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I bought some Yogourmet yogurt starter packages and it says to use 5g per 1L of milk. However, if I am making a gallon at a time - is more starter actually required than it would be for just 1L?

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Recipes call for a certain amount of starter to maximize the chances that your starter bacteria will crowd out undesirable wild bacteria.

If you use too little starter you will increase the chances that some random bacteria will win the incubation war. Since you don't know what you will get this can be actually dangerous.

I would recommend making an initial batch with the ratio the starter recommends and then using that finished yogurt as a starter for a second, larger batch. Since you would then have the entire first batch to use as a starter you can scale up your recipe for larger batches.

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    Just to add on, make sure you sterilize your fermentation vessels as much as you can beforehand, which your instructions should tell you as well. And remember that even if you did EVERYTHING perfectly, if anything looks, smells, or tastes off somehow, you're always better off safe than sorry. That said, if you continue fermenting things, your environment will start getting seeded with good bacteria, which means it literally gets easier the more you do it. :) – kitukwfyer Jun 15 at 21:54
  • But why can I just use a small amount of starter for an indiscriminate amount of yogurt the next time? Shouldn't it be the same argument then? Why all of a sudden does it not matter the second time around.. you are still colonizing a new batch of milk. – Adam Thompson Jun 15 at 22:44
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    You wouldn't use a small amount of starter the next time. You would scale up the amount of starter for the larger batch so you keep the correct ratio. After making one batch you would have a lot more starter available. – Sobachatina Jun 16 at 0:29
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Yes, it is required. You have to ensure that the microbes you want dominate those that are still present in the milk, even after pasteurization/heating. This is achieved by adding a sufficient starting number and maintaining the environment (e.g., warmth) for their optimal growth.

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