We believe homemade yogurt to be an essential food for good gut health. Not only does homemade yogurt taste better, it has guaranteed strains of beneficial bacteria that support the native beneficial bacteria in your digestive system.
The probiotic content of yogurt depends on a few factors – most importantly, the quality and quantity of the starter culture used. You can learn everything you need to know about yogurt starter cultures here or choose a starter culture that best suits your dietary and health needs here. The temperature and time your yogurt is allowed to ferment matters too but fortunately we have that covered for you. The unique ‘water-bath’ technology in the Luvele range of yogurt makers make these two considerations failsafe.
Our preferred yogurt making method is in accordance with the 'Specific carbohydrate diet' (SCD) which ferments for 24 hours. The low temperature and long ferment time allow the bacteria to consume more of the sugar (lactose) present in the milk and results in a higher probiotic count than commercial yogurt. It is estimated that a cup of homemade yogurt, fermented for 24 hours, contains 700 billion CFU’s (colony forming units) of good bacteria. Most commercial yogurts ferment at a high temperature for only 6-8 hours, and if you’re not mindful they may also contain thickeners, preservatives, artificial colours and flavours, as well as sugar!
Making real yogurt at home ensures you stay in control of the ingredients. If you’re unsure which milk to choose, click over to our guide to choosing the best milk for making yogurt.
24-hour homemade yogurt is a well-tolerated fermented food that is an important part of the SCD diet, 'Gut and psychology syndrome' (GAPS diet), and many other gut healing diets. And because the bacteria (in the starter culture) consume the sugar in the milk (lactose) during the fermentation process, properly made 24-hour yogurt can be tolerated even by people who are lactose intolerant. If cow’s milk however, is a concern, homemade 24-hour goat milk yogurt is a very gentle dairy option. Alternatively, our yogurt recipe blog has many dairy-free, plant-based milk yogurt options to experiment with.
Throughout our recipe blog posts, this cow’s milk yogurt method may be referred to as 24-hour yogurt, SCD yogurt or simply homemade yogurt. For more great yogurt making recipes, tips and trouble shooting advice click over to 'how to thicken homemade yogurt', 'how to make raw milk yogurt', 'how to culture cream' and' how to drip yogurt and make simple yogurt cream cheese'.
Before you begin it is important to sterilise the Luvele yogurt making glass jar, lid and any utensils you use, in hot water. The danger of not sterilising is that other bacteria may overpower your starter culture and affect the quality of your yogurt.
Yogurt starter Culture
1. Measure Quantity
Measure the appropriate quantity of milk to fill your Luvele yogurt maker and pour into a large, clean saucepan.
2. Heat and hold the milk at 82° C (180° F)
Use a thermometer. Note, as you become more confident with heating milk to make yogurt you will be able to judge when the milk is nearing 82° C (180° F) because it will begin to swell and rise in the pot (just before it simmers). Hold the heat at this temperature for anywhere between 2 - 10 minutes. The longer the better. Holding the milk at this high temperature allows the milk proteins to denature which thickens the yogurt.
Tip: It can be a challenge to hold the milk at a high temperature for so long. Don’t get too caught up on the precise temperature. If the milk accidently simmers briefly, don’t panic – reduce the heat and continue. Use a wok ring (or something similar) to create a distance between the flame and pot or use a double boiler pot filled with boiling water.
3. Cover the milk & let cool to below 42° C (107° F)
It is fine if the milk cools down well below 42° or even goes cold, it just mustn't be too hot. Temperatures above 43° C will kill the starter culture. The perfect temperature range for making SCD diet yogurt is between 36° C (97° F) and 42° C (107° F). Tip: You can actively cool it by filling a sink, or bowl with cold water and setting the pot of heated milk in the cold water.
As the milk cools a layer of skin will form on the yogurt. Some SCD yoghurt recipes recommend taking this off. There is no harm leaving it in though. It does not produce lumpy yoghurt. NOTE: If you are using unhomogenised milk, the skin will include the cream, which is divine. You don't want to miss out on this!
4. Add the starter cultureand gently whisk it in.
Each starter culture will come with different instructions. Please follow the instructions unique to your starter culture and use the amount specified.
5. Pour the milk into the yogurt making glass jar and put the lid firmly on.
Place the glass yogurt jar into your yogurt maker.
6. Pour water slowly into the base.
The water must not be filled over the ‘tall line’ indicated on the inside wall of the maker.
7. Place the cover lid on top.
The milk is now ready to begin fermentation.
8. Set the time & temperature.
Use the digital control panel to set the temperature to 38° C (100° F), the time to 24-hours and then press ‘confirm’ to begin incubation.
9. After 24 hours the fermentation is complete.
Condensation will have collected under the cover lid. Please take care removing it and allow the water to drip into the water bath, instead of your bench!
10. Switch the yogurt maker off and remove the yogurt jar.
Straight from the maker the yogurt will be runny and warm.
NOTE: Depending on the milk you used, there may be a layer of yellow cream on top of the yogurt.
11. Place the jar in the fridge for at least 6 hours to chill and set.
Be gentle with the warm yogurt and don’t stir it or else it won’t set in a perfect white mass.
You can set the yogurt maker to ferment for a further 5 hours if you want your yogurt to have even less lactose. See the post Fermentation time & temperature makes all the difference for more information.