HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN YOGURT FROM SCRATCH.

I started making my own yogurt about 6 years ago.  I didn’t really think I could make it any better than they did in the stores (my homemade yogurt actually is marginally better) and I wasn’t even sure it was going to be any cheaper (it’s not) but I really wanted to make homemade yogurt just out of curiosity.

The other reason I wanted to be able to make homemade yogurt is because of my imaginary world.  This is the world many of us let our minds wander to when we should be thinking about insurance rates, mutual funds or other gross things.   In my imaginary world I’m usually at the cottage (that I don’t own) and everyone is  gathered around when we all realize, much to our horror, that we don’t have any butter, or bread or … in this case … yogurt.  “Everybody calm the hell down.”, I say, my arms outstretched, palms facing the ground, in the internationally known gesture of “calm the hell down”.  “We have whipping cream, flour, yeast and milk.  We’ve got this.”    

Butter as you know is made by shaking whipping cream.

Bread is made with flour, water, salt and yeast.

And Yogurt … is made with milk.  (And a little bit of yogurt.  But that ruins imaginary world where I miraculously produce yogurt with just milk.   So.)

Therefore 6 years ago I started making my own yogurt so if I ever own a cottage and am ever stranded there with a group of yogurt starved people I need to impress, I will be able to impress them.

It’s so easy and so fun that I’ve literally forced my yogurt making enlightenment on others.  Strangers in fact.   This particular episode took place about 5 and a half years ago.

I was standing in my local health food store minding my own business when a woman opened up the refrigerator and pulled out a tub of Liberté Greek Yogurt.

Well.

I couldn’t even believe she did it. She stood there, right in FRONT of me, holding yogurt. To purchase. I mean, I don’t want to say there was something wrong with her, but clearly … there was something wrong with her.  To do that and not expect to me to jump right up in her face and start telling her about how she can make her own yogurt, is insanity.

INSANITY I SAY.

I tried to be kindda cool about it, but 3 sentences into my inspirational diatribe on how she could make her own yogurt, I realized my speech was getting really rapid and maybe a touch too animated for anything outside of a meth amphetamine lab.  I … I couldn’t help myself.

I once stopped a lady in line at Costco to tell her she shouldn’t be buying pre-cut stewing beef because it’d end up making her stew gross instead of delicious. Go buy a blade or a cross rib roast and cut it up I told her.  These shopping situations always pop up when I’m by myself (because no one will go shopping with me anymore.).

So, the woman with the yogurt. I spent a couple of minutes telling her how easy it was to make yogurt, and how I was actually going home right that second to make yogurt myself. As I was telling her the 2 temperatures she had to remember, her eyebrows scrunched together and she appeared to be trying to commit them to memory. Either that, or she was trying to memorize my facial features for the police sketch artist.

I skipped out of the store, confident in the notion that I had either supplied this woman with a life changing recipe, or gave her a really good story to tell her family. Or the cops.

As I mentioned, I just can’t help myself. I’m not being a know it all, I just want people to do things better, smarter, cheaper. I want everyone’s life to be more enjoyable.

And homemade yogurt is a one way ticket to an enjoyable life. It really is. Hell, even if you only do it a few times a year you still get that “I’m just a little bit better than everyone else” feeling.

 

How to make Yogurt.

Making your own yogurt is easy, fun and gives you that little feeling of superiority we all like to experience every now and again.
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Servings: 2 cups Greek or 4 cups Regular yogurt.
Author: The Art of Doing Stuff

