RE: Yogurt maker
Posted Friday, September 20, 2013 at 8:24 AM
Years and years ago when I was in high school and college I had a yogurt maker to make my own yogurt. Unfortunately when I left my first husband it got left behind. (I was escaping a violent relationship and was hurrying.) That was in 1980. Finally today I found a new yogurt maker so I can make my own yogurt again! The directions for this yogurt maker says that the processing time for non-dairy milk will be longer. Also in the instrucions it says that freeze dried starter culture is available rather than using a pre-made yogurt. Has anyone used this before and know where to buy it? A health food store?
I usually let my yogurt (dairy or not) process for 12 hours (+/- half an hour) because I like it really thick - after it's done I drain off some whey/liquid to make it extra creamy thick.
Also, we found that using commercial almond milk did NOT work at all because of the added ingredients that are designed to keep it from separating. With yogurt, you want it to be able to separate sort of. Using homemade almond milk worked well enough (but it was our first try at the homemade so it was not quite as smooth, not strained finely enough so there was a bit of almond 'grit' in it which wasn't as pleasant). Not sure how it would do with other commercial milks.
We get our yogurt starter from a beer/wine/cheese making supply shop locally. But, it is available online as well. Check the info with your yogurt maker.
Keep in mind too that you need to check the starter - for the most part (though not all) they are prepared using milk to grow the culture before it is dried. So, it depends on where you want to draw the line. http://www.culturesforhealth.com/vegan-dairy-free-yogurt-starter.html