White Mountain Foods | July 12th, 2017
Q: I tried making yogurt with your yogurt, but it didn’t work. What happened?
A: Making good yogurt is a balancing act that requires the right culture, temperature, and incubation period. The closer your starter yogurt is to its “Purchase By” date, the fewer active bacteria it has. Older yogurt still has plenty of beneficial bacteria that aid digestion, but it may take larger amounts to properly inoculate milk to produce yogurt. We suggest adding one-half to three-quarters of a cup of our yogurt to one gallon of milk. For best results, add the yogurt starter to milk that is 109 degrees F. If the milk is any hotter, the culture will die. If the milk is 105 degrees F or cooler, the culture will be sluggish and may not make yogurt. If you heat a gallon of milk to 109 degrees, add the culture, wrap the gallon container in a towel, and leave it in a warm place overnight, the temperature should stay about right for proper incubation.
For smaller batches you are going to need some kind of heat source. A good electric yogurt maker is the easiest way. If your end result is too runny with no separation (curds and whey) then you didn’t have enough culture or not enough heat during incubation. If separation occurs then you had too much culture and/or too high of an incubation temperature.