Ingredients

  • 1 litre quart of Milk, (whole, 2%, 1% or skim)
  • 1 Tbsp active yogurt plain

Instructions

  • Heat your milk in a saucepan over medium heat to 180 F (almost boiling, this happens quickly)
  • Remove pan from heat and allow milk to cool to 115 F. This will take around 30 minutes.
  • Once the milk is at 115 degrees, stir in 2 Tablespoons of yogurt until combined.
  • Now your job is to keep this concoction at 115 degrees for the next 8 hours. There are a few ways to do this:
  • Pour your milk mixture into a mason jar (or similar) with lid and place the entire jar into a small cooler filled with warm water. Leave for 8 hours. Or ...
  • Pour your milk mixture into a good thermos, wrap it in a towel and leave it for 8 hours. Or ...
  • Put your yogurt in the oven if your oven has an oven setting as low as 115 and leave it for 8 hours.
  • After 8 hours you will have 4 cups of yogurt that's probably thinner than what you're used to.
  • You can refrigerate it as is, or you can drain the liquid whey out by straining the yogurt through cheesecloth for a couple of hours in the fridge. Just pour the yogurt into cheesecloth, tie it up and hang it over a bowl.

Here are a few tips and a visual step by step:

You can use whole, 2%, 1% or skim milk.

I always use homogenized  milk.  (do not use ultra pasteurized)

To “activate” your  yogurt, you need 2 Tablespoons of  plain yogurt with active cultures.  Just look for the words probiotic or active cultures.

Heat your milk to 180° F (until almost boiling) over medium heat.  It won’t take long so keep an eye on it.

 

Remove your milk from the heat and set it on the counter until it comes down to 110-115° F.  This will take around half an hour to 45 minutes.
3

 

Once your milk has cooled to 115° F, stir in 2 Tablespoons of active plain yogurt.

Stir well until combined.

4

 

Pour your milk mixture into a glass jar.  I used to use a large mason jar with a lid on it. Now I use a large, good quality Thermos.

5

 

Your yogurt has to stay at 115° F for the next 6-8 hours.  Overnight is best.

So.  How to do this?  Well some ovens have a warm temperature that will  keep the oven at 120° F.  Heat your oven to this temperature, then put your yogurt in the oven and turn OFF the oven.  Leave the oven door closed with the yogurt inside for 6 hours.

If you  have a big enough insulated thermos, you can just put the yogurt in the thermos, wrap it in towels and leave it.  Like I mentioned, this is how I do it now.

Or you can do what I used to do. Put a mason jar of yogurt into a cooler, fill the cooler up with hot water from the tap (hottest possible) and close the cooler.  Let it sit for 6-8  hours.

6

For extra insurance, you can wrap the cooler in a towel.

Once the milk  has sat for 6-8 hours like this, you will have yogurt!  You can either put it in the fridge as is (your yield will be 4 cups) or you can make Greek Style yogurt, which is what I do.  I love a good, thick, creamy yogurt.

To make Greek Yogurt, after letting your yogurt sit for it’s prescribed 6-8 hours, just pour it into a cotton dish towel or cheesecloth and allow it to drain over a bowl in the fridge for 1-2 hours.  You’ll be amazed at the amount of whey they drips out.    Once it has drained, just scrape the yogurt out of dish towel/cheese cloth and stir it up well with a whisk.  Your yield will only be 2 cups of yogurt, but it will be a smooth, rich, delicious Greek Yogurt.

You can either eat it plain, stir in some honey for sweetness or top it with a dollop of jam to make a fruit yogurt.  Of course, you can also put the jam on the bottom and top it with yogurt, creating a fruit on the bottom yogurt.

I always remove 2 Tablespoons right away and put them in a little dish in the fridge.  That way I know I have my starter for the next batch of yogurt.

I really hope that woman I accosted went home and made yogurt.  She admitted she’d better go home and do it right away, otherwise she’d forget about it and never make it.  And I could see she really wanted to.  Honestly.

I liked that health food store yogurt woman.  I wonder if she has a cottage.

