making yogurt: ?s and scalding jars and can I reuse lids/rings? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-31-2007, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am going to make my first batch of yogurt tonight. I sent hubby out to get me some jars and lids/rings.

I am using organic whole milk for this, along with a whole-milk yogurt. I ended up having to buy a quart of plain yogurt because the store I was at didnt' have anything smaller! Can I make several starter batches of yogurt to use all of this storebought stuff?

Can I freeze yogurt? I"m thinking of making a ton to last us a month or so, freeze what we won't eat within the next week, and then pull jars out as we'll need them a few days in advance and let them thaw in the fridge. Will that worK?

I'm planning on letting the jars set in a uncovered crockpot full of water for 4 hrs as I saw in a previous post - should I have the water pre-heated, or will warm tap water warm up quick enough or doesn't it matter? I have a thermometer so I suppose I'll just test the water unless it doesn't matter.

How do I scald canning jars? Do I need to scald the rings and lids too?

Once I make my yogurt, can I re-use the lids and rings for future yogurt? I read I cannot re-use lids/rings for canning things, but I won't really be canning anything.

Also where can I look for good recipes for yogurt - my dd loves strawberry yogurt and I'd like to know how to make it for her. We're growing our own strawberries so when they actually start producing fruit, we'll have plenty for her!

If I am going to add flavors to the yogurt like strawberry, do I add it in before serving, or can I whip up a whole jarfull of strawberry yogurt? Or perhaps make up a puree of whatever I'll use and store it in the fridge and just mix together when serving? I'm not sure if there will beroom in the jar for anything extra after I've let the yogurt set then chill in the fridge.

I am very excited - we usually spend a lot of money on yogurt so this will be decent savings.

Whew, I'll be subbing to this thread I realised I asked a ton of questions! LOL.
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:54 AM
 
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I'm getting ready to start making yogurt myself and have been reading up on it. I have read that you can buy the yogurt you want to start with and freeze the rest in ice cube trays and then use one cube per 1 quart batch for starter. I'm soooo excited about making yogurt!
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Old 04-01-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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I wash the jars rings and lids in the dishwasher.

I have found the yogurt to last 1-2 month in the fridge if the jars are unopened.

I use to make 1-3 gallons of yogurt at a time.
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Old 04-01-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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Here's a link to a good discussion about yogurt:

http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/sho...d.php?t=173580
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Old 04-01-2007, 04:41 PM
 
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I haven't made yogurt before, but if you are talking about a process similar to canning (it sounds like you are using canning jars/lids/rings), I do boil/scald the jars and rings, but not the lids with the seals. The jars and the rings are, similarly, reusable, but the lids are not if you want a seal.

If you're not talking about anything like canning, sorry if I am totally misleading you!
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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how do you scald the jars? Just boil them for a few minutes? I've never heard of the term :-)

Oh I forgot to mention I'll have the crockpot on the "warm" setting while the jars are sitting in there... Will that be sufficient?

Guess I'll just do it and figure it out. Dh couldn't find canning jars last night so we got them today and I'll make the yogurt tomorrow :-)
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:47 PM
 
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I've been wondering about making yogurt too! So it can be done in a crockpot? I guess that's one more reason to buy a crockpot we have an electric oven and it doesn't have a light (I've heard some people talk about leaving it in the oven with just the light on).

I think we have some jars around probably, but do I need to use canning jars or is that just if I want it to last quite a while?
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Old 04-02-2007, 01:38 AM
 
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I make yogurt in an ice chest as I do so much at once.
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Old 04-02-2007, 01:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momto l&a View Post
I make yogurt in an ice chest as I do so much at once.
I do to. I fill my cooler with the hottest tap water and sink my jars into it to culture. I heat the milk on the stove to about 110-115, add a glob of yogurt and then pour the mix into clean jars and put the jars in the cooler of hot water overnight.

I've tried adding fruit and honey to my jars as they culture. Sometimes it's worked out nicely and sometimes it seems to make the yogurt curddle and sperate into sort of grainy pieces. I haven't found the magic recipe yet. But cutting up fresh strawberries over a bowl of yogurt with some honey dripped on it is very nice!

I have found adding a few Tbsp of powdered milk (I use organic) to my milk before I culture it makes a thicker yogurt.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.)0(
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Old 04-02-2007, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm - the recipe I have calls for the milk to be heated to about 170 and then let cool to about 100 before I put the yogurt in...

Could I just heat the milk to around 100/110 and put the yogurt in, instead of waiting to go to higher temps? I wonder why it calls for it to go so high.

How long do I have to let the yogurt sit in the fridge before I can eat it?

I have no honey, or strawberries right now, but I'm thinking of crumbling some organic granola bars and some apples and putting those in some yogurt. I could also just run out and get some strawberries. lol.
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Old 04-02-2007, 02:27 PM
 
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My girls prefer I make plain unsweetened yogurt that way they can top it how they prefer when they eat it.

Favorite way was frozen mixed berries and a bit of succant(sp?).
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