DIY Greek Yogurt

For kids who liked getting out the Bunsen burner during chemistry class. :slight_smile:

I’ve been making my own Greek yogurt, mostly using information I got from this cooking blog post.

It’s really a simple process. I’m going old school, making it from skim milk, but here’s an old Tnation post on the topic, for anybody who’s interested (It was locked down so I started a new thread). The link here shows somebody who bought regular yogurt, then strained it to make Greek yogurt. Homemade Greek Yogurt - Supplements and Nutrition - Forums - T Nation

This is really just for people who like to know how things are made, or like dinking around in the kitchen. The cost analysis may or may not be worth it to you, depending on how much you enjoy this sort of thing.

Cost Analysis:

It takes about 1 Gallon of Skim milk to make between 4-6 cup servings of Greek Yogurt. It’s dense, so most of the liquid gets strained off. Yields will vary depending on how long you strain it, and how firm it gets during incubation, so you can figure your costs according to milk prices in your area. I pay about $3.00 per gallon of hormone-free skim milk, which will yield 4-6 servings of protein packed Greek yogurt. Of course, I need a couple of tablespoons of starter to make a batch of yogurt, and then there are some energy costs for heating. No clue what those are, but it’s not a lot.

Yogurt costs in Southern California:
Fage individual serving size yogurt is about $2.19 per container (1 cup).
Fage 35.3 oz container (4 servings) range from $7.99 at my grocery store, to $5.19 at Costco.

Edit: The Fage website says they use a 4:1 ratio to make their yogurt, so 1 Gallon of milk will make about 4 cups. If you want to try to replicate their macros, you can strain it down using that as a guideline.

I didn’t want to buy a yogurt maker, so I just improvised a double boiler with a couple of saucepans. FYI, the 2-quart yogurt maker I was looking at on Amazon was about $50.00, and you really don’t need one if you use this method.

Step 1. Pour 8 cups of milk into a saucepan, and place in warm water bath. Heat.

Step 2. Bring milk up to 185 degrees F. It will be frothy, like a latte. Stir it frequently to keep milk from catching. You do need a decent thermometer for this, and a clip on the side to attach it to the pan would be nice, so I wouldn’t need my husband to hold it while I take a picture. :slight_smile:

Step 3. Remove saucepan and place in a cool water bath to bring the temperature down to about 110 degrees F.

Step 4. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of Fage Greek Yogurt into your milk and stir. No need to buy yogurt starter. The Fage works great.

Step 5. Move pan to heating pad. Your mileage may vary, but my heating pad when set on medium works well with a towel wrapped loosely around the pot, not covering lid. Maintain temperature at about 110-113 degrees F. for about 7 hours.

NOTE: There are there are other ways to incubate your yogurt cultures, and you may need to play around with the settings on your heating pad to get this right. Or buy a yogurt maker, which is basically a glorified crockpot that maintains the temperature for you. I just didn’t see the point in buying and storing one, since my heating pad works well. I suggest you put water in your saucepan and do a test run to see what your heating pad does.

Step 6. After about 7 hours, you will have yogurt.

To strain it to make Greek yogurt, gently pour into a very thin mesh strainer like this one, or the link mentioned people who have improvised with cheese cloth, flour sack type dish towels, or coffee filters. I went ahead and got the ridiculously expensive strainer, because I didn’t want to mess with laundering cheesecloth, and this works great. The yogurt takes about 45 minutes to strain away most of the whey/water.

EDIT: Mine has been hitting the 4:1 milk to yogurt ratio at about 45 minutes. If you keep straining, you will get a more dense consistency like a cream cheese.

Step 7. Transfer to your storage container. Take an electric mixer and beat the yogurt until it’s smooth and creamy. You can add a bit of milk or half and half if you want, but it will be fairly firm, depending on how long you strain it. Refrigerate. Mine looks and tastes almost exactly like the Fage brand that I used as a starter.

I think I’ve intimidated everyone with my mad cooking skills. :slight_smile:

Let me add that I did get 75 pounds on my BB OH Press yesterday. Coincidence? I think not.

This is going to be Step 8. There’s a recipe for making vanilla frozen yogurt from Greek yogurt. Someone in the comments said they substituted Splenda for people who are watching carbs. I have a small Donvier ice cream maker, and we’ve done some really good Chocolate Gelato in the past.

