Make Your Own Yogurt and Cream Cheese

How to Make Homemade Yogurt

You can make your own yogurt and cream cheese, and it is not hard!  You don’t have to have any fancy equipment (and when you see my pictures, you’ll believe it!).  Not only will this save you money, you’ll have yogurt and cream cheese that is very good for you!  Try making this yogurt, then add your own fruit, sweetener (I recommend stevia or real grade B maple syrup) and a touch of vanilla.  YUM!

Here’s what you need to do to make yogurt:

1 quart of whole milk (I use unpasturized milk from a farming friend)
3/4 cup plain yogurt or this yogurt starter

Pour the yogurt into a quart jar (using a glass container is important).  Heat the milk on the stove in a saucepan until it is just under 100 degrees.

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Pour the milk over the yogurt in the jar and shake.

Place the jar into a cooler of hot water, cover and leave in the cooler for seven hours.

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There, you just made yogurt!

Now, you can eat the yogurt as I mentioned before, or you can take your yogurt and make cream cheese (and impress the socks off of someone!).

To make cream cheese, line a strainer with a tea towel.  Pour the yogurt into the tea towel.

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You need to secure the tea towel full of yogurt and hang it for 7-10 hours (I usually do this overnight) so that the whey can drip off.  I’m sure there must be a more impressive way to hang your yogurt, but what we’ve come up with works just fine!

creamcheese2sm.JPG
Here are the secrets to my effective cream cheese-hanging-whey-dripping process (I know, you’re on the edge of your chair!):

I fold over the top of the tea towel and hold it closed with a couple of rubber bands.  Then, I use several more rubber bands to attach a long wooden spoon to the wadded up tea towel.  Then, I use a rope to dangle the tea towel from a cabinet door.  And, of course I leave a bowl under the whole contraption so that whey doesn’t drip all over the floor (because then, my process would not be nearly as cute).

Then, after you can tell that the whey has all separated from the cream cheese (you can tell it’s finished if it isn’t dripping any more), then you pull the whole thing down and scrape the cream cheese into a jar.  And that’s it.   It is so simple.

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Sure, you can tell people that it took you hours and hours to make yogurt and cream cheese (because technically it DID take hours to make), but the part you actually played in it took about 10 minutes.

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Comments

  1. Dawn says

    I also make my own yogurt. I incubate it for 24-29 hrs. (SCD) and drip it off over night. I just put a tee towel in a colander and place that into a large pan. I then put my yorgurt in and pull the tee towel over it.
    I just wondering if anyone has found a good use for the whey that is left over. I was thinking of making a sweet (honey) and sour (whey) sauce with it but would like to know if anyone has anyother ideas.

    [Reply]

    Shaina Reply:

    I have heard that whey is a great replacement for milk in waffles or pancakes. Or you can use it in homemade bread in place of milk or water. Personally, I would use it only to replace water because that way it would add something instead of taking away from the recipe. In replacing milk, the fat would be gone and the texture/flavor that the fat adds. But you should experiment for yourself since I’m just thinking theoretically.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I use it to make homemade mayonnaise. Adding the whey preserves your mayo for onths. I also use it to add to smoothies for extra protein, vitamins and minerals. Whey is packed with lots of nutrition!

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    Hi Laura, do you still have your mayo recipe and would you mind sharing it?

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Here is the recipe for homemade mayo: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/making-homemade-mayonnaise-is-not-my-gift

    Karen Reply:

    Laura – how much of the whey do you use in your mayonnaise?? I make
    my own all the time and am always looking for natural ways to
    preserve things. Thank you Karen.

    Karen M Reply:

    How much whey do you use in your mayo and when do you add it?

    renee Reply:

    This is great for bread instead of water.

    [Reply]

    Kristin Reply:

    You can also use the whey in any number of condiments like ketchip and mustard in place of some water to boost nutrition and lengthen the time it stays good in the fridge. Just make sure if you are cooking the condiment (like ketchup), you don’t cook the whey or it will kill the good bacteria.

    [Reply]

    Ken James Reply:

    Use in bread instead of water

    [Reply]

    Lauren Reply:

    I use whey when making my daughter’s formula. 1/4 cup per batch (36 ounces). I also use a tablespoon mixed with warm water to soak our oats overnight for breakfast.

