Homemade Yogurt, Cheese, and Butter: Part III – Yogurt

Makin' YogurtJust like butter, once I realized that I could make my own yogurt, I haven’t gone back to store bought.  While it takes about 36 hours for the final product to be ready, most of that time is unattended.  And this yogurt is completely worth the wait!

My biggest complaint when I first started was all of the waste that I felt like I was creating by purchasing milk in cardboard or plastic containers. We now use Byrne Dairy milk when making our yogurt because we can purchase it in glass jars and return it for a refill.  This not only makes us feel better about the waste, but Byrne Dairy’s average farm is only 35 miles from it’s plants, meaning that the milk is from local farmers (one of the farms is right down the street from us!).  Lastly, their farmers use no growth hormones on their cattle, meaning that we’re getting a healthier product overall.

When Paul and I were in Iceland two years ago, we fell in love with skyr.  While it’s impossible for us to get the same thickness of Icelandic skyr with whole milk, we used Siggi’s plain skyr as a starter to get that slightly sour dairy flavor.  Now we just use our own yogurt over and over again when making fresh batches!

small cooler
large pot
4 one-quart mason jars

1/2 gallon whole, 2%, 1% or skim milk (your choice!)
1 cup yogurt of your liking (Siggi’s is my favorite, but you can use any yogurt containing live active cultures)

1) Pour 1/2 gallon of milk into large pot.  Begin warming on medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Rest thermometer on the edge of the pot.
2) As the temperature rises to about 150F, the milk will start to become frothy.  This is good, but now is when you’re going to want to keep a better eye on the temperature.  Stir more frequently.
3) When the temperature reaches 180F, remove from heat and let cool to 100F.  Once the temperature reaches 100F, stir in 1 cup yogurt.
4) Divide the milk/yogurt mixture evenly among the 4 mason jars.  Place each mason jar into the cooler.  Set the lids on top of the mason jars but do not screw them down tight.
5) Add enough hot tap water to the cooler to reach the neck of the mason jars.  Allow the yogurt to ferment for 24-hours, tighten the lids, then place the jars of yogurt into your refrigerator!  Voila!  Fresh yogurt!

I like to add a spoonful of homemade raspberry jam, some fresh fruit (usually banana), and some granola to my yogurt for a delicious and healthy breakfast.  Don’t forget to save some yogurt for your next batch!


Jökulsárlón, Iceland
Jökulsárlón, Iceland

8 thoughts on “Homemade Yogurt, Cheese, and Butter: Part III – Yogurt

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