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What you should NEVER do when making yoghurt at home + coconut yoghurt recipe

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Ever since my good friend Jac told me about her favourite coconut yoghurt, I’ve been a little obsessed with figuring out how to make my own. Actually, thinking about it, yoghurt making has been on my radar for a lot longer than that.

You see, I love fermented foods (and beverages). At uni I majored in food microbiology and for my honours thesis delved into the bacterial populations of blue vein and camembert cheeses. Partially so I could play around with bacteria but mostly so I had an excuse to eat more cheese.

Then there were a few wayward years as a wine maker where I got up close and personal with more strains of yeast and lactic acid bacteria than I’d bargained for.

But I digress. Back to yoghurt.

Making yoghurt is something I always knew I’d do, one day.

And that day has come!

Over the last few months I’ve been perfecting my yoghurt making skills of both regular milk based yoghurt, and the more exotic coconut yoghurt.

The thing is, it’s no where near as complicated as you’d imagine. I’m kicking myself a little for not starting sooner.

So what should you NEVER do when making yoghurt at home?

Simple. You should never be tricked into thinking you need to go out and buy any specific equipment.

No ‘yoghurt makers’ need apply.

What do you need?

1. A Thermometer.
Yoghurt making bacteria are delicate souls, a bit like Goldilocks, they need their temperature to be ‘just right’ and the only way to tell if it’s OK is to measure. My Irishman recently purchased a fast reading digital thermometer for testing meat on the BBQ and it works a treat moonlighting as a yoghurt thermometer.

2. Some clean jars.
I prefer glass but plastic containers are fine too. Just make sure they’re clean. Fresh from the dishwasher is ideal.

3. A chiller bag or esky.
We need to keep our yoghurt nice and cosy for 8 hours or so. This used to put me off making yoghurt as I was worried about keeping the temperature constant. The thing is, it doesn’t need to be exact. I have a small insulated ‘cooler’ bag that does the job nicely. At a stretch you could just wrap your jars in some foil and then bundle them up in towels.

4. A starter culture.
I’ve been using a powdered culture that I picked up at my health food store. Or you could try using a few tablespoons of commercial natural yoghurt – but there’s a risk the bacteria won’t be still alive. So I haven’t tried that yet.

UPDATE: I’ve had lots of success with using my previous batch of yoghurt as a culture for my new yoghurt. And the yoghurt tends to set more quickly than when using dried culture. And it’s much cheaper! I use about 4-6 tablespoons in a 2L batch of yoghurt.

I’ve also read that you can use the powder in probiotic capsules but haven’t experimented with them yet either.

5. Milk.
Cows or coconut milk work well. Although there’s no reason why you couldn’t use goat’s milk, sheep milk or even buffalo if you have it at your disposal.

UPDATE: I had some failure using A2 milk, the yoghurt just didn’t thicken properly. I’m now sticking to regular milk.

I haven’t tried soy, rice or almond milk but if there’s enough protein they should work. Or you could try them using the coconut yoghurt recipe below. I’d love to hear how you get on if you do!

homemade yoghurt2

coconut yoghurt
makes a little over 3 cups

Coconut milks and creams vary hugely in their fat content which really tells you how much water has been added. I’ve used unsweetened coconut ‘cream’ that has about 20% fat. Higher fat coconut cream will give a thicker, richer yoghurt. And of course you’ll get a less thick yoghurt with a lower fat coconut milk.

Don’t stress about it too much but you might need to try a few different brands before you find one you’re happy with.

2 cans coconut milk or cream (400g / 14oz), approx 20% fat
40g (1.5oz) egg white powder
1 teaspoon yoghurt culture

1. Combine coconut milk/cream and egg white powder in a medium saucepan. You’ll have some lumps.

2. Gently heat to 43C (110F).

3. Place 1 tablespoon coconut mixture in a clean cup. Add the culture powder and stir until it forms a (lumpy) paste. Add a little more coconut milk then stir the culture into the main saucepan.

