Yogurt Making Instructions

Version 6 – March 11, 2014

Below are the current yogurt making instructions. You can also download a copy here.

“I wish I was making yogurt tonight! That was so much fun!” — happy yogurt maker
“Making yogurt is not a race.  Making yogurt is about the journey…” — wise yogurt maker

A) Prepare Materials
1. Remove jars of starter from fridge and place on counter so they can warm.  There should be three pint-sized jars of yogurt labeled “starter” next to the milk on the shelf in the fridge.

2. Check contents of Yogurt Tool Kit (YTK). The YTK is in a plastic box located under the counter where the member jars are stored. Inside the kit there is a contents list. Check to make sure everything is there.

Contents List:
3 stirrers
2 bowls
1 pitcher
1 whisk
1 spatula
1 thermometer
1 timer (or you can use the clock on the wall)
4 cup measure

3. Retrieve weekly sheet from the fridge door and fill in your member names next to On Duty.

B) Prepare Double-boilers
1. Take down the 3 double boilers which can be found above the dish closet.  You will need to use the step stool to reach them.

2. Rinse the inner pot of all three double boilers and add 2.5″ of water to the outer pot. The handle of all the wooden tools is marked for 2.5″ and can be used to measure the water depth.

3. Insert one inner pot into each outer pot and place on the stove to heat on low.

C) Calculate Milk
1. Place both wooden jar racks and the lids container on the counter. The jars racks are on the counter in the corner of the kitchen. There is one rack for whole milk jars and one rack for non-fat jars.

2. Confirm that all jars on on their correct posts. Names on jars should match names on posts.  Only whole milk jars should be on the whole milk rack and only non-fat jars should be on the non-fat rack. Any member jars not on their assigned posts should be moved to the correct post. If there is no post available that jar should be removed and placed back on the corner kitchen counter.  Check spares to make sure there are no misplaced member jars.

3. Enter the number of jars for each member next to their name on the weekly sheet in the column labeled Make. After entering the number, put the jar on the counter.  If there are two whole milk jars for Jones on the rack then enter 2 next to Jones in the whole milk column. Default to the weekly sheet as the master list to follow (the weekly sheet trumps all!)

4. Note if any jars are not fully clean or a bad odor. You may want to rinse/wash dirty or smelly jars.

5. Do steps 3 and 4 for both the W and N racks.

6. Count the number of jars listed under each Make column and enter the total on the weekly sheet next to Total Jars to Make.

7. Return the racks to the corner.

8. Count the number of total jars and make sure you have enough lids and rings. Check lids to make sure they are clean and rise/wash any lids that are not clean.

9. Using the Key on bottom right hand corner of the weekly sheet to enter the numbers that determine how many jugs of milk you will need for whole milk and non-fat milk. Enter these numbers on the weekly sheet.  If you have ZERO extra pints of both W and N, add a “jar to make” to either batch so we’ll have enough for the starter and then recalculate the equation.

10. Take the jugs out of the fridge making sure you grab all the ones that will expire the soonest.

D) Pour Milk
1. Pour milk from the number of jugs above into the 3 double boilers. Divide the greater amount of milk (either non-fat or whole) between two pots and pour all the other milk in the third pot.

2. After pouring the milk, place the jugs on the counter and let milk pool in them for at least five minutes. This is in order to waste as little of the milk as possible.

3. Pour remainder of milk into the pots and rinse the jugs with water.

4. Rinsed jugs should be placed in the milk crates found on top of the fridge.  Milk jug tops should be placed in the recycling bins.

E) Heat Milk
1. Heat the milk at LOW heat (yes, low will get less milk sticking to the pot) to 180 degrees while stirring frequently.  Relax, you are doing fine.  Remember, making yogurt is about the journey.

2. Once milk reaches 180 degrees turn off the burner and let it sit for 20 minutes. Because milk is a large thermal mass its temperature will continue to increase with the burner off and remain above 180 for the full 20 minutes.  (Fun fact: 180 degrees kills competing bacteria so that the one we’re going to put in will thrive and the 20 mins. will anneal the protein so that we get a thicker yogurt.)

F) Cool Milk
1. After leaving the milk for 20 minutes on the stove, remove the inner pots from each double boiler to cool. There are many cooling methods. There is no need to get them to cool quickly so unless you are in a hurry you can just leave them on the counter stir and chat! In the winter it has worked well to let the pots rest outside on the snow.  Some people put cold water in the stopped sink and then put the inner pots in there. This will definitely speed the process, but  please be conscientious about conserving water.

2. Let milk cool to 120 degrees and while you wait, continue with the next steps.

G) Prepare Starter
1. Go back to the weekly sheet and look at the Key to determine the number of ounces of starter you will need for each the whole milk and non-fat batch.

2. Put the starter for whole milk in the whole milk starter bowl and the starter for non-fat milk in the non-fat milk starter bowl.

3. Rinse out all the starter jars so that they can be used for this week’s starter.

4. Extra starter or old yogurt left unclaimed should be taken by the makers today.  If you leave any you should send an email out saying how much is left so others can know they can pick it up.

H) Prepare Coolers
1. Bring the coolers out to near the counter and remove the warming jars.  You can save that water in another container to help clean-up later.  If the coolers have any bad smell, wash them with some soap.

2. Fill the warming jars with hot water from the double boilers. Place them back in the coolers and close the cooler’s lid. This will pre-warm the coolers for the incubation process.

I) Add Starter
1. Once one pot of milk has cooled to 120 degrees, pour about two cups of the milk into the corresponding starter bowl. i.e. combine milk from the whole milk pot into the whole milk starter bowl with the starter yogurt.

2. Whisk this slurry of milk and starter yogurt well using the whisk to break up clumps.

3. Pour the slurry of milk and starter into the pot and mix thoroughly and deeply using the wooden spoon or whisk.

J) Fill Jars
1. Using the pouring pitcher, fill each member jar to the top with the prepared mixture. Holding the jar over the pot while you pour will prevent milk from being wasted by spilling. Make sure they are well filled.  Better to top everyone off than to have extra yogurt left over.

2. Fill the three pint-sized starter jars you cleaned earlier with the remaining mixture from either pot. Each starter jar can be filled with whole, non-fat or a combination as long as they are filled.

3. If there is any mixture left over in either pot, use this to fill extra jars, kind of labeled “E”. E= every last bit of yogurt!

4. Evenly distribute jars between the 3 coolers.  It is important to do this quickly to preserve the heat created by the warming jars.

5. Move coolers back under the counter.

6. Note rough start time for the incubation on the weekly sheet.

K) Clean Up
1. Using hot water from the double boilers, clean and dry all utensils, jars, and pots. Feel free to use brushes and sponges by the sink.  Do not use steel wool on the pots. Use towels found in the drawer for drying and lay the towels out on the counter afterwards. Please return everything to where you found it.  THINGS LEFT ON THE DRYING RACK CAN BE HARDER TO FIND LATER ON

2.  Return weekly sheet to fridge door

3. Please note ANY concerns, changes, or comments about this weeks yogurt process on the back of the weekly sheet. This is an important part of our quality assurance.

Thank you for your hard work! We look forward to enjoying your yogurt this coming week.