The two magic temperatures you need to remember are 180° and 110° Fahrenheit.
So, all you are going to do is heat the milk up to 180°F, cool it back down to 110°F and then add the culture.
The cultures do the rest of the work for you.
You probably already have all of the supplies that you will need to make yogurt and guess what! You don’t need a yogurt maker! That’s good news, right? I always like having one less thing to buy.
Here’s what you will need:
- A stainless steel or glass pot
- A digital thermometer
- A long handled spoon for stirring
- A gallon of the best quality milk you can get
- Plain yogurt with live and active cultures or some yogurt starter.
The next factor to consider is the quality of milk. Your yogurt will only be as good as the milk you use to make it.
Yogurt can be made from all kinds of dairy milk including cow, horse, sheep, goat, water buffalo or even non-dairy milks like soy, coconut, pumpkin seed and almond.
Milk can really be a sensitive issue for many people. I’ll just say that we try to get milk locally and from grass-fed cows, and I believe it’s worth every penny. Do the best with what you have, but realize that there is a vast difference between commercial milk, and real milk.
Step 1. Disinfect your supplies
I usually pour the milk in, turn on the heat and walk away since you don’t need to begin the stirring right away. Once the milk begins to heat up and get frothy, I stand over it and stir to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of my pot.
I have learned to make yogurt without a thermometer, once you know how the milk looks at 180°F it’s easy. Right before the milk begins to boil, it is about 180°F.
Step 4. Add the culture
For one gallon of milk you will need 1/4 cup of plain yogurt or recommended amount of yogurt starter.
If you are using commercial yogurt, it is essential to get a good brand with live and active culture and no junk like starches, preservatives and colorings. Look at our best yogurt brands page to get some ideas.
Step 5. Find a warm spot so the cultures can do their work
Yogurt bacteria do their work best in a warm, draft-free place. This can be done in an oven with the pilot light on or in a small cooler filled with hot water or with a heating pad.
While the yogurt is incubating it needs to be kept at a constant temperature of 100-110°F. It also needs to not be jostled about or stirred since this interrupts the fermentation process. In about 6-8 hours (or overnight) you will have some wonderful homemade yogurt.
It’s so rewarding when you get into a groove and start making homemade yogurt that turns out perfectly each time. By the second time or third time, you’ll never need to consult the recipe again. You can a make it a part of your daily or weekly routine and you and your family will enjoy all of the wonderful benefits.
Now, that you have learned how to make yogurt, you can learn some ways to modify this recipe to create flavored yogurt.
Happy Yogurt Making!