Sous Vide Yogurt Three Ways

Photo by  Jennifer Schmidt  on  Unsplash

I've made my own yogurt in the slow cooker that turned out great, but now that I have a sous vide immersion circulator, I wanted to try making yogurt the sous vide way as well.  

At first glance, it may seem like making yogurt sous vide style is overkill, but one thing I really liked about it is that I could make different flavors of yogurt by infusing the milk with different aromatics during the initial heating process.

If you make your yogurt in a slow cooker, you can only infuse with one flavor, but since the sous vide yogurt gets made in jars, you can put a different flavor in each jar! Think of all the aromatics you can infuse your sous vide yougurt with:

  • Vanilla bean
  • Chai, pumpkin pie, or apple pie spice
  • Citrus zest
  • Lavender 
  • Basil or Rosemary
  • Ginger

I followed the instructions here for the most part, although I did adjust some of the temperatures slightly.

After filling my jars with milk, I screwed on the lids and placed them in my sous vide water bath that I set to 167°F. for 2 hours. After the initial heating of the milk, I cooled the jars down to 117°F by removing most of the hot water and adding cold tap water. 

Once the temperature was down to 117°F, I added the yogurt starter which was just plain store bought Greek yogurt with active cultures. For two of the jars, I added a probiotic tablet to see if I could make yogurt straight from the probiotic. Here's what I put into each of my five mason jars of milk:

Quart Jar 1- 1 Tablespoon Greek Yogurt (whisk it in well)
Quart Jar 2- 2 Probiotic tablets (break the tablet and sprinkle in the powder then stir to combine)
Pint Jar 1- 1 Probiotic tablet
Pint Jar 2- Half Tablespoon Greek Yogurt
Pint Jar 3- Half Tablespoon Greek Yogurt+ 2 Teaspoons Chai Spice Blend

After all the jars had their starter cultures added, I screwed the lids back on and placed them back in the water bath. This time I set the temperature of my immersion circulator to 110°F and set the time to 12 hours.  I actually ended up taking the mason jars out of the water bath after 10 1/2 hours and all of the yogurt turned out perfectly! 

Th yogurt that was made with the probiotic tablet was a bit less tangy than the yogurt made with the Greek yogurt starter, but it was still good.  

I dumped all of the yogurt into a strainer lined with a tea towel so some of the whey could drain off.  This step isn't necessary, but it makes the yogurt thicker. I may have left the yogurt to drain too long because it ended up being thicker than a typical Greek yogurt. 

You can choose not to drain your yogurt at all, but if you do end up with super thick yogurt after draining, you can always add some of the whey back in to get it just right.

After an hour of draining the whey, I put the yogurt into containers and refrigerated it.  You can make your own yogurt for a fraction of the cost of purchasing it. Using an immersion circulator makes it easy to control the temperature and come out with consistent yogurt results every time. 

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