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So I know you can't use UHT milk to make cheese, because of the way the proteins get denatured at that temperature. But can you use it to make yogurt?

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11 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

UHT (Ultra High Temperature) processing kills all the pathogens in the milk, so it can be conserved for a long time. However to make yogurt you add bacteria (lactobacillus), so if there aren't other microorganism it should be even better.

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Right, except that UHT also denatures the proteins in the milk and prevents them from clumping in the same way as natural milk. This is what prevents UHT milk from making cheese. –  Daniel Bingham Dec 1 '10 at 16:54
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Are you sure it is the UHT that does that? I thought it was the homogenization. But anyway, yes you can use UHT milk to make yogurt. –  kzh Sep 13 '11 at 11:28
    
In yogurt the proteins don't need to form long chains and precipitate out of solution in the way they do for cheese. If it's true that UHT can't be used for cheese (I don't know either way) I imagine it's because the denaturing prevent the proteins from binding together, which does not matter for yogurt. –  Anthm Jan 31 at 0:37
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I have made excellent thick yoghurt with uht semi skimmed milk, for every 3 cups milk add 1 cup of skimmed milk powder and a couple of tablespoons of live yoghurt from fridge. I use my easiyo to make (I started with one of the packet mixes and used the yoghurt made to supply the 2 tablespoons - then I use the next batch to start a new one) works brilliantly. I use cup cake flavouring and stevia sugar to sweeten. Not fat free but low, thick and delicious and full of good bacteria. Tip - freeze some berries (I chop up grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and banana and put in single portion bags). When fully frozen tip into bowl and add 3-4 large spoons yoghurt above, stir in. Leave for 2 mins and yoghurt hardens. Just like having chunky icecream - I have daily yum!

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I produce yogurt for sale. I use UHT milk but along with milk powder.

Based on all the responses claiming to have done it, you will notice powdered milk is involved.

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I agree with Jackie - just add a little powdered milk. I've been using unheated UHT milk to make yoghurt for years, with fab results. I've also made cheese quite a few times with it. I've made yoghurt with pasteurized milk as well and the results were the same, just less convenient than UHT if you live in the boonies like me.

If you want to know how yoghurt and cheese are made, I suggest you get a book (yes, libraries still exist) and ignore the massive amount of 'evidence' on the internet.

And just 2 more points: 1) Greek yogurt is made by straining the whey from regular yoghurt. Even in Greece (I lived there).
2) making yoghurt is a bit of trial and error. never assume you don't like something after trying it only once. you'll need to tweak lots of things until you get it right (kind of like making the perfect loaf of bread).

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I use UHT milk for yogurt all the time. If you want a thicker texture try adding some powdered milk.

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UHT milk is great for making yoghurt. To thicken add a tablespoon of gelatine when the milk is approximately 45ºC then place the container in the yoghurt maker. You will only be able to thicken yoghurt by using an ingredient like gelative or guargum to thicken.

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-1. You can make perfectly good, thick yoghurt without gelling agents. Thick enough for a spoon to stand in it without falling. # –  rumtscho Nov 22 '12 at 10:49
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My mother used to make yogurt with UHT milk. But as Lorenzo said before, it doesn't have any bacteria. That's the reason why my mother used to add a little quantity of an existing yogurt in the mix of milk and sugar. Afterwards she put it in the yogurt-maker for a few hours and tada! you've got your homemade natural yogurt!

As Gapton says, the resultant yogurt is more watery (texture doesn't anything to do with greek yogurt for example), that is right, but I love it!! it is very natural, it's my childhood yogurt and I am still alive ;)

Hope this helps!

Btw, happy pancake day!!

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I have been making home-made yogurt for a month on an every-day basis.

I tried UHT once and it was extremely watery and flaky that I threw it away.

I have since sticked with fresh (skimmed/semi skimmed/whole) milk, which works perfectly.

I do notice that different brand of milk give a different texture too.

Puzzled, I searched on Google trying to find an answer why UHT milk can't be used, and found this. I do not have an answer myself but I thought it is helpful to share my own experience with making yogurt.

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UHT milk makes excellent yogurt. I have had it on several occasions and the texture was fantastic.

Even if you don't use UHT milk it is necessary to heat the milk to denature the albumin- otherwise it stays water soluble and washes out in the whey.

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yes you can. a co-worker from a few years back did just that. the fermentation comes from the culture, not from within the milk. i didn't try myself though.

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I believe the same issue would apply since yogurt is essentially a step on the path toward cheese. One recipe I looked at did say not to use UHT.

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No, it didn't. I've now seen recipes and comments where people say that their yogurt makers recommend UHT milk and that they typically do. Best thing to do, as with so many cooking ideas/questions....give it a shot and see how it works! Sounds like it must. –  Darin Sehnert Aug 8 '10 at 16:18
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