259 Comments

  1. Rebecca Hengen says:

    I began making my own vegan yogurt last year. I use unsweetened organic soy milk from the grocery. Vegan yogurt is hard to find in the stores in my area and it is expensive when it is available. One day I had no vegan starter and I looked online for an alternative. Imagine my surprise when I found this article that explains using chili pepper stems. Amazingly it works great! Once I made the first batch using the pepper stems, I just continued to make sure to save a bit of each batch to start the next and it’still going strong after several months. I discovered that the best way for me to incubate at the correct temperature was to use the bowl of my crock pot. It is large enough to make a half gallon at once. I heat the milk on the stove and heat the crock pot slightly as the milk is cooling. I remove the bowl and put the milk in. I cover with the lid and wrap in a heavy towel and put it in an out of the way corner of my kitchen counter away from drafts. So far this is working great. I had a lot of failures before settling on this method. I still can’t get almond or coconut milk to set, so soy milk is the one I use. I make it at least once a week. http://www.wildfermentation.com/yogurt-cultured-by-chili-peppers/

  2. Jody says:

    If I make my own yogurt however can I expect John Stamos to pop into my kitchen, feed me yogurt and tell me I’m beautiful?

  3. Sheryl says:

    I only have one question. How long did it take you get that glass so clean? Nice pics, as usual. Your efforts do not go unnoticed!

  4. Sondra says:

    Love your site and your enthusiasm for new and different things you have tried and want to share. Sharing is good. Maybe not in the grocery store, LOL. Been there and done that. Looks are legion and predictable so I don’t do it anymore.

    Home made yogurt is great but store bought is easier for us lazy souls out here in lazy-land! Here’s a couple of tips for straining yogurt. Use flat in the bottom paper coffee filters to drain yogurt in a sieve or colander in the refrigerator. Much easier to clean out the finished product. Now Karen, time to make Kefir. Super easy and delicious, provided you like the taste of buttermilk plain OR add some flavors to it. Yes, that works too. Just don’t put it into pancakes because you will kill the good microbes that are beneficial to your health. Make salad dressings, smoothies and cold things.

    Now, what’s next on your quest for food knowledge and skills development? Artisan breads? We all wait with anticipation your new discoveries because you make what sounds difficult easy!

    • ronda says:

      Karen HAS done bread … I just don’t remember when tho. There’s a recipe for 3 loaves of bread on this site somewhere!

      • Sondra says:

        Yes, I know about the bread. My attempt at humor. Karen is a very adventurous and gifted soul with a desire to learn new skills and share. I applaud her every effort to help the rest of us learn and make our lives better!

  5. Maryanne says:

    Great post (and timely – I just started to include more yogurt into my meal plans). 🙂

    Umm… side note – your post is dated March 28, 2017 but the comments are dated from July 15, 2012. Did I miss a time warp? It hurt my brain a little to see it first thing in the morning. X(

    • Maryanne says:

      Sorry, Karen. I see now that some posts at the bottom of the comments section are dated for 2017 – guess it was a time warp with a fast forward. Feeling safer about the day now 🙂

  6. Cynthia Jones says:

    I am totally confused. This post came into my email box today and as I scrolled though the comments I came across mention of “the fella”. Then I checked the dates and they range from 2012 to 2015, nothing from 2017. Did I skim the post too quickly or is there a glitch somehow or a time warp happening? Note, I refrained from saying “The Dreaded Fella”.

  7. anne says:

    Have you tried making yogurt in an Instantpot yet?

    • Roberta Bremmer says:

      I use my Instant pot for yogurt…works great. Also, I use extra large, flat bottomed coffee filters to drain the yogurt instead of cheeseclosh….works much better for me.

    • Roberta Bremmer says:

      I use my Instant pot for yogurt…works great. Also, I use extra large, flat bottomed coffee filters to drain the yogurt instead of cheesecloth….works much better for me.

      • Anne says:

        Thanks so much I’ll try it!

        • Roberta Bremmer says:

          I do the heating of the milk on the stove then cool it before using the Instantpot to maintain the temp. I found that was quicker than doing the entire process in the Instantpot.

  8. susanna lee says:

    YOU CRACKED MY ASS UP!!! Thank you for the recipe.

  9. Deb says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. I can’t wait to get started!!! I really love a good ‘healthy’ yoghurt with lots of probiotics. By making your own yoghurt in this way, do you get all those great live cultures that a quality store bought yoghurt has?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Deb. Yes! It’s those cultures that actually turn it into yogourt. That’s why you need to add a tablespoon or so of it into your milk. As it sits overnight the cultures grow and grow. 🙂 ~ karen!

