Make your own yogurt

A Quick and Easy Tutorial

by Susan Jarrett

Fresh Homemade yogurt
Fresh homemade yogurt. Royalty free image by Tiard Schulz.

When my husband started talking about making homemade yogurt, I thought he was nuts. “Yogurt? You’ve got to be kidding me!” However, after his first batch, I was hooked. Now we make it on a regular basis and have been for years! My whole family loves it! And, it is unbelievably EASY!

Here’s what you need (makes approximately 1.25 gallon. Adjust recipe for smaller batches):

1 Gallon milk (Fat content your choice. I use at least 2%).

1 cup ready made yogurt with active cultures (I use Stonyfield Organic but you can use any plain yogurt as long as it says “active cultures” on it. Once you have a batch made, you can use your homemade yogurt as a starter).

2 cups Dry Milk

1/2- 1 cup Sweetener. Adjust to your preference. (NOTE: sugar, agave, etc. Liquid sweetness such as honey are best added AFTER the entire process is finished.)

1/2 tbs Vanilla (adjust to your flavor preference)

Stock pot & Whisk

Cooking Thermometer (candy thermometer works well)

Containers with lids

yogurt making ingredients
Honey is best added after the yogurt has been completely chilled in the refrigerator or as an additive when ready to eat.

Here are the basic steps (Prep time approximately 1.5 hours):

1: Pour 1 gallon of milk into a stock pot. Using a cooking thermometer, heat milk to 185 degrees F. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from scalding.

2: Once the milk has reached 185 degrees F, remove from the heat source and mix in Dry milk, Sweetener, and Vanilla. Stir until all ingredients are completely dissolved.

3: Let the milk mixture temperature reduce to 110 degrees F. This takes about 30-45 minutes depending on room temperature. Once the milk mixture reaches 110 degrees F, add the yogurt starter and stir until completely dissolved.

4: Pour yogurt mixture into clean, dry containers. Do not put the lids on the containers. (I prefer glass containers, but I have also used plastic in a pinch. You can save your peanut butter jars, jelly jars, and any other type of jars for yogurt. Just make sure all your containers have lids (these are what you will be storing your yogurt in as well).

5: Place the filled containers in a warm place (not HOT- approx. 110 degrees F is ideal) for 8-12 hours. (The longer the yogurt sits, the tarter the yogurt will become.) I place my yogurt in my OFF oven with the light turned on. You can also place your containers on a heating pad (with a very low setting) on your countertop. Some people have even had success placing their yogurt containers in a warm sunny spot inside the house. If you are not so adventurous, you can always purchase a yogurt maker at many Big Box Stores. They often come with their own containers.

Homemade Yogurt
Yogurt mixture warming in our OFF oven for 8-12 hours

6: After 8-12 hours, remove the yogurt from its warming area, place the lids on the containers, and refrigerate immediately. Use within 4 weeks of your make date. Makes a 1+/- gallon yogurt.

That’s all there is to it! Add some fresh organic fruit or eat plain! It’s super yummy, clean, and so good for you!


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