    [Reply]

    Lauren Reply:

    talk to your ped first. adding to much protein to someone under 1 can be harmful.
    My son was failure to thrive and i mentioned doing this to add some calories but my ped heavily warned against it.

    [Reply]

    Ashley Reply:

    I freeze it in ice cube trays and put it in the blender when I make smoothies

    [Reply]

    Tuuli Reply:

    I used it yesterday as a base for ginger carrot soup (together with some coconut milk) and it gave it a really nice tangy flavor.

    [Reply]

    Adrianne Reply:

    You can use whey for lacto fermentation. Check out the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon or I am sure Google has a lot of info too.

    [Reply]

    Armand Reply:

    you can use the whey to activate your compost. the technique is very simple and requires very little work. Similar to Bokashi (Effective Microorganisms). Recipe can vary. Mix about 1 cup whey with 2 tbsp molasses to 1 cup non chlorinated water, pour into 2 lbs of wheat bran in a bag, if soggy add more bran until just moist and fluffy but not sticky and wet. Store in closed bag in a dark cool place for 2 weeks. White thready fuzz should be growing. Sprinkle on top of compost each time you add. Cover compost with lid. When full, bury the “preserved” compost 4 inches underground and rest for 2 weeks.

    This whey cultivates in your compost with the help of wheat bran and creates an odorless preserved compost ready for your garden soil full of rich micro organisms to cultivate a healthy soil!

    [Reply]

    Ann Reply:

    I have an excellent tea biscuit recipe that uses whey.
    Dry bowl
    5 cups of flour
    8 generous tsp baking powder
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tsp salt
    __________
    Wet bowl
    2/3 cup vegetable oil

    [Reply]

  2. sommer says

    I’m headed off to the kitchen to try this now. I’ve used the crockpot method for yogurt making for the past 2 years. i’m excited to try it this new way!!

    [Reply]

    bakingmama Reply:

    Sommer,
    Could you give details on how you made your crockpot yogurt? I tried this and it didn’t work too well. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Priscilla Reply:

    I found a homemade yogurt recipe, by the crockpot method on a blog, using a crockpot (slow cooker) every day for a whole year. I use a timer, to help me remember to check and see the temperture. I can’t recall how long it has sat for the different stages, I have too many other things that distract me.

    here is the link, http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html

    [Reply]

    Cassandra Reply:

    I use the crock pot recipe on that link, too! I found it much easier
    and makes a lot of yogurt. Which is good because we use a lot of yogurt.

  3. says

    Is there a way I can use the leftovers from turning yogurt into cream cheese. The liquid that dripped out? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Ashley Reply:

    Taj,
    I am not sure if this maybe what you are thinking as i have just
    glanced over this recipe and comments quickly. But i saw on this blog, Sarah of
    thehealthyhomeeconomist.com that she strains out the liquid from the
    cream after making cream cheese and calls it liquid whey. She ferments
    with it to make lots of things. I wish i could get raw milk in Ga so i
    could experiment. Warning, this lady is an extreme real foodie! But
    worth checking out. I hope this helps a little if any. Thanks, Ashley

    [Reply]

    Angie Reply:

    Raw milk in GA: Carlton Farms delivers to several counties each week: order
    here: http://www.carltonfarmsnaturalfoods.com/orderform.shtml

    [Reply]

  4. uzma tirmzi says

    Yes but if u hang the yogurt for so long does it not become sour ? because Cream cheese is not sour at all

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    It does become a bit sour, which makes it more like a “cultured cream cheese”, which is very good for our digestion. It isn’t so sour that we can’t stand to eat it. Just slightly. Even “sweetly sour” if that makes sense.

    [Reply]

    Oliver Reply:

    It will definetly become too sour, if left to ferment more than 6 hours.
    6 hours only for the right acidity & texture in yogurt making.
    Yes, cream cheese is not sour at all.
    What you need to do is let it hang & drip inside the refrigerator.

    [Reply]

    Sandee Reply:

    after straining, i would call it more like greek yogurt than cream cheese.

