Do You Need To Heat Milk For Yogurt Making?

I recently chatted with my friend Margaret Roach on her radio show, A Way To Garden, about yogurt making. One of the things we discussed was if home yogurt makers can skip the traditional step of heating the milk to 180-degrees and then cooling it back down to 110-degrees for culturing.

As it turns out, yes. Sometimes. But first, a little background.

Yogurt making is insanely easy once you get the hang of it. Fresh milk is inoculated with thermophilic (heat-loving) beneficial bacteria. The bacteria culture the yogurt by eating milk sugars and making lactic acid. As the lactic acid builds up in the milk, the pH drops until eventually the milk proteins coagulate into the soft, tangy curd we know and love as yogurt.

Those beneficial yogurt-makin’ bacteria are a bit like Goldilocks. Too hot and they die, too cold and they don’t work fast enough to protect the milk from spoilage organisms. They are happiest at around 110-degrees. That’s their “just right” zone. The only real trick to yogurt making is figuring out how to keep the inoculated milk at 110 degrees for several hours. On her show, Margaret and I discussed several methods to keep the yogurt at the right temperature, so take a listen if you don’t have your personal yogurt mojo dialed in yet.

How To Ma

Okay, back to that question of heating milk intended for yogurt making to 180 degrees. There are two reasons why milk is traditionally scalded – brought to a simmer – before being made into yogurt.

The first is to kill off any wild bacteria, yeast or mold spores that might have fallen into the milk. This is important because you want your preferred lactic-acid bacterial strains to do the culturing of the milk, not get outcompeted by various mystery microbes.

The second advantage to the heating stage is that the most abundant protein in the whey of in milk – lactoglobulin – fully denatures and unfolds at about 172-degrees. This allows those proteins to bind to some of the other proteins in milk, called caseins. Ostensible result: a firmer, thicker yogurt curd.

Since I last demonstrated yogurt making on this blog several years ago, I’ve refined my own yogurt making technique and one of the things I’ve stopped doing is first heating the milk to 180, then chilling it to 110.

Here’s why.

I start my yogurt making with fresh, store-bought, pasteurized milk. When milk is commercially pasteurized, there are a few combinations of time and temperature that can be used, and the most common of those is called High Temperature, Short Time (HTST) or “flash” pasteurization. In HTST pasteurization, the milk is brought up to between 160 and 165-degrees for about 30 seconds. This creates a milk that is reasonably sterile, which means we can ignore the first reason to heat the milk.

So that leaves the issue of the thicker curd. I wondered if heating the milk really mattered that much, so I did an experiment where I made two batches of yogurt with the same milk and same starter.

For one batch I followed the traditional method of heating the milk up to 180 then chilling it to 110 before adding the culture. The second batch I simply warmed the milk to 110 then added the culture directly. Both batches were cultured for about 8 hours before being chilled overnight.

Yogurt with Granola

There were some minor differences in the final yogurt. The scalded-milk yogurt was a bit thicker, but not in any kind of dramatic or show-stopping way. And I actually preferred the texture of the un-scalded milk yogurt. It had a silken, very smooth texture that made the scalded-milk yogurt seem just a bit coarse in comparison.

So why was the difference in final yogurt thickness so minor, when every yogurt recipe seems to say that the initial 180 heat is somehow essential to making good yogurt?

As I see it, there are two possible reasons.

It’s possible that the HTLT pasteurization heat-chill cycle does enough to denature the lactoglobulin to make scalding the milk unnecessary.

It’s also possible that, when compared to the acidulation of the milk that takes place as the lactic bacteria culture the milk, the denaturing (or not) of the lactoglobulin just doesn’t make that much difference. Sometimes things are done just because that’s the way they’ve always been done and they become dogma. Starting with scalding the milk might just be yogurt dogma.

One more note about how I make and use yogurt that affects my decision to skip that heat-cool cycle: I strain almost all my yogurt to make a rich, Greek-style product and provide me with whey for breadmaking.

Lactoglobulin is one of the proteins in the whey, or the liquidy part of the famous “curds and whey” equation. Since I strain off a fair bit of the whey from my yogurt curd, any minor difference between scalded milk and non-scalded milk yogurt just doesn’t seem to matter.

Cutting out that heat-cool cycle has made my DIY yogurt making far faster. Instead of shepherding milk gently up to 180 degrees without allowing it to burn, then stirring it to speed chilling back down to 110, I just warm it to 110 over medium heat. One or two stirs at this gentle heat is enough to keep the milk at the bottom from scorching.

