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1st Attempt - Yogurt turned out slimy/ropey

I've read the discussion of this and am not positive what I did wrong. I followed the directions on how to do it in a crock pot.

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/...

I used my All-Clad on low 2.5 hrs, (1/2 gal. regular, fresh milk) then cut off crock pot, left cover on, let sit 3 hrs. Then, mixed 2 cups of that with
1/2 cup powdered whole milk (from health food store) and 1/2 cup plain yogurt.
Wrapped in a towel for 8 hrs. Then, put into containers and refrigerated.

It's unbelievably slimy/ropey. I ate some anyway and the cats liked it. I'm just really turned off by the sliminess. Should I have heated up the milk to boiling point before placing in crock pot?

Sam, I've read your method but don't want to be zapping it in microwave every hour and half all day.

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    1. re: greygarious

      Thanks, I already read all these posts.
      I just would like to do the crock pot method and have it turn out right and wonder if I simply would need to boil the milk on the stove, first.
      I don't want to buy a heating pad and there's no pilot light in my oven.

      1. re: walker

        You do need to heat the milk to 180F to denature the proteins. If not, those proteins will form long, slimy strands. You can heat on the cooktop, or in the microwave, but 180 F is much hotter than most people realize. Use a thermometer to make sure.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          Thanks for the advice; I've been experimenting and watching youtube videos. I think I'm just going to buy the yogurt maker from WmsSonoma. I think I'll still need to heat up the milk on the stove, first.

    2. Walker, what was the yogurt like when you put it in the ref? In the recipe, I relly don't understand the logic underlying: "Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours. Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours." Why cook for 2 1/2 hours? Why let that sit for 3 hours?

      20 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Let's see, it was 3 am. Gelatinous, ropey, slimy. (There's a lot of Chinese food in San Francisco I can't eat because it's slimy, like Shark Fin Soup, etc.)

        On the blog instructions: I did not anticipate these problems. If it'd work right, it'd be an easy way to make yogurt. Otherwise, I guess I'll have to buy a yogurt maker. Maybe I could just try this method once more but first boil the milk before I place it in crock pot.

        If I were to try your method, could you give me the recipe in cups/quarts, etc? Can you fit all your recipe in your microwave at once or must you do it in batches?

        1. re: walker

          WALKER! You made me go re-measure. I've been making about 3 1/2 quarts at a time in five 3/4 quart containers all this time (I thought I was using quart containers). All five fit in the MW at once). I start with two quarts of whole milk, add one pound of whole milk powder and a TBSP of brown sugar, whisk very well, add a cup of yogurt from the last batch, distribute in the five containers, zap on high for about three minutes and then for about a minute every hour and a half to two hours. Nothing exact, just keep it all warmer than body temp for 12 hours. Thick and tart! No boiling.

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            Are your containers glass? I have some Ball pint size glass jars -- can I use these or will that upset the system? Since I don't have a scale, can you estimate in cups how much whole milk powder? So, you mix everything up cold and then do your first 3 minute zap and then a minute every 1.5 hrs for 12 hours. (I wish you'd try with a crock pot and perfect that -- it'd be sooo much easier not to have to zap every 1.5 hrs.)

            1. re: walker

              My containers are plastic. Glass jars would work just fine. The only objective is to get the containers (glass or plastic) to feel warm to the touch for a long time. I would guess two cups of milk powder. I have an ancient large crockpot. I can give it a try. But I have to rely on getting the ingredients hot but not enough to kill the yogurt bacteria but enough for the culture to grow and make thick yogurt over, let's say,12 hours. My only other concern is that when the pot is done, I'll have to "break" the yogurt to put it into storage containers. I've noticed that the individual containers keep really well for a loing time if not opened and disturbed.

              1. re: walker

                I can't be tending yogurt during the day so I use a homemade incubation drawer that's made with a clip-on light. 100-watt bulb. Read the details in the thread linked to in the first post.

              2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Sam, I'm going to stay home today and try your method. I have 2 one-half gallon cartons of 2% milk, plain Straus yogurt and not quite 2 cups of dry milk powder. From reading your recipe above, do you start with 2 quarts and then mix with the rest of the milk after mixing in yogurt starter, etc.?

                1. re: walker

                  I mix the milk, powdered milk and bit of sugar first with a lot of heavy whisking to get the powdered milk dissolved. Put in the starter next to last and gently whisk it up. Finally add the water to total the 3 1/2 quarts and whisk gently.

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    I did not expect to hear from you so soon so I decided to "wing" it. Now, I think it might not be right.

                    I mixed 4 quarts of 2% milk with about 2 cups of powdered milk, 1 T brown sugar, 1 cup plain yogurt. I put it in pint size containers into microwave but had to do in 2 batches. Zapped for 4 min and it seemed cold so zapped another 2 minutes. I put 1/2 of them in a cooler and left other half in microwave. Guess every 1.5 hrs I'll put them back and forth a zap for a minute. (I'm leaving them uncovered, right?)

                    If this does not work, maybe I'll try to learn how to do it with heating on stove using a thermometer -- I've been looking at some YouTube videos.

                    1. re: walker

                      walker, sounds perfect!!!! Good luck!

                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          Sam, I think it's yogurt, not very thick, tho. BUT, at least it's not at all slimy. Since I'm rarely just hanging out in the house for 12 hrs, and it's a drag to attend to it every 1.5 hrs., I think I'm going to buy a yogurt maker.

                          1. re: walker

                            Should be thick!! Let it cool down in the ref; and it should solidify more. I'm going to fish out thet small crockpot I have somewhere and give that a try!

                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                              It's not thick, not thin. Pretty tangy but maybe that's because the Straus organic yogurt I bought is tangy. If I wanted to try making yogurt cheese, do I put some cheesecloth over a mesh strainer and let it drain out? Can I do this in the sink or do I have to keep it refrigerated?

                              As an aside -- I was getting used to the slimy stuff -- at least it was thick and very tasty. I found if I just drank it from the jar, the slime was not obvious. That batch I did with whole milk, this batch I used organic 2%. Have you ever tried adding those bits of yogurt culture instead of actual yogurt?

                              Also, maybe mine didn't get so thick because I had to keep moving it when I would zap in microwave since all the jars could not fit in there at once.

                              1. re: walker

                                I have a couple of strainers just for yogurt (used em once). I strained the yogurt in the ref; but room temp if it is not to hot would be OK. Cheesecloth is fine. My first wife and I would strain milk that had gone bad when we lived in southern Bolivia and drank raw milk. The stuff would go from foul smelling to the sweetest of spreading cheeses. Anyway, one thing to consider is to use whole milk and whole milk powder as I do. Thick (as in it holds its shape completely on a spoon, no slumping, thick as any fage) and very tangy.

                                1. re: walker

                                  Walker,

                                  Straus yogurt does not have as active a culture as Stonyfield. Try that brand next time for your first batch. I researched this.

                                  Maria

                        2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          << Put in the starter next to last and gently whisk it up. Finally add the water to total the 3 1/2 quarts and whisk gently.>>

                          Sam,
                          Do you mean you heat your milk PLUS your starter culture in the microwave? I think you're killing part of your culture!! I always wait to add the culture till the milk mixture has cooled down to 105 F.

                          My yogurt is extra thick, but I let it go 15 hours. Beautiful.

                          Maria

                          1. re: maria lorraine

                            Yes, I made a batch the other day. I've been using less time for initial heating and know I'm not getting the mix anywhere near 180 F. I was initially off on my volume; thought I was making 5 liters; but was making 3.5 liters. Anyway, my yogurt contines to come out as thick and tangy as can be: e.g., if I remove a scoop from a container, the depression stays as is, no falling or flowing inwards.

                            I'm making a lot these days: my breakfast is yogurt, sliced banana, blackberries, and honey. My five year old has a lot; and I use the stuff for sauces and dressings.

                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                              You have been my inspiration throughout...you gave me such a good running start...now I'm marathoning!

                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                Thank you. I feel like I've now paid my CH dues.

                2. That's very interesting, and I know it's an undesirable consistancy in yogurt, and myself I dislike it but I've had sheep's milk yogurt and it's automatically like that all the time - doubt it was an error as it's an art to make yogurt in most areas in the middle east and I could not track down a descent yogurt that I liked (creamy, rich, that you could scoop out with a spoon)

                  Good luck with the yogurt!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: BamiaWruz

                    This yogurt-making instruction worked like a charm. I found it on Martha Stewart's site:
                    http://www.marthastewart.com/948811/h.... If you don't wish to visit the link, here are steps:

                    Ingredients

                    1 quart 2 percent milk
                    3 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
                    Directions

                    Place milk in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until it reaches 180 degrees, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool to 115 degrees.

                    Whisk together 1 cup milk and the yogurt. Stir into remaining milk.

                    Transfer to a 1-quart mason jar. Wrap jar (without lid) in 2 clean kitchen towels, completely covering sides and top. Let stand undisturbed in a warm place until yogurt has the consistency of custard, 4 to 5 hours.

                    Refrigerate uncovered jar; when it's cool to the touch, about 30 minutes, screw on a tight-fitting lid.

                    Cook's Note

                    Keep It Cozy
                    Wrapping the mixture in towels helps maintain a consistent temperature.

                    The longer incubation time in the range given in step 3 produces a slightly thicker, tangier result.