yogurt making

Making yogurt at home is surprisingly simple, and it tastes heaps better than the bought stuff. When you allow it to culture for 24 hours the good bacteria have time to breakdown the lactose and proteins which some people (most of us actually) are intolerant to, making it a safe food for just about everybody.  You also get a good dose of friendly probiotic bacteria to help balance your gut and keep it in tip top shape. A healthy gut = a healthy body!

Now you can love yogurt that loves you back!

Equipment needed

  • Yogurt maker thermos style (non-electric) such as EasiYo or Hansells available from most supermarkets OR a sterilized jar and an esky
  • Saucepan
  • Milk thermometer or candy thermometer
  • Strainer/sieve (if you want to drip your yogurt to make it thicker or to make cream cheese)
  • Cheese cloth (optional)



1 litre Organic cow or goat’s milk

A starter – either 1/3 cup of left over yogurt from your last batch, or buy a good quality organic yogurt such as Schultz organic dairy, or a purpose made yogurt starter

Calcium chloride (optional – a few drops for a thicker yogurt)



  1. Gather all your equipment on your kitchen bench
  2. Over a medium heat warm the milk to 70 deg Celcius,or just below boiling point. Watch carefully, do not allow it to reach a boil. Heating the milk to this temperature helps to denature (un-coil) the proteins

If you have access to raw (un-pasturised) milk from your own cow or from a neighbour DO NOT heat it at all.

  1. IMPORTANT! Remove the milk from the stove and allow to cool to 40-45 deg celcius. (Any hotter will kill the live beneficial bacteria)
  2. Once at 40 deg C stir through your culture (yogurt culture, or 1/3 cup of reserved yogurt from you last batch or a good quality organic yogurt with live cultures – I used Schulz Organic Dairy natural yogurt with acidophilus, bifido and casei strains)
  3. Strain through a sieve into your jar or yogurt maker, using a spoon to push through any fine lumps of yogurt
  4. Place your jar into an esky and fill to half way up the jar with hot (but not boiling water) to make a water bath. OR place in your yogurt maker/thermos and follow the directions. Eg I use the Hansells benchtop yogurt maker.
  5. Set aside in a warm place for 24 hours. It is important to leave your yogurt to culture for an extended period of time. The good bacteria go to work breaking down the lactose and the casein (proteins) in the milk and turning it into yogurt. After 24 hours all the lactose (milk sugar) will be broken down into glucose and galactose ready for easy absorption and the proteins are also pre-digested, making it safe for everyone (even those who are intolerant to other dairy products), except perhaps for those with a genuine diagnosed IgE dairy allergy.
  6. At this point put your yogurt in the fridge or “drip it” to make a thicker yogurt. To “drip” your yogurt place it inside a cheese cloth and place in a strainer over the top of a bowl to catch the liquid whey. After an hour or so you will have some whey which you can keep for making kefir or fermented vegies, and a thicker yogurt or labneh. The longer you drip it, the thicker it gets.
  7. Enjoy plain or with some fruit, nuts or seeds. This yogurt can also be used as a base for home-made ice-cream.

It tastes delicious, retains some natural sweetness, and gives your body a healthy dose of probiotic bacteria. It keeps really well in the fridge for a couple of weeks, if it lasts that long!


*it is illegal to sell raw milk in Victoria, if you find it in a retail shop it will be marked as “bath milk” and “not for human consumption”. Raw milk sold in shops must now have a bittering agent added to make it unpalatable. People found selling raw milk can now be fined $50,000 (as of Feb 2015).

You can also make coconut milk or almond milk yogurt but you will need to add a setting agent such as pectin. There are instructions and cultures available from www.greenlivingaustralia.com.au