I purchased an Easiyo Yogurt maker and a packet of the base and culture. It seems incomprehensible to me that this $15.00 packet of culture is needed to make 2 lbs of yogurt. Do you have to use the entire packet or can you use regular store bought yogurt as a starter and, if so, how much?
By ChuckG from Marion, MA
Maybe this will help-
Monday, October 30, 2006
How i make yogurt
Making yogurt is very easy. It takes about 4 minutes of actual time *doing anything*... but about 4-6 hours elapsed time. The directions are long, because I'm trying to be thorough. But it's a cinch.
This is the process, in short:
Mix dry milk with liquid milk.
Heat it to about 180 F.
Let it cool down to about 110 F.
Mix in yogurt starter.
Keep it warm.
And here it is in detail:
1. Mix liquid (regular) milk with dry skim milk. I use 2 cups of instant dry skim milk to 2 quarts of liquid 1% milk: we like the yogurt to be *very* thick. I use a whisk to mix it very well.
(Or I use 1.5 cups of non-instant dry skim milk. I find that the non-instant milk makes slightly nicer yogurt, but the instant dry milk is fine too, and easier to find. I used to use it, until I found a fairly reasonable source of the non-instant: http://www.bulkfoods.com . I regularly buy other foods from BulkFoods so I'm not incurring shipping charges just for the dry milk.)
You can use less dry skim milk if you use 2% or whole milk, and less if you want the yogurt not-so-thick. The higher the fat content of the milk, the less dry skim milk you need to thicken the yogurt.
2. Heat the mixture to about 180 F. I heat it in the microwave, in a 2-quart pyrex cup. If you heat milk in the microwave, you need to be very careful with it. It wants to foam up and bubble out of the Pyrex cup or bowl and spill all over the place.
I have found - by experimenting - that I can always heat the
refrigerator-cold milk for 35 minutes at 50% power in my 1000 watt microwave. No problems then.
You can heat the milk on the stove, if you prefer. You need to be careful that it doesn't burn in that case. Use low heat, stir from time to time.
3. Let the milk cool down to about 110 F to 120 F. I have a candy thermometer and use it. You can buy these at kitchen supply stores. Or you can just drizzle a little bit on the inside of your wrist and it should just feel a little bit warm - the 'baby bottle' test.
(Why not just heat the milk to 110 F in the first place? I've tried this, and the yogurt's texture is not as good. I don't know why. But it will definitely work, and you may want to try it - maybe you won't mind the way it comes out with the lesser heating. It's faster, easier, and saves fuel.)
3. Mix the starter with the milk - I use a whisk. The starter can be some plain yogurt you've purchased at a store (in this case, use at least 1/2 cup of plain yogurt). Or you can used dried yogurt starter purchased from a health food store or online. The next time, you'll use some of this batch for starter, etc. After 4 to 5 months, the yogurt will get too tart: then you start over with a new starter.
I buy my starter from the New England Cheesemaking Supply:
http://www.cheesemaking.com . It's not expensive; each little packet lasts me 4-5 months. They sell 4 packets together for (IIRC) $4.95 - that much lasts me more than a year, so it costs me less than $5/year for starter.
If you use dried starter, keep it in the freezer. Or you can just use plain yogurt from the store, as I said above. But I think the dried starter makes considerably better yogurt.
4. Now you need to keep the milk at that temperature (around 110 F) for about four to six hours. I have, like, and use a Yogourmet Yogurt Maker that keeps it warm. It makes two quarts (two liters, really) at a time.
But I wouldn't buy another one. When/if mine dies, I'll use
this method of keeping it warm:
This is actually better, because you can make up to four quarts of yogurt at a time and it doesn't use electricity - you just need to get the water warm at first. (I'll probably buy one of these coolers when I see one...)
UPDATE: I now use my "haybox cooker/picnic chest" to incubate the yogurt. See: http://www.meadows.pair.com/hayboxcooker.html. I put the yogurt container in my largest soup pot, filled the pot (not quite up to the top of the yogurt container) with warm water, put the cover on the pot and put it in the haybox cooker. I took it out four hours later - perfect creamy thick yogurt! So now I don't need to use electricity to incubate my yogurt.