  10. Kathy says:

    I just recently fell in love with Icelandic Skyr yogurt and will try to make it based on all of the comments in this blog. BTW, I love a tsp of real maple syrup in my plain yogurt. So yummy!!

  11. Brenda says:

    I love banana cream Greek yogurt, I can’t wait to try this recipe
    How would I go about making a flavored yoguart?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Brenda – Just make your regular yogurt and then add in the flavourings you want afterwards. Although Banana Cream might be a difficult one to create. You’d probably need to add mushed up bananas and possibly some vanilla and sugar. To flavour mine I usually just put a dollop of strawberry jam in it. ~ karen!

  12. Maril says:

    Thank you Karen this was awesome to find and I’m going to make yogurt tomorrow. I’m so excited because I love Liberte Greek yogurt but it is $ 8.00 per 1 liter tub here in Canada. I’m hooked on the coconut flavor. I hope I can get it to work. Wish me luck.

  13. Pam says:

    It’s even easier with a yogurt-maker (available at Walmart and elsewhere). For the $30 ot so it costs it’ll pay you back in no time.

    • Karen says:

      I’ve never really understood the need for a yogourt maker. I guess I’m not sure what it does! ‘Cause to make yogourt all you do is heat milk until 180 degrees the let it cool to 115. I guess you don’t have to worry about keeping it in a thermos for 6-8 hours. ~ karen!

      • Pam says:

        Yes, you just put your milk & a little yogurt in the glass jars provided, place in the container and turn on. No heating or temperature measuring required. And overnight: yogurt. 🙂

      • So because you posted a link about yogurt making in today’s post I decided to check out how you do it. I have been making my own yogurt for about 40 years now but you never know what you might learn or discover. It is pretty basic though. Sometimes I would add non instant skim milk powder to the milk to make a thicker yogurt, sometimes just strain it, now I just scoop out some yogurt and create a well, which I collect the whey in to pour off and use elsewhere. This response though was to be about the yogurt maker. I have used the same yogurt maker all these years and I love it. It is made by Yogotherm http://yogotherm.com/yogurt-maker/ I recently saw one for sale and the design hasn’t changed one bit. Oh the pattern on the outer casing yes, but the actual design, nada. You place your yogurt after mixing, into the plastic pail, then place that into the “yogurt maker” a thickly styrofoam lined plastic shell, much the same as a cooler only it fits the pail to a tee. No need to add warm water or wrap in a towel, it maintains the temperature perfectly. Screw the plug in type yogurt makers, this baby is a beauty and I swear by it. F#@#%n A.

        • Karen says:

          I actually just used 2 large thermoses last night Linda and it worked perfectly. Perfectly! When I took the temperature of the yogurt this morning it was 110 after 8 hours so that’s pretty good! ~ karen

        • Fantastic!!!! Great idea and yet along the same design!!!! I always make a large amount so that is one of the reasons why I LOVE my Yogotherm. However if I decide to make smaller amounts that would be an excellent way to go. Now that I think of it I sometimes have more than the container holds so I use a mason jar and this styrofoam form that I got something in but forms around the mason jar perfectly, same effect as Yogotherm. It’s a little fussy though (two sides I have to squish together and hold in place with an elastic) so next time I will try the thermos idea instead. See, you never know what you might learn or discover 🙂

  14. Jennifer says:

    Why heat the milk just to cool it? Why not just heat to 110 and add culture?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jennifer. Some people heat their milk to 180/185, some do not. Heating the milk to this higher temp. changes the proteins in the milk which gives you a thicker more tangy yogourt. ~ karen

  15. Kara says:

    Thanks for this recipe! I will make some this afternoon! However, I do have one question — Can I swap cow’s milk for a lactose-free milk like soy or almond milk? My husband is lactose intolerant but LOVES yogurt. Or would a totally different process be needed for lactose free yogurt? I would also have to find a lactose free starter mix, I’d imagine….

