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Healthy Bacillus Bulgaricus Yogurt

Here's a down to earth way to make your own Lactobacillus Bulgaricus at home. Lactobacillus Bulgaricus is a natural 'white hat' probiotic that helps to crowd out 'black hat' bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract. When you make your own yogurt at home you are sure that there's no sugar, artificial colors, and no added flavor that is often found in commercially made yogurt

Heating the Milk

Ideally the main ingredient for yogurt is full cream raw milk, but standard full-cream milk from a store works fine. Heat the milk to near boiling and allow it to cool to room temperature. Remove the skin that will form on the top of the cooled milk. To make your yogurt slightly thicker add a heaped tablespoon of milk powder to every litre of milk and whisk the powder into the milk

The milk should be below 40 degrees celsius when adding the starter culture. A quick test is to place your hands around the warm milk container. If it feels comfortable it'll be okay for the starter culture

Add a Lactobacillus Bulgaricus & Streptococcus Thermophilus starter culture and whisk the mixture by hand using a simple hand whisk. I do this for a couple of minutes to ensure the added milk powder and L.Bacilicus culture is well dispersed. When done pour the mixture into your yogurt jars, I use 1 liter open top jars for this purpose

yogurt makers

Use a Yogurt Maker

During the yogurt making process the milk is kept at a steady temperature of about 40-44 degrees Celsius for about 8 hours. In summer 8 hours may be too long so check after 3 hours to see if the yogurt has set. I prefer the yogurt makers shown in the above image. They work well and each one can accommodate a 1 liter jar

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The Yogurt Needs Air

The yogurt bacteria need a little fresh air during the fermentation process. During that time they will produce a little moisture so place a clean paper towel over the open jar of milk-and-culture in the yogurt maker. Check that there is no contact with the milk. Then cover the yogurt maker with a clean folded-once cotton tea towel. This allows fresh air to reach the mixture whilst absorbing moisture and stopping possible contamination from flies and dust particles

I don't close the yogurt maker lid but place it crosswise on top of the tea towel so some fresh air can get under it and into the yogurt maker without losing too much warmth

If the room temperature is a tad low, as it can be here in New Zealand during winter, place an extra towel over the yogurt makers to help retain the warmth. The illustrated yogurt makers above have an internal air-wall so the glass jars inside with the milk normally stay warm for several hours following power-off. It's only during a cold winter that they need a little encouragement to stay warm


Notes

Warm Lactobacillus Bulgaricus yogurt in contact with plastic may leach chemicals from the plastic. I prefer glass containers for all acidic food and use 1 litre size glass jars for my yogurt making and yogurt storage

Boiling the milk for 3-5 minutes produces better yogurt than unboiled milk. Raw milk taken from a farm should always be boiled for a few minutes to reduce contamination risk

2 grams of dry starter is enough for 1 litre of milk. The amount of starter culture you use is your personal choice providing you use at least 2 grams /litre. I use a small teaspoon of culture powder for 2 litres of milk

Using a yogurt maker makes it easy to maintain a reasonably constant temperature at about 40 degrees Celcius for the whole process. Some electric crock pots have a yogurt setting which may be useful if you happen to have one in the kitchen

Lactobacillus Bulgaricus starter may be available locally at your store. If not there are online suppliers

Healthy James yogurt James

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