Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 7, 2008 11:20 AM

Attention: yogurt makers. Help!

I'm on my fifth batch of homemade yogurt. Each batch is getting progressively better, and batch 4 almost made my eyes cross it was so good. Rich, creamy - actually better than the ultra rich store-bought Liberté

Batch 5 however was a disappointment. I'm not sure what I did wrong. My technique is to boil to 175c, cool to 105c, add 175 grams of Liberté Bio plain yogurt as my starter, stir, cover overnight with a heating pad and towels (I know it sounds a bit obsessive), strain with cheesecloth and strainer the next morning for a couple of hours in fridge, lightly whisk then transfer to container and that's it. That's how I made magic for batch 4. Any experts out there know why batch 5 wasn't as fabulous as batch 4??? Why wasn't it as thick and rich tasting? I used the exact same ingredients: homo milk and the Liberté plain yogurt.... The only thing I did different was I doubled the milk and didn't double the amount of starter yogurt. Would that make a difference in the thickness? Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yes, I always double, triple, quadruple, etc. the amount of starter based on how much milk I'm using. I don't know what it would be for metric, but I use 1/4 cup of starter for each quart of milk. If I'm using a gallon (4 quarts) of milk, I use 1 cup of starter.

    1 Reply
    1. re: butterfat

      So here's my latest... I just made another batch. I didn't do anything different this time. I used the right amount of starter, but I bought a different brand. I know, I know... everyone says I don't need to buy a starter, I can use the leftover from my batch.. but of course I forgot and ate it. So I did my usual routine, and this batch was absolutely heavenly!!!! Thick, rich, creamy... I didn't even whisk it and it was as smooth as silk... my best yet. Any feedback as to why it would be so perfect? I know that's a dumb question, but I just want to know if it's more about the planets and stars aligning than science... Thanks.

    2. This should be on the home cooking board. Yes, doubling the milk, but not doubling the starter would be the difference. Less starter results in less thick yogurt.

      Remember, you don't need to buy yogurt for a starter, just use some from the last batch. I've had the same yogurt line going for about 2 years now!

      5 Replies
      1. re: norjah

        Thanks to both you and butterfat for the tip on the doubling of the starter - I feel kind of "duh" about that one, but at least I know now.

        I hate to sound like a baby, but I'm a bit nervous about re-using the same yogurt to start the next batch. I'm afraid it's not going to be as strong, and eventually the formula will lose it's strength - if that makes sense.

        Also wondering if you believe it's like genetics... if I make a really good batch of yogurt, and I use it for the starter for the next, does that mean that the next batch sort of inherits the genes?

        I think I need to get out more, I'm starting to scare myself... ;-)

        1. re: Moimoi

          I'm not sure how often you make yogurt, but I've read that if you use your yogurt that you've made as a starter, it's best that the yogurt is less than 1 week old. Otherwise, it won't work as well.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            Have you or any of the others found that different brands of milk make a difference to the tartness of the yogurt? I don't mean the fat content - skim versus 2% or whole - I mean, producer... Thanks.

            1. re: Moimoi

              Tartness has more to do with how long you let it sit out as opposed to using fattier milk. The less you let it sit out, the less tart it will be. But I do think the whole fat milk will contribute to a less tart yogurt than skim because the fatty creaminess kind of coats your tongue and makes things taste less tart.

          2. re: Moimoi

            Here is the magic yogurt making secret (imparted to me on this board and it improved our yogurt exponentially)... Use your previous batch as your starter, but make sure you get some from the top, the middle and the bottom of the pot. This mixture of cultures will just keep on going.