This streamlined process cuts the hour-plus commitment of yogurt prep down to a quick ten or fifteen minutes plus inactive culturing time.

If I were starting with milk of unknown quality or raw milk, I would certainly still scald it before starting yogurt making, but if you start with freshly opening, pasteurized store-bought milk and plan on draining your yogurt anyway, you can reliably skip the scalding step.

What about you guys? Do you heat your milk to 180 degrees for yogurt making? Why or why not?

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Comments

  1. We get raw milk and want the beneficial bacteria so I don’t heat it. I just inoculate with fresh yogurt from the store and incubate in the oven with the light on, but door slightly cracked, for 24 hours. Comes out really good, but not as thick as if it had been heated. We always drink it anyway, mixed with fruit.

    The only downside to this is that you can’t re-inoculate with your own yogurt. You have to buy fresh inoculant from the store every time. Too many competing bacteria otherwise.

  2. Christina says:

    I also prefer the beneficial aspects of raw milk and therefore make Kefir which can be made at room temperature and also has more strains of beneficial bacteria and even beneficial yeasts.

    • We make kefir, too. Easiest thing ever, very delicious, nutritious, and versatile. It’s self-perpetuating (just add more milk.) The colony is so interesting – all those various creatures cohabiting the matrix like a peacemaking commune. When the colony gets too big (it’s making too much kefir for your needs) you can pull off a chunk to give away to a friend. Satellite peacemakers.

      • Also, you can make soft cheese out of kefir, and use the whey for other recipes.

      • I agree with Sanj. Kefir’s even easier: incubates at room temperature, self-perpetuates (no need to buy culture), and grows for giving away. For some reason my kefir always achieves the consistency of yogurt after 24 hours culturing. Highly recommended.

  3. Deborah says:

    I started heating my milk to 160 degrees. I don’t remember where I read that this was okay, but I like it. I still have a thick yogurt, but don’t have burnt milk on the bottom of my pan.

  4. Thanks for posting this. I got to your site from Margaret Roach’s site. I alternate using commercial Greek style yogurt and my yogurt to inoculate and wonder if I don’t need the commercial yogurt as often.

    I will try just heating to 110 degrees. Even using a heavy bottomed pressure cooker pot, I often end up scorching it and I’d love to save that clean up time as well.

  5. I make crockpot yogurt weekly as I’ve done for the last three years. Recently I switched to using Fage Greek Yogurt as my culture and that makes for a thicker, silkier texture.

    I’ve tried numerous methods to incubate my yogurt. From a heating pad, to a Yogourmet to finally settling on the easy method of using my oven. I pour the milk/culture mixture back into the warm crockpot crock, put the lid on and put the crock in the oven. I heat the oven to 110 degrees and set the timer for two hours. At two hours I heat the oven again to 110 degrees and set the timer for two more hours. After the timer sounds I move the crock to the refrigerator for 24 hours. Nice thick creamy yogurt. We like our yogurt on the sweet creamy side and that’s why I have such a short incubation time.
    I think I’ll continue to heat my milk only because the warm crock is critical for curing my yogurt. I guess I don’t need to heat the milk to 180 and hold the 20 minutes though (that’s 3.5 hours) so I can definitely shorten the heating process.

  6. auntie M says:

    I’ve returned to yogurt making after piling up a horrifying number of plastic containers in the garage of our new house. There’s no curbside recycling in this small coastal town and our buying habits tend to smack us in the face occasionally.
    I can’t recycle easily but I can buy local (low and slow method) pasteurized milk, a nice comprise between raw (which I won’t consume) and high heat pasteurized. I’m thoroughly confused about how to approach yogurt making with this type of milk but I’ll just plunge in and see what works.

  7. Thank you! This was a great post! We started experimenting with yogurt making about a year ago – and more recently, straining it for greek yogurt. (Which we love.)

    Two questions for you: how do you use the whey in breadmaking?
    And – any idea if Greek yogurt is the same thing as a German product known as Quark? My research seems to suggest that it’s made the same way… (?) It tastes awfully similar!

