Yogurt by the Gallon

In The Vision, Cheyenne is in the grocery store trying to find real food without a lot of additives. That’s not always easy to do. One of the easy healthy foods I learned to make is yogurt.

I learned how to make yogurt from one of my neighbors. Her method saves refrigerator space and insures that the yogurt is in sterile containers for transport. I like the convenience of having my preparation and storage space all in one place.

I use 1 gallon of raw milk and about 2 cups of plain Dannon yogurt.

You will need a pot large enough to hold 4 quart-sized canning jars. You will need two additional pots. One will hold your gallon of milk. The other will be used to heat a gallon of water. You’ll also need a cooler large enough for your jars.

In one large pot, I place 4 quart sized canning jars, with their lids and rings. I add a couple of inches of water and then cover this pot with its lid. Bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes and then remove the covered pot from the heat and let stand with the lid still on.

Place your pot of milk on the stove and heat it to just below boiling (185 to 195 degrees or so).

Move the pot to your sink and set it into a bit of cool water. Meanwhile, have about another gallon of water heating on the stove. Stir the milk until it cools to around 125 to 130 degrees. Add your 2 cups of yogurt to the milk and stir well to be sure that it completely dissolved in your milk. If you want flavored yogurt, you should add flavoring at this stage, but be careful to use glycerin-based flavorings as the alcohol in extracts will kill your starter. We like vanilla and lemon. I use two to four tablespoons to taste. If you like sweeter yogurt, try a bit of honey.

Let the water out of the sink and place your hot jars next to the pot of warm milk in the sink. Use a dipper or a clean measuring cup to move the milk from the pot to the jars. Secure the lids and bands to the jars and set them into your cooler. Cover with the cooler’s lid.

The water on your stove should be heated to around 125 degrees. When it is hot enough, pour it into the cooler around your jars. If your cooler is large enough, set a pan of hot water on top of the jars also. Cover the cooler and leave it undisturbed for at least three hours or overnight.

When the time is up, remove the jars from the cooler and empty the water. Replace the jars into the cooler and add crushed ice around them and on top of them. Cover the cooler with its lid.

Now, you’ve got lots of high-quality yogurt without filling your refrigerator.

One thought on “Yogurt by the Gallon

  1. Elizabeth

    I have been making yogurt a similar way, but much simpler–no cooler involved.

    I heat the jars with the milk already in them in a stock pot with water. I leave the warm water in the pot(s) while the milk is cooling. Then when the milks are cool enough, and the starter added, the water in the original pots is about the right temp to maintain the temperature of the culturing yogurt. Keeping the pots covered keeps in the heat. Occassionally, I have to siphon off some of the water and replace it with warmer water if the yogurt cools too much, but sometimes it maintains the temperature just fine for the entire time. Less fuss and muss.


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