How to Make Homemade Yogurt

Ok, yogurt makers! You are now 12 hours away from creamy, homemade yogurt!

I want to give my friend Kathleen K credit for sharing this method with me. I researched lots of different methods to make yogurt, and all seemed very daunting to me because they required lots of equipment that I didn't have or just took too long. This is the easiest way to make yogurt that I've found, and it makes incredible results!

First, gather the materials listed in the last post (at the bottom of the page).

1. Fill a large pot with water.

2. Using your choice of milk, fill a 1 quart mason jar.

3. Place the milk inside the large pot (use a dishcloth to "pad" the bottom of the pot so it won't rattle).

4. Place the candy thermometer (if using) inside the milk. Boil the milk to 180 degrees. This step kills competing bacteria. Remove the jar from the boiling water bath.

5. When milk has cooled to 110 (or "when you can place your
finger in the milk and count to ten" thank you George Papas), take 1 Tbs of starter (from Brown Cow or Cultures for Health). Stir and cover tightly with lid.

6. Wrap the yogurt tightly in a wool or warm blanket and place in cooler.

7. After 8 hours, check the yogurt for consistency and taste. I usually leave mine for about 12 hours for the consistency I like.

Hint: If you begin this process at 7 pm, you'll be able to enjoy fresh yogurt for breakfast the next morning!!

Discussion points:

1. Generally, the yogurt will be "sweeter" if you culture for 8 hours, and more tart for longer.

2. Culturing yogurt is very temperature-dependant. Results may vary based on the season!

3. If the resulting culture is too "wheyish"simply strain a bit of the whey off.

4. If you want Greek yogurt, strain the whey off for about 4 hours or so. Basically, the longer you strain, the closer you'll get to cream cheese (which is really good too!)


Carrie T said...

Hey everyone! I just wanted to apologize for the terrible formatting on this post. Blogger was being finicky, and didn't allow me to add some additional helpful photos (I have some great ones of the straining step).

I will post an "addendum" which will show some additional pix. Please post questions to troubleshoot and let us know your results!!!

Bledsoe Family said...

Carrie, I found your blog through Kim's~hope you don't mind me checking it out! I love your yogurt recipe. I am just finishing the book 'French Women Don't Get Fat' and she recommends making homemade yogurt and eating a serving twice a day. I don't have a yogurt machine, so I'm so glad I stumbled on to your site before I considered buying one! Thanks and have a great day! ~Teddi Bledsoe

Icon Girl said...

Looks very simple, thanks! How much does one's choice of starter affect the final product?

Carrie T said...


Welcome!! I read French Women... a few years ago too and this is what got me on my journey to "whole foods" nutrition! It's such a great read. Yeah, and I almost bought a yogurt maker too a few months ago, and am glad that this method worked (less electricity!)

Carrie T said...

Icon girl,

Hello! I'm not exactly sure because I have only used either Brown Cow, Trader Joe's whole milk goat yogurt, or samples from a previous batch.

I wouldn't use low fat plain or anything with additives in it. You can also order "freeze dried" yogurt cultures, but often these contain Maltodextrin and other "anti-caking" agents, so it seems best to just use yogurt from a previous batch, as long as the yogurt hasn't been pasteurized AFTER culturing.

Carolyn said...

Thanks for sharing your yogurt recioe. Have you tried making raw yogurt using raw milk and not boiling the milk? Just heat the milk to 110 so as not to destroy the good enzymes and such.

Susan said...

thank you Carrie! I will try it after lent is over. I am so craving dairy products. Give me a nice piece of cheddar!!!

Kimberly said...

Carrie, I make yogurt every January with my students when we study bacteria. Almost everything can be turned into a science lesson. :) Your pictures reminded me so much of our classroom experiments with "good" bacteria.

Carrie T said...


Thanks for the info! I'm going to try that. The recipes I'd seen for raw yogurt seemed really complicated for some reason, and I think I tried once and heated the milk above 110 accidentally, so just kept heating it.


I think that's great what you do with your class! I'm thinking of designing an integrated thematic science curriculum based on foods and our bodies. Wouldn't microbiology, chemistry, and physics be so much more intriguing when related to food??!!

Jungleen said...

Hi Carrie,
I found your blog through the newwaphb group. I just tried your yogurt recipe over the weekend. I made my yogurt greek style, nice and thick. Thanks for sharing the recipe, it turned out great!