8

I have a yogurt maker and a so-called Greek yogurt maker; the latter is basically a fancy strainer. Both gadgets are from Euro Cuisine. My process for making yogurt is as follows:

  • Scald milk at about 180º F for about 20 minutes
  • Let milk cool to between 100 and 110º F
  • Add starter culture
  • Incubate in yogurt maker for 8 hours
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

The yogurt seems pretty thick to me when I take it out of the machine after the incubation, but the instructions that came with the yogurt maker say that the last step, refrigerating, is needed for the yogurt to set properly.

The instructions that came with the Greek yogurt maker say:

  • Put yogurt into strainer
  • Leave in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, longer for greater thickness.

My question is: if I make a batch of regular yogurt intending to convert it to Greek yogurt, do I need to follow the last step of refrigerating the yogurt for 4 hours before putting it in the strainer to make Greek yogurt? Or can I just put the yogurt into the strainer as soon as the 8 hour incubation period is done?


Update: I checked with the manufacturer and got an email back from them that said:

You can move the content of your yogurt made in the YM100 into GY50 after yogurt is ready, without putting the yogurt in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

5

It isn't necessary, and many recipes don't call for it.

But the results will be slightly different, since the yogurt will continue to ferment (even in the fridge), and the gel structure of the proteins will set. That will alter composition of the whey that you're straining out, which means the resulting difference will have a slightly different texture and flavor.

Since that texture and flavor also depend on the milk you use, the temperature you process it at, the strain of culture you use, etc. I can't really say exactly what the differences will be, and how significant they are. You'd have to make it yourself and see -- and, of course, decide which you prefer.

I can say, however, that you won't ruin a batch of yogurt by straining before refrigerating.

2

I have found that draining the yogurt while still warm yields a thicker end result, and more whey drained. I prefer it that way, but it does make a rather thick product that may not be to everybody's liking. I make much of my yogurt into tzatziki and therefore prefer it thicker. I also salt and dehydrate my cucumbers and thoroughly drain them to avoid the addition of too much additional water to the finished product.

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