Making Yogurt 101: 5 main issues and easy fixes
Yogurt is such a delightful and healthy food and can be enjoyed in many ways. It is easy to make and takes about 10 minutes, hands-on time. Some people however face issues when making yogurt and this article discusses some of the issues the easy solution for each case:
Issue 1: The process is too tedious
Do you think the process is very tedious and that’s why you purchase commercially made yogurt? Did you know the store-bought yogurt contains many harmful additives and artificial sugars, and almost all the good stuff is processed out so it may taste great but it is not as healthy and nutritious as it should be!
Solution: Did you know that you can make the most delicious, healthy and nutritious yogurt in an unglazed pure clay pot? And it takes only 10 minutes hands on time:
- Heat the milk to just before boiling point (till small bubbles form on the surface). Turn stove off, and open lid and let it cool down for 30 minutes or so for half a gallon of milk, till you can put your little finger and hold it there for 5 secs. Now the milk is ready for the culture. [5 minutes hands-on]
- Add yogurt culture and stir thoroughly. [3 minutes hands-on]
- Set in the oven with the lid on and oven light on. [2 minutes hands-on]
- Let it incubate for 6-8 hours and the yogurt is ready!
Miriam’s Earthen Cookware – a pioneering company based in US makes yogurt maker pots from pure clay (unglazed primary clay) that are perfect for the job. Once you have these pots, the process gets a lot more convenient and straight-forward without any additives.
Issue 2: My yogurt did not set:
Even after following some recipes, sometimes the yogurt doesn’t set. This can be very frustrating but there are few simple solutions:
Solution: There are 3 reasons why this happens:
- Not enough culture: The ideal ratio is 2-3 tsp of yogurt cultures for half a gallon of milk. Stir culture well before adding to milk, and stir culture in the milk after adding it in.
- Milk did not get hot enough: In about 30-40 minutes on medium heat, you should see tiny bubbles forming on the surface. The milk is now just about to boil (around 150-160 F) —this is just the right amount of heat, turn stove off!
- Milk was not cool enough when you added the culture: After heating the milk to the right temperature, open lid and let it cool for about 30 minutes (to around 110 F). Again, no need for a temperature gauge. With clean hands put your little finger (“pinky”) in the milk. If you can hold it there for 5 seconds the milk is ready for the culture. If it feels too hot to hold on for 5 seconds, you need to wait some more. Add the culture to the milk when ready and stir it in thoroughly.
Issue 3: Room is not warm enough to culture the yogurt:
Solution: To resolve this, simply set the pot in the oven with oven light on.
Issue 4: Yogurt is not thick enough
Solution: This happens because your metal or glass container is retaining all the water in the yogurt, making it so runny! Using an MEC pure clay pot easily resolves this issue. Because the walls of pure clay pots are semi-porous, they can let excess water evaporate through their walls making yogurt thick, naturally. No other pot can do this!!
Issue 5: Yogurt turned out sour
Solution: Again, making yogurt in MEC’s pure clay pot mostly mitigates this issue because these pots are made from pure earth that neutralizes tastes naturally.
An overly tangy yogurt could mean something is wrong with the bacterial strain, either there are too many strands or too less. To start with, choose organic whole milk culture with at least 6 strands of bacteria. And from then on use a little bit of the clay pot yogurt as culture. Yogurt culture from clay pots is rich in colonies and if used correctly should never result in your yogurt turning sour!