I mentioned that I was going to have a go at making my own yogurt in a slow cooker. I happened to come across this method whilst bloggy browsing, and blow me, I can't remember which blog it was. Never mind, it encouraged me to look for further information, which I found on youtube. There's plenty on there to get you going.
This is how I did it, not sticking exactly to their method, but then when do I ever copy anything exactly, ha ha. Ingredients - Coffee Mate, you can use any dried milk powder, carton of cheap natural yogurt, just under two pints of normal whole milk, yellow sticker at 40p.
Step 1. Pour the milk into the slow cooker, or crockpot as they call it in the US. Switch on, leave for 2hr 30mins, should be 180 degrees. My slow cooker is old so I wasn't sure of the temperature and I don't have a thermometer.
Step 2. Unplug and leave for 3 hrs.
Step 3. Add half a pot of natural yogurt, and two dessertspoonfulls of powdered milk. Stir, mix thoroughly. On the vid they ladled some milk out of the pot into a jug to do the mixing bit, but I can't see the point of this, only makes for more washing up.
Step 4. Wrap slow cooker in a blanket and leave for 8 hrs. Mine had cooled right down at this point, so, as it is an ancient pot I switched it back on again for 30 minutes just to warm it slightly. then I put it in the airing cupboard wrapped up.
I was supposed to take it out at 2am, but thought blow that for a game of soldiers, I am not getting up just for that, it will have to stay there all night. As it happened Lily cat did a stinky whoopsie in the litter box at about 3.30am, so I had to get up to remove that. I also moved the cooker into the front porch because the next step is put the yogurt into jars and store in the fridge. The porch is cold so that will have to do, I'm not faffing about now, the fridge is full, so it will have to wait till morning. Back to my warm bed.
This morning I couldn't wait to see if it has worked. I dipped a spoon in, and hey, yippeeeee, I have a pot full of yogurt, and it tastes mighty nice.
You can put it into glass jars, sterilised first, but I don't have any so I used drinking glasses with lids. In the right hand one I chopped up some reduced price cherries and added them, along with a teaspoon of home made elderberry juice to give it a lovely fruity colour. I will add other fruit to the plain ones as I use them.
This is something I shall be doing again. It works perfectly well with the cheap Value yogurt, but I'm wondering if a better quality thicker yogurt would give a creamier taste. On some of the youtube vids they don't add powdered milk, I think it is used to give a thicker consistency, maybe something to experiment with. I think you can use any kind of milk, soya is also ok.
If you are going to try this I would suggest you start it off in the morning because the whole process takes approximately 14 hours. Or start late, do step 1, 2, and 3, before you go to bed and leave it overnight.
As a single person I think this might not be as cost effective as it would be for a family, unless you eat yogurt every day. For smaller quantities it might be just as cheap to buy the Value yogurt and add your own fruit to that. Also if you can't find any reduced price milk that would bump up the cost. However, once you have made your first batch the idea is to save some of that to use as a starter for the next batch. You can freeze it if you don't want to use it straight away, so for the second batch you would only be buying the milk, and the cost of the dried milk is negligible if you were to use it.
Take a look at some of the other videos, there are plenty of ideas out there.