For this recipe, we are making a gallon of yogurt. If you want more or less, you can adjust it by doubling, halving the recipe, etc.
You can use cow or goat milk for this recipe. If you use goats milk, it will not be as thick, and will be more of a drinkable type of yogurt, like the consistency of kefir.
You start by taking your milk out of the fridge, and letting it sit on the counter until it reaches room temperature. If it is just a little bit cooler than that, it is fine. Or, if your milk is just fresh, you do not have to let it sit because it will already be the right temperature.
Put your gallon jar of milk into a double boiler, or pour it into a stainless steel pot. Put it on your burner and turn it on. Take the lid off your glass gallon jar, and put a thermometer in with the milk. This way you can keep an eye on it as the temperature rises. DO NOT LEAVE IT…..the temperature rises quickly!
Once it reaches 180℉, take your glass gallon jar out of the pot or double boiler. Place it on the counter, leaving in the thermometer, and keeping an eye on it until it drops back down to 110℉.
When the temperature arrives at 110℉, it is time to add in your yogurt starter. If you already have some yogurt on hand, (store-bought is okay) add in a cup and a half of that. Otherwise, you can buy yogurt starter packets, either at your local health food store, or online. We like the ones from New England Cheese Company. Add one packet per gallon. Stir well, whichever method you use.
After you have added your starter, put the lid back on your jar. Place your jar, wrapped in a towel, in a cooler, and latch the lid. Leave overnight, or for 8-12 hours.
Take out, and refrigerate….then enjoy! It will keep for about 5-7 days. After that, is usually gets a little sour.
Make sure you save some of your yogurt, so you can use your own starter, next time!