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kara – I’ve had others ask about the soy or almond milk yogourt. I believe it *can* be done but I’m pretty sure you need different directions for it. Sorry! ~ karen

  16. Robyn Leigh says:

    Is there a source for the active cultures other than buying yogurt in the store to get started?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Robyn – Yes, you can buy yogourt starter from health food stores, but it’ll cost you more and be harder to locate than just buying an individual sized container of plain yogourt. Good yogourt only contains milk and cultures so it’s not like you’ll be getting a whole bunch of weird stuff if you don’t want to. Also, it’s only a Tablespoon in an entire batch of yogourt so even if there is weird stuff it’ll be pretty diluted. ~ karen!

  17. Janis says:

    Well I’ll be…my yogurt’s done and it turned out great! So mild. My husband just got home from work and I gave him a little taste. He has a real sweet tooth and was surprised how good it was. He said it would need just a little jam. No jam for me….it’s going down straight! Now on to my next quest….to de-mystify sour dough. Picking up a start from a friend tonight!

  18. Janis says:

    The most fun part of reading the posts? I have discovered “fellow sisters” who have my same quirky sense of humor! Thanks!

  19. Kathleen says:

    This was so simple to follow with the steps with photos. I’ve made candy, so this was SO easy. And the yogurt was great. I used the method with the cooler and the hot water from the faucet. Worked great!!

  20. Jillybean says:

    Can you use vanilla Greek yogurt as a starter?

  21. sue says:

    I enjoyed reading your hilarious bit on yoghurt making and your beef cut knowledge! Thank you for sharing! After reading your piece, I am threatening my family that the next yoghurt consumed in our household should be from our very own kitchen! Cheers!.

  22. penny says:

    I just want to say that I love your blog! I also have a question, I tried making yogurt in a crock pot and unfortunaly it did not come out well at all. I was basically left with watery milk with a ton of clumps on the bottom. It tasted okay-ish, not rancid or anything it just wasn’t yogurt. I will have to give your method a try, maybe my crockpot was too warm and it killed the bacteria. Yum, bacteria!

  23. Cat says:

    So, I made yogurt yesterday for the first time in a long time. I followed a combo of instructions and when the cooler wasn’t keeping my batch warm enough I threw it in the oven on warm and let it sit overnight. Stove still on. So, Ive got what looks like…lots of whey and…gooby cheese? What to do now? Strain the whey out and go for Greek?

    • Karen says:

      You may have made cheese instead of yogurt by putting it all in the oven. 🙁 If that’s the case you need to start again. Chances are the cooler will keep it warm enough. If you’re worried, wrap the whole thing in a towel. Next time just wait it out and see what the result are. ~ karen!

  24. Judee says:

    I have also used a similar heating pad method – for lack of my crockpot. It works well at gatherings (July 4th) where you want to keep a pan warm, of lasagna in my case. Works for rolls too!

  25. Bettina says:

    Woke up to my first ever batch of homemade yogurt and I can hardly contain my excitement!!! It is fantastic! I used organic full cream milk and the starter from the organic yogurt we usually buy. I will not go back to store-bought – it is far too easy (and a lot cheaper) to make yourself. And the joy…thanks, Karen!

  26. Dee G says:

    I do same process but double the milk for 2T starter. I keep the inoculated milk in the pot and set it on a heating pad at medium for 7 hours. (I wasn’t using that heating pad anyway – it was nice to find a new life for it.) Then into the fridge overnight to finish setting. Whisk and strain and voila!

    • Karen says:

      Good thinking with the heating pad Dee. I use mine to start seeds! I’m not sure I know of anyone who uses their heating pad as a heating pad. 🙂 ~ karen

  27. Emily says:

    I was thinking about actually doing this recipe guide, but with all the steps…I guess I just wasn’t up for it at the time so I just went and bought some yogurt.

  28. adrienne says:

    Hi Karen!

