I have a yogurt maker. Hubby bought it for me when we first moved out here on the farm and the goats started producing milk. (Hubby is lactose intolerant and my Kid would eat a $3.00 bought goat yogurt a day). I used it a couple of times but never could get it to come out good enough.
Trying again, but this time, without the yogurt maker. I'm using my crockpot. I tried it last weekend, without looking up a recipe at all, so naturally, it didn't work. Did make a very nice cheese tho!
Then I googled "how to make yogurt without a yogurt maker" and came across a wonderful blog of a person who cooked 365 in her crockpot. Yogurt was just one of those days.
Here's the condensed version but reduced to fit my 3 quart crockpot and using my ingredients:
Suggestion: Start in early or mid morning to get best results.
6 cups of fresh whole goat milk (qt and a half) (I pour mine directly from filterer)
1/3 cup plain yogurt (if Dannon, use a bit more)
(Someday I will try 1/4 tsp probiotic instead ,as suggested elsewhere)
-Pour milk into crockpot and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.
-Turn off crockpot and let sit for 3 hours.
-Take out about 2 cups of the milk in a glass measuring cup.
-Whisk in yogurt or probiotic to the measuring cup.
-Pour back to crockpot. Lightly stir to combine. Cover with heavy towel to keep warmth in.
-Let sit overnight.
To make it thicker, stir in a couple pinches of tapioca starch or unflavored gelatin to the yogurt starter (mix well then add).
Serve with a drizzle of pureed fruit or honey or agave nectar or maple syrup. I'm gonna portion some out and add some powdered dehydrated fruit and either refrigerate or pour into popsicle molds for a frozen treat later.
Keep some of the plain to the side (in the fridge) to use as a starter next time.
And to keep it super healthy, pour your finished yogurt into 4 or 8 oz jelly jars, top with lid, screw on the ring and refrigerate. Good to add to your loved ones' lunch boxes without adding more waste to the trash can. The current batch I have going ... I'll add some pureed raspberry to the bottom of one, pureed peach to another, homemade blackberry jam to another. Gives us variety even tho it doesn't last long.
Update March 2014: You need everything to be exactly perfect for this to work. Have you tried it? Were you successful, or did you end up with warm milk? For those of you who were successful, please please please give us your tips here!