    • Isabell Norman says:

      Quark is not the same then Greek yogurt it’s a soft, spreadable German Farmers type cheese more similar to Fromage fraiche and Cream-cheese or the farmers-cheese one can get in the Jewish Deli stores in Los Angeles but it’s made just with milk. Totally different cultures being used and also rennet. I am German and make it frequently. I also think it doesn’t taste like Greek yogurt at all, similar texture perhaps but the culture and rennet would make a different taste profile, also how it’s made/cultured would affect the taste.

    • Jeannine R says:

      Ann, in regards to using it for bread making, I simply use the whey in place of the water that is called for in the recipe. I strain my yogurt to make it thicker, then put the whey that drains off into a pint jar or empty juice or tea bottle and put it in the fridge. The whey stays good for at least 2 weeks, and by that time, I’ve made bread, smoothies, or pancakes and can add they whey in place of the liquid. Sometimes I warm it in the microwave some so it’s not so cold when I put it in the breadmaker. I don’t honestly know if I can TASTE the difference, but I KNOW it’s better for me!

  8. Bethany says:

    After failing at following the Nourishing Traditions recipe with raw milk, I learned to make yogurt in the kitchen of my raw milk supplier and haven’t looked back since! I don’t use a thermometer, but a “baby bath water touch” method for heating (start with 5 min on the double broiler and recheck at 1 min increments after that) – add the starter from my last batch (I have been keeping one jar of starter from each batch for at least the last 2 months) whisk vigorously and pour into (8) 4 oz ball jars; place in my dehydrator at 100 for 12 hours. Perfect, tangy yogurt! I will try one more batch with this starter; if it doesn’t thicken well, I will start with a store bought yogurt to get a little thicker and re-use from those batches until it thins out too much. I make a batch every Sunday with one of my 1/2 gallons of raw milk from my Saturday pickup!

  9. I use raw goat milk, straight from my girls. Since fresh milk has anti-microbial properties, I heat that milk up before making yogurt so the yogurt bacteria doesn’t have to fight for it’s life. One note: un-cooled goat-milk yogurt is the biggest nasty! Refrigerate it before you taste it or you’ll say naughty words in front of the child.

  10. Christy says:

    I’ve been using a Yogourmet with a quart sized mason jar, the straining, to great success (I used Ellenos yogurt as my starter a few batches ago, and it’s tasty!). The Greek-style makes yogurt consumption much easier for my toddler :) I’m also curious what to do with the whey?

  11. I wonder how the heating factors play out when one makes yogurt from condensed milk? I was intrigued by this method but haven’t tried it: http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/2009/08/vietnamese-yogurt-recipe.html

  12. Brilliant! I’ve been making yogurt on and off for years and have only had a few failures (that I’ve managed to salvage in different ways – no need to throw out yogurt failures!). I attributed the failures to not letting the milk cool down enou gh and killing the culture. I need a better thermometer to make this work for me; I’ve been using a meat thermometer. Thanks!

  13. K Coghlan says:

    Good post, I knew I didn’t HAVE to scald with ultrapasturized milk, but I don’t like to use that, so I wondered. One thing, I use either 2% or nonfat milk, they both work well. We’re desk jockies and need to watch our calories. Also, I heat the milk to 120 degrees (I will try just going up to 110) in the microwave, saves time. Finally, I don’t measure my starter yogurt, I just dump a heaping tablespoon in a bowl, thin it out with some of the warm milk and then mix the slurry into the remaining milk. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes, makes great yogurt, and saves money.

  14. I’ve been making yoghurt for the past year or so as it’s a way we can support our local organic dairy (we don’t drink milk anymore). I have been heating the milk to 180 then down to 110 using a thermometer and then whisking in my saved starter from the previous batch and pouring it into clean quart jars (and one 2-4 oz. jar for the next starter) and placing them on a cookie sheet in a 110 degree oven with the jars wrapped together in kitchen towels. The electric oven gets turned off (it’s fairly new and well insulated) and we go to bed. In the morning we have great yoghurt (6-8 hours). I haven’t bothered to strain it as I use it mostly in smoothies, but I’d be interested in what to do with the whey. I’ll be happy to give the shorter heat time to just 110 degrees a try and save even more electricity!

  15. I can see why you wouldn’t bother with the heating step if you are going to strain out the whey. But I like a firm non-weepy yoghurt that doesn’t require straining. I get the best results by heating to 190F and maintaining 180F-190F for 30 minutes. I also add about 1 cup / gallon of milk powder for extra protein. It’s a little more work, but I make 6 quart batches that last me a long time.
    For a more liquid cultured milk product I make kefir – so easy. But there’s something very satisfying about a creamy yoghurt that makes it worth the effort.

