Jun 24 2009

Better Yogurt

Earlier this year I wrote a piece on making yogurt from raw milk, which has actually become one of my most-read articles.  Back then, I used whatever plain yogurt was on sale as my starter.  Most batches were successful, but sometimes the resulting product would be runny, or it would get too sour before it reached the right consistency.  I figured I wasn’t maintaining the proper temperature or letting the milk get too old or something.

For the last few batches, we’ve used a brand called Kalona Organics that Angel found in the organic section at HyVee.  Aside from being organic, it has five different types of probiotic, instead of the single strain of lactobacillus that most yogurts have.  The variety of critters in it should make it more beneficial to gut health, so that’s why we got it.

Well, it turns out to be beneficial to making yogurt too.  Every batch we’ve made with it has turned out creamy and mild.  It also seems to ferment more slowly, so we don’t have to be as careful to check it and get it in the fridge at just the right time to keep it from getting too sour.  With the cheap stuff, there was a big difference between seven hours of fermentation and nine.  With this good stuff, we’ve had good results anywhere between 12-28 hours.  (The 28 hours was because I just forgot I had a batch going.  I assumed it would be ruined, but it wasn’t.)

So if you’re making yogurt at home, you might want to give this brand a try.  It’s more expensive, but you only need to buy it once.  After that you can just save back a bit from each batch to start the next one.

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