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  #1  
Old 12-18-2014, 07:49 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Default Messed Up Yogurt

Hi

Does anyone know if it's okay to use previously frozen milk to make yogurt.

I buy containers of low fat milk and freeze extras. So far they all thaw okay, can use in other recipes, in cereal, etc.

Tried making some yogurt today, but it went south quickly. The milk separated with major clumping and some sort of secondary yellowish liquid. The Martha Stewart recipe I was trying said to wisk it; I figured it was because of the clumping (which I never had happen before, but I didn't use previously frozen yogurt in the past). Things didn't look right at all. (The milk wasn't spoiled).

Any insights would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2014, 05:10 PM
Leanne Female Leanne is offline
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Hmm. I'm confused. Did you use previously frozen milk, yogurt, or both? It shouldn't matter for the milk, but might matter for the yogurt. You don't want to kill the useful bacteria on accident.

It sounds like somehow your milk set curds really fast. I'm not sure what would cause that unless somehow you got extra acid into it, or maybe heated it too high after adding the yogurt. The yellowish liquid is whey, the clumps are curds. I would drain some of the clumps and taste-test, you might have a passable soft cheese with the addition of some salt.

Can you link us to the recipe? I can take a look and see if there are any pitfalls in it. I make yogurt in my crockpot pretty regularly, and have never had this problem. (I do drain my yogurt a bit after making it as we like it a little thicker.)
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Old 12-24-2014, 12:07 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Hi Leanne,

Thanks!

The recipe was in an email-like newsletter (with other recipes from her).

The 2% milk was previously frozen and totally thawed.

I bought a small Dannon plain (active culture) yogurt for the starter.

I went to her site, but getting videos instead of the written recipe.

I had already deleted the recipe email.

It sure didn't look passable, LOL.

Never had a yogurt clump like that, but I haven't made it in a while.

I know was supposed to heat to 180 degrees (slowly) until tiny bubbles form. It just separated really quickly (and before 180). It startled me.
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Old 12-24-2014, 12:57 AM
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rubyyarn Female rubyyarn is offline
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Connie, we make yogurt this way:

Heat a half gallon of milk to 185 degrees.
Cool it to 110. We put the hot kettle into a kettle of water and ice to speed this up.
Add some yogurt and mix in.
Pour into jars and incubate 7 hours. We often let it sit overnight.

Our incubator is a wooden frame that fits over a heating pad. A towel goes over the heating pad and the jars go in. I tuck another towel over everything and lay a piece of cardboard over the frame. The temp in the frame is about 100 - 110 degrees.

I'd think, as long as your yogurt isn't frozen, it should work, even with frozen milk.
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  #5  
Old 12-24-2014, 04:55 AM
Leanne Female Leanne is offline
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connie, did you add the yogurt to the milk at 180, or raise the temp to 180 while the culture was in it? I think that is the problem. Yogurt is like yeast, its bacteria are sensitive little bugs and they don't like being much over 120.

What I do is: dump 8 cups of milk (any kind) in my crockpot, heat on low for 3 hours, turn it off and let cool for three hours. Then measure c. yogurt and add 1 c. of the warm milk from the crock, mix thoroughly to combine, then pour that back into the crock pot and mix well. Wrap the whole crockpot with lid and everything up in a towel and leave it to sit for 8 hours or overnight. I've always had perfect yogurt the next day.

I do strain mine (in muslin in a colander over a big bowl) because we like ours thick-ish around here, a few hours, and then scoop it out into a container. You can always stir a bit of the whey back in if it's too thick for you after straining. I usually stir one big cooking spoon's worth back in.
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:30 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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The recipe said to "continuously stir" and heat to 180 then put the starter in and then take the heat down to 125, "stirring all the while".

When things started to separate, I thought it was the recipe, since they said to continuously stir.

The stirring made it worse (separation) and major clumps.

It did take FOREVER to get down to 125 (I was trying everything) 'cause I felt it was (over) cooking or something.

Gee, if it was cheese, got that when I was looking to make yogurt; if I wanted to make cheese, probably would get yogurt instead, LOL.
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:33 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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rubyyarn,

Thanks for the tip on the bowl of ice.

For some reason the temp wasn't going down what I felt was quick enough.
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Old 12-24-2014, 09:00 PM
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rubyyarn Female rubyyarn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connie189 View Post
The recipe said to "continuously stir" and heat to 180 then put the starter in and then take the heat down to 125, "stirring all the while".

When things started to separate, I thought it was the recipe, since they said to continuously stir.

The stirring made it worse (separation) and major clumps.

It did take FOREVER to get down to 125 (I was trying everything) 'cause I felt it was (over) cooking or something.

Gee, if it was cheese, got that when I was looking to make yogurt; if I wanted to make cheese, probably would get yogurt instead, LOL.
I'm afraid starter won't live beyond 115 degrees
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Old 12-24-2014, 09:03 PM
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rubyyarn Female rubyyarn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connie189 View Post
rubyyarn,

Thanks for the tip on the bowl of ice.

