Introduction to Yoghurt Making

Yoghurt making at home is a lot of fun and quite easy once you get the hang of it. The benefits of making yoghurt at home is that you get to decide how much preservatives, stabilisers, sugar and colorants you put into your yoghurt but better yet, you get to leave all of that out! Homemade natural yoghurt has a refreshingly clean, tart and fresh taste that once you have grown accustomed to it you will reluctantly eat or buy shop-bought yoghurt ever again.

Different types of Yoghurt

Yoghurt cultures (or yoghurt starters as it is also called) are one or a combination of various bacteria. The natural yoghurt starter (included in this kit) contains 2 very beneficial bacteria called Lactobacillus Lactis and Streptococcus Thermophillus.

Yoghurt cultures across the world can be divided into 2 main groups: they are either Thermophilic or Mesophilic. Thermophilic means “heat loving” and mesophilic literally means “medium loving”.

Thermophilic yoghurt cultures incubate at higher temperatures (between 40°C and 45°C) and Mesophilic yoghurt cultures incubate at lower temperatures (between 21°C and 25°C). Examples of typical Thermophilic yoghurts are Natural, Greek, Bulgarian and Vegan yoghurt. Examples of typical Mesophilic yoghurts are Viili, Matsoni, Piima and Filmjölk.

Direct vat set vs heirloom yoghurt cultures

Another distinction that can be made regarding yoghurt cultures is that they are either a Direct Vat Set (DVS) starter culture or an Heirloom yoghurt culture.

Although DVS cultures can stretch very far, they will ultimately be depleted. Heirloom culture is said to be able to perpetuate infinitely so that your grandchildren will someday still be able to make yoghurt from the same batch you bought! The yoghurt in your kit is a DVS culture that can be stretched to easily make 50 litres of yoghurt. Page 8 will show you how you can use the “Daughter culture” technique to stretch your culture even further.