Incubation chamber

Incubation chamber

So we had a sturdy Omaha Steak cube just hanging around, but this would work in any cooler. I filled it with warm tap water, and then added an aquarium heater and popped in a thermometer just for curiosity’s sake. It works wonderfully and keeps the water between 85-95 degrees perfectly, and it’s entirely cat proof with books on top.

So er, water weighs a lot, and the pressure of having a few gallons of water in this cube caused it to crack and then the water seeped through the wood floor into the basement, ruining the ceiling of the basement and rotting some wood molding below. If I were to do this again, I’d use a plastic bin with a foam cooler inside it.



yogurt drink

So I am pretty addicted to Kefir and drinkable yogurt, but at nearly 2 dollars for 8-10 ounces, I can’t bring myself to buy them. They are a better value at the 32 ounce bottles, but I like the portability of a smaller portion. (Also the smaller portion keeps me from drinking all 32 ounces in one go)

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to make this at home. I’ve tried making my own kefir, which went badly, though I may try again now that I have a better incubator chamber. And I’ve tried to make my own yogurt, which has been a trial of various methods, but I think I’ve finally hit a method that consistently works. And then how to incorporate the fruit and sweeteners? The first few attempts were pretty good, but had periodic lumps of yogurt and or fruit that were a bit disconcerting.

Making yogurt:

3/4 of a gallon good whole milk (you can use any fat content, but I went with full fat as the latest research suggests it’s a “good” fat)
6 ounces of yogurt. We’ve used both Fage and Hannaford’s version of Chobani. You really don’t need to measure this, it’s mostly dollups.
2 half gallon mason jars (or quarts if that’s all you have)
Immersion blender (you could use a regular blender if that’s all you have, but oh so much easier with immersion blender)
Something that can hold water at about 85-95 degrees for many hours.

  1. Get your water bath to 85-95 degrees
  2. Pour milk into your half gallon jars, leave about 4 inches from the top
  3. Add half the yogurt to one jar, the other half to the other.
  4. Put the immersion blender into the mason jar, blend, add a little more milk (to the shoulders of the jar) and then blend again.
  5. Cover the jars with plastic lids (metal will work, but they’ll rust quickly, I suspect even plastic wrap and rubber bands would work
  6. Put the jars in the water bath. Make sure the water comes up to the shoulders of the bottles.
  7. Wait 6-16 hours. I generally do it at night before bed, and then move them to the fridge when I remember…
  8. Let them cool in the fridge for a few hours, it helps the yogurt gel up a bit.

Making fruit syrup

frozen or fresh fruit – I’ve been using Wyman’s Berries mostly because it comes in 3 lb bags and it’s reasonably priced.
honey or other sweeteners

  1. On the stove put about a pound of fruit into a pot on medium
  2. Add in about 4 ounces of honey, the amount will vary depending how sweet your fruit is and what sweeteners you use
  3. Heat until the fruit starts to break down
  4. Take your ever handy immersion blender and puree the fruit. At this point you could also strain out the seeds if you really wanted to.
  5. Allow to cool enough that it won’t burn you if it splashes (it will splash, consider an apron)

Putting it all together!

A large bowl, preferably with a pour spout like this one
Containers for your yogurt drink, I use pint jars, but have also used the same half gallon jars I made the yogurt in if I know I’ll just be home drinking it.
Canning funnels vastly improve the pouring process

  1. Half fill your batter bowl with yogurt
  2. Pour in 1/4 of the fruit sauce *I generally eyeball this
  3. Immersion blend
  4. Using a canning funnel, pour into smaller jars
  5. Repeat until you are out of yogurt

3/4 of a gallon of milk, 1 lb of fruit, 4 ounces of honey, 6 ounces of yogurt = 160 ounces of yogurt or approximately 8 pint jars and a quart jar (or in this case half of a half gallon since it was already “dirty”


Approximate nutrients:
in 8 ounces (around 50 cents)
(2 servings per jar)
130 calories
5 g fat
15 g sugar
6 g protein

%d bloggers like this: