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Old 10-15-2010, 02:32 PM   #1
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How to thicken yogurt?

I make yogurt but it's always really runny, which I understand is pretty typical of homemade yogurt. What's the best way to thicken it other than straining? I don't mind straining it but the yield goes way down and I just can find that many applicable uses for whey in my kitchen.

I once used a package of instant jello pudding and OMG it was so good but I felt guilty adding the processed sugars and artificial ingredients to my otherwise organic yogurt. I've heard of adding powdered milk but haven't tried it. Thanks in advance!

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Old 10-15-2010, 04:29 PM   #2
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How long are you letting the culture grow? I let mine grow until it looks like it is about as thick as I want. It does thicken a bit in the fridge. Mine isn't usually runny. However, the most recent batch was runny in the middle, but not at the top or bottom. Go figure.

You could also try using higher butterfat milk or cream. Oh my, yoghurt made with cream so yummy. It seems to thicken up easier than yoghurt made with milk.

You could also try adding gelatin or caragheenan (Irish moss). That's what some of the commercial dairies use to thicken yoghurt. But, I don't think it would be as good for cooking - the thickener would melt with heat.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:01 PM   #3
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I do use whole milk and let it culture up to 20 hours. I guess the yogurt is thick by some people's standards, just not mine :) At what point do you think I would add the gelatin? Making yogurt from cream sounds somewhat sinful... but I like the idea! Hmm...
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:19 PM   #4
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Interesting. My homemade yogurt comes out almost like Greek yogurt. Very thick. I use 1%-2% milk and often a small amount of powdered milk. The culture should be fresh enough to give you a good thick yogurt. If it is old or diluted I don't think it would firm up.

If it is runny, drain off some of the liquid (whey). If you leave it draining for a long time you will end up with yogurt cheese.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:58 PM   #5
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I let mine culture overnight and it comes out thicker than any commercial yogurt. It is, of course, a gel and will separate if stirred.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snickerdoodle View Post
I do use whole milk and let it culture up to 20 hours. I guess the yogurt is thick by some people's standards, just not mine :) At what point do you think I would add the gelatin? Making yogurt from cream sounds somewhat sinful... but I like the idea! Hmm...
Hmmm, good question. I guess I would add dissolved gelatin once I was ready to put the yoghurt in the fridge.

I just remembered that the whey isn't necessarily wasted, if you decide to drain off some whey. I've read that you can add it to smoothies or salad dressing.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
Hmmm, good question. I guess I would add dissolved gelatin once I was ready to put the yoghurt in the fridge.
That's what I was thinking.

I've always just used a small container of plain organic yogurt as a starter... do you think I'll get thicker yogurt if I use an actual starter?

Thanks everyone for your input
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:49 AM   #8
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This will only work if you serve it cold. It is a trick I use to thicken whipped cream:
For one cup of yogurt, dissolve 1/2 tsp of gelatine in one TBS of whole milk.
Let it cool slightly and incorporate into yogurt mixing quickly, otherwise the gelating will lump up. It is a little tricky but it works. Chill in the refrigerator. You may adjust the amount of gelatine until you achieve the desired consistency.
This process will stabilize the yogurt rather than thickening it.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:16 PM   #9
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How thick do you want it to be?
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:34 PM   #10
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Thick like the custard-style Yoplait yogurts. I have messy toddlers so I'm trying to get it thick enough so it will stay on their spoons long enough for them to get it in their mouths, and they don't need a bath afterwards :)

Thanks for the gelatin pointers zfranca!
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