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Jul 23, 2006 12:25 PM

Can My Yogurt Be Rescued?

Last night I made homemade yogurt as I have before - I heated the milk to a simmer, let it cool to lukewarm, added plain starter with live culture, wrapped it in a towel and popped it into the oven overnight. I'm in Haiti, where it is ridiculously hot all the time, so I assumed that the milk would stay warm enough to transform itself. But I guess the A/C must have kicked on last night because when I woke up, the house was an icebox and my milk was 1/3 stretchy, yogurt-y deliciousness and 2/3 milk. Can I do anything to save it? Add more culture? Warm the oven slightly?

I assume that this is truly a temperature issue, but for what it's worth, I am, sadly, using UHT milk because that's the only kind that is readily available here.

How I had dreamed of having yogurt this week! Thanks in advance for any help that you can offer.


Ann Marie

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  1. I would think it can be saved. An alternate to using culture is just using yogurt. Even a teaspoon into a quart. Based on your write-up, I think you have a stuck fermentation. Just a technical term for the batch getting cold before completing. And if so, you should be able to start it up again by heating (to 115F, not to 185F). No need to add more culture, but stir to mix through the part that is cultured.

    I'd be interested to hear your results.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SteveT

      Steve, thanks for your response! It seems as though you were right; the fermentation was stuck. This morning I killed the A/C, warmed the oven ever-so-slightly, turned off the oven, stirred the yogurt and shoved it back in there. Within a couple of hours the yogurt was thick and delicious. Not quite as tangy as I would have liked, but thankfully it doesn't have that UHT flava. I'll take it.

      Ann Marie