Hmm... I tried making yogurt at home several times, I must have spoiled 4-5 gallons of milk trying to make a perfect curd/yogurt. Never turned up good and used to through it away. I finally did it and now everyday i make at home and we eat fresh home made yogurt. It is simple but need some careful steps.
Yogurt Culture - First time I bought fresh plain yogurt from local store and re used home made yogurt as a culture.
* Bring the milk to boil. Stirring occasionally let the milk for complete boiling. Keep an eye on that otherwise it gets spilled all over.
* Let the boiled milk to cool at room temperature. It should be warm before adding the culture. Take a spoonful of milk and try to drink that!. if you feel it too hot, wait for some more time or if it has become cold, heat it up a little bit. It should be moderate temperature.
* Now transfer the warm milk to another container, I use bowls to make yogurt.
* Add 4-5 tbs of yogurt culture for 5 cup of milk. You need more yogurt culture to make a good yogurt.
* Once you add the culture stir really well, the culture should mix completely with yogurt. This is was one step I used to miss earlier. May be you have stir 40 or 50 times.
* Warm temperature is necessary for the bacteria to react. This was another mistake I did. I used to keep it just like that on top of countertop and never successuful making best yogurt.
Couple of ways you can help bacteria to act. During winter days you have to make sure there is a right temperature. You can try doing these simple steps
- Turn on the conventional oven for some time and turn it off. Keep this cultured milk inside the oven.
- Or turn on the stove for some time and keep on top of that.
- If you have plans to cook lunch or dinner. Plan it before and heat the milk at least 1 hour before initiating cooking. Since the stove will be hot, keep the cultured milk near the stove where it gets light heat. Even after your cooking is done, the stove will be hot for sometime and that temperature is good enough for making nice yogurt. - I follow this and for me it is now so easy withing 5-6 hours yogurt will be ready.
I hope this will help you to make a fresh home made yogurt. Enjoy!