Homemade Fat-Free Yogurt in Excalibur Dehydrator

I started using my Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator for making yogurt, and it works very nicely!  I set the temperature to just a nudge above 105 degrees, time to 12 or so hours (just to make sure it stays on the whole time) and I let it stay on for a while to warm up a bit as I prepare the yogurt.

For the yogurt, I used fat-free milk.  It has a different characteristic than 1%/2%/whole milk, since the fat isn’t there to coagulate in large amounts.  It does create yogurt, it’s just the visual indicators of when it’s ready to stop fermenting isn’t as apparent.  I use 1/2 tablespoon plain greek yogurt as a starter for a 32-oz ball mason jar container, stirring it together in a little milk before filling the entire container.  Loosely put the top on, and toss it in the dehydrator for 8 hours.  At that point, visibly inspect the container every hour.  Look at the surface of the milk, which will start to be less white and more transparent.  This is the whey collecting at the top, a good indicator it’s time to pull the container out.  You should see layers of floating fragments whiter than the surrounding liquid, as well.
Pull the container out, and let it sit at room temperature for an hour or two, so the liquid slowly reaches lower temperatures.

At this point, if you want to strain the yogurt then toss it into there and into the refrigerator , otherwise just toss the container in the refrigerator for 6 or so hours and you’re set.  Personally I absolutely love my yogurt strained for 12-16 hours to remove the whey.  That reduces the carbohydrates and sugar by quite a bit, leaving the yogurt at about 5-6g of carbohydrates for 8 oz (1 cup) serving.

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