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Making yogurt cheese

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Having made it a few times using fine cheese cloth ordered from Fantes, the product tasted okay. Two questions arise, however:
  1. To simulate Devon or Clotted Cream, is there something that can be added to either the yogurt or the cheese?
  2. Although I've seen a variety of yogurt cheese makers on the market, like the Donvier unit, has anyone tried using a Melitta filter in conjunction with Melitta filter paper or even chese cloth? This I read about a few days ago.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #2 of 19
No. Neither Devon nor clotted creams are made with yogurt or cheese. They're different beasts altogether. Neither is as sour as as you'd get from using yogurt. Both are made from cooked cream. Devon cream is scalded, while clotted cream is slow-cooked. Both are easy, if time consuming, to make at home; the only real hurdle being finding the right sort of cream -- ideally unpasteurized and not homogenized.

There are instructions all over the web, or I could write them up for either or both if you like.

You mean using the Melitta filter holder to support the coffee filter or cheese cloth? Yes; and other filter holders as well. And when it comes to filters, I've used coffee filters and even paper towels to drain the yogut; and have even bundled yogurt in a (clean!) cloth diaper, tied it with string and dangled it over the sink. The only difference seemed to lie in the amount of time to reach the desired consistency.

What seems to work fastest is buying very thick, custard type yogurt (TJ calls it "Greek style") to begin with. Then draining it an unlined, very fine sieve; or, in a couple of layers of cheesecloth set in a coarse sieve or colander.

On the other hand, if you're talking about using the Melitta filter holder to cook the yogurt in some way -- no. Never tried it. Never heard of it. Post the link though, I'd like to read about it.

This brings up the related but somewhat tangential thought of using a slow-cooker like the the Donvier to make clotted cream. The oven method is annoying. One thing I haven't tried for clotted cream is a crock pot. You just inspired the thought, thank you very much.

Hmmm.

Thanks again,
BDL
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
In my original post I meant using the Melitta Filter cone in conjunction with filter paper. Seems, therefore, a waste of time, money and resources if one already possesses cheese cloth and a mesh strainer.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #4 of 19

I make this all the time.  The other responders are right, melita or any coffee filter is too fine.  I use a double layer cheese cloth in an old colander with feet on it.  You'll also benefit from weighting it on top with sometihng after some of the water is gone, I put a salad plate on top and put whatever is clean and handy on top of that, usually a large can of something. 

 

I use my home made yogurt.  I fortify milk with dry milk so it isn't as watery.  I avoid the kind with gelatin type substances in it, just my choice.  I tried Greek, but prefer Dannon as my starter culture.

 

I set it in the clean sink  - all night.   It is more sour than cream cheese, which it resembles in texture, although more grainy.  I use it for dips and certain vege spreads that my family loves.   The trick is to be sure you use strong flavored veggies, IMO - to compete with the sour yogurt taste.  Peppers, onion, garlic, olives, etc.   Not delicate herbs, imo.

 

Not at all like clotted cream, btw.

DD

post #5 of 19

Hi Koko, 

 

Just an aside.  I was brought up with my grandmother and my mother making yogurt and yogurt cheese or labani.  It is a lebanese cheese as far as I know.   How they would strain the yogurt was to put it in a homemade muslin drawstring bag, hang it on the kitchen faucet overnight and in the morning voila labani.

When you put it in a covered glass container make sure you pour olive oil on it to cover.  This will help preserve it and tastes good too.  Always respread the cheese in the container to lay flat so that the oil will cover.

Try spreading the labani on arabic bread ( pita ) or toast the bread and break it up and spread the labani on it that way.  It is a yummy cheese and am glad you are trying it. :)

Hope this will be a new and easier way for you to make your cheese. 

post #6 of 19

I use a handkerchief lining a wire mesh strainer to strain my yogurt.

 

As for sourness is homemade yogurt, I find mine is much less sour than commercial yogurt.  I put it in the fridge as soon as it's set - about 4 hours - & it's quite mild at that point (let it ferment longer & it gets more sour) (the word "sourer" is just never going to be very satisfactory for an English speaker, is it?)

The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

To alleviate sourness, I now heat my milk mixture (60% half-and-half and 40% regular cow's milk) to 200F.  Once it reaches that temperature I allow the milk mixture to cool for 5 minutes before adding the yogurt starter.  The mixture then incubates anywhere from 12-24 hours and then is placed into the fridge for at least 5 hours prior to consuming.  Oh, and I've been using the older, 5-jar, Salton yogurt maker for the past 36 years without a hitch.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post

To alleviate sourness, I now heat my milk mixture (60% half-and-half and 40% regular cow's milk) to 200F.  Once it reaches that temperature I allow the milk mixture to cool for 5 minutes before adding the yogurt starter.  The mixture then incubates anywhere from 12-24 hours and then is placed into the fridge for at least 5 hours prior to consuming.  Oh, and I've been using the older, 5-jar, Salton yogurt maker for the past 36 years without a hitch.


