Author Topic: I'm not heating the milk for yogurt and it works, Why?  (Read 791 times)

Offline mdostal

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I'm not heating the milk for yogurt and it works, Why?
« on: February 15, 2013, 10:16:33 AM »
A few years ago, my Indian friend and I were talking about the oh so tasty Indian drink Lassi and I mentioned that buying all that yogurt gets expensive.  He told me that making yogurt is so easy, just fill a casserole dish with milk, add in a few large spoonfuls of live yogurt, stick it in the oven overnight (no heat, just normal unlit oven) and presto, you have yogurt.  I tried it and 12-24 hours later, my casserole dish was full of yogurt.

Recently I heard my sister say something about the work involved in making yogurt, I checked it out, and learned that there are all these steps that I'm missing (e.g. everything, including heating the milk).  Can someone tell me why what I'm doing works and if/why I should change to the more labor intensive process?  I read on a different post that heating the milk helps break down the proteins, and I understand that, but I don't understand why my way also works.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Marianna


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: I'm not heating the milk for yogurt and it works, Why?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 10:21:14 AM »
Why wouldn't it work? The basic process is to take bacteria and let it produce lactic acid to help set the milk and form a lactic gel. The type of bacteria used and the ratios affect texture and flavor. And heating to denature protein creates a stronger gel. So any lactic bacteria will work, just that the texture (thickness, mouthfeel, etc) varies with factors such as milk solids, bacteria type, temp, heating, etc.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 10:26:33 AM by linuxboy »
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: I'm not heating the milk for yogurt and it works, Why?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 11:02:13 AM »
Heating first kills off any unwanted bacteria.
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Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: I'm not heating the milk for yogurt and it works, Why?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 11:24:35 AM »
Heating the milk to around 181-185 degrees F denatures the whey proteins (as well as pasteurizing at the same time), which constitutes about 20% of the protein in milk. This allows it to coagulate with the rest of the protein for a slightly thicker end-product, and if straining the yogurt (aka Greek style), more of that protein would remain as well.
But you are right, you still get a cultured, thickened product without heating as well, while retaining any native bacteria in the milk, presumably along with less damage to other vitamins and enzymes as well.
I like a really thick, strained yogurt, so I always include the heating step.

Offline margaretsmall

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Re: I'm not heating the milk for yogurt and it works, Why?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 02:26:48 PM »
If you are buying milk (ie don't have access to raw milk) UHT milk works well and the heating step is done already.
Margaret


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Offline mdostal

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Re: I'm not heating the milk for yogurt and it works, Why?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 09:52:43 PM »
Thank you all so much.  I don't like not knowing why something is working when I'm doing it so differently from the normal instructions.  I really appreciate it. 

Yes, I do use regular 2% milk straight from the store when making the yogurt.  I don't have access to raw milk of any kind at this time, but I have some ideas about where to start looking when I am ready for it.