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Can lumpy yogurt be fixed after it's finished?

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NancyC Nov 18, 2011 10:11 AM

The tiny restaurant I work in (in small-town Thailand) has started purchasing homemade yogurt from a guy who delivers to several other shops.The flavor is good but it's quite lumpy. Maybe not a big deal to eat at home, but we are going to serve it to customers. (And no, it's a REALLY small restaurant, so we don't have the capacity to make our own rather than buying from him).

I have seen some info online that suggests lumps can be avoided by whisking more thoroughly earlier in the process, and that perhaps a higher heat might meld the lumps and whey together a bit more. But since he's been doing this a while, delivers to other places without issue, and I wouldn't want to offend him, I am not sure I can make these suggestions.

So what can be done once the yogurt is completed? I've read that putting it in a blender could make it more liquidy. We whisked it a bit with a fork (we don't actually have a whisk but if it makes a difference I guess we could get one) but perhaps we needed to make a longer, more concerted effort.

Or is there nothing that can be done after the yogurt is finished? Are the lumps are permanently in?

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  1. biondanonima RE: NancyC Nov 18, 2011 10:21 AM

    I find that the lumps in my homemade yogurt tend to become less as it sits in the fridge, but if yours doesn't stay around long that won't help. Maybe putting it through a mesh strainer, with not too fine a mesh?

    1. todao RE: NancyC Nov 18, 2011 10:58 AM

      If I were paying someone to supply yogurt, I'd expect them to be able to provide it in a form that I could use. Tell the guy you're buying it from what your needs are and have him find the solution.
      Alternatively, if you're running a restaurant (or working with someone who is) invest in a whisk. It should be a part of the kitchen equipment in even the most modest restaurant.

      1 Reply
      1. re: todao
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        NancyC RE: todao Nov 18, 2011 06:35 PM

        I know other Westerners in town have bought yogurt from him and like it as is, but I'm certain plenty of others will expect something a bit smoother. i would really be afraid of offending him (and basically being his only customer that had a problem with his product) if the lumps are supposed to be easily stirred out on our end. We don't have a whisk because there's nothing to whisk...it's a Burmese restaurant. I'm going to try stirring longer today with the fork, yesterday it didn't seem to be changing anything but we probably just didn't do it enough.

      2. m
        Muchlove RE: NancyC Nov 18, 2011 11:21 AM

        I'm not entirely sure what you mean, but I think you just have set yoghurt that has not been "stirred". All you need to do is use a spoon or fork to stir up the yoghurt and it will become smooth. In supermarkets in the UK you gan get "set yoghurt", which you have to stir up to get it smooth or "stirred yoghurt" which is already stirred.

        Many Indian recipes tell you to beat/stir yoghurt up until it is smooth. This is because in India most people make their own yoghurt. When it is set it is like a beautiful white jelly! If you just put a spoon through it lightly it is sort of lumpy, and I suppose this may be why in Indian English yoghurt is called curd. If you give it a thorough stir you will have wonderfully smooth yoghurt.

        Please don't give up on your yoghurt. It sounds like a perfectly good, normal product.

        1. l
          luciaannek RE: NancyC Nov 18, 2011 12:25 PM

          I'm not sure what you mean by lumpy.
          If it just has thicker and thinner spots, this can be stirred out to evenly distribute to moisture and get an even consistency. A whisk or fork should work.
          However, if it's over fermented, and kind of gritty with very small lumps, this is because the yogurt is so acidic it has started to form larger curds than it should. This cannot be stirred out. A higher fat content should help this.

          1 Reply
          1. re: luciaannek
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            NancyC RE: luciaannek Nov 18, 2011 06:40 PM

            Definitely not overfermented, no grit. It looks great sitting in a big batch, and tastes fine, but once you scoop it out it seems like too much liquid in parts and, well...lumps...in parts. We just got delivery yesterday for the first time, and the other person who first introduced me to this guy's yogurt seems to like it lumpy because she makes no attempt to stir it out when serving it. But today I will see if it can be smoothed out.

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