So, I got down to the make-or-break remains of my store bought yoghurt yesterday. Granted, it was one of those biodynamic, ABC culture brand of creations, but in the interests of sticking with my Plastic Free July commitment then I was really going to have to give this DIY yoghurt thing a go without further ado.

After scouring a bunch of web pages that usually begin with the question 'do I need to buy a yoghurt maker?', I came across a pretty simple set of instructions that responded with 'no, not really' (I do have an old SEB one somewhere in storage, but I've yet to find new replacement containers for it - and I'm not too keen on putting warm dairy products into 30 year old plastic containers).

A food thermometer is pretty much the only gadget you'll need. Though I'm guessing that back in the days before they had those things people generally just used their eyes and experience. Yay for the good old fashioned paying of attention eh?

Turns out it's a much more simple process than I imagined;
Heat your milk (full cream is best) up to around 80 celsius (when the milk is *just* starting to bubble - about 15 minutes from cold), cool it off to about 50 degrees (took about 40 minutes), stir in a tablespoon or two culture from previous batch of yoghurt that has been warmed up to room temperature, whisk it in well and then pour it into a glass jar. Wrap a towel around it and keep it somewhere warm for 6-10 hours.

These are instructions for a batch made from 2 cups of milk and where the ambient temperature was around 25 degrees. Also, you'll need to use a yoghurt that has live cultures (not all do - look for plain yoghurt with aBc cultures - in Australia, Jalna yoghurt is a good choice).

And voila! I now have a modest batch of homemade plain yoghurt. I'm not sure how long I can keep using the same yoghurt to make a new batch - time and experimentation will tell!

Full disclosure; this isn't 100% plastic free as I can't source milk in anything but plastic or carton (which has some plastic in it), but it still counts towards my goal of buying less plastic overall.

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