Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Maggie's MIlk: Yogurt

We love yogurt!  The good yogurt is so expensive though. I don't buy it nearly as much a I would like. Last year when we were milking Epie, I experimented with making yogurt, and I made at least a gallon a week during most of the milking season. It was one of the things I missed most when we dried her up.

The process to making homemade yogurt was an interesting one for me. It took a few tries and lots of searching the internet before I could get consistent results.

 The crockpot method utterly failed for me.  I probably did something wrong...I think the crockpot got too hot or something.  I'm not really sure.  But, I decided not to try it again.  I didn't like cleaning the pot out! :)

I wanted to try the cooler method, but my cooler is small and would only hold a couple of pints. If I'm going to go through heating milk to make yogurt, I want to make a gallon at a time.

When I came across the heating pad method, I felt like a finally had a winner.  I had all of the required pieces of equipment.  I could make a gallon at a time.  I tried it, and it worked!  The only downside...my heating pad automatically shuts off after an hour or so. 

Because of this safety feature, I had to constantly babysit my yogurt during the seven hours it takes to incubate.  It was a little annoying, but since it resulted in good yogurt, I decided it was worth it.  However, with everything going on in life, sometimes the yogurt would cool down too much during this process and I'd get a really runny batch. But since the crockpot and cooler didn't work for me, I figured this was as good as it could get.

But today when I was preparing more plums to be dehydrated, I realized that our Excalibur dehydrate had a yogurt feature. I don't know why I hadn't noticed it before.  I did some measuring and I think I can fit four quart jars in there when I take all the trays out.I did some quick searching on Google, and found a great tutorial.

I'm so excited to give that a try with tonight's milking.  I'll let you know how Maggie yogurt turns out. 

Have you ever made yogurt?  What method did you use?

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