It never ceases to amaze me how much our family can consume in yogurt. If I have 2 QTs of homemade yogurt…hell any yogurt and the kids see one person getting a serving… I can almost guarantee at least 1 QT of the yogurt will be eaten in that sitting. Which is totally OKAY, but I wanted to see if I could find a way to lessen the cost of a healthy treat!

ENTER -> Making homemade yogurt. (this is the recipe I started from)

Honey & Plain Yogurt

Theses days, we are all too “busy” to make anything homemade… right? I mean don’t get me wrong, I did the 9-5 grind with 4 kids in 2 different schools, all the flipping class parties and bull shit, hustling my side businesses trying to make a name for myself other than mom…. I sure as shit didn’t have time to make HOMEMADE YOGURT! I mean they sell it at the store and its done.

Now that I do have more time… and I was able to spend/dedicate it to learning how to make my own yogurt. I am telling you. You have the time. You have it and some. Not only is this recipe forgiving but its tried and true by the slowest, most forgettable home maker their is… You have time to make homemade yogurt.

I’ve made it a routine. When we go to the grocery store its usually for pantry items I am low on and refrigerator items (milk, cheeses, eggs, cereals snacks) that are in constant demand. Since most of our produce and meat are delivered through Misfit Market or Butcher Box, it makes the shopping trips generally small. Because of our fridge space ( #tinyliving ) I’ll make a 1/2 gallon batch of homemade yogurt the day we get the milk and I’ll store the remaining milk for another batch. Half a gallon makes just about 2 Qts + 1 Pt of homemade yogurt so its not a bad portioning and costs a 1/3 of buying commercial yogurt.

You really can’t loose. Its stooopid simple and forgiving!

What you’ll need to make homemade yogurt:

Pouring the milk to be heated to make yogurt.
  • 1/2 gal Whole Milk – this will only be a recipe for Whole Milk Greek Yogurt… I can’t help you for skim/goat milk etc
  • 1 c. Yogurt Culture – you can buy a single serving cup from the store or a saved portion from the last batch (1/2 pint). It needs to be plain whole milk and not Greek yogurt.

This makes 2 QTs + 1 half pint (your culture to start the next batch)

Heating up milk
Bringing the milk up to temperature

The jist…

Day 1-

  • Heat 1/2 gallon of whole milk up to 180*-190*F ish degrees ( I go to 185*F). Pay attention to this part. Don’t let it burn to the bottom of the pan or boil over (this takes 15-20 mins of monitoring)
  • TURN IT OFF, and let it cool to 110*-118*F degrees.
  • Now add the yogurt culture (store bought or homemade yogurt). Mix the culture into the milk and make sure it is well incorporated.
  • Put the milk culture into jars ( 2- QT jars + 1 – 1/2 PT jar) Then they go into either your oven with the light on (don’t turn the oven on) or a dehydrator to “incubate” at 110-115 degrees for 8-24 hours.
Incubating yogurt in the dehydrator.
Yogurt jars nestled into the dehydrator with my oil infusions and herbs drying!

Now a few things.

  • Some recipes say to take a cup of the hot milk out and mix it with the culture… then mix that back into the larger pot… I don’t I just dump the whole 1/2 Pint into the big pot of milk and mix.
  • Use whatever size jars you want… do know if you want more of a greek style yogurt you’ll need to strain this and then jar them for later.
  • Timing- I’ve found that most of the timing is forgiving. You need to really pay attention to when the milk is reaching temperature in Part 1… You don’t want it to burn, boil over etc. It only takes 15 minutes with a thermometer alarm. The cooling and the incubation periods are forgiving though. I’ve left the warmed milk drop to the 80s and still added the culture ( which dropped it further) and then I finished the rest and it turned out fine. I’ve also gone to its MAX time for incubation in the dehydrator… actually I went 26 hours and turns out I liked it better and now I go fo a 16-20 hour window.

Day 2-
Today is easy… because now you have yogurt!

Your culture should be thicker and maybe smells faintly cheesy. Now you can either eat it as is or add some sweetener & toppings … eat it plain/use it like sour cream… or strain it to make greek yogurt!

This is all up for personal preference and how you might want to use the yogurt or its by straining product- whey.

Three Qts  + 1 Pint of homemade Yogurt
This was a batch where I did a whole gallon and strained it for Greek Yogurt

IF you stop now. Enjoy! Tag me on IG @halfbakedbarelymeasured or @thebhivefamily… I’d love to see!!

To make homemade greek yogurt-

Straining homemade yogurt to make greek yogurt

Add all of the yogurt (except the reserved 1/2 pint for the next batch) into a cheese cloth and hand over a bowl. Allow to drip drain until your desired thickness. I’ve done it for up to another 4-6 hours of hanging ( in an outdoor covered area weather condition cause I live on a bus. So I generally deal will more warmth — and it still turns out well)

Then you can use the whey (the stuff that drips out of the yogurt) for a ton of other applications. Like in Whey Ricotta Cheese, use it in shakes, to make soup or to bake with.

Straining the yogurt to make greek yogurt

A few notes:

2 Qts of Yogurt

Use your senses with this. Its dairy and still needs to be taken care of as such to prevent spoiling or burning.

Anything homemade is going to last a shorter window in the fridge. Ours generally last up to 3 days before a yeasty/cheesy smell can begin. Usually its just the upper layer at this point. Whatever is in contact with the air. I scrape it off and taste test/smell below it. Once you’ve hit this stage it is best to use it that day or the next.

It can be used plain like sour cream as well, made into a dip and used in shakes!

I am still new to the world of sharing my recipes… mostly because I rarely measure. Keep an eye out for the Half Bake Barely Measured category if you want to see more of my “recipes”

Watch as I make Yogurt on Youtube!