Making homemade yogurt is usually a simple process (especially with the foolproof method in the video tutorial and recipe here). Sometimes, however, you don’t get the results you wanted.
Here are some potential problems making homemade yogurt.
These problems and solutions are common for all of the typical methods of making homemade yogurt: crockpot, in a pot on the stove, yogurt maker, etc.
Problem: My yogurt has a yellow layer at the top (like the photo above).
Your milk was probably a bit too hot when you let it incubate. Make sure your next batch isn’t too hot when you add the starter. Some whey is normal, but if you’ve got more whey than yogurt, that’s not normal.
If the white portion is thickened, you can probably still use it. Just pour off the yellow part (that’s whey) and use the rest as is. You can also keep the whey and use it in place of milk in baked goods.
Problem: I waited the suggested 8+ hours but my milk is unchanged.
There are 2 possible solutions to this problem:
1. Your milk probably was too cool to properly incubate. Next time make sure your water bath is at least 110 degrees when you start. A probe themometer costs about $20 (I use this one) and will help you get the correct temperature. A probe thermometer is also helpful for other recipes like making sure meat is cooked to the right temperature.
Also, if it’s cool in your house, you might need to keep the oven light on or preheat the oven for a minute partway through your incubation period (take the pot out while you preheat).
2. OR your yogurt starter might be too weak. I usually save a quarter cup of yogurt to start a new batch, but every 5 or 6 batches, I buy a fresh container of plain yogurt. Fresh yogurt will contain the most active cultures and give you a better result.
You might be able to salvage this batch. Put the pot back on the stove on low and gently bring the temperature of the milk back up to about 105 degrees (it will continue to rise after you turn off the stove). Re-incubate for a couple more hours and see if your yogurt forms.
How long does homemade yogurt last?
I’ve never actually had a batch of homemade yogurt go bad. I’ve kept a jar of it in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. If you add fruit to your yogurt before you store it, it may no keep as long.
How do I know if my yogurt has gone bad?
If it has a slightly sour smell or taste, this is normal. If it smells bad or you see signs of mold, it’s time to dump it. Of course, use your judgment and err on the side of safety.
How can I get Greek-style yogurt or make my yogurt creamier?
Whole milk will produce creamier yogurt than skim milk. You can also strain off some of the whey with a cheesecloth or add ¼ c dry non-fat milk powder to a quart of milk when you add the starter.
Hopefully these tips will help you in case you have trouble making homemade yogurt.
Have you ever made homemade yogurt?
For more homemaking tips, see my Pinterest board.