You must be making small batches!  I make almost a gallon at a time!  I do heat it b/c I don't want any competing bacteria in there, add dry milk to the whole milk  then cool, but 5 mintues would never be enough to get down around 120º.. 

 

I'm looking for a large capacity something to incubate these huge  batches with.   I am wondering if I put water on the outside of the stainless steel pot inside of a slow cooker on low would work.  The Yogourmet device seems to use this method, but it only does 1 quart at a time.   I know for sure my crock pot doesn't get warm enough to cook lentils - I left veggie soup in there for hours and hours with about ½ cup lentils and they never did cook.   The only way to know is to try it, I guess.    Alton Brown suggested using a heating pad wrapped around a cylindrical container.  But I found the heating pad was no match for a whole gallon of mix in a rather cool house.   Maybe this summer that will work.

 

Donna
  

post #9 of 19

Donna, try pouring the yoghurt mixture into quart jars and putting them in a cooler overnight. If I use a bigger cooler, I pack some towels around the jars, partly to hold the heat better, partly to keep them from jostling around if one of the kids bumps or moves the cooler.

 

I make my yoghurt exactly the same way you do. I usually make 1 or 1 1/2 gallons at a time and have to make it nearly every week, unless I make some of it into yoghurt cheese, then it's more often.

 

For cheese, I line a colander with a thin cloth, usually a piece of sheet, dump in the yoghurt, gather the corners and edges, tie it with string, then hang it from the cupboard door, so it drips in the sink. I leave it overnight. If it's still dripping in the morning, I leave it until it quits, then it's ready.

 

~Gayle

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

I make only 1 qt. batches of yogurt.  Innoculated at approximately 180F, the final product gives a great flavor.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #11 of 19

I have been experimenting with making my own yogurt for the past year and I am finally getting a good system. However, I can't seem to get the yogurt to be smooth like what you find in Greek yogurt or store bought. I tried pushing it through a fine mesh sieve but the texture consistency turned out very odd almost like soup. It was no longer creamy and thick. What I have been doing to prepare my yogurt is as follows:

 

  1. Heat a half gallon of milk to 180 degree F. Using a cast iron enameled dutch oven pot.
  2. Let that cool to around 115 degrees F.
  3. I then stir in two packages of yogurt starter I purchased off the internet. (Euro Cuisine yogurt starter (2 - 5 gram packages)
  4. I put this in my oven over night on the "Proof" cycle which is nice and warm (around 140 degrees F).
  5. Usually in a short time (4 hours) it is set but I leave it over night so it thickens even more. The difference is at 4 hours you can shake the pot and it will still giggle. After 10-12 hours it doesn't move hardly at all when you shake it.

 

 

At this point I usually put it in cheese cloth if I want to make it even thicker. Still my yogurt is always grainy and i would love to be able to end up with a rich smooth and creamy product. My wife bought me a yogurt maker last year and it works fine for small batches but if you want to make larger batches then that won't cut it. Also if you eat a lot of yogurt which we do then you will zip through the small batches in no time. Not practical for a family but maybe for a single person.

 

I would not use the coffee filter that is to fine, I think cheese cloth doubled up works just fine. 

 

Koko did you ever find out if there is anything you can add to the yogurt to simulate devon or clotted cream? I agree with BDL for that to work it is all about the starter product (the cream).

 

Has anyone here made yogurt with fresh, unpasteurized milk cow or goat?

 

Here is an image of the starter I have been using.

 

41ryPY+9UkL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Thanks,

Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
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post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

@Nicko:

 

One does not need to purchase a starter packet each tme a new batch is produced.  Rather, what I do is take approx 2 heaping TBS from the previous batch and innoculate the new batch with the "old" stuff.  Should you require "new" starter, just go to your gourmet store and purchase a tub of real yogurt, preferably from Greece, Bulgaria or someplace in that general geographic region.  As to myself, I've never used a starter packet for making my yogurt.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #13 of 19
Your right koko I only use this for the first run then I use the yogurt after to make the next batches. I honestly was having terrible luck with store bought yogurt it just would not set. In retrospect I think my problem was that I did not have the right heat. I used to just put it in the oven with no heat. I also tried wrapping it in a blanket and putting it next to my heater in winter but it still did not work.

Using the starter packet really help me get a great batch to start making yogurt with. I am going to try using some Fage yogurt and see if I can get it to set now that I understand the process better.

