You can make yogurt at home, and it can taste better than what you buy in the store.
When you make your own yogurt you can experiment with the milk you use, the “starter” culture, and the fermentation time. Surprisingly we made our best plain Greek yogurt using strawberry flavored Yoplait Just 3 yogurt as the starter. Of course, our yogurt did not have strawberry flavor, just great plain Greek taste.
We use Instant Pot to heat the milk and keep it warm during the fermentation process, but you can use an unheated oven with the aid of the oven light, but the fermentation time needs to be longer.
Once you made your first batch of your own yogurt, use some of it as the “starter” culture for your next batch. You will never have to buy yogurt again, now you can make your own any time. You only need milk and some of your own yogurt.
You will need
- Some of your favorite yogurt as the “starter” culture for your first batch,
- Small glass containers,
- Thermometer if you have one.
Heat the milk
Heating the milk to around 85 °C for 2 minutes homogenizes it, so the yogurt will not separate into creme and buttermilk, and kills all bacteria and fungus in it, so your yogurt will only contain the culture you add. This step gives you full control over the texture and taste of your yogurt and takes around 45 minutes to complete.
- Fill the clean glasses with milk to 90% full.
- Pour 250 ml water into the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
- Place the glasses on the steam rack in the Instant Pot.
- Steam them for 2 minutes in the Sealing lid position.
- Wait until the pressure drops naturally. The cooldown takes around 24 minutes.
Cool the milk
- Carefully take out the hot glasses with a thong from the Instant Pot.
- Remove the skin from the top of the milk a few times during the cooling process, so it cools faster.
- Let them cool to 115 °F / 46 °C. Check the temperature with a thermometer.
Add the starter culture
- Add 1 tsp ( 5 ml ) of your favorite yogurt to every 4 fl.oz ( 118 ml ) milk. If you make the yogurt in the inner pot, add 2 tbsp ( 30 ml ) yogurt to 27 fl.oz. (800 ml) milk.
- Steer it
Ferment the yogurt
- Pour out the water from the inner pot of the Instant Pot and wipe it dry.
- Place the glass containers on the bottom of the inner pot.
- Close the lid of the Instant Pot, open the valve to enable the venting of the condensation.
- Set the Instant Pot to the Yogurt program and set the time to 11 – 12 hours. You can experiment with the time. The longer the fermentation process, your yogurt will be sourer. For us, 11 hours gave the best-tasting yogurt. The yogurt program keeps the milk in the Instant Pot at 46 °C (115 °F) during the fermentation process.
Store the yogurt
When the fermentation time is over, take out the glasses from the Instant Pot, cover the glasses with plastic food wrap, and place them in the refrigerator. You can keep them for a week, after that time, they will start to get some bitter taste. Save a glass of yogurt as the starter of the next batch. Now you only need to get milk to keep making your very own yogurt. You have the starter forever.