4. Pour into glass jars and top with a lid.

5. Place in a chiller bag or esky and leave in a warm place for about 12 hours.

6. Pop in the fridge and leave for another day before eating.

no egg white powder? – You should be able to find it online or a cake decorating supplier. Whole egg powder would be fine, although it will change the flavour. Don’t use fresh egg whites as they may contain salmonella. The yoghurt is still lovely without it, just a lot less thick.

vegan – skip the egg white powder and be prepared for a runnier (but still delicious!) yoghurt

short on time? – the yoghurt can be eaten after the first 12 hours, but the flavour and texture are thicker and more yoghurty after the extra day in the fridge.

using powdered coconut milk? – mix it up with boiling water then cool to 43C (110F). Then add the egg white powder and proceed as per the recipe.


video version of the recipe


homemade yoghurt

cows milk yoghurt
makes 8 cups

This may seem like a lot of yoghurt but it will keep for a month or so in the fridge. Even though there are only 2 of us, we haven’t had any problems eating it up!

I’ve found that adding a little full cream milk powder gives a much nicer, creamier yoghurt and is totally worth the hassle. If using fresh milk, you’ll need to ‘sterilise’ it before adding the culture. This involves heating to 83C (180F) and holding for 5 minutes. UPDATE: I’ve been experimenting with skipping the sterilising step and haven’t had any failures yet, so feel free to skip it if you aren’t worried about possible contamination in your milk.

2L (8 cups) full fat milk
100g (3.5oz) full cream milk powder, optional
2 teaspoons yoghurt culture

1. Whisk together milk and milk powder in a medium saucepan. Don’t stress if there are lumps.

2. Place over a medium heat and warm, stirring frequently until the temperature reaches 83C (180F). Hold at that temp for about 5 minutes. Or skip this step and go to step 3.

3. Cool to 43C (110F). I pop the saucepan in a baking dish filled with cold water and a chiller brick or ice.

3. Place 1 tablespoon of the tepid milk in a cup. Add the culture powder and stir until it forms a (lumpy) paste. Add a little more milk then stir the culture into the main saucepan.

4. Pour into glass jars and top with a lid.

5. Place in a chiller bag or esky and leave in a warm place for about 12 hours.

6. Refrigerate.

no full cream milk powder? – Regular milk will work.

vegan – see the coconut yoghurt recipe above.

short on time? – see the head note for how to use UHT milk and skip the heating step.

super creamy – add in a cup of whipping cream or double the milk powder.


video version of the recipe


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{ 194 comments… add one }

  • Kristina 20 March, 2012, 6:28 pm

    Hi Jules, just wondering is there any reason why you can’t use JUST powdered milk & water? That’s what the commercial make-yourself yoghurts seem to be – just with cultures added

    • jules 20 March, 2012, 6:45 pm

      Hi Kristina
      Yes if you want to use all powdered milk and water that’s fine…

  • Chira 20 March, 2012, 6:50 pm

    Ever since we moved to Bhutan and after that to Tanzania nearly 20 years ago I make yoghurt at home. As I cannot buy powdered yoghurt cultures here in Tanzania and as using a fresh culture for every batch of yoghurt would be expensive, I developed the following method. I use a powdered yoghurt culture for the first batch of 2 liters. Half of this yoghurt we eat, the other half I pour into a silicone ice-cube tray and freeze. These are my starter cultures. Once the fresh yoghurt is nearly eaten, I make a new batch using 2 tablespoons of left-over yoghurt. Once the freshly made yoghurt becomes too sour (usually after 5 to 6 batches) I use 2 frozen yoghurt cubes to start a new batch and restart the process. I bought an Indian 2 liter hotpot many many years ago and though it’s really ugly it has kept my yoghurt at the right temperature for nearly 20 years. I never bought a thermometer as I test it like you would test the temperature of a bottle of milk for a baby. Just drip one drop on the back of your hand. If it’s too hot for you to give to a baby it’s too hot for the yoghurt starter. My most popular yoghurt variation is to first leave a vanilla pod in the hot milk, leave to infuse for 30 minutes, then remove pod and scrape out the seeds in the milk. Make yoghurt as usual. We are lucky though to have vanilla grown nearby and available really cheaply.