  16. Domestic Bliss says:

    hmm… I might be the laziest yogurt maker around. I use cold, raw milk directly from the refrigerator cultured with either my last jar from the previous batch or a few spoonfuls of Trader Joe’s cream line yogurt – whisk them together pour into the jars, put in my yogurt maker, set the timer, and refrigerate when done. The yogurt turns out with a fabulous yogurt-cream layer on top, and the lower part has great texture.

  17. I have only tried tr heating method so keen to skip it and see how it goes- I also prefer to strain anyway. One change I have made after making cheese is heating the milk in the microwave. No watching no stiring and you learn the time needed for a quantity so just set and forget. Much quicker and easier than a stove!

  18. Becca Meskimen says:

    I use the crock pot method with pasteurized milk and have never had scorched milk, despite bringing the temp up to 180.

  19. I use raw milk, so yes, I heat to 180 each time. I used to get “fresh” starter (Brown Cow plain yogurt) from the store for each batch, believing that the results would be more consistent over time. Yet occasionally a batch would turn out really runny, with lots of whey on top. One day I did not have any store-bought yogurt, so I used some of my self-made yogurt as starter. Results were good, so I continued in that vein. And you know what? Over time, the results are much better and more consistent! Now I am practically guaranteed a nice thick product.

  20. I’ve been making yogurt for 8 years. I started out using powdered milk at double strength which worked well with no heating, just mix with warm water and put in the yogurt maker. I’ve progressed to buying raw milk and heating it to 180 then cooling it down and adding the culture. I never keep it at the high temp. just get it there and cool it down. I’ve been using my yogurt for a starter all along and now I just need to culture it for four hours to get good creamy yogurt. I put it in my oven in mason jars. My oven has a pilot light so it’s just the right temperature.

  21. i’ve been making at least a gallon of yogurt a week for 12 years. currently about 3 gallons/week as my girlfriend and friends are on board. i used to make it in a le creuset / descoware pot thinking i needed the heat retention. not necessary if you use an oven with a pilot light. now i use a decent quality stainless pot, rinsed with fresh water just before the milk is poured in. very minimal scorching even at high heat. i heat to 190; Harold McGee in ‘On Food and Cooking’ has electron microscope pics of the milk proteins before and after heating and a nice discussion, too. it’s pretty convincing. I culture it at 121 for about 6 hours, the temp Sonia Uvezian recommends in ‘the Book of Yogurt.’ if i remember correctly she said that culturing it as quickly as possible (warm temp) leads to less sour tasting yogurt. Also, using Straus organic un-homogenized whole milk makes a pretty tasty yogurt.

  22. Hello,

    I’m a professional artisan from a local farm-fresh fermented foods hub. I just got through reading the comments from this post and wanted to say, “WOW!” This is hands down the most fantastic open-discussion of methods and processes that work for people in yogurt making that I have ever seen.

    I’ve been making yogurt for over 12 years as well. I have my own vision for what a “perfect yogurt” should taste like, and I’m actually still refining it (though I’m pretty close! I’ll be making the methods I use public when I have consistent batches).

    I think this discussion does a fantasic job of highlighting the many variables, preferences and outcomes available within the range of yogurt making. The type of milk used has a huge impact on the finished product — in my experience, it’s a larger impact than the starter culture used, given the same methods. While I do think that there are “wrong ways” (e.g., if you’re burning the milk, something’s wrong; if your yogurt culture gets weak over time, something’s wrong)…ultimately, if it works for you, keep doing it!

    The only thing I would add is something Sandor Katz mentioned in a recent interview about “Heritage-Quality cultures.” These are starter cultures that have the diversity and resilience to continue working indefinitely. There is no need to continually buy commercial starters — just develop your own heritage-quality culture. Do this by increasing the genetic diversity and blending in cultures that contain tastes or other properties that you appreciate. Some will die off, others will survive and thrive. You can achieve this diversity by “rewilding” many different strains and mixes of commercial starters and/or mix them with cultures from various spontaneous lactic-acid bacteria ferments.

    Maintaining the quality (resilience and diversity) of the culture over time is a bit longer discussion; I’ll also have that on my website when it’s up and running.

