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Old 01-18-2006, 05:43 AM   #1
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Increasing Yoghurt Yield

I'm trying to produce my own yoghurt, but I'm having problems producing a decent quantity. I would like to produce a thicker Greek yoghurt, so I'm doing the following;
  • Heat 1 litre of semi skimmed milk to just under boiling
  • Let it cool till I can hold my finger in it for 10 seconds (don't have a thermometer)
  • Mix 4 tablespoons of 0% fat Greek yoghurt into some cold semi skimmed milk
  • Mix the yoghurt mix into the cooled milk
  • All into a yoghurt maker for 15 hours
  • Strain the resulting sludge through muslin for an hour to get rid of most of the moisture

What I'm left with is some nice Greek Yoghurt, but by the time the fluid has drained off I roughly have twice the quantity of the Greek yoghurt I used in the recipe. Hardly worth the effort. Does anyone know how I can increase the yield. Can I keep the yoghurt maker going longer, or will that spoil the mix?

Any help would be very welcome. Thanks

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Old 01-18-2006, 05:53 AM   #2
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Keeping the yogurt maker going longer isn't going to increase your yield.

Have you used the yogurt maker before, to make 'regular' yogurt? If so, what's your yield been on that?

Are you sure the Greek yogurt you're using as a starter has all the enzymes/bacteria in it to start and keep the culture going?

And lastly, you're never going to get 'real' Greek yogurt unless you import the milk you're using from Greece!
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Old 01-18-2006, 06:36 AM   #3
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I think your milk is too hot.
the bacteria work best at body temperature and if you just can hold your finger for ten sec that seems to be too much for me.

edit: you could try to add some sugar to the yoghurt.. probably there is not enough "food" for the bacteria...
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Old 01-18-2006, 06:43 AM   #4
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The yoghurt I've made in the past has always been on the runny side, lots of yellow fluid on the top when it comes out of the maker. I've tried different types of yoghurt for my enzyme starter, but I don't see any difference. As far as I can tell my recipe is the same as for normal yoghurt, I just strain it at the end. In my first attempts, I didn't even heat the milk, but the results were just as bad. I'll try cooler milk.

What sort of consistency do you get out of the maker? Is it quite thick?
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:17 AM   #5
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I have made yogurt at home for years without any problems. Here is how I do it and it comes out perfect everytime.

First use whole milk not skim (could be the first problem). There is a difference in the end result if you use anything but whole. More fat means more creamier end result. Also buy the smallest yogurt can you find. Leave it on the counter so it is at room temperature

First step is to boil milk (1/2 a gallon or a little more)
Once the milk comes to a full boil (watch it closely) shut the stove
Let it cool until it's room temperature (finger test should be lukewarm not cold)

In a bowl add the room temperature yogurt and stir in some room temperature milk so that it's nice and soft and mixed. Now stir that slowly into the rest of the room temperature milk.

Now the other key is to place this in the warmest place in your house. Ovens are good.

I live in the midwest where it is cold for a long part of the year. What I do is when the milk is boiled and cooling. I turn on my oven to the lowest setting (180) and then once it reaches that temperature I shut it off.

Now once the milk has cooled and yogurt is stirred I place it in the oven (which is a bit warm to begin with) and leave it overnight (I always do this before bedtime). Next morning I take that mix (which is semi solid) and then refrigerate it for another 6 hours.

Now my yogurt is ready. It is nice and creamy and not runny and I don't even ever have to sift it. I buy Middle Eastern yogurt and I know what it's texture is (similar to greek yogurt) and the one I produce at home is almost similar in texture even without seiving.

May seem like a lot of steps but it's worth it since yogurt is a staple in my house.
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:27 AM   #6
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Yakuta, that is exactly the way I do it.
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Old 01-18-2006, 03:20 PM   #7
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Thanks for the detailled instructions, I'll try that next time and will let you know what happens.
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Old 01-18-2006, 11:01 PM   #8
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Yakuta, I have a question. How can you use that much yogurt?
I am just now learning to eat yogurt, (its supposed to be good for me). I buy it by the pint every month. I eat it for breakfast only, and mix it wit fruit.
So, is there more ...
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Old 01-19-2006, 03:08 AM   #9
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Wow yeah, is there a lot more.

For a side dish with your nest BBQ;

Cucumbers is Yogurt.

A few cucs sliced and seeded
A spat of a spoon of Yogurt in a bowl
a bit of finely minced onion
some acid- I like lemon of even some times rice vinegar
salt and pepper to suit

Presto a fine salad.

Try smoothies with a blender fruit ice cubes and yogurt.

Yes there are a lot of ways to add yogurt to the mix and they can be so delightful!
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Old 01-19-2006, 09:16 AM   #10
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You see Chatwon, I am originally from India and we use yogurt in marinades, gravies, lassi (a yogurt drink), salads, fast food/lipsmackingly good sweet, sour and creamy preparations, potato salads etc.

A lot of the Indian households actually have to have some plain yogurt on the side with their meal. Given Indian food is chockful of spices and we normally don't pair wines with our food, we pair yogurt instead. The slight creaminess and tartness in the yogurt goes really well with Indian food.

For that matter a lot of my middleeastern friends are similar to us. They use yogurt a lot as well.

Try marinating chicken in it and then grill it for starters. Try substituting it in smoothies and other breakfast drinks you make. If you make curries try adding yogurt at the end for a surprisingly creamy texture.
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