  • Beverley 20 March, 2012, 7:24 pm

    I make my yogurt in a soup flask that has a wide neck, keeps it warm enough over night. Not tried coconut but maybe i will.

  • trixie melodian 20 March, 2012, 7:43 pm

    If you don’t want to use cream or extra milk powder (with the associated extra fat) to get an extra-creamy result, you can strain it over a sieve with a bit of muslin or a clean, unused dishcloth for 12-24 hours. It will get lovely and thick and creamy as the liquid strains out of it.

  • Paul 20 March, 2012, 8:57 pm

    Do you really need to sterilize the milk? isn’t it already pasteurised? Have you ever tried skipping this step?

  • Paul 20 March, 2012, 9:00 pm

    Oops, don’t click on the link in my previous post!

  • Michael 20 March, 2012, 9:04 pm

    Great post. I wish more people knew how easy it was to make your own yogurt. I’ve been doing so for a few years now and I’ve refined my process down to the bare minimum. I use a gallon of skim milk, which after straining, makes 2 quarts of thick yogurt. Rather than use a thermometer, which I don’t own, I heat the milk until just below boiling when bubbles start to rise and then let it cool for about an hour until it’s the temp of a hot bath. I then pour the heated milk into a large aluminum bowl, whisk in 4 tablespoons from then end of my previous batch as a starter, then cover and place the bowl in my oven, which the gas pilot light keeps warm. I let it sit for 8-10 hours then strain through chamois cloth to the desired consistency. If you don’t have a always-warm oven, you can pre-heat it to 100F, turn off the heat and wrap the container in some towels. I’ve also read you can use a heating pad.

  • TastefullyJulie 20 March, 2012, 9:33 pm

    A friend of mine loves making her own yogurt. She always uses commercial yogurt as the starter and never had a problem. I keep saying I’m going to try it but I still haven’t!

  • sarah k. 20 March, 2012, 10:41 pm

    I have also been making yogurt for years, and have had good luck with commercial yogurt as the starter. If it says on the package that it contains live cultures, it should be fine. My favorite so far is the Trader Joe’s greek whole milk yogurt as starter, and fresh, local, organic, raw milk that is only heated to 110 F. It is definitely runnier than commercial, but the straining is just too much of a mess for me, so runny is what we get. I don’t add powdered milk because a) I hate the taste, having had it so much as a *poor* kid, and b) I’m just afraid of it, having read up on claims of carcinogenic compounds from heating milk proteins. I’m a spaz.

    Also, I had to look up “esky” and that’s a pretty cute name. I have never done yogurt in a cooler, but I’ve had good luck with two other methods. In the summer, when it stays above 70 inside, I just put them in the microwave wrapped in towels overnight. I obviously don’t turn it on, but it’s a good, insulated space that is protected from seismic (I have 3 kids) activity. I’ve read that yogurt needs to be stable, not jiggled, or it will lose its structure.

    The other way, for winter, is to use a crock-pot. I fill 4 pint jars with yogurt, place them in the crock, fill around them with 110 degree water almost to the top of the jars, and cover overnight. This keeps them warm much longer, and hasn’t failed me yet, even when the house is around 60. I guess you could do the same thing in a cooler, just put warm water, or even a jar filled with boiled water, then put the lid on.

  • Carol Ash 20 March, 2012, 10:43 pm

    I have used a crockpot on low to make yogurt and it turned out terrific!

  • Emily 20 March, 2012, 11:52 pm

    My crockpot attempt was a major fail! On low, it was way too hot and I ended up with blueberry cheese!

  • Marna 20 March, 2012, 11:56 pm

    You can also use a crockpot (slow cooker) to make yogurt. Very simple.