The Greek yogurt works really well with vanilla, or fruit but I haven’t figured out how to do chocolate well. I’m picturing something with a dutch cocoa powder and maybe some hazelnut extract. Anyway, frozen yogurt tips appreciated.

That sounds delicious and I like the low tech ease of it all. I’m going to have to make some as soon as I get home, or better yet have my wife make me some :slight_smile: I’m thinking pineapple and almonds, or maybe cinnamon and sugar with almonds. And yes, that’s correct - real sugar. Artificial sweeteners are for the taste bud challenged.

For those who can’t tolerate dairy, you can make yogurt using coconut milk. In my area, coconut milk yogurt is about 3 dollars per 8 oz. container, while greek yogurt is 1 dollar per 8 oz., so making it at home is really cost effective.

Check out this recipe:

Thats cool, Im going to give it a go!

[quote]Yo Momma wrote:
For those who can’t tolerate dairy, you can make yogurt using coconut milk. In my area, coconut milk yogurt is about 3 dollars per 8 oz. container, while greek yogurt is 1 dollar per 8 oz., so making it at home is really cost effective.

Check out this recipe:


Yum. I’ve never tried coconut yogurt. Thanks for the link, Mama.

[quote]Captnoblivious wrote:
Thats cool, Im going to give it a go![/quote]

I feel like a kid with a science project. :slight_smile:

If you try it, I thought I’d tell you that I doubled the recipe and used a gallon of milk and it worked just fine. Same amount of starter (2 Tablespoons of the Fage). My heating pad maintained the heat in the larger pot without a problem. The cultures must just go exponential there at the end. Incubation time was 8 hours for the whole gallon.

For the full gallon, I used a bigger stockpot, then improvised a double boiler by putting it inside the wider pot, but put three metal canning rings on the bottom to keep my stockpot up off the bottom so my milk wouldn’t scorch. You might think of a better idea.

Strained down to about 4 cups, and it’s exactly like the Fage brand.

Have you ever tried making skyr?

I have a friend who owns a small dairy so I’m good on the milk.

[quote]Captnoblivious wrote:
Have you ever tried making skyr?

I have a friend who owns a small dairy so I’m good on the milk.[/quote]

No. I had to Google skyr. :slight_smile: I’d assume you could do something similar. If it contains live cultures, you could probably use it as a starter. The Greek yogurt is so simple to replicate because it has no other ingredients, just milk and yogurt cultures. With my yogurt, I could keep straining it down and it would have a cream cheese consistency in no time. Access to the dairy is great. Have fun!

Last week I decided to try to make my own yogurt .

I was surprised how easy it was. Sort of like a science experiment. I just heated the milk using a heat diffuser (rather than the double boiler) and let it cool naturally (no ice bath), but it turned out great!

I highly recommend this method for those who like yogurt. Neat to do it on your own and you save a few bucks.

I’ve been doing this for years. I just heat a gallon of milk to the point where it almost burns my finger when dipped in. From there I let it cool a bit, add the culture (greek yogurt from the store or typically a few cups from the last batch I made).

I get the oven slightly warm and pop the whole pot in, keeping the oven off overnight. When I grab it in the morning its extremely solid. I don’t strain it but I do pour off a bit of the whey, it separates really well.

Just try the new Ben and Jerry’s Greek fro yo…

[quote]Efuchs7 wrote:
Just try the new Ben and Jerry’s Greek fro yo…[/quote]

Well, I was excited until I went and looked at the nutritional content.
Ben and Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt - Vanilla 1/2 cup serving:
150 cals and only 4 grams of protein. I’m not sure why that’s so low but I was surprised.
Carbs were at 21 grams, 19 grams sugar.

To use Greek yogurt to make frozen yogurt in your ice cream maker, I’ve seen quite a few recipes that recommend 2 Tablespoons vodka to keep it from freezing so hard. There are apparently a lot of flavored vodkas out there so this could get fun.

EDIT: I misread the nutrition column - 1/2 cup serving of Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla has 7 grams of Pro. That’s a bit better, but I want my Greek yogurt to be primarily a protein source. If you go this route, making it yourself lets you control for the added sugar. Stevia or Splenda go well with fruit flavors.