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I have made frozen yogurt for the first time yesterday. It was stored overnight in the freezer at -18°C (-0.4°F). When I checked it this morning it had solidified a lot more than I had expected.

Is this normal for home-made frozen yogurt?

Is the temperature too low?

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Are you sure the freezer temperature was 18°C? This is very high also for a fridge. So either it wasn't really a freezer or you state the wrong temperature. My guess would be, you meant -18°C (around 0°F). –  Martin Turjak Jul 28 '13 at 11:23
    
Are you talking about temperature during the fermentation, or after you have churned and frozen? This is very confusing. –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 28 '13 at 12:43
    
@MartinTurjak Correct, I stated the wrong temperature. –  Arnold Zokas Jul 28 '13 at 17:05
    
@SAJ14SAJ I meant storage. –  Arnold Zokas Jul 28 '13 at 17:05
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

-18°C (-0.4°F) is not too low for storage (as this would be the normal temperature of a household freezer, where I store my ice cream and frozen yogurt. I definitely wouldn't set the temperature higher if I store also other stuff in the same freezer).

For serving you would probably want to let it sit out a little bit, so that it softens up a little so that you can scoop it (same as with ice cream).

If it is way too solid, you maybe let it thaw too much before storing.

  • Then, you can fix the texture by re-blending it in a mixer (you can get even more ideas if you search for recipes on "how to make a frozen yogurt/ice cream without an ice cream maker" - often it involves freezing in an ice cube tray for easier blending).

  • Or by thawing it again and using an ice-cream maker to get the desired texture.

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That's great - thanks for the tips. Marking as accepted. –  Arnold Zokas Jul 28 '13 at 17:06
    
You can also store things like this in the door - it's generally a bit warmer than the rest of the freezer. –  Jefromi Jul 28 '13 at 17:12
    
household freezers are actually too warm (and the temperature cycles too damaging) for long term ice cream storage. This is why ice cream has a shelf life (for quality, not safety) of about a month under home storage conditions. –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 30 '13 at 11:41
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I have read somewhere (maybe The Perfect Scoop? But I don't have the book here to check) that the best storage temperature for home-made ice creams and other frozen desserts is -6°C. And I have the same problem as you, with homemade desserts being generally too hard, even without the presence of noticeable crystals. They just don't have as much overrun and dry matter as the store-bought ones, which are formulated for colder storage.

As Martin says, keeping other stuff at -6°C will affect the storage time of other products stored in the same freezer. If you don't have a freezer with separate compartments, you will have to decide between keeping it at ice-cream-friendly temperature or using it mainly for long term storage.

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Thanks! Just started reading that book - it is excellent! –  Arnold Zokas Jul 30 '13 at 10:48
    
per IDFA, the ideal storage temperature is -20 F (-28 C). They don't say, but for serving, around 10 F (-12 C) is what I recall from days as an ice cream store guy, in order for it to be softer for scooping, and have better perceived flavor. idfa.org/news--views/media-kits/ice-cream/… Journal of dairy science concurs. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21524511 You will see some consumer oriented sites that recommend higher temperatures, but those are not ideal for longer storage. Don't know if this applies to frozen yogurt; I suspect it does. –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 30 '13 at 11:38
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@SAJ14SAJ Interesting. I frankly don't remember my source, could have been one of the "customer oriented sites" you mention. The IDFA seems to assume store-bought ice cream, I wonder if their info also apply to homemade versions. The pubmed link talks of quality difference after 19 and 39 weeks of storage, and such long storage times just don't happen to homemade ice cream, at least in my home :) –  rumtscho Jul 30 '13 at 13:40
    
Yeah, its all commercial :-) Home freezers cannot get anywhere close to the range required for long term storage, which is why ice cream at home--whether store bought or homemade--just doesn't last that long. Otherwise, homemade would be the same. Ice cream is one of the few products where preservatives are almost never used, and the quality ones don't even have unusual ingredients like carageenan. –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 30 '13 at 13:43
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