Random Bits of Projects

April 3, 2009

Adding yogurt starter without clumps

Here is a quick, easy way to add freeze-dried yogurt starter to your milk without clumping.

I was making a batch of yogurt this morning and was thinking about my post on making yogurt that I need to go back and polish. As I was adding starter, I realized maybe I should add this little detail as a separate post, instead of including it only in the main post, for people who already know how to make yogurt.

If you have ever added freeze-dried yogurt starter (wonderful stuff), you may have had a problem with stirring it in and getting clumps that need to be broken apart as you stir. This is a problem with many fine powders that need mixed into a fluid. At least for me. It is a minor thing but it drives me nuts (No life). I want to just add, and stir, and throw it in the incubator (after heating and cooling, etc.).

I use a small jar with a screw-on cap. In my case it was an empty herb jar. It was just the right size. Spoon in  (about 1/3 to 1/2  full of a small herb jar) some of your prepared (and cooled to the needed temperature) milk, add the yogurt starter, screw on the lid, and shake. In no time the powder will be well mixed. You can then pour it into the main batch and then stir it in there. No clumps! And it only adds a minute (or less) of extra preparation time.


Jar Material: For whatever container you use to do this, I suggest using a glass container, especially if you plan to reuse it. You can clean it much better than plastic which can trap bacteria and will melt or warp if gets too hot when cleaning it. I find that being over-clean when making yogurt is not a bad thing. After cleaning it with hot, soapy water, air dry it well to prevent mildew from growing. Cap the dry container and store for the next use. This will keep dust and debris from falling in.

Size: I tend to make 4 cup batches so I do not use the full packet of starter. If you make a lot of yogurt at once, you might want a slightly bigger jar or do not mix it all at once.

Leaks: When you choose what will be your “shaker”, test it out with water once. This way you can find out if you will have a serious leak and avoid a mess. Mine leaks a little bit of milk but not too bad. It has a metal lid and I can probably get a better seal if I wanted to bother. Suprisingly, the slight leak bothers me less than clumps. I just shake over the sink. Very little really does leak out but it can be messy if I walk around the room shaking it. 😉

Reminder: Be sure your milk is cooled to the recommended temperature for the yogurt starter you are using before doing this. You do not want to kill your starter. Also, remember that the starter may have a different temperature preference than what your yogurt maker suggests. Read the box and avoid the mistake I made my first time. Ick.

If you have not made yogurt yet, it is very worth it. It may take some initial work to get it the way you like it, but once you do, it is easy and delicious. I hate cooking and yet I find this worth it.

Have fun!


  1. Don’t know if you get comments on long ago posts. 12/25/08: Incredibly cute cat and mouse pictures

    Comment by Jennifer — April 29, 2009 @ 7:44 pm | Reply

    • Thank you!! And I do comment on the old stuff. Especially since I am having a hard time adding new! Working multiple jobs right now. Bleh. But thanks so much! 🙂

      Comment by virtuallyamy — April 30, 2009 @ 11:53 am | Reply

  2. Hey, I use the powdered stuff also. But I treat it just like previously prepared yogurt kept as a starter for the next batch.

    I use a Ninja Food Prep blender and add the culture and/or powder to it and the tempered milk when it is around 110F. I blend the mix for 10 seconds and pour it into the rest of the milk and whisk it for 10 more seconds. Then I strain the now cultured milk into the incubation jars and put them in my yogurt maker.

    Perfect yogurt every time no matter what type of culture you use.

    My website: http://mryogurt.info/


    Comment by Bill — July 5, 2010 @ 8:44 pm | Reply

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