Random Bits of Projects

July 29, 2008

Yogurt!

Filed under: Food — virtuallyamy @ 11:27 pm
Tags: , ,

So at this moment I am making yogurt and yogurt cheese. This is something I have done off and on before but I am going at it again. The pre-made yogurts have been getting smaller and smaller in their available sizes and yet the prices rise. Do they think we would not notice? So I thought I would give it another shot. Granted, my yogurt is not the same as the yogurt I am used to. One gets the taste for additives, gelatin, fake fruit, and so on.

The first time I have ever made it I was too creeped out to eat it. It is bacteria poop after all. For some reason having it pre-made seems OK but growing it yourself is creepy. I was also not used to all of the whey or the liquidy stuff. You also have to be pretty clean about making it so you are growing the bacteria you want. So paranoia took over and I gave it up.

But as usual, I cannot let things stay like that. Yogurt making is pretty neat over all. I am a biology nut so I will do odd things for odd reasons. Like grow yogurt because it is bacteria poo.
I have several times tried it again and slowly I got over the fear of eating my own bacteria cultures. And it is pretty darn tasty. You can make it tart or mild. I tend to end up with tart but I developed a taste for it.
The problem ended up being, I would rig my own incubator, being too cheap/broke to splurge on a store-bought one for something I would probably not keep doing. Home made ones work well (links added soon-check back for future yogurt blogs-or do a Google). The results would be great or I would have some pretty creepy soup. I also had to constantly check the temperature. When it comes to cooking, I am lazy. I do not cook much or well.

When my favorite brand of yogurt just joined the shrinking yogurt wagon, I finally decided to get a “yogurt maker”. You actually make the yogurt, it just keeps it at a nice, constant temperature to allow the bacteria to do its thing without my having to baby sit it as much. I am more likely to get consistent results.

I just did my first batch using a yogurt starter that came with the device. It was supposed to take 4 hours rather than the usual 12 but I misread the tiny print on the side of the box on what kind of starter it was. So after my initial surprise after 4 hours at finding I just had stinky milk, I re-read the box and let it go for about 13 hours. I did have to sleep at some point or I would have taken it off a little sooner to keep it milder. But I got some nice, tart yogurt. Tasted pretty good with a chopped banana this morning. So far I am not dead so I am going to make another batch after I write this.

The rest of the yogurt is now hanging in a cloth bag over a bowl. Why this insanity? Yogurt cheese! All that icky looking liquid gets drained off and the solids are left. There seems to be oodles of things to do with this soft cheese. If nothing else, I can replace mayo on sandwiches or butter on other things. I am trying to lose weight.

OK, so where do you go to find this device? How do you do it?

Stay tuned for a soon to come blog. I want to see if I can get this yogurt to where I want it or at least be able to make a few batches work. Then I will tell you what I did and what I used. I will also save you the trouble of googling and give you some links. Everyone has a slightly different way of doing it.

So after my experimenting with a few batches I will be back on this topic. I will update on the cheese sooner. ( I did too! Look through my blog!) 

Later in the day:
I am adding this after the cheese has finished. Very good stuff! I may make this more often than yogurt. It is a cross between feta and cream cheese in texture and taste. Yummy! I could make it milder but I kind of like the zip, especially if I add stuff like chives to it.
I can see putting the yogurt in the cheese bag breifly just to get rid of the extra whey. I could add geletin to solve the whey but I need to be sure I am not making cheese if I do.

August 19, 2008: Go to my other yogurt blogs for more information since this posting.

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