    I was given a store bought yogurt maker for Christmas and of course it’s basically the same method you use – except I have to find a place to store the thing. In the included literature, it’s mentioned that pulling a starter from your previous batch is only recommended 3-4 times as it will eventually dilute and produce very runny yogurt. I find this counter intuitive, but thought I’d see if you (or anyone else here has) experienced this supposed phenomenon?

    😉 Your biggest fan in Atlanta,
    Adrienne

    • Karen says:

      Hi Adrienne! I have not found that. Which doesn’t mean it’s impossible … it just hasn’t happened to me. Good luck with our new(ish) machine! ~ karen

  29. Dee says:

    You are not making yogurt from scratch, you are expanding a commercial culture.

    • Karen says:

      Dee – I can’t be bothered to type this response out again, so I’ll just cut and paste it … “In order for someone, anyone, even yogourt manufacturers to make yogourt they need a starter. Bacteria. You can either buy the bacteria in powder form which is difficult for most people to find. OR you can use a tiny bit of yogourt or sour cream as your starter. There are no other options. That is indeed how you make yogourt. And this method is exactly how commercial yogourt makers make yogourt.” So no. I’m not scientifically making bacteria. But I don’t start by creating cow DNA to make a hamburger from scratch either. ~ karen

  30. Ojibajo says:

    I’m a little confused. If you are using yogurt to “make” yogurt, aren’t you are just buying yogurt and stretching out the amount of yogurt that you already have? You’re not really MAKING anything that wasn’t already there.

    • Karen says:

      Ojibajo – Yes actually you are making something that isn’t there. In order for someone, anyone, even yogourt manufacturers to make yogourt they need a starter. Bacteria. You can either buy the bacteria in powder form which is difficult for most people to find. OR you can use a tiny bit of yogourt or sour cream as your starter. There are no other options. That is indeed how you make yogourt. ~ karen

  31. Shirley says:

    I have an Easyo yoghurt maker (plastic jar with insulated container you fill with hot water then put the jar in.) Could I use that to make your yoghurt recipe?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shirley – Absolutely! The yogourt makers just take the guess work out of it. They usually recommend you use store purchased “starter”, but you don’t need that. All you need is a tablespoon of yogourt to get things going (and growing). 🙂 Good luck! ~ karen

  32. Jim says:

    I’ve been making yogurt for years. I can often go more than 12 months using the tablespoon of starter from the last batch (only interruptions come from vacations longer than 3 weeks). My scheme is to put my yogurt cups (in a dutch oven or other heavy pan for temperature stability) into my oven with the oven light on (except in the summer when no extra warmth is needed ((Seattle))). I leave it in the cozy oven overnight. Very simple to do. Also, I’ve never sterilized jars or lids and never had a failure either.

  33. Starlett says:

    I have spent the past 20 minutes in your blog so far…and I’ll be back as soon as my stomach muscles quit hurting from laughing. I haven’t had that much fun, with no energy expended, in a very long time. I’m anxious to get back to the blog, but, life calls and I must answer. Thanks for all the great info and the laughs!!!

    • Karen says:

      Welcome to my site Starlett! You’ve got a lot of catching up to do. I expect you to have read every post I’ve written by the time I post my next one which is … in about 4 hours. ~ karen!

  34. jean aldridge says:

    wow karen! thank you for your timely response! i am going to give it another try but this time i will put a heating pad on low heat in cooler or do what you did and put hottest water out of tap into cooler around yogurt. the recipe i looked at said just wrap a towel around it and set it in cooler. i will also use your amounts of yogurt to milk. thank so much for the advice. sorry for the all lower case letters i am feeding baby. jean-in texas

    • Karen says:

      LOL. I didn’t even notice the lower case. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • jean says:

        KAREN!! I have been meaning to send you an update about my yogurt making endeavors! The yogurt making is going well. Your tips worked perfectly and I am now a ‘professional’ yogurt maker. I was wondering if you ever added vanilla and sugar to your yogurt to make, well, a vanilla yogurt? Right now all I do is add maple syrup for flavor. If you do/have use(d) vanilla and sugar in the past I would love to know your measurements. Otherwise, let the experiments begin.

        jean-in texas

        • Karen says:

          Hi Jean – Great! I’ve added all sorts of things to my yogourt after I’ve made it. I usually add raw sugar or honey and berries. Sometimes I make my own fruit on the bottom yogourt by dropping a spoonful of Strawberry jam into the bottom of a cup and putting the yogourt on top. ~ karen!

