So because I'm bored, I'm making yogurt. This all started because I didn't feel like paying $7 for Fage. So I bought some plain Dannon yogurt, strained it in some cheese cloth, and tada! My own Greek strained yogurt. Then I started wondering how to go about making yogurt from scratch. The process didn't seem difficult at all from what I saw online. So here I am giving it a shot
First step is a 1/2 gallon of 2% milk. 1/2 cup of fat free powdered goat milk. "Why the dry goat milk. Well some recipes call for powdered cows milk. It helps to make the finished yogurt thicker and creamier. But I couldn't find any so I'm using the goat stuff. We'll see what happens." This mixture is going to sit in the crock pot for 2 1/2 hours until it reaches 180 degrees. Then it will cool off for about 3 hours until it reaches 110-115 degrees.
After it cools off, add some of the warm milk with a cup of yogurt. Not just any yogurt. It has to have live cultures in it. Then add the mixture to the warm milk. Then the pot has to be incubated. For this you will cover the pot with two large towels. This will help to keep the heat in the pot. Now, this is where you can go to sleep or go out and do something. The incubation period is 12 hours.
After 12 hours, and if those yogurt cultures did their thing, your milk will now be yogurt. If you want, you can go at it just like it us, but it may have a curd texture. So you have to strain it. To strain it, use cheesecloth, or flour sack towels. Either should be in a strainer over a bowl. Now you can go out again and do something, play a game or take a nap. Depending on how you want your yogurt to be will depend on how long you strain it. I like mines to have a thick and creamy texture. Or what's called Greek yogurt, or yogurt cheese. That takes about four hours of straining. After straining, you will notice that your yogurt has lost a lot of volume. You will also notice that your bowl is filled with liquid. That's the whey. It's not quite the whey protein you find at Vitamin Shop. The whey in protein supplements is called sweet whey, and that comes from hard cheeses like cheddar. The whey from yogurt or ricotta cheese is called acid whey. You can still put it in a smoothie if you want some added protein, but because of the acidity, you can also brine your meats with it to tenderize them. Anyway, that was my yogurt experiment. It was a process, but I do think I will be making more down the line