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Overhead shot of 24-hour yogurt in a bowl, topped with granola and berries

Homemade 24-Hour Yogurt


  • Author: Cassie Johnston
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 24 hours
  • Total Time: 25 hours
  • Yield: 2 quarts regular yogurt or ~1 1/2 quarts Greek yogurt
  • Category: Breakfast

Description

Making yogurt is one of the best and easiest ways to get started with fermenting foods in your own kitchen. This 24-hour yogurt is packed full of probiotics to keep your gut happy and healthy.


Ingredients


Instructions

Instant Pot Directions

  1. Pour the milk into the basin of your Instant Pot. Press the “Yogurt” button and adjust to the “Boil” mode (if your Instant Pot does not have a yogurt cycle, follow the Stovetop directions below). Let milk heat until the Instant Pot beeps to indicate the cycle is finished.
  2. Allow the milk to cool down to between 95°F-110°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, a good rule of thumb is that when it’s the right temperature, you should be able to hold your (clean!) finger in the milk to a count of 10. If it’s too hot to handle for 10 seconds, it’s still too hot.
  3. When the milk is sufficiently cooled, sprinkle in the yogurt culture and whisk well to combine. Or, if using prepared yogurt, ladle out a small amount of the warm milk into a small bowl, add in the yogurt, and whisk until smooth. Then add the mixture to the pot of milk, whisking well to combine.
  4. Turn the Instant Pot Yogurt function back on, this time adjusting until you see the time on the screen. Set to 24 hours. Close lid and let it ferment until the Instant Pot beeps.
  5. When the fermentation time is up, spoon the yogurt into mason jars for storage (the yogurt will thicken as it cools). If you want to make Greek yogurt, spoon the yogurt into a yogurt strainer or nut milk bag and let drain for 8-12 hours, or until it is the desired thickness.

Stovetop + Heating Pad Directions

  1. Pour the milk into a large soup pot. Heat over medium-low heat and whisk constantly until the yogurt reaches about 185°F or looks very frothy, but do not let boil.
  2. Allow the milk to cool down to between 95°F-110°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, a good rule of thumb is that when it’s the right temperature, you should be able to hold your (clean!) finger in the milk to a count of 10. If it’s too hot to handle for 10 seconds, it’s still too hot.
  3. When the milk is sufficiently cooled, sprinkle in the yogurt culture and whisk well to combine. Or, if using prepared yogurt, ladle out a small amount of the warm milk into a small bowl, add in the yogurt, and whisk until smooth. Then add the mixture to the pot of milk, whisking well to combine.
  4. Cover the pot, and then wrap completely in a large towel or blanket. Set the pot (with the blanket wrapped around it) on a heating pad set to Low for 24 hours.
  5. When the fermentation time is up, spoon the yogurt into mason jars for storage (the yogurt will thicken as it cools). If you want to make Greek yogurt, spoon the yogurt into a yogurt strainer or nut milk bag and let drain for 8-12 hours, or until it is the desired thickness.

Notes

  • There are as many different methods for keeping yogurt warm during fermentation as there are people making yogurt. I’ve been making yogurt for a lot of years, and the Instant Pot and heating pad methods are the two that always turn out for me. The thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need your yogurt to stay around 100°F for a full day. Some other options to try: on top of the fridge (it’s too cold for me), under the light in an oven (I don’t like having my oven occupied for a full day), using the “Warm” setting on a slow cooker (the “Warm” setting on my slow cooker is closer to 165°F, which will kill all the probiotics), in a cooler filled with boiling water (never tried it)
  • I’ve had good luck using all kinds of yogurt—ultra-pasteurized, pasteurized, and raw. Some people report not being able to get a good thick yogurt when using ultra-pasteurized milk.
  • Most times when I make yogurt, I use a fresh yogurt starter culture. This was recommended to me by my naturopath because you can control exactly which strains of bacteria are in each batch you make—something that is important if you’re struggling with gut or digestive issues. If you’re just looking to make yogurt on the cheap, using premade yogurt as your starter works perfectly fine!

Keywords: breakfast, snack, yogurt, Instant Pot

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