        • jean aldridge says:

          thank you. wink.

  35. jean aldridge says:

    Karen! I tried a recipe for homemade yogurt from 101 Ways Homemade. I made her choco yogurt recipe. However, my yogurt never firmed up. I turned to your post that I remembered reading a while ago. My husband says try again-I will-but I didn’t learn anything yet so I may make the same mistake again…as in I have no idea what I did wrong because I followed instructions carefully. Please instruct me on what the “Art of Doing Things Master” would do in this case. Oh-to jump start the trouble shooting-I used Homogenized milk, Greek Yogurt with live active cultures, heated the milk to 180, let cool to 110. The amount of milk was 4 cups the amount of “yogurt starter” was 1/2 cup. What should I do differently next time? Sincerely, jean-down here in Texas

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jean – It sounds like you did it mostly right. For 4 cups of milk you only need a Tablespoon or two of yogourt though. Once you let the milk cool and mixed in your starter, did you keep it at 110 – 115 for the next 8 hours or so? If you let the temperature drop below that the yogourt won’t firm up. Also, after 8 or so hours the yogourt won’t firm up completely. It’ll still be slightly runny. To make it thicker like a Greek yogourt you have to strain it for a couple of hours. Just dump it into a cotton cloth or a few layers of cheesecloth, wrap it up and let it hang over a bowl in the fridge. The whey will strain out of it into the bowl and what remains in the cloth will be thicker greek style yogourt. Good luck! ~ karen

  36. Tiffany says:

    Thank you so much, your post is funny and enjoyablt to read. I will be heading to the grocery store tomorrow to get some milk and yogurt. I have one question? Have you ever heard of adding powdered milk to your yogurt to make it thicker? By the looks of your yogurt it is nice and creamy so you may have never had to do anything like that but I was just wondering 🙂 Thanks again, Sincerely Tiffany

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tiffany – I have tried adding powdered milk. I don’t find it really thickens it all that much and definitely not as much as straining it. With straining, you lose some volume but gain flavour and richness. ~ karen!

  37. Alisha says:

    Yes! I feel so creative. You should make butter. It’s just as easy!

  38. Alisha says:

    Made it last night and had it for breakfast this morning with some hemp hearts and papaya. SO good. Just in time too because today is the start of my 14 day sugar cleanse. It makes me happy to know I can have sugar free yogurt anytime with all that important probiotic stuff.

  39. Mara says:

    Do you know if you can make this with non-dairy milks (i.e soy milk, flax milk, coconut milk, etc)? I’m vegan and it is so hard (and expensive) to find a good non-dairy yogurt. Right now I use Silk yogurt to make my smoothies when I g

  40. Janey says:

    Wow! Whenever I heard about making yogurt it seemed really complicated, but you inspired me to try it and it’s so simple. My 16 yr old son loves it and now he asks me to make more. He loves to put it in the blender with fruit and make smoothies! Thanks for healthy-ing up my teenager!

  41. Christina says:

    Oh poo…
    Mine didn’t turn out. I used the oven method (turned it on to 115, put the jars in and turned it back off) I also turned the oven light on for good measure and left the yogurt in for almost 7 hours. It came out tasty and quite tangy, but barely thicker than milk.
    🙁 Where did I go wrong? Think my oven didn’t stay warm enough?

    • Karen says:

      Christina – The oven could have been the problem. It’s hard to say. Try one of the other methods (using a thermos, a cooler or the crockpot) The only other thing I can think of is you didn’t add enough or added too much yogourt. Did you use yogourt with active bacterial cultures? ~ karen

  42. Mariam says:

    Hi! Finally made the yogurt. It is out of this world. Maybe I got lucky with the first time, but just wanted to say THANKS for planting that crazy idea in my head.

