It’s a pretty straight forward to some, but I’ve successfully made greek yogurt using whole milk using my sous vide circulator/cooker. I’ve looked for ways to hold a temperature at 105-110 degrees fahrenheit guaranteed for 24 hours. Until now, it was hit or miss for me. I recently purchased an Anova brand sous vide cooker/circulator for cooking chicken/beef/vegetables/fish at an even temperature unsupervised as I do other things. It’s also positively perfect for 24-hour yogurt incubation!
In this picture you can see the Cambro brand polycarbonate container holding 5 gallons of water. The Anova sous vide cooker you can see mounted to the corner, with the digital controls on the top displaying 108.9. The picture was taken during warming up. I fill 1 1/2 gallon (64-oz) Mason jar to the bar just above 6 cups with milk.
First I pre-warm the water to 110 degrees fahrenheit. I’ve have no issues with the whole milk in my area needing to be pasteurized (again) as most yogurt recipes always say to do. then I add 3 tablespoon yogurt starter into the milk. I use plain yogurt (purchased in large container) that has at least 5 bacteria strains on the label. I then make sure it’s stirred in very well, and throw a sealed lid onto the mason jar. Then, I toss the mason jar in with water up to the lid (not over it) and cover the top with saran wrap/plastic wrap. It keeps some of the heat in, and keeps the water from evaporating. Make sure the sous vide cooker is set to 110 degrees. That’s it for the incubation! Just set the timer for 24 hours, and come back.
Once 24 hours is up, grab a large strainer (not a handheld on, more the size of a colander so it can hold the yogurt) and line it with a double layer of cheese cloth. I personally don’t use cheese cloth, as I prefer muslin cloth which I picked up at Joann fabrics for cheap. I use it to cover mason jars while incubating water kefir & kombucha, along with fine straining. Then once it’s lined, put the strainer into a bowl or pot (suspended by a small jar/cup or something, to give room for the whey to collect). After, pour the entire bottle of yogurt into the lined strainer in the bowl/pot, then put that into the fridge. Give it at least 4 hours to strain naturally.
That’s pretty much all it takes! Now the only thing you need to do is scoop the super thick yogurt from the fabric and put it into the container of your choice. I find that it’s 50% yogurt, 50% whey when it’s finished. Save the whey if you want to use the protein! It makes a great replacement for water in some recipes, in smoothies to add nutrition, or add it into the water while making bread in a bread making machine. It has a nice amount of protein and other nutrients that are great for your health.
The sous vide way of cooking takes all the real work out of it, from my times of doing it. It’s so brainless to heat the sous vide to 110, pour milk to a line on a mason jar, scoop yogurt starter in, stir it up, cap it, then toss it in for 24 hours.