|Frozen Mixed Berries|
I really enjoyed that first batch. I liked to fill a pint mason jar half with frozen berries, fill the rest with yogurt, store in the fridge so that I could take it to eat for breakfast at work. Yummy. Of course, the berries would thaw and the fruit and yogurt would blend some. It was nice.
|Mason Jar of Yogurt and Fruit|
This plain yogurt with fruit and no sugar was pretty tart. Too tart for anyone in the family except me.
I actually made a second batch the very next day (I didn't blog about that one). I made it non-Greek. In other words, I left the whey in. Based on another blog post from Mrs. Bluefield (see Home Made Orange Creme Yogurt), I added vanilla pudding mix to this batch. I only added one packet rather than the suggested two. This was a bit sweeter, but still not what the rest of my family expected. I liked it, although I thought it was a little too runny. I decided that I should have strained at least some of the whey off.
Over the following week, I did a little research about yogurt making.
|An Ice Bath to Cool|
Based on this research, I changed up my process a little. Last time, I followed Bluefield's process in the crock pot. The first step is to cook the milk in the crock pot on low for 2.5 hours. I discovered that this does not get the milk over 160 or so, which is much lower than the desired 180 temperature that most other resources say to bring your yogurt to. This time, I cooked the milk on high until it was over 180 degrees. This was less time than the 2.5 hours. I'm not sure how much less as I was away most of that time, but it was at least 45 minutes saved.
Then, rather than letting the milk cool for 3 hours, I put my crock into an ice bath until the milk was around 110. This only took about 10 or 15 minutes, so I saved about 2.75 hours on this step.
I added significantly less starter yogurt, more in line with suggested amounts on yogurt making sites. I also added about 2/3 cup sugar with the bacteria to sweeten the final yogurt.
|We have Yogurt!|
The incubation was pretty much the same as last time. I put the crock into an oven that had been heated to about 120 and then turned off. I turned it back on a couple of times over the 8 hours of fermentation.
For this batch, I strained the yogurt. This time it was not as long as the first time, but longer than the second time (obviously since I didn't strain that one). I added a packet of vanilla pudding as well.
The wife and kids really like this batch of vanilla yogurt, but now I think it is too sweet. So, I think next time I'll cut the added sugar significantly. I'm think about half the sugar. The consistency of this yogurt is perfect.
|Straining the Whey off|
I came across some Homemade Yogurt Recipes with more suggestions on sweetening up yogurt. The recipes that really interest me there are Vanilla Yogurt, Strawberry Yogurt, and Fruit Bottom Yogurt. Stay tuned on this blog and I'll let you know how my experimentation goes.
In the meantime, this batch, despite being a little too sweet is still very good and I will enjoy eating it. This time, my wife and kids can also enjoy it.
My plan is to make some frozen yogurt out of some of this batch.
Stay tuned on Sheppy's Blog: Yogurt for more exciting adventures in the exciting world of yogurt-making.