I have started making yogurt, and I love it! It tastes so good, and is so good for you. The kids have been eating yogurt daily for sometime. They are used to store sweetened yogurt, but will eat my home-made yogurt if I add some jelly or honey to it. I would love to one day not buy any more yogurt and only have homemade, but so far "their's and mine" is what we do.
Here are the steps I take to making yogurt at home:
First off, the cast of characters: milk, a little yogurt from the previous batch, a thermometer, and stock pot.
I set out the ingredients to come to room temperature while I bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. I hang the pot I am using for the milk over the one that is boiling to sterilize it and to help the pot of water to boil faster.
I use the two pots as a double boiler, pour the milk in, and bring it up to 185 degrees stirring frequently. This kills any bacteria.
When the milk hits 185 degrees I take it off the heat and set it in the sink full of cool water to bring the milk down to 110 degrees.
When the milk comes down to 110 degrees, I add in yogurt (or culture) from the previous batch. I use the ratio of 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt to a half gallon of milk.
Then I pour the milk into mason jars and put them in an ice chest. I add warm water to the ice chest to keep the jars at 110 degrees for 7 hours. I check this with the thermometer and add warm water if the temperature drops. After 7 hours the yogurt should have solidified. I then take it out and let it cool and then store it in the refrigerator.
And voila... yummy, tart, fresh, yogurt. Such a morning treat with a little granola and honey on top. A terrific way to start the day!