    Lastly, share your heritage-quality culture with others! There is a selfish reason for this: On occasion, I’ve come close to losing my starter(s) and it’s always nice to borrow from one of their “siblings” as-needed :)

    Congrats to the author for provoking one of the coolest discussions about yogurt making I’ve read on the internet to-date! There are a lot of minefields, lots of crap based on FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt), so it’s great to see people sharing “what works for me” so prolifically.

    • Thanks Ethan. My readers are pretty awesome! :) I like your idea about growing out your own culture. One thing I’ll sometimes do is buy a few varieties of store bought yogurt with different strains of bacteria and mix them. I figure the more the merrier when it comes to beneficial bacteria.

    • i agree about the importance of the milk. organic pasteurized homogenized makes a much less interesting yogurt than unhomogenized. and forget about reduced fat…. i’d say the starter is very important though. my previous starter was about 5 years old when i killed it off. it had alot of sentimental value, but we got a bulgarian starter from cultures for life and it’s amazing. really creamy. it’s about 3 years old, now.

  23. Ok so I’ve never tried making yogurt but all of this discussion is pretty fascinating. I do make ricotta all the time so you all got me wondering if the heating to 180 step in that process is necessary. Looking forward to finding out and learning more about yogurt from everyone!

  24. I just park my car in the sun, roll up the windows, and put my yoghurt crock on the front seat…at the end of the day it’s yoghurt! I warm the milk first and I always scald my crock to sterilize it before I pour in the milk.

    • LOL! This uses even less electricity than my turned off oven with jars wrapped in towels. I love it. Where do you live, as I’m thinking in AZ inside the car might actually get too hot and kill the culture? Do you only do it on a sunny day, or overcast or any other parameters?

  25. Jennifer Smith says:

    We use raw milk and don’t heat it to 180. We do use a yogurt maker that keeps it around 117 and we culture it for 24 hours. This removes most of the lactose so it’s more easily digestible. It is bitter but we sweeten it with fruit or honey.

    • Jennifer Smith says:

      I actually think it’s lower than 117, sorry. I am interested in more info on the heritage starter. We’ve just been buying store bought yogurt we are comfortable with and use that as a starter. We’ve never used yogurt from our previous batch because it gets eaten quickly. We already buy 2 gallons of raw milk a week that cost $17 so making more isn’t an option lol. About 1 1/2 of that goes into yogurt.

      • What’s odd is raw milk is cheaper ($8/gallon) than the Strauss Cream Top milk I buy ($6/half gallon) when the raw milk isn’t available. I just finished two months of buying the Strauss between cows.

      • the cultures for life starter’s are freeze dried. it takes a couple of batches to get them fully active again, but they work. their Bulgarian strain is really good.

  26. Sorry I accidentally hit send too quickly. The heritage cultures I have tried are from Cultures for Life’s website. I too would be interested in any other sources people are using.

    • I just pour about 1/2 cup of pre-cultured mix into a smaller jar to save as starter for the next batch. If after several batches it smells a little off then I buy a small container of some plain organic yoghurt for the starter for the next batch. I use organic milk, either whole or 2%, whichever is on sale when it’s time to make more yoghurt. I like Erica’s idea of mixing together a couple different yoghurts to increase the pro-biotics in my starter for next time.

  27. Jeannine R says:

    I make my yogurt/Greek yogurt in my crock pot. I add 1/2 gallon of milk to the main crock, turn it on low for 3 hours, unplug it for three hours, whisk in 6 oz-8 oz plain greek yogurt, wrap everything up in a couple of thick towels and forget about it until the morning. Then, I use a thin flour sac kind of towel to strain and drain off about 1/4 of the whey (takes 1 hour) then package it up, adding a piece of plastic wrap on top. I feel the plastic wrap keeps it from spoiling as fast, as it keeps the lid moisture free. I pull off about 6-8 oz for the next batch and put that in the freezer. I love it, and use it in place of sour cream. I usually start at 3 p.m. one day, and have yogurt the next morning. (3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m. – 9 a.m.)

    • Jeannine R says:

      I used my thermometer to find that the milk gets close to 180 degrees in the 3 hours, and then after 6 hours, it’s close to 110 degrees. Wrapping it up keeps it warm enough over night. I do like the idea of the pilot light in the oven as an idea though. I do add some unflavored gelatin sometimes when I whisk in the yogurt at 6 hrs, I find it makes things quite a bit firmer, which is what my family prefers versus soft yogurts!

