Tip from a customer!!
"Just a tip for long incubations requiring
temperatures of 86-100F: If your oven has a Proofer setting, you can use
that. If not, you can use a poor mans proofer, in which you boil 2 cups
of water in a pot or large glass measuring cup, cover it and put it in
the oven for 15 minutes while you heat your milk. Remove the pot and put
in the cultured milk. The oven will stay a balmy 92-96F for hours!!"
Jim, our tech man, had this to add: There are many other ways to do this
as well. Mine is to use an insulated cooler with bottles of warm water
to hold the temps. This will keep your oven open for use and you can
move the cooler out of the way.
Q. I attended your cheese 101 class a couple of years ago and have been making homemade yogurt with the Yogotherm and your cultures ever since then--love it! I do have two questions:
1. Why do you have to heat the milk up to 185 and then cool to 112?
2. How much temperature variation do you have with the temps? if the milk heats to a bit more than 185 or cools to less than 112.
A. The heating to 185 is what is needed to prepare the whey proteins for the thick yogurt and the cooling to 112 before adding the culture is the temp at which they work best. I bring mine back to 112F but it does cool to 102-108F over the 4-5 hours I ripen it.
Q. I love your Y5 Sweet Yogurt culture, but while making some today I noticed for the first time (don't ask me why I never noticed it before) that the culture contains autolyzed yeast. I saw on Wikipedia that it can be used as nutrients for bacterial culture, but I would think that the milk would have enough nutrients in it. Since there is such
controversy over that product, I was wondering what the reason is that you have it in your yogurt culture?
A. This is because the culture is in a stressed state when freeze dried and stored at freezing temps. The additions are nutrients that will feed the culture as it rehydrates and play to their specific needs at this time. Without this your culture viability and rebound rate would not be as good and your fermentation would be weak at best.
You may have noticed some differences in our yogurt
directions regarding the amount of milk one packet will set. The reason
for this is that they are all correct, but different. Each packet sets 2
quarts of milk in 6-12 hours. If you let it set longer(18-24 hours)
each packet will set up to one gallon of milk. The longer the set, the
more acidic the yogurt, so if you like it to be sweeter, you should
choose to set 2 quarts in the shorter time.
For more questions and answers about yogurt at our blog, click here.
1. How do I use my Yogotherm?
There are many ways to keep your milk at ripening
temperatures, however, most folks find our Yogotherm to be the easiest.
If you plan to set your milk for long periods, we would suggest doing a
pre-heat of the container at about 120F (which is usually your hottest
tap water). Dump this when your milk is ready and close up immediately.
To clean the Yogotherm, simply remove the inner liner, wash and dry.
2. Can I re-culture the yogurt cultures?
Yes, if you are inoculating the fresh batch with
another batch that is only a week or so old. However, in time, the
culture balance will change and the yogurt will become more and more
acidic. We recommend re-culturing only once or twice before starting
with a new packet of culture.
3. Which culture is best for making Greek-style yogurt?
They all work well for this. Simply strain the yogurt in butter muslin or a yogurt strainer until it is as thick as you wish it to be.
4. I am allergic to cow's milk and there is dry milk powder in the culture packets.
Yogurt cultures contain miniscule amounts of dry milk
powder-less than .01%. It is consumed by the bacteria since it is there
to provide fuel to get them started from their dry state.
5. What is the difference between the I. bulgaricus in your
Bulgarian yogurt and the other kinds of bulgaricus in your other yogurt
None of them are single strains. They are all different complex strains of bulgaricus.
6. Can I use my favorite yogurt (which has probiotics in it) as a starter?
Yes, you can re-culture or add an element from one
yogurt to another batch. However, the problem is that since these
cultures rely on a balance, and it would be very difficult to keep this
balance, the final product will be very different from the original.
Also, you will have no idea which cultures were active.
For example, our Bulgarian style yogurt is a good one
to re-culture because the two primary cultures work well together, but
if you added another culture to that, it would probably get squeezed out
due to their strong competitive nature. With the introduction of more
and more probiotic cultures (bifidus) the yogurts have become more
If you are looking for probiotics, our sweet yogurt culture contains acidophilus and bifidus. For more info about probiotics at our blog, click here.
7. Can I use your cultures to make soy yogurt?
Yes, although they do contain a slight amount of dry
milk powder (to feed the bacteria). We are always looking for recipes
for alternative "yogurts," so if you have any, send them to Moosletter@cheesemaking.com. We currently have one article with soy recipes at our blog- Soy Cheese with Louise Dutton.
8. Is it possible (and/or advisable) to make yogurt in the yogurt incubator (or any other way) with lactose free milk?
the lactose is gone, there will be nothing for the bacteria to work on.
Many lactose intolerant people can do ok with most yogurts (but not the
sweet ones) since most of the lactose has been converted to lactic
acid. Our Y1 would be the culture to try, and draining it greek style
would be even better.
9. I wanted to buy yogurt cultures but was
confused. It looks like all of the cultures contain the same bacteria
strains. How are the different flavors and consistencies obtained?
thermophilus and bulagaricus are found in all yogurt cultures. The
difference is the strain, the balance and overall amount of active
culture. Take a look at our recipe pages for more on yogurt and its