One gallon of fresh whole milk makes 8 pints yogurt, the best!
Getting it up to temperature, 190 degrees (as you can see from the photo, we’re at about 136F.), then cooling it down to about 110F so it doesn’t kill the bacterial culture or starter.
Next stirring in the starter, usually 1 pint of plain yogurt saved from the last batch, along with a packet of dissolved culture. This 5g. packet is enough to make 1 quart of yogurt, and the recipe for making it with plain yogurt calls for 3-4 Tbs. yogurt to a half gallon of milk — I think I’m adding plenty of culture putting a fresh packet in as well as a full pint of yogurt (which would be the equivalent of 16 Tbs.) . I got my recipe from THE COOKING OF THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN by Paula Wolfert, an excellent and extremely interesting book; it’s like an armchair travel guide.
Once cooled and cultured, then it’s poured into the freshly cleaned, still hot from the dishwasher jars and clean lids, wrapped in towels, and tucked into a pan to incubate upstairs where it’s warmer, about 6 hours or so until set. Because I add a full pint of plain yogurt to culture the milk, I actually get 9 pints from a batch.
I love fresh home-made yogurt, and so do my friends. Soon as the farmer’s markets open again I’ll probably double my batches (as long as I can get the milk) to sell and barter.
Long live the Lactobacillus !!