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Old 03-21-2014, 09:47 AM   #1
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Half whole milk Half heavy cream Yogurt…

Hi folks...

Greek Yogurt is all the rage, and for years we have made ½-whole milk/½-Heavy Cream yogurt. It is as thick as Greek (without straining it) and silky smooth texture.

I thought some of you might want to see the recipe and process…this morning it took less than an 40 minutes from saucepan to incubation…and some of that was spent waiting for liquids to heat/cool...(I stir the mix through both heating and cooling processes)...

Now we are just letting it go till about suppertime when I'll sample it for level of tartness...

Here's a few pics of what that looks like, and what the Yogurt comes out like...









Yogurt Larry Style…
  • 1/2 gallon Whole Milk
  • 1/2 gallon Heavy Cream (2 single quarts)

It actually makes 4 quarts plus nearly a pint…

  • Combine milk and cream, and heat in heavy sauce pan to 185°F
  • Remove from heat and cool to 110°F (ice cubes & water in sink is quick)
  • Whisk in ¾ cup active plain yogurt very thoroughly (plain not vanilla)
  • Incubate at 110-115°F for 8-12 hours (add more hours if you want it more tart) I start sampling at about 8 hours
  • Yogurt culture will die at 120-125°F so 'err on the low side...110°ish
  • Remove the quart jars and refrigerate

Here are my personal tips & tricks:
  • I use an Excalibur food dehydrator to incubate the yogurt in quart jars
  • I save yogurt from the previous batch to add to the next RAW batch
  • I use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature
  • For starter I have used Greek yogurt or Danon Plain when none of my fresh stock was left over
  • I use ½ of a gallon of whole milk, then freeze the other half till the next batch.
  • Our Yogurt lasts up to 6 weeks in the fridge (which we keep at 34-36°F), and can serve in the place of sour cream for eating or cooking. We eat it cold, and cook with it too.
  • This cream/milk combo is so smooth - much smoother than Greek yogurt without the graininess we have found in commercial products.


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Old 03-21-2014, 09:52 AM   #2
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Larry, that looks excellent - I'll have to give it a try, love that you can use the Excaliber for that! Yet another use for that great dehydrator. I love mine.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:24 AM   #3
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Wow that looks great and you used your Excaliber!!! Nice.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:24 PM   #4
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beautiful!!!
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosethorns View Post
Wow that looks great and you used your Excaliber!!! Nice.
Hi Esther...

I figured out several years back the Excaliber is able to keep a consistent temperature throughout incubation. And when I'm doing 4½ quarts at the same time, it does it without extra work.


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Old 03-23-2014, 07:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi Esther...

I figured out several years back the Excaliber is able to keep a consistent temperature throughout incubation. And when I'm doing 4½ quarts at the same time, it does it without extra work.


I am so jealous of your having that Excaliber!
I use my Thrift Store Find of $12...
For my yogurt, I use the old fashioned way...overnight in the cooler...putting heated Rice Bags in the bottom of the cooler...

But the recipe you have of using 1/2 HWC and 1/2 Whole Milk is what I use as well....The flavor cannot be rivaled even by Fage

Love your picture/process....THANKS! What else do you do in your dehydrator?

Last edited by Galveston Gal; 03-23-2014 at 07:55 PM..
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:59 AM   #7
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Larry,

Yogurt making is something I have always wanted to have a go at. Thanks for the inspiration. Any thoughts on alternative incubators? Not too big on equipment around here! Thanks.

roger
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:13 AM   #8
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Roger, I use my crockpot as an incubator. I remove the crock and heat my milk in it in the microwave, then put the crock back in the crockpot. I leave it unplugged and cover with three bath towels. Works great.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:33 AM   #9
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Roger, I use my crockpot as an incubator. I remove the crock and heat my milk in it in the microwave, then put the crock back in the crockpot. I leave it unplugged and cover with three bath towels. Works great.
Thanks! A crockpot we have.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:27 AM   #10
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Larry,

Yogurt making is something I have always wanted to have a go at. Thanks for the inspiration. Any thoughts on alternative incubators? Not too big on equipment around here! Thanks.

roger
Hi Roger...

Yes, as long as you can monitor the temperature, you can use a cardboard box with a closable lid, with a folded up bath towel on the bottom of the box, then put a heating pad on top of that, then another folded towel on top. Then put the prepped yogurt on top of that. Point of the closable lid is you can open it partially to vent if the heat is too intense.

110°F is not very hot...and again 120°F will kill the culture.

Crock pots are ok, for small batches.

An ice chest with the heating pad can work well too...

Works well...



Last edited by ljguitar; 03-24-2014 at 08:30 AM..
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:30 AM   #11
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Larry, have you ever tried this just using Half & Half instead of milk/cream mixed together?
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:43 AM   #12
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Larry, have you ever tried this just using Half & Half instead of milk/cream mixed together?
Hi Char...

