Making Dairy Free Yoghurt at Home

Discussion in 'Free From and Specialist Diets' started by SatNavSaysStraightOn, 13 Nov 2016.

  1. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn (Site Owner) Staff Member

    NSW, Australia
    I recently picked up a yoghurt maker for AUD $10. (That's less than £7.50.)

    I'm about to try to make my first batch of dairy free yoghurt (being allergic to dairy, this makes sense to me!) and I was wondering why the instructions tell me I must bring the soya milk to the boil and allow it too cool to 40ºC before mixing in the live (dairy free) yoghurt whilst I don't have to do this with cow's milk.

    More importantly, do I have to do this with other non-dairy milks or is it just with soya milk?
  2. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    Well, you know, I always thought that you had to introduce the 'culture' to hand-hot cow's milk. I've never heard of adding it to freshly boiled cow's milk. Surely, the culture would be killed off if the milk was at boiling point?
  3. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    These instructions say 46C for cow's milk but not just off the boil...

    Oh - I just realised perhaps you are saying that you don't need to bring cow's milk to the boil at all. You mean that the instructions say just heat to 40C for cow's milk?

    If that's what you mean, then I guess its to do with bacteria? That's the only reason I can think of! Pasteurised milk wouldn't pose a risk if simply heated to 40C.

    What are you using as a non-dairy culture?
    Last edited: 13 Nov 2016
  4. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn (Site Owner) Staff Member

    NSW, Australia
    My instructions say (from the pamphlet that came with it)
    • 1200ml (6 glass jars) of fresh, pasteurised milk or soy milk
    • 200ml (1 jar) pf plain, unflavoured yoghurt
    1. Pout the milk into a large bowl (if using soy milk you must boil this first and allow it to cool to 40C), add the yoghurt and mix well
    2. Divide the mixture into 7 glass jars supplied with the yoghurt maker and screw the lids on tightly.
    3. ...

    But if you look at the way soya milk is made, there is no way it has not been treated and heated first.

    OK - if I was using homemade almond milk or something like that but not if I wanted a raw yoghurt.

    And I am using live coconut milk yoghurt (each batch is tested dairy free - whatever that actually means) with the both Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacteria cultures.
  5. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    Perhaps the instructions are just being cautious re soya milk. Try making some without boiling it first...
  6. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn (Site Owner) Staff Member

    NSW, Australia
    Well, I made the yoghurt according to the instructions more or less. A slight muddle meant that I added twice the quantity of live culture than was needed according to the instructions. I probably let the milk cool down further than was necessary.

    I ran it for the 8 hours required and thought that it was still a touch too liquid for my liking, so ran it for another couple of hours until it was getting too close to my bedtime for it to be cool enough to go into the fridge. I had my OH taste test it, and his first and immediate response was to ask what was in it. He only does this when he actually likes something. So I think we have success first time around.

    Basically 1.2L of dairy free live yoghurt has costs AUD $2.50 of ingredients excluding the cost of the live culture to start the yoghurt going and the cost of the maker. I think the total weight of what was made was 2.6 - 2.8kg... but I need to double check.

    The live dairy free (coconut) starter cost $6 for 400g. I made my live culture using soya milk so have a live soya yoghurt and hence culture for next time, but I do have some interesting recipes to try out for coconut based ones as well. They won't work out as cheaply but, will still be much cheaper than purchasing the equivalent and now that it is getting hotter again, I have moved over from hot porridge back to raw cold porridge oats soaking in yoghurt overnight. Something I have been doing for the last 5-8 years now.
    I won't need to buy the starter again if I make the yoghurt at least once a week thus saving that amount. So whilst I have no idea how much I have saved, it is very clear that I have saved plenty doing it this way. And it is much more fun. I can easily make vanilla flavoured live yoghurt (can be done at the boiling the milk stage) or a flavoured yoghurt made after the event. If I make a Greek style set one, or any made with nut milks, I will need to add a thickening agent such as guar guar gum or arrow root, but I have both of those anyway.

    So an all round sucesss. I will make the dairy based one once the girls (chooks) have eaten their shop bought one this week (the can have a small amount of my starter so no need to buy fresh for them) and hopefully I can work out how to make cottage cheese as well. They love cottage cheese and I am certain I should be able to do it in the yoghurt maker. I also reckon I should be able to ferment some of their grains for them as well which they will love. I already sprout their grain which they much prefer.

    I'll photo the result tomorrow when I get chance.
  7. Elawin

    Elawin Veteran

    I always bring 2 pints of organic whole milk up to 85C (which I believe is the pasteurising point), let it cool to 43C, then whisk in a small jar of yoghurt (160-180 ml) to the milk.* This makes 7 jars, one of which will be the starter for the next batch. I then put the jars in the yoghurt maker for about 10-12 hours until the yoghurt is nice and thick, after which the lids are put on and they go in the fridge. Semi-skimmed and skimmed milk take a bit longer, I believe. I've never tried it with any milk other than cows milk, though, but I think the instructions were pretty similar.

    *For the first batch I used a small carton of commercially made organic live yoghurt.

    How did yours turn out? I think my daughter may well be interested as she is lactose intolerant.
  8. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn (Site Owner) Staff Member

    NSW, Australia
    Making soya yoghurt is almost identical. But you need a live non-dairy starter yoghurt. It sets really well, but you need to put in a dessertspoon of sugar into the mixture for the bacteria to get going. There's no calories from that sugar because it's all consumed by the bacteria, it just works better and sets better with the sugar starter.

    Making Almond milk yoghurt on the other hand has been harder. I can get the yoghurt flavour and fermentation sorted, but getting the yoghurt to set has been much harder. I'm still working on it and you can't use commercial almond milk you have to make your own due to something being added. That's true with the UHT equivalent of almond milk. I'm going to try again with the fresh equivalent. I have a recipe to try... Fingers crossed.

    Coconut milk yoghurt is the same as soya yoghurt. They both thicken naturally so no problem, though I've not made any. Perhaps that will be my next batch?

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