    [Reply]

  5. says

    Don’t heat your way in recipes! Use it raw- that way you aren’t killing the nutrients and good bacteria. Whey is the best thing for your digestion. We use ours in smoothies :)

    [Reply]

    Chickiepea Reply:

    Errr… that should have read, “don’t heat your WHEY,” not “way.” :D
    Either way… Ha!

    [Reply]

  6. Barb says

    I can’t wait to try this recipe but have one question: Does the water need to be boiling or just hot from the tap?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Just hot tap. You actually don’t want it to be so hot that it will kill the culturing process. Just warm enough to keep the milk/yogurt at a consistently warm temp.

    [Reply]

  7. says

    Mine is forming and culturing right now. I am following the suggestion of another reader to put the jar in the crock-pot (don’t have a cooler).

    [Reply]

  8. mary says

    I have used a couple of different methods for yogurt. I use to put mine in the oven and leave the light on, with the yogurt far from the light. Then my oven light burned out. I live in Florida, so I started just leaving it outside on the porch for the day. In the summer when it is super hot I let it have morning sun and afternoon shade. In the winter it gets sun all day. This is by far the easiest method I have ever used.

    My kids did a science fair experiment a few years back testing various storage locations for oranges. Leaving them outside in the sun they actually maintained their vitamin C equal to refrigeration. I believe the sun has many health benefits and would not be surprised if it benefits the yogurt too…this is just speculation of course.

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    Hi Mary, I first read your comment a couple of months
    ago and then forgot where I heard about putting the yogurt
    out in the sun! Then I found it just now. I have only tried
    making my own yogurt a few times. One time it was a complete
    washout with the yogurt just not setting. I also like the g\
    Greek style thicker yogurt…it looks like it is being referred
    to as cream cheese in this forum, so I end up straining for a while
    which of course gives you less yogurt and more whey! A few days ago
    I finally bought some raw milk! (yippee!) We all drank the first
    quart because it was so delicious…but the second quart I am holding onto
    to make some more yogurt. :) I also live in Fl. So I thought I would try
    putting it in the sun. I don’t want to mess it up so can you please tell
    me what you put the yogurt in…glass? And also, what did you cover it
    with to keep out our lovely florida bugs :) Thanks so much.

    [Reply]

    Mayira Reply:

    I also live in Florida. I’ve been thinking about buying raw milk but haven’t done it yet.

    Can you tell me where you get it from? Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Jamie Reply:

    http://www.localharvest.org has a database of farmers who sell certain things. Also eatwild.com might have a list of raw milk dairies too. I’m not sure if you can buy raw milk in FL though, I just read that GA you can.

    Dana Reply:

    localharvest.org has a link to a Central Florida dairy farm for raw milk.

    Virginia Reply:

    I live in central TX, and I also just set it out on my porch (in the shade, so it doesn’t get too hot and kill the cultures!). It just has to stay at a temperature of about 95 to 100 degrees (but frankly, it’s not that accurate, the little dudes just have to comfortable enough to do their thing). It’s also worked better for me to heat the milk up to 180 degrees to kill bad stuff in the milk and then let it cool in the fridge for about 1/2 hour until it reaches about 115 degrees before adding a couple tablespoons of yogurt from a previous batch. It often takes up to 8 hours for mine to get nice and firm. And after four or five rounds with one culture, it starts to lose its get-up-and-go and I have to buy some fresh yogurt from the store again.

    [Reply]

  9. says

    You say you use the Traditional Flavored Starter Yogurt and you talk about using the end of it to make more, but on the Cultures for Health web site it says you can’t do it with that starter. Is it because you make yours different than how they tell you to? Sorry, I’m new to this, but I would really like to try making my own yogurt and then maybe buttermilk, mozzarella cheese and cream cheese.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Hmm, the one I’m referring to says that with it you can create eight more batches. Maybe we’re looking at different starters? I usually make more than eight batches too and find that it works fine.

    [Reply]

    Pauletta Reply:

    Well, I decided to try it with just store bought plain yogurt. It tastes great, but it is really runny. I’m not sure what happened to it. It thickened up in the fridge, but when I added the sugar and vanilla to sweeten it then it gets runny again. Any idea as to what is wrong? I am going to try a couple things to see if it helps, but thought I would see if you knew. Also, to start a new batch do I just follow the same instructions, but use what I’ve already made (use 3/4 cup of my home made yogurt and then the milk).

    [Reply]

    Julie Reply:

    I have found it helpful to stir in the sweetener before incubating the yogurt. This prevents the yogurt from being runny after stirring it in. I have also found it helpful to add 1/4 cup of powdered milk per quart of yogurt before incubating to increase the thickness of the yogurt. Hope that helps!

    Christina Reply:

    My sister was having trouble with the yogurt thinning out after it was done. She decided that she would use the storebought yogurt as a starter instead of her own. Also, when she was stirring it she was afraid that using a metal spoon was causing trouble with the thickness, so she using a plastic or wooden spatula. Don’t know if this helps at all. I haven’t made it myself yet, but I’m really looking forward to it.

    Chris Reply:

    If you want thicker yoghurt, just strain it till it is your required consistancy. the longer you sstain it the thicker it gets. I find a few hours is enough.

  10. victoria bozard says

    Can you offer an estimate on how much yogurt 1 qt of milk yields? Thanks :)

    [Reply]

    Tiffany Reply:

    In my experience it yields about the same since all your doing is heating it up just a bit & then addig some yogurt to it, it doesn’t really “go” anywhere so it equals about the same at my house.

    [Reply]

    victoria bozard Reply:

    Thanks! :) Sorry about your curdled yogurt,
    maybe you could use it in a recipe in place
    of buttermilk, so it isn’t a total waste?

    [Reply]

  11. Tiffany says

    HELP!! I curdled my yogurt yesterday!!! HOW did I do that? Last week I make it & it turned out fine – albeit a little on the thin side. Yesterday I made it & put it in a 1/2 gallon jug inside a cooler full of hot tap water & it was curdled – the water was still very hot also (maybe the cooler was a little too good!). Last week I made the yogurt in pint jars b/c I didn’t have any larger jars & I had less water in the cooler & it was a different cooler.

    I’ve been using the yogurt to make cream cheese (this past time I added some salt to it after I put it in the towel/strainer & it was great!).

    Also, how would I make the yogurt thicker??

    I added blackberry jam to a bowl of it last week & put it in the freezer to see if it would turn into frozen yogurt…it was very good & had a consistency more like italian ice – so yum!!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yikes…I guess the water was too hot, but I’ve not heard of that happening before!

    To make the yogurt thicker, place it in the fridge for a couple of days. The whey will begin to separate. Pour out the whey and your remaining yogurt will be thicker.

    [Reply]

    Kristi Reply:

    SO mine tonight curdled as well!!! I put it in the fridge to see if I can salvage it. Any suggestions???!?

    [Reply]

    Pat Reply:

    I’ve had this happen to me as well a couple of times.

    I use lactose-free milk.

    Both times that it happened, I added fruit syrup or jam to the milk. The first time, I boiled both then combined. The second time, I added the fruit syrup (homemade) to the milk before heating it.

    [Reply]

  12. Amy says

    I just tried this (finally) and was so excited to open my jar only to find it very thin. ?? It smelled like yogurt, and when I first put a spoon in it, the texture was like yogurt, but once I stirred it, it was soupy. I used 3/4 C yogurt and 1 qt whole milk…should I have used more or less of something? You mention 1-2 Qt milk, but when using only one qt jar obviously I could only use 1 qt of milk (a little less actually). Will it “set up” more if I put it in the fridge?

    And my next question…what should I use this soupy yogurt mixture for? :-)

    [Reply]

    Pauletta Reply:

    I have the same problem and just asked about it above (before seeing your comment), but we are still eating it even though it is runny, but my husband made the comment that it would probably work great in smoothies and then we wouldn’t have to add more milk either. So, I may try that. I always add ice to my smoothies to make them a little thicker anyway.

    [Reply]

    amey Reply:

    commercial yogurt makers add dry non-fat powdered milk to the cold milk before heating it. It makes it thicker and gives a higher protein content.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, mine is always runnier too…commercial yogurts add something to thicken it. One thing I’ve found to do is let it sit in the fridge a couple of days, then the whey sort of separates. I pour off the whey and the yogurt is thicker.

    I use the thinner yogurt for smoothies…best way to get my kids to eat yogurt AND fruits!

    [Reply]

    Julie Reply:

    Throw in a handful of spinach too. :)

    [Reply]

  13. Sydni Bamberg says

    I’d like to know how to make it thicker as well. I’d also like to know how to make vanilla flavored yogurt or other flavors.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    If you put it in the fridge for a couple of days, the whey will separate a little bit. You can pour that off and the yogurt will be a little thicker.

    For vanilla yogurt, add some vanilla extract and a few drops of stevia or real maple syrup.
    For fruit flavored do the same as with vanilla…then add blended fruit.

    [Reply]

    Mary Phillips Reply:

    One of the best ways I know of to make yogurt thicker is to substitute a cup of the milk for a cup of cream or coffee cream.

    [Reply]

    Melissa Jacobsen Reply:

    I like to add pureed strawberries to my yogurt, but mixing the yogurt and adding the fruit breaks it down and makes it more runny. I like to thicken it back up (can thicken to your desired consistency) using a product called “Ultra Gel”). Ultra gel is a derivative of corn starch that can be mixed into either hot or cold liquids. I generally make a gallon of yogurt at a time, sweeten it with about and 1/2 cups sugar, add about a pound of pureed strawberries and a tablespoon of vannilla, then thicken with 1 and 1/2 cups ultra gel. It is delicious, and my kids eat the gallon in about 1 week. It also makes great popsicles.

    [Reply]

    Melissa Jacobsen Reply:

    whoops. The measurement for the sugar should have been 1 and 1/2 C, not 1/2 C. This yourut turns out thicker (more custurd-y) than the commercial thin yogurts.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    I have been wondering about using cornstarch to thicken my homemade yogurt. Do you think that would work? Where did you get the ultra gel and do you add it after the yogurt is finished?

    [Reply]

    Melissa Jacobsen Reply:

    Personally, I would steer clear of using corn starch in yogurt. My
    experience with corn starch is that it is not very stable and tends to
    “weep”–you will find a watery substance on top of your yogurt when you pull it out of the refrigerator. Ultra gel is actually a modified corn starch. It is a little
    more stable, and can be mixed into foods both hot and cold. There is a store that locally sells it in my area called Kitchen Kneads. However, I looked online and it looked like there are several places that you can purchase it through online vendors. I add the Ultra Gel after I have cooked the yogurt when I am mixing in the flavorings and sugar. In commercial yogurt they use pectin and gelatin as thickeners. I’ve heard (but haven’t tried) that you can mix gelatin into your yogurt before cooking it. Another thickener that I haven’t tried but that might work would be xanthum gum. Good luck! :)

  14. Bob says

    You can cook the whey and turn it into ricotta cheese, very simple and it
    turns out great. Just heat the whey (the liquid) and just scoop off the white curd.

    [Reply]

    Jamie Reply:

    cool! thanks bob!

    [Reply]

  15. Mary Phillips says

    I was wondering if you can make yogurt with the 18% coffee cream? I have some that seems to be slightly off in its flavour…not bad but doesn,t taste quite right in coffee.
    Anyone got any suggestions about this?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I really have no idea. I’m not a coffee drinker so you’ll have to enlighten me…what is coffee cream? :)

    [Reply]

    Mary Phillips Reply:

    coffee cream here is sold in the dairy section. It is not pure cream but only 18 % cream. There is another one called cereal cream (10%cream)…heavier than milk (3.25 cream) I did use it to make yogurt…but I think it was closer to a cheese and very firm. I usually take some and mix some chocolate syrup in it for a thick custard-like chocolate dessert.

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    I use coffee cream when I’m in Canada, I believe it’s the same as Half and Half here in the States. I hope that helps :-)

    nita Reply:

    hi, this is very interesting, since I love all homemade stuffs.
    How about adding cream(not coffee cream? would it make it thicker?
    I read someone said if you just hang the yoghurt you’ll just make greek yogurt instead of cream cheese, is it true?

    [Reply]

  16. Rebecca says

    I was wondering… when using unpasteurized milk, is it still ok to use yogurt from your last batch to make the next batch? I know unpasteurized milk has a much shorter shelf life and wondered if this would work?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, it will still work okay!

    [Reply]

  17. Rachel says

    When making your yogurt with your raw milk do you separate out the cream first or do you use that in the yogurt?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I leave the cream in, which makes the yogurt SO good!

    [Reply]

  18. kateh says

    Does your jar have to be sterilized before you use it?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    No, I just make sure it’s clean…but I’ve never sterilized it first.

    [Reply]

  19. Jennifer says

    How high do you fill the water in the cooler? To the level of the milk in the jar? (Or does it even matter?)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I fill it to the top of the jar.

    [Reply]

  20. says

    Laura,
    do you have any suggestions on making flavored yogurt, like adding in the flavor after its done? I really enjoy strawberry/peach/blueberry on the bottom yogurts and was wondering how I would make that yummy mixture.

    [Reply]

    victoria Reply:

    I make my own freezer jam, and typically use 1/2 sugar that the recipe
    calls for. So when the kids want “special” yogurt I use like a
    little blob of that to make the kids fruit flavored yogurt.
    It is really good. Strawberry/Raspberry jam is the best combination
    jam so far.

    Or you could puree fruit, add a sweetener (I would use raw honey) and
    stir desired amount of puree mixture into your yogurt.

    Blessings!

    [Reply]

    Morgan Reply:

    Thank you Victoria.
    That’s is exactly what I thought about doing but wasn’t sure. Plus sometimes other people have better ideas than I do.

    [Reply]

  21. Leigh says

    Oops! I accidently let my yogurt sit in the cooler for 12 hours instead of 7. It has definitely set up but looks like the whey has started to seperate at the top. Is it ruined? Should I strain the whey off?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    It should be just fine! Just shake that whey into the yogurt (or pour it off if you want a thicker yogurt).

    [Reply]

    victoria Reply:

    I too forgot about mine one time, for 10 hours, and we still
    ate it and were fine.

    [Reply]

  22. says

    Thanks for explaining how to make yogurt at home! If anyone else has a digestive disease like I do (Ulcerative Colitis) you just need to keep your yogurt on the heat a little longer though (24-29 hours)to make it safe for your digestive tract. I’ll post a link here where I wrote more about this for anyone who might need the info. Thanks for letting me share my blog Laura. I hope this is helpful. http://livingandeatingwithuc.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-to-make-lactose-free-yogurt-at-home.html

    [Reply]

  23. Carrie S. says

    I am so excited about this! I made my first batch of yogurt and it came out great (even though I don’t have a thermometer and just guessed about the temp.)

    I am happy to hear how you make flavored yogurt. I actually put one quart of my yogurt in the blender with frozen rasperries and it came out totally liquid! Duh! But it actually tasted almost just like the Lifeway raspberry kefir that I buy regularly so this is great! What a great savings!

    My questions is…how long will the yogurt last? I am hoping it’ll all get eaten up in a few days, but if not is it still good a week or two later? The organic store-bought yogurt I usually buy last a few weeks.

    Thank you!!!

    [Reply]

    Anne Reply:

    I’m not sure how long this yogurt recipe lasts but I posted a link above for making yougurt (bascially the same except it stays on the heat for 24 hours to remove the lactose) and that will last 3 weeks in your refrigerator. The cultures in it will only be active though for 2 weeks. See #10 on this faq list http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/knowledge_base/kb/yoghurt_faq.htm

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, my yogurt lasts for several weeks in the fridge!

    [Reply]

  24. Carrie S says

    One other question…is it supposed to have an egg-white like consistency? This last batch I made was a bit thicker than the first, but also very stretchy like raw egg-whites. Did I maybe use too much starter or is this normal?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Mine get’s stretchy sometimes too – I’m not sure why. When I shake it up, that usually takes care of it and it gets smooth again.

    [Reply]

  25. Connie says

    Many recipes call for adding powdered milk to thicken the yogurt.
    I am still wondering why my first batch turned out so well, and most since separate and curdle. I think I am either 1) heating the milk too high, or 2) incubating at too high a temperature. I have been using my dehydrator fan in a cooler. Today I am trying a heating pad. The first batch set too quickly then separated. So, this time I am cranking the heating pad to low and not allowing it to touch the jars.

    [Reply]

  26. says

    I’ve been making yogurt by heating the milk in my crock pot for 2.5 hours. But, I just realized. Do you think I heat it too hot? I might kill off that goodness in the unpasteurized milk.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’m not sure – if you have a food thermometer, check to see if it’s above 100 degrees. If it is, then it’s getting too hot to remain raw.

    [Reply]

  27. Mayira says

    I haven’t looked onto buying raw milk yet. I can’t seem to find the time. Does this work with store-bought yogurt and milk, or does it need to be raw?

    Also, when you buy cheese, etc., is it made from raw milk?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, this works with store-bought milk. The cream cheese I buy at the store is not from raw milk. I am able to buy raw white cheddar cheese that is super yummy!

    [Reply]

  28. says

    I love, love, love that your yogurt recipe is for raw milk. Thank you!! Now to try again… my first attempt with raw milk yielded yogurt with a milk-like consistancy. We just used it on cereal like regular milk but I’d much rather it be thicker!

    [Reply]

  29. Tami says

    I’m curious what the long wooden spoon attached to the tea towel does for the cheese making process??

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Ha! That’s just my crazy way of hanging the yogurt so that the whey can drip out, which is what makes the cream cheese! You certainly don’t have to hang it that way – you just need a way to leave the yogurt free hanging so the whey can drip out. :)

    [Reply]

  30. Amy says

    So it only takes 6 oz for either 1 or 2 quarts? What about a gallon, would I need only 6 oz or 12 oz?

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    One more question. . . Can I use leftover whey to make subsequent batches of yogurt or does it need to be yogurt?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve never used whey to make more yogurt – I do think you need the actual yogurt to make more yogurt.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, 6 oz. will work for 1-2 quarts, I never need to measure it exactly – just so some “starter culture” is included. For a gallon I’d add more like 12 oz.

    [Reply]

  31. Julie says

    Is there any way to make the cream cheese taste sweeter? My hubby likes to put it on things like bagels and such but I tasted it and he would not like it as it is now- not sweet like store bought cream cheese. Also- if I wanted to make my yogurt taste more like store bought vanilla flavored yogurt (my kiddo’s love that stuff, or course!), how would I do that? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Right, this definitely tastes “cultured”! I too find it hard to use homemade cream cheese on bagels and prefer to mix it into some sort of dip with fruit to sweeten it.

    [Reply]

  32. Elizabeth says

    For some reason I think it’s odd that you need yogurt to make more yogurt?? Would that not end up being yogurt diluted with milk?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Once the yogurt reacts with the milk, the milk turns into yogurt! It’s pretty cool!

    [Reply]

  33. Julie Fairchild says

    I started making my own yogurt about a year ago. In a crock pot, pour in 8 cups milk. Put on low for 2 1/2 hours, turn off crock, let sit 3 hours. After 3 hours, take out 2 cups of the warm milk, add in your starter (1/2 cup plain yogurt), cover with a towel for 8-10 hours. Ta-da! Yogurt with no thermometer needed! Save a half cup back to use as your starter next time. The yogurt is a bit runnier than store bought. We like to make “shakes.” Frozen fruit, handful spinach, yogurt…blend til smooth.

    [Reply]

  34. Michelle says

    Any one out there try to make the yogurt/cheese using goat milk and goat milk yogurt? We have a dairy allergy in the family!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    Trisha at http://funkyfoodallergies.blogspot.com/2009/02/allergen-free-yogurt-recipe.html has a recipe for dairy-free yogurt. I just tried this crockpot method with soy yogurt and it worked perfectly! A little runny, but it’s in the fridge now and may thicken as it sits since I added the gelatin. I forgot to add any sweetener, but I suppose I could add that before serving it. My only concern is that it made so much (1/2 gallon) that it probably will go bad before we use it all. But I plan on freezing some to make yogurt pops. Good luck!

    [Reply]

  35. Cathy says

    I made the cream cheese by tying up the tea towel with rubber bands, then hanging it from the cupboard handle with a small bungie cord! Worked great. The yogurt does result in very tangy, almost lemony cream cheese.

    [Reply]

  36. Savannah says

    okay my yogurt has been in the towel over night, it was pretty runny to begin with, and not much whey is in the bowl at all, barely any.. the yogurt is still sooo wet and mushy when i poke it with my finger. will it eventually work? could it take longer?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    SOunds like the towel was maybe too thick to allow moisture through?

    [Reply]

  37. Crystal says

    I am very new to this and I was watching a video on making yogurt and it said to hold the yogurt at 110 degrees for 5-7 hours. Will putting it in a cooler do this? Thanks in advance!!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, in my experience, this has been the best way to hold it to a specific temperature.

    [Reply]

  38. Susan Disharoon says

    I am brand new to this, in fact I am just starting to even like yogurt. I went to the website listed and there are a few low temperature starters to choose from. Specifically, which yogurt starter do you use? Thank you for your help. I await your response.
    Blessings,
    Susan

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    I use 1/2 C storebought yogurt or homemade yogurt from the previous batch. Good luck!

    [Reply]

  39. Susan Disharoon says

    I don’t have any yogurt in the house. I don’t have a previous batch. Which starter did you ue to make your very first batch? I really appreciate your input.

    Thank you,
    Susan

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    I bought some yogurt. You can buy a small container of plain yogurt, or vanilla, or even a greek yogurt. I think greek yogurt as a starter tends to make it a little thicker. I use the crockpot method. It’s so easy! http://inthekeyoflife.typepad.com/in_the_key_of_life/homemade-crockpot-yogurt.html When I make mine I don’t add any sugar or vanilla. After the yogurt is done I strain it tthrough a dish towel to make thicker, greek yogurt. Then before serving I stir in honey or strawberry jam! My whole family loves it. I bought some dannon greek yogurt last week and didn’t like it at all! I got used to the homemade. I found that by making my own greek yogurt this way, it costs me about $.10/serving rather than $1/serving! Here’s a link about making greek yogurt (this would be after you’ve made your homemade yogurt). http://greekfood.about.com/od/syrupssauces/r/make_yogurt.htm At first I was overwhelmed and thought it would be too hard, but it’s not at all. Most of it is just waiting and there’s not a lot of hands-on work. Hope you enjoy it!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I use the traditional flavor yogurt starter from Cultures for Health: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/?a_aid=4d3f955dcff06

    [Reply]

  40. Carrie says

    Laura,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I made the yogurt yesterday and used coffee filters to strain it for about 30 min. to make a thicker yogurt. It was wonderful!!!! My boys each had 2 bowls full with added fruit, granola and chia seeds. Talk about a power packed breakfast. I can see myself making this every couple of days. Putting vanilla beans in your milk when you shake it would give it good flavor I think. I can’t thank you enough for your site. I am starting a whole food journey for myself and my family with some feet dragging, but not too bad. I have found so much on your site to help with the journey. May God continue to bless you and your family and again thank you.

    [Reply]

  41. misha says

    PLEASE HELP! OK IM TRYING TO MAKE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES, THE OREO ONES YA KNOW, SO I WAS WONDERING IF WE CAN USE YOGURT INSTEAD OF CREAM CHEESE, I DONT THINK SO BUT… JUS HOPING

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I would think that yogurt should work, but I can’t say for sure as I’ve never made those truffles before.

    [Reply]

  42. DanaSQ says

    I think I just made a MAJOR yogurt goof…The water may have been too hot, for too long…the yogurt looks fairly…solid. Is there any saving this, or something this could be turned into? This was my first time attempting making yogurt, but obviously not my last, lol!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Good try on the yogurt making – I’ve never had my yogurt turn out too thick. Shucks, if anything, mine is too thin! I guess I would say that it was in the hot water too long, but that’s just a guess as to why this may have happened.

    [Reply]

  43. Loretta says

    Getting ready to try to make yogurt for the first time; when putting it into the cooler, do you put the cover on?

    [Reply]

  44. Loretta says

    just made my first batch of yogurt and am excited for it to finish (at 1am)…I will have to start earlier in the day from now on. I am blessed enough to have access to raw milk so I am excited.

    One question, I heated it to just under 100 degrees, but it didn’t seem very hot…in fact the water from my tap was warmer than the heated milk. Is this right?

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Yes, that is right. You don’t want it too hot because that is what
    keeps it raw.

    [Reply]

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