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  • Writer's pictureHarshal

Experiments And Optimizations In Fermenting Milk To Yogurt At Home

Kitchen Trials To Get Quality Homemade Yogurt While Helping Save Meal Prep Time

Not everyone can milk cows in their own yard to get fresh milk. But, everyone can (but don’t) make milk products like yogurt at home.

If you like the idea of making your own food ingredients, here's how we make yogurt.

I’ve written more tips from our meal prep process here.

home-made fresh yogurt in a cup.
home-made fresh yogurt in a cup.

When you make fermented foods at home, such as cheese, bread, yogurt, kombucha, or beer, it helps you cultivate healthy gut bacteria, control the quality of ingredients, and reduce your groceries SKUs.

Process Overview

Our process improved both the quality and quantity of homemade yogurt. Here's the process overview with a visual from veganyogurtmakers.

  1. Heat milk until it's steaming, while stirring.

  2. Cool down, while stirring.

  3. Introduce live bacterial culture. Stir.

  4. Keep in a warm place for 8-12 hours.

traditional yogurt making process adopted for fridge, thermometer, and saucepan.
traditional yogurt making process adopted for fridge, thermometer, and saucepan.

Process Modifications

Our modifications:

  • We use a large saucepan as a double boiler base, preventing milk from scalding.

  • We heat water in the kettle to put in the double boiler, which saves time.

  • We utilize a 5-liter stock pot for bulk preparation.

  • Until the milk heats to 70°C, we use an automatic stirrer from StirMate. It stirs at about 20 RPM which is sufficient in this initial stage.

  • Once the milk reaches 70°C, we manually stir at approximately 60 RPM. The faster we stir, the more steam is released. This helps condense the milk and make a creamy thick yogurt.

  • We accelerated the milk condensation process by splitting the same amount of milk in two large stock pots, as the surface area increases, rate of heating increases, and we can stir faster when less percentage of the pot is filled with milk.

  • After stirring for 20-25 minutes, we start to cool the milk. We use an oven baking tray filled with cold water and ice packs for swift cooling. We stir continuously and monitor the temperature with a thermometer probe in the milk.

  • Once the milk reaches between 42-46°C, we sieve the milk into containers and add the bacterial culture. Using the sieve reduces cream formation.

  • We have 3 yogurt makers, each with a one-liter capacity. These maintain a consistent fermentation temperature. Alternatively, an oven preheated to 80°C (the maximum for our plastic boxes) works. We keep the pilot light on overnight. The oven works as a storage place for the cultured milk to sit for 8-12 hours. We’ve tried making yogurt without the pilot light on and it doesn’t work well. I measured that the pilot light takes less than 10W. But, looks like that is sufficient to maintain a warm temperature.

Read full tips from our meal prep process here.

Other Meal Prep Posts

Here are all the posts in this series:



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