My sister in law got me interested in making yogurt, but I wasn’t brave enough to try it right away. Finally I did my research online, and tried several different styles before I chose this method. Currently, I leave everything in the crockpot until I’m ready to transfer to jars and put in the fridge, because I started out straining my yogurt and making it Greek. But, I couldn’t bear to loose all that volume/whey, so I don’t always strain it anymore. Which means I might play with transferring the hot milk to jars before I incubate it.
So anyhow, this works for me… I know there are other ways of doing it, and I think that’s way cool. You find what works for you, and tell me about it!
CROCK-POT HOMEMADE YOGURT
1 Gallon Milk
1 cup plain yogurt (Dannon or Yogurt from previous batch)
Pour Milk into slow cooker. Set on high and cover. It will take 2-3 hours for temp to get to 180*. Check with a meat thermometer. Once it is at 180, turn off, take crock out of base, replace lid, and let sit until milk cools to 110. This will take another 2-3 hours. Once temp is between 110-115, add some warm milk to the plain yogurt, stir to combine, and then gently stir mix back into milk. Close lid.
Wrap cooker in large towel and let sit in draft-free spot (I tuck it back into a cupboard) for 10-12 hours. Milk will have thickened and the whey will start separating.
FOR GREEK YOGURT: Line a colander with cheesecloth, and spoon yogurt in. Set colander over large glass bowl and let strain in fridge for several hours, or until desired thickness is reached. (I cover with a clean dishtowel). Use the whey in soups or to enrich your veggie garden.
FOR REGULAR YOGURT: You can skip the straining process altogether and spoon straight from the crockpot into wide-mouth mason jars. Put lids on, and stick in fridge! I’ve had mine last for a month or more, no mold.