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I just made some for the first time with some local milk and it is beyond delicious. Next Im trying cheese - again for the first time.

However, the method I found on instructables.com is so energy intensive! After warming the milk and adding the starter, I kept it warm by leaving the oven on the low setting for 9 hours! I am ashamed and embarrassed to admit that. Even though it tastes phenomenol. (I assume there are similar processes inc heese making...)

Any suggestions on energy savy ways to keep a jar over 110 degrees for that long?

And what do y'all think of the overall ecological implications of this verses buying a storebought organic natural yogurt?

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Hey Mary, I'm planning on trying to make yogurt this weekend. I've never made it before however, all instructions seem to be similar in energy use. I'm looking forward to making my first batch of cheese as well however, still looking into all that's involved. I kinda think that anything home made is never a waste of energy. Mostly I find it amazing to think of the energy it takes to produce the things we take for granted every day. 9 hrs to set a batch of yogurt...who knew?
Here's a really easy, low-ish energy method. Heat a quart of milk to about 110. In a quart sized mason jar, mix two tablespoons of yogurt with a bit of the heated milk, then pour the rest of the milk in. Invert the jar a few times to mix. Heat a pot of water to 100 degrees or thereabouts (or, better yet, have it heated and ready to go when the yogurt is mixed). Put your jar of yogurt (or more than one) in a cooler, and pour the heated water into the cooler. It should reach to at least the midpoint of the jars, but the cooler doesn't have to be totally full of water. Close the cooler and wrap it in a towel. Let sit for 8 hours. Viola! Yogurt.
Thanks Todd! I dont have a cooler, but will just stick my yogurt in a covered pot of hot water and wrap that. Feels much much better.

peace- m
Maybe fill a few jars with just hot water and put in the pot with the yogurt jars. This might help act like a heat sink and keep it hot longer. Good luck , let me know if the pot works.
I'm tinkering with a solar water heater yogurt maker. It's a lovely coincidence that most all thermo-siphonic solar water heaters put out H2O at around 110-120 degrees. I'll keep Cheesemakers posted on this. Had plenty of success with the coolers though, thanks ToddB.
I'm with you on the oven being on all that long! In winter, I just put a large pot w/ warm water by the woodstove overnight and that works, but I found a method using an ice chest from this site.

You could also consider a solar oven. Even a "Pizza-Box" type oven will evolve this level of temperature.
I have had much luck just putting the warm yogurt mix into a thermos and leaving it overnight. It is yogurt in the morning. Preheat your thermos with hot water so the heat isn't wasted warming the thermos.
I also recommend the thermos jug technique. I have a couple that I've picked up at yard sales and they are wonderful for incubating yogurt and cheeses.
I was going to mention using a heating pad on a very low setting but the thermos or cooler technique seems to be a great option without the use of any electricity!
I make a gallon at a time in quart jars and put them in the oven with the light on for 9 hours....I have used the thermos idea too and it worked well....it's just that I make so much more now the oven-light method makes more sense.


Wow! That is energy intense. I make yogurt weekly in a crock pot. After the milk is heated to 180 degrees, let it cool to 110, then add a cup of commercial yogurt, or some starter. You may also add flavoring or sweetener at this point. I don't recommend honey, as this can kill the bacteria. Wrap the crock in s thick towel or blanket and place it in your UNHEATED oven for anywhere from 6-18 hours. The longer it sits, the thicker and more tart it gets. Remove from oven and refrigerate to stop the fermentation.

There are many variations. I add dry milk powder to the cold milk to increase the protein content. I sometimes add unflavored gelatin when beginning the ferment to make a super-thick yogurt. Also, instead of commercial yogurt or starter, I have inoculated it with 3-4 probiotic capsules.


Once you have made it, save a cup for your next batch and you'll never need starter or commercial yogurt again. Hey, your great-great-great-grandchildren could end up making yogurt using a culture you started centuries before.


Do some searches online and you will find thousands of sites to help you ... for free.


Have fun.




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