I used the heavy plastic container which came with my Yogourmet yogurt maker. But two quart canning jars would work just as well.
There are also directions for making the yogurt on Professor Fankhauser's page which are slightly different from my directions. Note that he says to sterilize everything: I never do this, and I've never had a problem. I just make sure everything is good and clean.
5. Now your yogurt is ready - nice and thick. Take out enough to be the next batch's starter (I use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup - I don't measure it). Put the starter in a separate little jar with a cover, and refrigerate it separately. This keeps it cleaner and (more important) it prevents you from forgetting that you need some to be the next starter and eating it all up. Refrigerate your main container too.
Let it cool: serve however you like - I like mine with a glob of undiluted frozen orange juice, or with any fruit, fresh, canned, or frozen. Sometimes I make 'pie fillings' (very lightly sweetened) and those are the best thing of all for this purpose. Some people mix jam with their yogurt. Or fruit
syrups you can buy in the supermarket. My husband likes chocolate syrup on it, or he mixes it with honey. I also regularly use yogurt mixed with homemade muesli and fruit for breakfast.
I use some in cooking too, and I always use yogurt when a recipe calls for 'sour cream'. And sometimes we make frozen yogurt from it. Good luck.
Thanks so much for that comprehensive feedback, I think with your assistance and experimentation we will do OK. How about adding fruit to the milk prior to the time period of making the yogurt, that is, how does adding fresh fruit to the mixture work out? Thanks Chuckg Marion, MA
Hi I live in Australia the easiyo system is from New Zealand. The sachets of mix is only about $4.00. You need the whole sachet but $15 seems expensive. Cheaper to buy it from the supermarket. I would go to their website and ask them the question. I would never use store brought yogurt as a starter it would upset the live culture in the sachet.
I make my yogurt in my slow cooker. Make 1/2 gal at a time. Heat the 2 percent milk on low heat for 3 hours. Unplug cooker and let set for 2 hours. Remove 2 cups of milk, mix in 3/4 c active culture yogurt purchased at a grocery store. Whisk together with the milk. Return this to slow cooker milk. Stir well.
Cover slow cooker with a bath towel and let set overnight. It comes out the consistency of pudding. It is good this way to use in place of sour cream etc. I drain mine in a colander through a piece of cheese cloth in the refrigerator and it turns real thick. I like it plain or being a diabetic, I will take 2 cups and add a dry package of sugar free jello and stir. Is delicious. Jello flavor of your choice. Fruit may also be added in season.
I've been making yogurt in a wide mouth thermos flask for years and have always used shop bought plain yogurt for a starter whenever I needed to. I've never had a problem with it. A yogurt maker would make it even easier. I use a tablespoon of shop bought plain (full cream) yogurt for every 500ml of milk - that's about a pint. I personally think that these "starters" that are on the market are just a scam to make you spend money unnecessarily. A small pot of plain yogurt is very cheap to buy so if you want to try it, you wont be breaking the bank.
I made my first EasiYo yoghurt yesterday and it has not set yet. I read the instructions which only told me to wait 24 hours. I have waited 24 hours since I made it and it hasn't set still. What should I do?
By Lesley from London
I order my EasiYo sachets direct from EasiYo by the case. In that way I pay no shipping even though it is coming from NZ to USA. I pour one room temp bottle of water into the yogurt maker cup, add the sachet, then add enough bottled water to fill it to the top, shaking well after each addition of water. I then add boiling water to the thermos up to the top of the red insert, put in the cup with the yogurt mixture, screw on the thermos top and set my timer for 6 1/2 hours. If I forget to take it out in that time, I can leave it for up to 24 hours but if you do that, it will be more tart. I have never failed to get perfect and delicious yogurt, as good as Stonyfield which was my previous favorite and I have been doing this for over a year now. It makes 1 qt and is the easiest process imaginable. I can't imagine why yours has not set if you are following their directions exactly. If you get the same results again, I would call the company. Maybe you have a bad batch or something.
