Yogurt

Although I like my goat milk yogurt, I didn’t make it too often. I had one of the yogurt makers that uses the small jars with it being gone within two days!  I had been hearing about the Instant Pot so I joined the facebook Instant Pot Community to learn more.  I was skeptical about another appliance, but when I learned it has a yogurt feature, I was really interested.  I bought one with the yogurt feature which lets me easily make two quarts or even more at a time!  There are nearly as many ways of making yogurt as there are people who make it. This is how I do it.

  • First, I put approximately two quarts of milk in the stainless steel inner pot of my Instant Pot and heat the milk to 190 degrees in a larger pan of water with a canning jar ring (or the “trivet” that comes with the Instant Pot) holding the liner off the bottom so as to not scorch the milk (making a double boiler) while it heats. (Some use the Instant Pot for this part but I prefer to have more control over how rapidly the milk heats and cools.)
  • Remove the milk from the heat and cool to 100 degrees which is the temperature at which it should culture.
  • Sprinkle the package of culture over the surface of the milk,  Let it set for two minutes to allow the culture granules to completely hydrate allowing it fully incorporate into the milk.
  • After two minutes, stir the culture throughly.
  • Here is where the Instant Pot makes it incredibly simple. Set the inner pot with your milk (cooled and with the culture mixed in) into the Instant Pot, put a lid on it (I use a clear glass lid, not the IP lid), press the “Yogurt” button and set the time. I use 8.5 hours which I have found to be the sweetness/tartness I prefer.  Note the longer it cultures, the tarter it will be.

These directions use the inner pot but if you do not have an Instant Pot, simply use a stainless steel pan large enough for the amount you are making.  If you have an Instant Pot without the yogurt feature (or not one at all), anything you can use to keep the temperature at 100 degrees for eight (or more) hours will work. Some people have ovens that will hold at 100 degrees and use the oven. Some people fill a cooler with hot water at 100 degrees and set their yogurt container in that, close the cooler and cover it with towels to hold the temperature.
  It is important to have it where it is draft-free so the temperature maintains at 100 degrees for entire time to culture.

Some people strain their yogurt to make it thicker; I do not. After it has cultured, I usually add fruit to it. If the fruit I add was not sweetened when I froze the fruit, I will also add a bit of sugar. That is totally a personal preference. I freeze the finished yogurt in 8-oz. jars, the slanted jelly jars. The frozen yogurt is a real treat on a hot summer day. Be sure to stir the yogurt before eating to mix the fruit well since it has a tendency to settle to the bottom.

Hints:  The longer it cultures, the tarter it will be; I find 8.5 hours works best for me.  The age of the milk you use will affect the flavor, so use the freshest milk you have.  The type of milk (goat, cow or sheep) also affects the flavor and consistency.  The butterfat content of the milk affects both the flavor and the consistency.   Some people use yogurt as a starter; however, I prefer culture because the results are more consistent and reliable for me.

I suggest you try different cultures to see which you prefer.  There are many places to buy culture; I buy mine locally at Bader’s Beer & Wine Supply.  Beer and wine suppliers usually carry culture. There are also many on-line sources. If you have a goat association in your area, contact them and see if they can tell you of local suppliers.

When you make your yogurt, write notes as to how hot you heated the milk, how long you let it culture, the culture you used, etc., so you learn what is best for your taste.

Happy yogurt making!

 

P.S. The main reason for the Instant Pot purchase was for yogurt but that has been just the beginning of the uses of my “new toy.”

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