  • Mika 21 March, 2012, 1:35 am

    I also started making my own yogurt several years ago and realized how easy it was. I have always used a few tablespoons of plain commercial yogurt (Dannon brand works well.) And you then use some of your just recently made yogurt as a starter for the next batch. If you won’t be making the next batch for awhile, you can freeze enough of the yogurt to use a starter for the next time. I incubate my yogurt in a cooler with a large milk or water container that has some hot water in it.

  • Rachel 21 March, 2012, 1:37 am

    I have been making yogurt for a little while now – I use a cooler full of warm water to keep the temperature stable (and by using water that’s just under 130 F it takes less time than if it were at a lower temperature – though I’ve read that over 130 F kills the bacteria).
    I have also read that the reason to heat the milk first is to break up the proteins, though I am definitely no expert.
    I used commercial yogurt as a starter and have never had a problem. I did fail at my first few attempts because the yogurt was not warm enough, but it is really easy once you find a way to keep it at the right temp that works for you.

  • Merryl Chantrell 21 March, 2012, 5:27 am

    Hi Jules would a jam or candy thermometer which clips onto the side of a pan be okay?

    • jules 21 March, 2012, 10:17 am

      Hi Merryl
      Yes! As long as it reads down to 110F (43C)

  • Erin S. 21 March, 2012, 7:18 am

    Thanks for this great post Jules. My mother made yogurt for years, and I did too. It is a lovely thing and I enjoy it far more than what is available at the grocery store. I appreciate you sharing the coconut milk yogurt. Goats milk works pretty well too. I also think there is no shame in owning a yogurt maker, especially if you make and eat yogurt every week.

  • Shauna 21 March, 2012, 10:06 am

    We use our oven with the oven light on, verified with an instant read thermometer our light puts out the perfect amount of warm…4-6hours.

  • Ter 21 March, 2012, 10:06 am

    Hi Jules…Great post so very well researched.I as well have made yogurt and I was not all that versed and reading these recipes from someone who has actually worked on a cellular level with lactic acid has my vote for best version. I have read some great ideas from comments regarding others post on this topic as well. I made it from a very old cookbook recipe. I am going to give yours a try and I will let you know…I LOVE coconut, VERY excited to have a go at that one! Thanks Jules …very cool

  • Margaret 21 March, 2012, 12:53 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. Thank you so much for the coconut yoghurt recipe. :-)

  • Jemma 22 March, 2012, 7:03 am

    Thank you so much for the coconut yoghurt idea! I’m trying to rely on commercial animal farming as little as possible and have been struggling to convince my husband that we can fit a cow in our backyard :) now we just need to solve the cheese dilemma.
    About the salmonella risk in raw eggs: we have our own chooks at home who lay in a box which is pretty clean, and we can use eggs the same day they are laid. Do you think it would be safe to eat the raw egg whites?

    • jules 28 March, 2012, 9:04 am

      It’s hard to tell with salmonella and eggs.. even really fresh ones.. I probably wouldn’t risk it

  • Rachel 22 March, 2012, 9:03 am

    I’ve always wondered how to make yogurt at home – and been incredibly intimidated by it with all the fancy equipment and cultures and whatnot… I just noticed the beautiful ring on your finger that I haven’t seen before – did you recently get engaged??

  • Inês 22 March, 2012, 9:06 pm

    Me and my parents used to make yogurt at home quite often when I was a child, and it was so good! Then my brothers were born and time for that kind of things wasn’t much, so I haven’t eat homemade yogurt since then. Maybe this Easter vacation I’ll give it a try myself ;)

  • Rae 23 March, 2012, 9:49 am

    Would leaving it overnight in a cooler in the hot water cupboard be too hot??

    • jules 28 March, 2012, 9:01 am

      Tough question.. depends on how hot your cupboard is… the best way to find out would be to try a batch.. It should be fine if less that 50C

  • Cynthia 24 March, 2012, 1:35 pm

    Would this work using half coconut milk and half cows milk?

