Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Low Temperature Yogurt Success!

So.... yesterday was my fourth attempt at low temperature yogurt from raw milk.  The previous attempts (here)  were not bad, just runny.  This batch had pectin added to it.  SUCCESS!  I am going to try gelatin next time, but am happy with this batch.  It was not exactly the same texture as cooked yogurt, but has a nice texture and you can eat it with a spoon... kind of.  I drained some of it to further thicken it.

Here were the steps:

Assemble the ingredients:  Raw milk, pectin, a little boiling water, low temperature yogurt starter, crock pot half full of water at 110 degrees, thermometer, bath towel, jars and lids, scrubbed clean, that fit into the crock pot, a blender and a nice cup of hot tea (for me)
Per the directions on the pectin package, make up the calcium water.  Then, for four cups of raw milk, I used 4 tsp. of pectin.  This went into the blender, then add boiling water and blend (I tried to cheat this step and ended up with nasty clumps) until it is smooth.  Then add the four cups of raw milk and the starter while the blender is running.  Add a couple of tsp. of calcium water and pour this mixture into the jars and lid them tightly.
 Get the water temperature  to 110 degrees.
Calcium Water.  You make it up and leave the rest in the fridge for next time.
The mess from trying to cheat the pectin... I tried to hand mix it.

After everything is lidded up, add it to the water bath and cover it with a heavy bath towel.  Make sure the crock pot is off, unless you are trying to bring the temperature up a little bit.  I did turn it on when I first put it in... the cold milk mixture dropped my temperature by about 10 degrees.
Check the temperature every couple of hours.  I had to turn mine on warm for 20 minutes about every 2-1/2 hours.  The temperature held at 104 for most of the time.  When it got down to 100 I turned the crock pot on warm.

After chilling, it was half way between runny and thick.  I mixed some up with lemon curd and a pinch each of salt and cinnamon for my hubby's lunch today.  He does have some soaked granola  to mix in it if it is too thin.

I am currently making one batch a little thicker by draining it.  My friend made me a bag for draining and it is working really well.  She sells them on her Etsy store.
 Here is her list of how long to drain.  I plan to drain my half runny yogurt for 2 hours for regular yogurt.
  • Drain plain yogurt and in 1-2 hours you have Greek Yogurt
  • Drain plain yogurt and in 18 hours you have Cream Cheese
  • Drain plain yogurt for 1-18 hours for whey to use in other recipes
  • Cottage Cheese and Ricotta Cheese both need to be drained

The final yogurt turned out beautiful, tangy and with a lovely texture.  The lemon curd gave it a nice flavor and my son and I shared this very small bowl with some soaked granola for breakfast.  It was plenty.  Always remember to use smaller servings with nutrient dense foods.... you don't need as much!

Be blessed and well today


  1. Ah! So smart! I was wondering, last night, if I could use the Pomona pectin to thicken it! Great! As soon as I have some more time, I'll try it!

  2. I was surprised at how low maintenance it all is now that I have the process kind of down. however, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen now!

  3. Yogurt sure is an adventure! Good job on getting it thicker. Did the Kefir grain help at all?

    Question about whey. I have a bowl of whey sitting in my fridge from the cottage cheese & then ricotta cheese making. It has been cooked 2x. Is it good for anything or should I just toss it?

    I made Kombucha tonight!!! It is easier than making gingerale, though because of the cooling it takes longer. I'm excited to see how it turns out.

  4. The kefir did not help at all. It did add tang, but not thickness.

    The whey probably has some health benefits, but not for culturing. Add it to some recipe.... It is really full of nutrients. You can put it into smoothies or soup or bread or something.

    Hopefully your kombucha turns out great. Let me know if you come up with a good mix that makes it taste good. I am going to mix it with plain black iced tea today. I'll let you know how it goes!

    I might have found a little cow. I'll keep you posted.


  5. Great job on the yogurt Cindy! I started making my own yogurt 20 years ago as a student with a candy thermometer and a camping thermos! It was a bit hit and miss but it did work. I now have a yogurt maker - a basin heats the yogurt in glass jars. It is easy and consistant. I have found that using fresh raw milk seems to give me the thickest, most pleasing result. I had not thought of pectin - that's great. I'll try it next time.

    Evelyn - be sure to let us know how the kem... works out! I'm curious!

  6. It`s not very good idea to make yogurt with pectin. That`s not a real yogurt. In this way your yogurt not be as different as in a store.
    If your yogurt don`t have the right texture, change the starter culture-it`s better to find some starter that contain Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
    And I`m wondering-why you make yogurt in this so complicated way?

  7. too complicated...
    just strain the yogurt after making it...
    Nice and thick and creamy...

  8. Ana- I believe that her yogurt still has the active cultures, the pectin is simply for thickening. All yogurts in our stores contain pectin (as a thickening agent) so it's not uncommon at all. I'd say as long as you are making it with milk and cultures, it's yogurt! :)
    And as far as the straining goes, Arleen, how much strains off? Is there a lot wasted or just a little?

  9. Ana, I am using a Mesophilic culture because I don't want to heat the milk above 110 degrees. This way it does not kill the enzymes. It is not as complicated as it seems. Just one added step to add the pectin.

    Heather, Arleen is really happy with the texture of hers, but she likes a runnier yogurt. She uses hers a lot in smoothies. I think it is really good, I just wanted mine to be a little thicker.

    Hope this helps