Yogurt Incubator
Yogurt maker
   Yogurt Incubator | Frozen Yogurt

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Yogurt Incubator

At the state far, the yogurt incubator sits waiting to be used. People mill around until finally someone steps up and says they want to make yogurt. The crowd looks around, but no one is sure which ingredients to use. There are several kinds of milk, including whole milk, skim milk, and non-fat milk. There is also even powered milk. An attractive and healthy looking lady dressed casually sees the utensil sitting on the counter and suggests that they make it in the incubator. She's made dairy products before, including yogurt, sour cream and buttermilk, and they always turned out great. At home, she has three incubators that include one made by Salton, and a yogurt maker by Donvier. The other people watch as she leads the way.

She pours a cup of milk into a double boiler and adds a 1/3 cup of dry milk. Then she gently heats it to 200 degrees F. to kill all pathogens. Two bystanders suggest she get it hotter, but she knows better. She removes it from heat and lets it cool. When it was between 108 and 112 degrees, she proceeds to the step that involves the incubator. She pours off a cup of the pasteurized milk into a container and adds 1/4 cup of store-bought yogurt. This is the starter culture, consisting of Streptococcus thermophilus, that will thicken the thin milk into the thick yogurt. A man in the audience asks if the bacteria in the active culture might cause a stomach ache, or even a serious medical disorder, and she explains that the Streptococcus thermophilus culture is not a probiotic and that it can not survive in the stomach. He asks how it survives in the milk, and she explains that it loves lactic acid. By now she is clearly tired of questions and moves on to the next step.

She knows the milk/culture solution has to be incubated to allow the culture to and perform the conversion process, so she puts the cups into the incubator. The incubator will keep it at 108 to 112 degrees F. for 4 hours, whereupon she'll move it into the refrigerator in order to stop the incubation process. Everyone leaves and comes back in 4 hours to check on the yogurt. The boiling, the incubation, and the refrigeration have all done their thing, and now they have 10 cups of fresh homemade yogurt.

Yogurt incubators are a great way to make yogurt in your home. There are many reasons to make homemade yogurt, whether it be the simple joy of eating something you made yourself or if its to avoid all the additives of commercial yogurt. Yogurt you make yourself may take a few tries to perfect, but with the right equipment and the proper technique, incubating your own yogurt can be an easy and fun process.
First, you need to get a yogurt incubator. Incubators can either be purchased or made from things laying around the house. Store-bought incubators come in many different forms, including polystyrene and metal. Polystyrene incubators work to insulate the heated yogurt cultures, keeping them at the right temperature to make the yogurt. Electric units are often made of metal and provide a steady, low amount of heat to the yogurt in order to activate the yogurt cultures. Either variety will set you back somewhere from $30 to $50 dollars; you use the unit multiple times to make many batches of delicious homemade yogurt. If you are interested in making your own incubator, you can use all sorts of random things laying around the house. It is important that, whatever you use for making your homemade yogurt, your materials are sterile and capable of insulating the yogurt properly. There is no point in making homemade yogurt without proper equipment if it will always create contaminated yogurt, so if this sounds too difficult for you, purchasing a commercial incubator may be a better idea.
Yogurt incubators are not the easiest things to find. They may be sold through health food stores, or they may also be available at major department stores. You can find some sold through many online retailers, also.
Once you've purchased one, you will want to make sure you have also acquired yogurt cultures. Yogurt cultures can be found, usually, wherever you got your incubator. Prepare the yogurt-and-milk mixture to put into the container. You can use all kinds of milk to make homemade yogurt: regular milk, goat milk, sheep's milk... even soy milk can be used with your yogurt incubator. Once you have poured the heated milk and yogurt culture mixture into the incubator, make sure all lids on the container are secure. Once all of that is in place, leave the yogurt mixture alone for several hours. It should take around four to five hours to get the yogurt to the desired consistency. It is important not to disturb the biological processes going on in the meantime, including removing the lid. Once the time has passed, you can now check on your homemade yogurt. The final product should, ideally, resemble commercial yogurt in texture. If not, you can let the yogurt incubate longer. It is important to not let the yogurt sit in the container for too long, or it may grow mold and become contaminated. You would have to throw it out, wash/sterilize everything, and start over.
   Your large amounts of dairy will require milk crate storage. Go to a warehouse to purchase wholesale sippy cups.