Are you able to get a "Creamy" consistency to your yogurt? Mine is still grainy and I think that comes mostly from the skin that forms during the night.
Thanks,

Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
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post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

Yes, Nicko, my yogurt is really creamy and has a really great mouthfeel.  Again, here's my method:

 

  1. 1 qt mixture of 60% half and half and 40% regular cow's milk
  2. Heat to 200F
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes (to either 180-190F)
  4. Innoculate with starter from previous batch or newly purchased yogurt
  5. Mix the stuff
  6. Pour into each of the 5 jars of the Salton unit
  7. Allow to incubate 12-24 hours (the Salton unit allows for a lot of leeway as far as incubation time is concerned).
  8. Then refrigerate for at least 5 hours, allowing the yogurt to set.

 

 

 

Nicko, I think that the problem you're having with your yogurt is failure to heat to a sufficiently high temperature initially.

 

And I think that if you use these temperatures and place the quart container into an oven once innoculation is complete, you'll obtain better results although I have never made my yogurt in the traditional way as other posters at this thread have done.

 

Best,

-T

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #15 of 19

Nicko, try stirring about half a cup of powdered milk into the hot milk, then placing a piece of plastic wrap, waxed paper, or parchment (I prefer parchment) directly on the surface of the hot milk. This prevents a skin from forming on the milk as it cools. After it has cooled, gently whisk in about 2 to 3 T. of plain yoghurt (thin it first with some of the warm milk), then strain the mixture into whatever you use to incubate it (in my case, that would be quart-size canning jars). Incubate it about 12 hours, like you have been, and you should end up with a thick, smooth product.

 

The powdered milk makes a creamier, thicker product. The longer incubation makes it thicker, too, but too long will make it too tart.

 

edited to add: I bring my milk to a simmer before doing anything else. Also, I use plain whole milk from the grocery store. I have also made it with unpasteurized cow's and goat's milk. I couldn't tell any difference.

post #16 of 19

I am definitely going to try the powdered milk. Here is a wiki/article how to I threw together of how I make it. Feel free to jump in and edit it if you like.

 

http://www.cheftalk.com/wiki/how-to-make-homemade-yogurt

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Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
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post #17 of 19

I started making yogurt after reading this article by Harold McGee.  The technique he describes has worked perfectly every time for me, using both whole milk & 2% milk + powdered milk.  I let it ferment in a gas oven with the pilot light on for 4 hours, refrigerate it overnight, then strain it.  I've never had a problem with graininess; it's very creamy & mild.  I think I used some locally made lebni as a starter, about 18 months ago.

The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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post #18 of 19

Hi Gayle,

A cooler.  Never thought of that.   I did use the oven back when I had a pilot light, but now days the gas ovens use electronic start just like the burners, and I don't have a "warm" setting.  The first time I made yogurt after purchasing the new stove, I regretting getting rid of the old one.

 

I will try the cooler and see how that does. Also, maybe the heating pad would work in the cooler.  I did set my (large) pot inside of a tote with towels wrapped around the outside of the heating pad.  Sat all night and nothing, still liquid in the AM.  

 

In winter I do have quart jars, from using the stuff canned in them!   In summer, it is easier to incubate them, IMO.

Donna

 

UPDATE: Hi Gayle,

I am going to try the cooler method today!  I am worried that even that will cool down too much, though because I keep the house really cool in winter.  I'm actually comfy that way (I hate summer).   So I am going to surround the quart jars with a little warmer water (hot tap water).  I don't think it will heat up the jars substantially.   I'm operating on the theory that water is one of the slowest substances to transfer heat (as in putting your frozen turkey in a sink of cold water for safe overnight thawing).    I'll report when done.

 

I'm going to sterilize the jars with bleach instead of boiling water.  I've done this in the past when making yogurt with no ill effects.  :)

 

LAST UPDATE:

I used the cooler method last night and it worked great!   Six quarts plus a pint of starter for the next batch in 6 hours.  It was a good firm set, too. 

I used hot tap water around the jars (which I believe enhanced the effect).  The only problem was the styrofoam cooler leaked onto the chair I had it on. (Dogs would have been too nosy to leave it on floor.)  So I'm going to have to dig around under the stairs in the basement to find the real cooler, which I believe is full of old wine.  Probably not good any more, I think it has been at least 5 years since I was in that cooler.   But it might be fun tasting it!

 

Just a FYI, cooler, warm quart jars, hot tap water - success on large batches!

Donna

Donna


Edited by IndyGal - 3/3/11 at 2:29pm
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumio View Post

I started making yogurt after reading this article by Harold McGee.  The technique he describes has worked perfectly every time for me, using both whole milk & 2% milk + powdered milk.  I let it ferment in a gas oven with the pilot light on for 4 hours, refrigerate it overnight, then strain it.  I've never had a problem with graininess; it's very creamy & mild.  I think I used some locally made lebni as a starter, about 18 months ago.



By grainy, I didn't mean anything you could taste of feel with your mouth, as in say.... fudge with some sugar crystals.  But looking at it, is definitely isn't as perfectly smooth as cream cheese is, and when you spread it, it is in (tiny) lumps.  At least mine is, and I make a lot of it.

DD

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