I made a batch in the Easiyo as follows:
1. Heated 1L of semi-skimmed milk in microwave to 82degC (18mins at 60% power)
2. Cooled to 38degC
3. Added half to Easiyo pot with 1 tablespoon starter (from a previous yoghurt batch made with an Easiyo packet) and 2 tablespoons dried milk powder.
4. Shake well
5. Add remaining milk to Easiyo pot, shake again.
6. Filled Easiyo container with boiling water to bottom of baffle only (Easiyo pot will be above boiling water level)
7. Left overnight
8. Perfect result for £0.54!!
I had bought an Easiyo yoghurt maker intending to make yoghurt using my frozen breast milk for my baby, but there aren't any instructions on how to use it other than using their sachet.
Any one can help me on this? and how long can the yoghurt that is made of thawed frozen breast milk last?
By Janice S
There should be a toll-free number in the paperwork somewhere, so you can call and ask their help line. If not, then go to their website and look for the contact info. I'd suggest using a phone number rather than an e-mail form, as you'll get the info faster and be able to ask follow-up questions.
Does anyone know how much liquid an EasiYo Yogurt maker holds? I was given a package of their Greek starter, but I have an electric yogurt maker and want to try the EasiYo one.
By Vivien from Coolidge, AZ
Is anyone able to tell me how to make thick and creamy homemade yogurt in an Easiyo container? Thanks in anticipation.
By Vicki from Australia
For firmer, creamier yogurt:
1) Mix 4 cups of dry milk with 2 quarts of low fat milk in a heavy pot. Heat, stirring frequently, until dry milk dissolves.
2) After milk cools to room temp., add 1 cup of plain yogurt and mix well with wire whisk.
3) Pour into individual yogurt containers, and allow to set in maker for 24 hrs. (02/28/2010)
I have been given an Easiyo yogurt maker and as I am used to making my own yogurt, I do not want to use their sachets. Has anyone used this to make their own yogurt?
I have one of these and I use a pot of natural yogurt as a starter. Just heat milk to 45 degrees centigrade, mix with the yogurt and a tablespoon of dried milk (this helps to thicken it). Leave overnight and the next day it should be ready. (05/13/2007)
By Grandma H
Thanks Grandma - very grateful for your prompt response. Your yogurt recipe is very similar to mine, but my problem is this; according to the Easiyo instructions the mixture is placed in the container cold and then boiling water is put inside the thermos part. Of course, like yours, my culture is approx. 45C and I am worried that if I add the boiling water it will be too hot and I will kill the culture.
I tried by just putting some boiling water in the bottom of the Easiyo container (just a little) and everything seemed to go well. But, after I transferred the yogurt into another container in order to use the Easiyo one for my next batch, the yogurt became quite runny after it had been in the fridge for a few hours, even though it had been very thick and creamy when I first put it in. Sorry for such a long explanation. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. (05/13/2007)
I have the same yogurt maker. You can make your own yogurt in the usual way but make sure it is a little on the cool side (just tepid but not warm) when you start it off with the boiling water in the container. Also, it makes a difference what sort of yogurt you use to start it off. If you want thick and creamy then start it off with Greek style thick yogurt.
By the way, all yogurt leaks out "water" over time. Simply drain it off and your yogurt will be fine. You can also simply stir it in but I find it makes the yogurt fairly runny. Remember that yogurt you buy ready made often has additives to thicken it and to stop the water separating out. Enjoy your own pure yogurt! (05/14/2007)
Hi Sheena. Thanks for the info. Especially about water "leak." Sorry, I have a further question - a bit dense of me - but: Do you scald the milk and then cool the mixture to tepid before you put it in the Easiyo? Or do you just make the culture with tepid milk and have the yogurt at room temperature? I do use Greek yogurt as a starter. Hope my question makes sense. Thank you very much for your response. You, and people here are very generous with sharing information.
Thanks again. (05/16/2007)