For some reason the temp wasn't going down what I felt was quick enough.
An insta-read thermometer is a good thing too. That way you know when the milk is at 110 degrees. Then, however you incubate it, you should have yogurt the next day.
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:13 AM
Leanne Female Leanne is offline
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Yeah, no wonder it didn't work! You kill the starter if you put it in at a temperature that high! Not your fault, bad directions. I'm surprised at that.

It doesn't really matter how slow the temperature drops (within reason), it just matters that you don't put in the starter if it's over 115-120. Trying to cool it by whisking with the starter in just isn't going to work.

The ice bath is useful if you're in a hurry. I do that for my gelato. I guess it depends how much time / attention you want to pay to the yogurt. Me, I like being able to set it and forget it, so the very minimal effort of turn it on, turn it off, go do other things in the meantime is really helpful for me.
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Old 12-25-2014, 02:08 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Do you think it might have still been edible? (Just didn't look like it).

I guess it's back to the drawing board, LOL.

I'm kind of disappointed in Martha (I think I only had one other questionable recipe of her in 20 something years I wish I hadn't made).
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Old 12-25-2014, 02:04 PM
Leanne Female Leanne is offline
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Yeah, I think so. Remember, "Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey"? Well, that's what you had curds and whey. Probably wasn't yogurt, probably was more like cheese, and might not have been all that exciting taste-wise since you weren't planning to do it, but edible? Most likely.

I'm kind of surprised that it was a failure in a Martha recipe, normally her stuff is pretty well tested. Oh well, it happens to us all!
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Old 12-27-2014, 05:02 PM
crackergirl Female crackergirl is offline
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I like to make yogurt in a thermos. Same steps, heat milk, cool milk, add starter, whisk, pour into half gallon thermos, put lid on, set by gas stove until tomorrow. Since I use whole milk straight from the cow, the cream will rise to the top of the yogurt. I add peach jam and granola, and eat until I can hardly waddle.
When it goes south on me (made more than I can eat in a week, neither DH nor DS will eat it) the piggies go berserk, squealing like crazy!
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:43 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crackergirl View Post
I like to make yogurt in a thermos. Same steps, heat milk, cool milk, add starter, whisk, pour into half gallon thermos, put lid on, set by gas stove until tomorrow. Since I use whole milk straight from the cow, the cream will rise to the top of the yogurt.!
that has been our method, too, for many years. except I use goat milk, which works just as well.


If you have some curdling again, throw it in the blender and add something fruity to it. What is really delicious is a spoon of frozen orange juice concentrate and vanilla.
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Old 12-31-2014, 02:32 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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An update:

Looks like all systems "go" with the yogurt.

Used the previously frozen milk as before; heated to 180 and then took the heat down; took a little of the milk and stirred the starter and mixed it in the rest of the milk, then put in the incubator.

No curdling!
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:27 PM
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rubyyarn Female rubyyarn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connie189 View Post
An update:

Looks like all systems "go" with the yogurt.

Used the previously frozen milk as before; heated to 180 and then took the heat down; took a little of the milk and stirred the starter and mixed it in the rest of the milk, then put in the incubator.

No curdling!
Hooray! Good for you
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:36 AM
Leanne Female Leanne is offline
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Congrats! Glad to hear it worked out. ... Reminds me, I need to make some tomorrow, myself!
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  #18  
Old 01-02-2015, 02:49 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Thanks!

It was just the opposite of the first time; had it sit overnight (8 hours to be exact) but it was not as firm as it could be. I thought 8 hours would cut it for a thicker consistency... Put it in a strainer and got a lot of whey out within the first hour. I only made a quart to start. I'm just glad I got it to coagulate at all, LOL.

The whey this time actually looks less yellow for some reason.
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:02 AM
Leanne Female Leanne is offline
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I've always found homemade yogurt to come out a little thinner than storebought. Scalding the milk helps with thickening a little bit, and some people add some dry milk to thicken it up, too. I don't bother because I just never use dry milk otherwise.

Interesting about the whey. Wonder if that color varies based on the cows' diet, much like the color of egg yolks vary based on the hens' diet.
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  #20  
Old 01-08-2015, 03:01 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Hi

Back with the yogurt, LOL.

Made another batch yesterday. Same way as just the other day.

Hubby ate the last of the first batch, so had to get a starter yogurt from the store. He brought home a small container of Greek style yogurt instead of the plain (non-Greek). So I thought I would try, anyway. The starter yogurt had the active bacteria, also cream added. So I questioned it in my mind...as to the end result.

After 12 hours incubating, it was considerably less firm than the first batch; also gave off a LOT of whey. Considerably more than the first time. Second day draining is not as firm as first batch, but firmed up (to Greek style).

I guess my question is, do you think the addition of cream to the yogurt had anything to do with the result (although I put in only like a quarter-cup). Same milk as before.

Should I have incubated it longer (even though it was sitting longer than the first batch).

Thanks; not sure where I went wrong....
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