Making homemade yogurt is easy and it's worth it.When I first heard the term, "homemade yogurt," I had visions of hippies and of 3rd world village huts and I wanted no part of it for years. Yogurt! Who EATS that mess anyway? It tastes repellent and it's made from fermented milk! Nasty!
But I've learned to embrace the nasty because of my Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Yup, I can digest meat, vegetables, and most fruit, in small amounts, and hard cheese. I can't touch sugars like grains or actual sugar, although I'm ok with small amounts of honey. For years, I didn't know this, I just got sick nearly every time I ate. I was absolutely fine until I was around 17. One day I had a pastry and just got violently ill. Ever since then, I just learned to live with getting violently ill pretty much every time I ate, which makes going out nearly impossible and some days, it was so bad, I couldn't leave the house at all. The only pattern I could figure out was avoid dairy, avoid oil, avoid sugar, and sometimes avoid days with a vowel in it because a lot of the time I would get sick for no reason at all.
And now I know what that was about---grains. And grains include oils made from grains. So those days I know I didn't eat dairy or sugar? I probably had something cooked in grain oil (and on top of being so unhealthy, most of it is rancid before it even hits the grocery shelves!) because after all, butter is so bad for you, right? How did I figure this out? Well it wasn't from any of the specialists I saw, I guarantee that. A couple of years ago, I was puttering around the internet and found Elaine Gottschall’s book, "Breaking the Vicious Cycle." And there it was, all the answers about what was causing my IBS and what I could eat and not get sick! After decades, I could go out to eat in any restaurant and not have to be be home within 15 minutes of eating a meal. Matter of fact, I've done this all over this country and Europe (except for Pennsylvania) with no problems whatsoever.
So why yogurt? It's SCD (specific carb diet) yogurt, fermented for 24 hours. The 24 hours gives the bacteria time to remove all the milk sugars. No more worries about being lactose intolerant with this particular yogurt.
But why did I start eating it? After years of having the wrong intestinal bacteria generated in my gut, I could eat correctly, but I still felt a liquid churning every time I ate and occasionally still got sick. After months of avoiding it, I finally made the SCD 24 hour yogurt and after I ate it? I think I heard angels sing. My stomach pulled itself together almost instantly. It's been 2 and a half years and now I can go a few times eating questionable food before it builds up and I have to eat clean and eat a lot of homemade yogurt again for a few days. On trips, I take a probiotic with Bifidobacterium infantis. Right now, that's Align, but it's the bacteria I'm concerned with, not the brand. Can you just have probiotics and skip the yogurt? I guess you could but having yogurt around really adds to my dinner possibilities, A recipe needs cream sauce? I use yogurt. Sour cream? I use yogurt. Want to make some ice cream? How about some frozen yogurt instead? Tzatziki sauce? Coleslaw dressing? Beef Stroganoff? Moussaka? How about a parfait dessert? Oh yeah!
Mei Mei almost died and stopped eating, I force fed her a mixture of watered yogurt with a little olive oil every 2 hours for a couple of weeks until she started eating on her own.
Making SCD 24 hour Yogurt Is Easyyogurt maker is a Euro Cuisine YM80. Why? Because it doesn't have an automatic 3 hour shut off timer AND it has an expansion ring! So you can buy another set of glass jars and double your yogurt production or if you're handy, you can use power tools to remove the center rack of the plastic ring and then use from 1 to 3 mason jars which is 3 quarts of yogurt.
Remember, I said it's easy to make homemade yogurt, right? Here's all you have to do. Go to the grocery store and by a gallon of milk (I use whole milk) and a small container of any Greek yogurt. Yes, just buy a store bought yogurt as a starter. Of course, you CAN go online and find yourself an expensive starter from an exclusive hippie store but grocery store yogurt works fine. I use a Greek style because it's a thicker yogurt.
1st-you need to boil the milk to kill off any microbes already in that milk. You want to grow your yogurt bacteria, not some unknown mold or fungus.
And here's the trick to making thick yogurt, you boil that milk to a roiling boil and then let it simmer and watch some tv for a while. Let it boil off some of the liquid and you'll have a thick yogurt. I always pour in extra milk than can fit in my jars specifically because I'm going to boil off some of the volume. FYI-you can boil your milk in the microwave but it's a LOT harder to boil off the excess that way, which is why I only go stove-top.
2nd-remove the boiled milk from the heat and let cool some (you can use an ice bath if you're in a hurry). You'll have skin on top, just discard it.
3rd-once the milk is only warm (too hot and it will kill the yogurt starter), add about 2 generous dollops of yogurt to the milk. NOT the whole container. It does better with less starter than more. Mix it, break up the chunks, and pour it into your jars. If any missed lumps will bother you later, then use a strainer to keep them out of the jars. If you're using the expansion ring, you probably have to insulate the yogurt maker with a towel. I use a retired child's sweater. Fits around the unit perfectly! Then I set an alarm for 24 hours and I forget about it.