Yes. I have tried all whipping cream, all milk, half & half, and my current mix-it-myself. The half & half I could get was a much higher carb count than mixing my own, and cost me more than the milk/cream.

I also like the texture best with half whole milk and half whipping cream.

This last batch (3-20-14) cost me $2.30 a quart for whole milk/whole cream yogurt.


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Old 03-24-2014, 12:55 PM   #13
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Great, thanks for the info, Larry!
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galveston Gal View Post
…What else do you do in your dehydrator?
Hi GG…
  • Jerky
  • Dried (non-sweetened) fruit like strawberries, cranberries, etc.
  • Dried Tomatoes (fresh field/vine grown in summer)


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Old 03-27-2014, 09:43 AM   #15
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OK, I'm going to make this today - Larry, do you close up the jars before putting in the Excaliber? I want to use the little Mason half-pint jars with lids/screw rings.

Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:42 AM   #16
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OK, I'm going to make this today - Larry, do you close up the jars before putting in the Excaliber? I want to use the little Mason half-pint jars with lids/screw rings.

Thanks!
Hi Char...

Yes. As soon as the yogurt mix is in the jars, the lids go on. Then into the incubator...


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Old 03-27-2014, 10:51 AM   #17
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OK - done deal - they're in there! I got 11 1/4 pints, 2 half pints, and 1 pint out of the half gallon of liquid.

Can't wait to try it now! Thanks so much, Larry!
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:17 PM   #18
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OK - done deal - they're in there! I got 11 1/4 pints, 2 half pints, and 1 pint out of the half gallon of liquid.

Can't wait to try it now! Thanks so much, Larry!
Hi Char...

At between 7-8 hours I pull one jar and taste it to see if it's tart enough for me. If it's not, I put it back and check hourly. It will get just a little more tart (as it cools it's still incubating).

The texture will tighten up after you pull the jars, and refrigerate them overnight (it seems a bit loose when it's warm). Turns to velvet in the fridge.


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Old 03-27-2014, 01:31 PM   #19
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One thing I can see is next time, I'll use a whisk to get the yogurt completely blended in. I had a few yogurt lumps in the bottom of the liquid! Hope that won't bother it all thickening up as it should.

I used to have a 1 quart yogurt maker, I think I gave it to my former boss. I like this better - they're pre-portioned, and it uses another device that I own already.

I used all half & half this time because I had half a gallon of it that needed to be used. Next time I'll try half milk and half heavy cream. That way we can see which we prefer.

Thanks for the detailed instructions (even if I didn't follow them exactly) - got me going on this one again!
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:57 AM   #20
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Well Larry - this was a HUGE hit with DH! He loves yogurt (I tolerate a little of it) and he says this is the BEST yogurt he's ever eaten. I take him at his word because he has no problem letting me know, nicely, if something needs improvement - LOL!

It set up so pretty, and it does taste good. I ate one of the small jars myself, with a little SF honey on top, for dessert last night.

So now he's all excited for me to make it again. Next time I'll do the full gallon batch, but use half & half like this time. It's creamy, thick, tangy, and just beautiful.

Thank you so much for posting the great "how to" on this. I had no problems at all. I used a large plastic microwavable cooking pot to scald the milk (and thanks to anyone concerned about it, but I am not concerned about MW and plastic contact with a container that's meant for cooking!) and then cooled down in a water bath in the sink, stirred in my Fage 2% yogurt, bottled, and into the Excaliber for 8 hours. I had my probe thermometer in there and the readout showed it went from 108* to 117* depending on whether the heat was cycled on or off. Just perfect!
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:20 AM   #21
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Any ideas on how to up the protein in this? One of the benefits of Greek yogurt is the protein punch, at least for me. (I thnk it's higher protein as you discard almost half the liquid.)

Ok, no haters on my idea, I was thinkng of adding powdered skim milk to the milk/hwc.

I know, one imagines extra carbs, but I thnk the lactose turns to something not carby, according to experts (not me!). No food scientist here!

Ideas?

Just thinking here. Dangerous.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:49 AM   #22
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Janie, you could just add some protein powder to it and stir it in gently before you eat it.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:00 AM   #23
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Well Larry - this was a HUGE hit with DH! He loves yogurt (I tolerate a little of it) and he says this is the BEST yogurt he's ever eaten. I take him at his word because he has no problem letting me know, nicely, if something needs improvement - LOL!

It set up so pretty, and it does taste good. I ate one of the small jars myself, with a little SF honey on top, for dessert last night.

So now he's all excited for me to make it again. Next time I'll do the full gallon batch, but use half & half like this time. It's creamy, thick, tangy, and just beautiful.

Thank you so much for posting the great "how to" on this. I had no problems at all. I used a large plastic microwavable cooking pot to scald the milk (and thanks to anyone concerned about it, but I am not concerned about MW and plastic contact with a container that's meant for cooking!) and then cooled down in a water bath in the sink, stirred in my Fage 2% yogurt, bottled, and into the Excaliber for 8 hours. I had my probe thermometer in there and the readout showed it went from 108* to 117* depending on whether the heat was cycled on or off. Just perfect!
Hi Char...