    Now, about that chicken coop….

    Not woman enough to even dream of it.
    -M

    • Karen says:

      Mariam – You didn’t get lucky. It is *that* easy to make and tastes that good every, single time! Congrats! ~ karen

  43. Rhonda "SmartyPants" says:

    Ta-da! Made my own batch of crockpot yogurt last week and it is better every day. I set aside the requisite 1 cup starter for the very next batch ‘cuz I’ve been converted….. I will now make up some cards that say, “Rhonda . . . Yogurt Maker” with all the pertinent contact information.

    Thank you for the post, Miss Karen, and thank you to all your followers who so generously shared their tips and tricks, successes and failures. I couldn’t have done it without all of your help. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm…smack! Thanks a bunch.

  44. Liz says:

    That sounds like a lot of work and just as expensive as buying it. I used to make my own yogurt in mason jars with a heating pad set on low using a non-instant dry milk powder. That milk powder has however become difficult to find and when you do it is very expensive. It did make GREAT yogurt though.

  45. Deb says:

    Take your yogurt one step father and make a batch of paneer cheese. Bring 2 litres of whole milk just to the point where it starts to form a skin on the top. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 mason jar of yogurt and gently stir. The yogurt / milk mix will start to form lumps which is what you want. Keep stirring gently till all you have are lumps floating in a clear whey. Strain thru cheesecloth squeezing as much of the liquid as you can from it. If you like it slightly salted now is the time to add a pinch. Wrap it up tightly in the cheesecloth set in the bottom of your strainer and add weight to it and let it sit for a couple of hours.

  46. Diane Stairs says:

    hey there…I haven’t read all the comments on homemade yogurt but….I make it in the slow cooker….soooo easy, it does all the work, you leave it over night to cool and then strain through cheese cloth…tastes “almost” better than the real thing I bought in Athens. You can just google “slow cooker greek yogurt” for the recipe.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane – Yes, several other people say that’s how they do it, but I wanted to make sure I was providing a recipe that didn’t need any special equipment. I know a slow cooker isn’t exactly crazy, out there kitchen equipment but not everyone owns one. (me for example!) 🙂 ~ karen

  47. Janelle says:

    While you’re doling out unsolicited (yet valuable) advice at the grocery store, you should hang around the pharmacy section. If you see anybody taking out a prescription for antibiotics, you should command him/her to make yogurt…because of the gut/yeast thing. Those people are the most in need of yogurt making advice.

  48. Dee G says:

    That should be PUT the lidded pot…

    And another thing…I use a piece of cotton for straining – like a men’s hanky. Don’t buy that cheesecloth crap anymore.

  49. Dee G says:

    I’ve made yogurt for years. It gave new life to a heating pad – out the lidded pot of cooled and inoculated milk on a heating pad set at medium for 7 hours, or until set. I am now using a multidopholus from the health food store to start the yogurt – about 1/2 tsp per quart. It takes a little longer to set, but the taste is incredible…

    Be careful about watering your plants with too much whey. I use whey to jump start lacto fermented pickles…4 Tbs. per quart and you can cut the amount of salt to 1 Tbs.

    Great post!

  50. Erin says:

    Guess I’ll add my two bits!

    I make yogurt at the end of the day. I stick to the same temps and methods you’ve posted. Instead of a Mason jar (which looks way nicer,) I put the yogurt in a glass bowl with a lid that seals very well. I wrap the bowl in a towel, stick it in the (cold) oven and go to bed. In the morning, there’s yogurt. You’ve got to keep from tap-dancing in the kitchen, or otherwise jiggling the yogurt for that 6-8 hours.

    If it’s really cold in the house, I’ll put the oven on “warm” then turn it off before putting in the towel-wrapped bowl. Yes, one towel is designated as the yogurt towel. Thanks for the tip on making it Greek style. Yum.

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