1.5 cups. That is not cheap cottage cheese, and it wasn't tasty either.
Attempt two - Success :-) yum :-)
I used store bought (flavour free) active yogurt this time. Available in most places, but flavour free may make it a bit harder to find in small stores. Yes I know it will have sugar in it, but after a few rounds of using my own live yog as culture the sugar will be pretty much gone.
Incubated for 8 hours. This time I got a full litre of yog. With slight separation.
I gave it a good stir. Tastes great, still fluid, more firm than the average local yog, but a bit granular (by sight only you cannot feel it).
Refrigerated for a day, and it has indeed become more creamy, still slightly granular in texture.
Attempt three. On the go as I write.
Still using store bought yog. I had some left and I ate all the other stuff.
This is on the go now. I will leave it in the fridge for day before stirring and post how it went.
Comments so far
Making yoghurt is much easier than I thought it was going to be.
A special branded starter culture does not have to be bought, you can use any natural live yog as a starter.
It tastes good, is wholesome and I will be eating a lot more yog.
Maybe I need a bigger Yog Machine.
Price. I am using imported milk which is not cheap, but at least I know what is in it. With 1L of milk at 15-18 rmb/Ltr, and couple of rmb for electric (and a bit of starter live yog for the first batch), and amortizing the price of the machine over a year; that is around 20 rmb/ltr of fresh live yog without added chemicals.
A final big plus for me, I don't need to run into town (cost of gas, time, and traffic stress) to get it.
Win, win, win, win, win.