  28. Over the past few years, I’ve tried a few different methods. When I started, I usually did like Jeannine R, and heated the milk in the crockpot (with similar timing) and cultured wrapped in a cooler overnight. Then I moved, and started heating on the stove and culturing in the oven with the light on (which in that oven was 110). Then I moved again, and started having problems (the oven didn’t have a light). I decided to by an Excalibur dehydrator. That helped a lot. More recently, I got a large double boiler (I usually make a gallon at a time). Because I often will pick up marked down milk (still within it’s dates though), sometimes I’m using fat free milk. Using the double boiler (no more burning milk for me!) it’s easy to hold the temp for 30 minutes. Without adding anything, I can get fat free milk to make a decent yogurt. Not as firm as whole milk of course, but still good. I’m usually using it for smoothies, so the different textures are not as big a deal for me.

  29. I’ve been making yogurt now for about 2 years. I had a lot of trouble getting consistent results at the beginning but have found a method that works well for me. I like my yogurt creamy and prefer to not strain it unless I want something really thick like yogurt cheese for filling omelets. I use pint jars filling them up half way so that I’m able to just retrieve it from the refrigerator and add lots of fruit to it. This way is contrary to other instructions I’ve seen as far as how warm the milk should be when the starter is added but it works really well. I do need to replace with a fresh starter once in a while. I let mine culture in a cooler. Here’s the site is anyone is interested in this method.
    http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/yogurt_making/YOGURT2000.htm

  30. I started making Greek yogurt after 5 months traveling in South America as the only yogurt that was available was so full of sugar and other things I dread to think about. I have been heating it up to 180 and letting it cool, but will now try not doing it that way and see what happens. I like quite thick yogurt and straining it makes it really mellow when the whey is removed. I add the whey to my fresh fruit juices for extra protein and it makes a good starter for pickling sauerkraut and other things. I can’t believe people pay for whey powder.

    • I tried taking the shortcut and only heating the milk up for 2 hrs versus my usual 3.5 hrs (to 180 degrees and hold for 20 minutes). I had my first yogurt failure as the yogurt never thickened. It was thin like milk. Considering that I use the heat from the crockpot crock as part of my curing process I found heating the full amount of time was vital to being successful. Live and learn but I’m sticking with the old tried and true method.

  31. I’ve made two batches of yoghurt now, only heating the milk to 160 and it is a little thinner, but I think that has more to do with using milk closer to the expiration date than the total heat (thanks to a previous comment). I sterilize the jars in the oven for 20 minutes at 220, then air out the oven and jars to 100 degrees, before filling the jars with the milk and starter mixture (cooled to 110-degrees, loosely fitting on lids, wrapping the jars together with two dish towels on a cookie tray and leaving them in the turned off oven for 6 hours. No failures yet, but my oven is only a few years old with a self-cleaning cycle (which means it is well-insulated). A friend has had no success with this off-oven method with an older range and bought a yoghurt maker. I’m off to make buttermilk like this next!

  32. Has anyone tried Beijing Yogurt? I had it 15 years ago.
    A friend recently told me she makes yogurt straight from the fridge. No heating whatsoever. Puts in the oven with light on and 24 hr later you got drinkable yogurt.

    I bought a DASH maker. I pour ice cold milk 5 cups into 1/2 cup of starter yogurt. Heat it for 9 hrs and next morning I drink my yogurt warm. Or cold, for the kids with some sugar. They love it. I love it. Tart, liquidy, warm..

    I drink my kefir the same way. 1:1 kefir with juice, cold from the fridge. store bought.

    To me, it tastes just like Beijing Yogurt.
    and it is just how I want it.

    But no one drinks it that way? ?
    Does it make it any different, drinkable yogurt vs spoonable yogurt??

    What difference does it really make? My milk is ice cold..

    any experience or enlightenment appreciated!

    • From my days in the PRC nearly 30 years ago, their yoghurt was sweeter and made right in the little ceramic jars or bottles with paper caps. I suppose the different taste would also be in the type of cows and the bacteria in their yoghurt cultures. I do remember it was very good and I went out of my way many times to get a crate of containter home to my apartment. Good memories.

      After making this recipe twice I have returned to heating the milk to 180 because it was just too runny the other way for the ways I use it (mostly as a sour cream/mayo sub). Heated to 160 it was definitely more drinkable, like in China.

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