Thanks for the report!

Glad it was a hit! I developed this recipe because I love great yogurt and wasn't happy with anything which was being produced by dairies.

You can use some of your existing yogurt for your next batch (but you may not have enough left over if you like it so much). As long as your starter is plain yogurt with live culture, you're good to go.

Yes - whisk the starter in next time. It will blend better/more uniform.

Thanks again for the update...


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Old 03-28-2014, 10:06 AM   #24
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Any ideas on how to up the protein in this? One of the benefits of Greek yogurt is the protein punch, at least for me.
Hi magnamater...

Not all yogurt labeled "Greek" is strained (which strains off liquid). Some are just 'gelatin' added products to thicken them. You probably know that already. And the commercial yogurts we've tried are 'grainy' in texture compared to the half cream/half milk yogurt we build.

The posted recipe doesn't produce enough whey to strain, so it would definitely require a person who wants the punch of straining off liquid to add protein either to it, or take protein in some other way.

We don't eat yogurt for protein boost, but for taste and a treat. We also use it in salad dressings (½ yogurt ½ mayo), and in place of sour cream, smoothies, or thickeners for Alfredo sauces etc.

Hope this addresses your concern...


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Old 03-28-2014, 10:43 AM   #25
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Thanks, Larry, my plan is to save one of the little 4 oz. jars as a starter for next time, if I make another half gallon batch, or one of the 8 oz. jars if I decide to go whole-hog and make the full gallon.

I suggested to DH that I might try half milk, half heavy cream next time, as you do, and he said, "Oh, please, make it EXACTLY LIKE THIS ONE next time, this is the best yogurt I've ever eaten!" which is high praise as he used to make his own before I met up with him.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:22 AM   #26
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I just put a gallon's worth of yogurt, mostly in 4 oz. canning jars, into the Excaliber. When I had filled up all 35 of my 4 oz. jars, I took the rest of the liquid, added a bit of SF honey and vanilla to taste, and that filled up 2 pint jars and 1 half-pint jar. Now they'll incubate 8 hours. MMMM.

What's nice about the canning jars is that as they cool, they actually pull a little vacuum on the lids, so I'm pretty sure this yogurt would last quite a long while in the fridge.

Another tip of the hat to Larry! My DH is in yogurt heaven. He loves this stuff and I have been made to promise that we will NEVER RUN OUT.
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File Type: jpg yogurt 2.jpg (51.5 KB, 10 views)

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Old 04-03-2014, 10:12 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi magnamater...

Not all yogurt labeled "Greek" is strained (which strains off liquid). Some are just 'gelatin' added products to thicken them. You probably know that already. And the commercial yogurts we've tried are 'grainy' in texture compared to the half cream/half milk yogurt we build.

The posted recipe doesn't produce enough whey to strain, so it would definitely require a person who wants the punch of straining off liquid to add protein either to it, or take protein in some other way.

Larry or Charski,

What is the consistency of this yogurt without straining? It sounds like you're saying it's already the consistency of greek yogurt without having to strain it.

I'm in the middle of moving right now, but I would love to try this once things have settled down. I'm a huge Fage yogurt fan.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:23 AM   #28
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…What is the consistency of this yogurt without straining? It sounds like you're saying it's already the consistency of greek yogurt without having to strain it.
…Better than FAGE
Hi MargD...

Yes, when it's made with ½ cream/½ whole milk it's the consistency of strained yogurt. Silky smooth, thick, velvety and wonderful flavor.

I experimented with 100% cream; and ½ cream/½ whole milk; and ¾ whole milk/¼ cream.

Texture wise, the all cream and ½ cream/½ whole milk are identical. Price-wise the all cream is $3.80 quart versus $2.40 quart for the half/half mixture.

When I tried ¾ whole milk/¼ cream the texture was too thin (and straining it produces only ⅔ of the volume, plus it takes longer).

Price-wise the half cream/half whole milk are the best bargain while still retaining the wonderful texture, and keeping the carb count reasonable. Commercial half-n-half is not as high a fat content (I saw 0% Half-n-half at the store the other day…HA!!).

Hope this helps...when you find time, it's simple to build/make


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Old 04-03-2014, 10:34 AM   #29
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Thank you for the quick reply.

I was looking at recipes on other sites and they all recommend straining. After reading your reply, I'm guessing it's because they are using skim, or low fat milk.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:51 AM   #30
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Thank you for the quick reply.

I was looking at recipes on other sites and they all recommend straining. After reading your reply, I'm guessing it's because they are using skim, or low fat milk.
Hi MargD...

I eat low carb not low fat. My yogurt reflects that.

There are plenty of 'stiffened' low fat yogurts and they tend to be gelatin-ized not strained.


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