October, 2009 – Megan Miln

Home Made Yoghurt

I’ve spent a few weeks experimenting with home made yoghurt. Yoghurt is not something I imagined you could make at home. I assumed you needed all sorts of special industrial equipment. I bought an Easiyo yoghurt maker, which is incredibly simple. It is basically a big thermos, which uses hot water to culture the yoghurt.

I have tried a few different starter cultures for my yoghurt, and so far they’ve all been successful, but with slight variations in flavour and consistency. I’ve been surprised to notice pockets of liquid in some batches, but this doesn’t seem to impair the yoghurt.

Experiment 1: Easiyo sachet

Being new to yoghurt making, I decided to start with an Easiyo sachet. It couldn’t be easier. I mixed the sachet with water, in the yoghurt jar, and put the jar in the yoghurt maker. Seven hours later I had yoghurt.

Experiment 2: Using previous yoghurt as starter

This is the method I use most often. I use some yoghurt from my previous batch as the starter for the next batch. Apparently the yoghurt cultures weaken over time, so I use new starter every four batches or so. For my new starter I use some of the Easiyo powder (see experiment 3 below).

Experiment 3: Using Easiyo powder as a starter

I keep the left over Easiyo powder sealed in the fridge. I have used it twice now, and both times have worked.

Experiment 4: Full cream yoghurt

I like skim yoghurt with my breakfast, but I made a batch of full cream yoghurt to turn into frozen yoghurt (it’s in the freezer now, so more on that later). The full cream yoghurt came out much thicker and creamier than my usual skim variety. I think I’ll buy full cream milk powder next time and see how that affects my skim yoghurt.

Yoghurt making process

The general process for making yoghurt is the same regardless of the method you choose:

  1. Half fill the yoghurt jar with milk.
  2. Add the other ingredients and stir well. Don’t shake it at this stage, or you will end up with lots of foam.
  3. Fill the jar to the top with milk, and shake well.
  4. Place the jar in the yoghurt maker with hot water.
  5. Leave for 6-24 hours, until set. I tend to make my yoghurt overnight, so I leave it for 10-12 hours .
  6. Refrigerate.

Getting started

I did lots of research before I started making yoghurt. There are a range of yoghurt makers available, and lots of different methods for making yoghurt. I was keen to avoid yoghurt makers that needed electricity, and methods that required heating the milk to certain temperatures.

I found the following forums helpful in getting started: