Instructions for making Natural Yoghurt

So you’ve got your little living cultures to make your own scrumptious homemade yoghurt. If you’re new to this, you may be wanting some guidance. Here are full instructions to get you on your way.

You’ll need…

Equipment:

  • A big stainless steel stove top pot to heat milk in NB: Avoid aluminium pots when making yoghurt
  • Cooking thermometer capable of reading 0 –100° C 3
  • Stirring spoon (Preferably stainless steel)
  • 1 litre sealable glass bottle or plastic container to incubate the yoghurt

Ingredients (makes 1 litre):

  • 1 litre milk (2%,full cream, pasteurised or raw)
  • ⅛ teaspoon Yoghurt Culture 

Preparations

  • Place a clean kitchen towel right next to your work station and put your utensils on it
  • Sterilise all equipment to be used as well as your work station; you can spray Iodophor solution (steriliser) over all your utensils & workstation and leave it for ± 2 minutes to naturally dry, or else use an alternative sterilisation technique
  • Place a jug with hot boiling water next to the work station and put your spoon & thermometer in it

Method

  • Pour milk into the stove pot
  1. Pasteurisation of raw milk: With medium heat, while stirring, heat up milk to 80°C and keep it there for 30 minutes or alternatively heat milk up to 85°C and keep it there for 10 minutes. If you are using shop bought milk that has already been pasteurised, you can heat your milk to 42°C - 45°C and continue to the next step
  2. Cooling: Rapidly cool milk to between 43°C - 45°C. This can be done by placing the pot in a sink or a container filled with ice water
  3. Inoculation: Gently stir in the Yoghurt culture once the milk has reached between 42°C and 45°C.
  4. Incubation: Pour the mixture into your sterilised glass bottle/plastic container and put it in a warm spot (incubation area) where it will keep its heat (between 42°C and 45°C) for the next 8 - 12 hours. The longer it stands the thicker it tends to be but also the more acidic it becomes.
  5. Refrigeration: Place your finished yoghurt batch into the refrigerator until cooled and ready for consumption

Note: You can “stretch” your culture by spooning 2/3 tablespoons out of a freshly made yoghurt batch (this is called making a daughter culture) and keeping it separately in the refrigerator. When you make a new batch of yoghurt, instead of adding new culture from your sachet as indicated in step 3, just add this daughter culture. Remember to make a fresh batch of yoghurt at least every 7 days to keep your cultures strong

Caring for your culture:

Your culture contains live thermophilic bacteria and it needs to be stored properly for prolonged use

  • Upon receipt of your yoghurt culture directly store it in your freezer until ready for use
  • Once packet has been opened for first use, keep contents of packet in an airtight container
  • Store the container in the freezer directly after use
  • When adding culture to the milk; open the container and hold the container’s lid in the one hand while lightly “tapping” with your other hands’ finger on the bottom of the container until the required amount of culture falls on the containers’ lid, then add the amount that’s on the container’s lid into the milk and stir thoroughly. This method is used so that you don’t introduce utensils into the yoghurt culture’s container that could possibly be carrying other types of bacteria that could contaminate your yoghurt culture.

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