Friday, March 12, 2010

Humble Homemaker

I have a question for all you granola munchers out there.

I used to make yogurt a lot, a tradition which fell by the wayside as soon as I realized that I was expecting my third child. I'm ready to pick it up again, happily, but I have a question about the process that the Internet seems at a loss to answer for me.

In every set of directions I find, they recommend heating the milk to 180 degrees and then cooling the milk to 110 degrees to add the starter. I understand why you would want the temp at a certain point for the starter, but why would one heat the milk to 180 to begin with? If I am using store bought milk I wouldn't need to pasteurize it, so what is the point? I don't get it.

If any of you know why I would need to do this, can you please enlighten me? I would love to know!


scmom (Barbara) said...

Even though the milk was pasteurized, it could still grow another bacteria in the process of growing yogurt (you're dealing with milk that might not have been stored perfectly, as well as your own kitchen utensils/pots pans which might have bacteria). It's just a double check. I also sterilize the pot, thermometer and spoons by boiling them in the water (I use the double boiler method -- if you don't you could just boil them in a small pot of water). I don't think you can be too careful -- no one wants to get a nasty stomach illness from their home made yogurt.

Rachel Koniar said...

I thought the reason to heat up the milk had to do with breaking down an enzyme so it can form the yogurt. Not sure though.

I've been making my own yogurt all year, and never had any problems. I heat the milk to simmer for four minutes, then I cool it until I can test the temp with my finger for ten seconds without getting burned.

Not scientific, but it's always worked for me. Never gotten sick. According to my mom, who had some training in food safety, even when milk goes "bad" or sour, it still doesn't hurt you. That's what sour cream, and sour milk is anyway.

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