Homemade Yogurt

It's my favorite.
I love how homemade vanilla yogurt has an authentic vanilla flavor. 
Growing up I thought "vanilla" meant no flavor... and now I am in the light.
Also when you add fruit or granola and/or honey it all taste so real.
I just love knowing just what we are eating.
But surely it's so much hassel and cost a lot since milk it adding up, right?
Couldn't be more wrong. 
So I got my milk for $2.50 and some starter yogurt for around $2. I get about 4 Qt. and 1Pt.
Now, buying yogurt for at least $1 per 8oz... you do the math.
Also, to be nit-picky... it saves economically and environmentally because of all the plastic cartons.
It may be a little more time consuming than tossing a carton into your cart but I feel it's well worth it.

So here we go.Grab ya...
~A gallon of milk. Now many many places say it is fine to use whole, skim, whatever. And it works for them. So I'm going to say it's probably fine even though all I've ever used is raw whole.
But then again, that's about all we ever have around here anyways.
~A quart of starter yogurt. By starter yogurt I just mean "milk" that has already had the live active culters started, i.e. regular yogurt. Make sure it is unpasteurized and uncultured. I use Dannon vanilla or plain.
~4 quart jars, 1 pint jar, lids, rings. Make sure they are washed and sterilized either by using dishwasher or placing them in the oven at 200* for at least 10 minutes.
~A cooler. as an incubator. Make sure all your jars can fit in.
~Thermomter, stock pot to fit all your yogurt in, whisk
~Vanilla, powdered sugar (If you want vanilla flavored yogurt.

Pour the gallon of milk into the stockpot. Heat slowly over medium heat to 190*, whisking often to keep from burning. This will take around 45 minutes. It's good to have a book or show! 

Cook the milk at 190* for about 10 minutes. Then cool to 120*

I cooled mine with my husband's wort cooler for his beer making! But you could also use a sink full of ice. Keep stirring though because it will create a layer of thickened goop if you don't.
Once it reaches 120* add the starter yogurt and stir in really well so all the yummy cultures float about evenly. I buy the quart size because I can't find the plain or vanilla in the small size that is unpasteurized and uncultured. So I just dump the whole thing in but you really only need about 8 oz.

This is where I add my vanilla and sugar. I use about 2 Tbsp vanilla and 1 cup powdered sugar. You can add more or less depending on your taste. Mix really, really good.

Then I pour into jars using a canning funnel. Some people strain theirs to make sure there are no little milk chunkys but I've never had that problem so I don't strain mine.
Once the jars are filled there will be little bubbles on top. I scrape that off with a spoon to help with consistency but that isn't necessary.
{I lost a few photos...}
They put on the lids and rings and place in cooler with water to about 120* to about the top of lids
Cover and let sit about 4 hours. But this time isn't exact, as in the longer you let it sit the stronger and thicker it will be so play around with it. This time I actually forgot about taking it out before we left for the evening so it was in for about 8 hrs. It was fine once I took a thin layer of solid off the top!
I leave my cooler in the tub so I can dump the water easily and it is out of sight (and apparently out of mind).

The jars will most likely seal during this time. They still need to be refrigerated  They will last about 4 weeks sealed and 1-2 unsealed.
Put 6-8 oz in the freezer for your starter yogurt next time. You can do this for about 6 times until it becomes weaker and you'll need to purchase new yogurt.

I take a little whisk to even out the consistency each time when I dip some out.
Here is the really fun part.
I have added homemade fruit syrups, homemade sauces, or just plain fruit.
Jams, Jellies..
My favorite is homemade granola and honey.
Experiment and have fun.

{I have made the yogurt that calls for geletan and incubates in a crockpot. I'm not sure why, but that type doesn't set up as well as this recipe, and that is why I switched. I did notice that if I left the crockpot yogurt in the fridge without messing with it (other than putting it in the jars) for a good 24 hours it set up a little more. Does anyone know why it does this?}


  1. Yum...going to try this soon. I have tried the crock pot kind (my recipe didn't call for gelatin) and it never set up at all. We go through a LOT of yogurt here.

  2. Bryan LOVES vanilla yogurt!! I'll have to try this! (:

  3. Is making homemade yogurt really this easy? My mom loves making homemade yogurt, but I haven’t had the chance to ask her how to make one. Anyway, after seeing your post, I am thinking of helping my mom make some of her yogurt next time. I’m sure she’ll be amazed how fast I’d learn.

    1. It really is this easy! I would highly recommend it!!!

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