    • jules 26 March, 2012, 1:35 pm

      Sure Cynthia!
      I’d follow the regular yoghurt recipe and just substitute in coconut milk for some of the milk.

    • jules 28 March, 2012, 8:58 am

      Half and half would be great Cynthia.. lovely idea

  • CC 24 March, 2012, 5:30 pm

    Ok – I’m using the touch method as I don’t have a thermometer. It’s about to go in the esky.
    Fingers crossed – ill let you know how it goes.
    p.S. I made it vanilla and cinnamon flavour.

  • CC 24 March, 2012, 5:31 pm

    I really want to try the coconut One but am having trouble finding egg white powder. Anyone found any? I live in Sydney.
    Thank you.

    • jules 28 March, 2012, 8:57 am

      Hi CC
      I get mine from the Essential Ingedient in Canberra.. they also have a store in Sydney. Or try online.

    • Vickie 20 June, 2012, 2:18 pm

      Hi, just wanted to add that I have got egg white powder at my local Coles. Depends on the store where they keep it…worth checking the gluten free food area, cake baking mixes etc.

      • jules 3 July, 2012, 8:56 pm

        THanks for letting us know Vickie!

  • AnnaO 24 March, 2012, 11:58 pm

    I made the coconut yogurt, leaving it in the fridge for another 12 hours really made a differance :) As I´m intollerant to eggs I excluded the egg white powder. Any ideas on what might work, as the yogurt turned out so runny, deliciuos but runny? Xanthan Gum?
    Thank you for the great work you do :)

    • jules 28 March, 2012, 8:56 am

      HI Anna
      I’d recommend trying the Tapioca starch that another reader suggested to thicken. I haven’t used Xanthan Gum so not familiar.

    • Liz 1 May, 2012, 9:31 pm

      I tried using agar (a vegan safe algae that thickens like gelatin). Has anyone used that with success? My first try resulted in a yogurt you could cut with a knife. Seriously – it was harder than cheese! Wondering on what ratio I should have used…. :)

  • JenK 25 March, 2012, 8:16 pm

    Although I am technically opposed to single use appliances I am in love with my electric yoghurt maker. It just makes my yoghurt fabulous every time. I will blame Melbourne’s changeable weather but I had a success rate of about 50% with an esky/crockpot/oven light/easyo container and now I have great yoghurt every week!

    • jules 28 March, 2012, 8:55 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience Jen!
      If it’s working for you that’s great ;)

  • Julia 26 March, 2012, 8:00 pm

    Hi Jules,

    My vegan friend gave me a recipe which uses tapioca starch to thicken the yoghurt, so that’s an alternative to the egg white powder. I just whisk it into the coconut milk before heating.

    I also find the coconut milk that comes in a one litre carton from the oriental supermarket has no additives and works really well.

    Thanks for an excellent blog.


    • jules 28 March, 2012, 8:48 am

      Thanks Julia!
      I haven’t found a source of tapioca start.. thus the egg whites..
      But great suggestion for people that are keen on keeping it vegan

      • Tabatha 1 April, 2012, 5:00 am

        Corn or potato starch will also help thicken. It’s what would be used more commonly in store-bought yoghurts, especially Greek-style.

  • Emily 27 March, 2012, 10:51 pm

    What do you think about using unpasteurised milk for this recipe?

    • jules 28 March, 2012, 8:26 am

      Good question Emily!
      If you’re happy that the milk is healthy and free from any pathogenic bacteria by all means give it a go! The flavour would be amazing I would imagine.

  • jules 28 March, 2012, 9:05 am

    thanks pietra!

  • SylviaLH 30 March, 2012, 11:14 pm

    Instead of a chiller bag, I just fill the pot that I warmed the milk in with Hot tap water and put the jars in the pot. Then I put the whole thing in the oven with the light on (oven off). After a few hours I usually top up the pot with boiling water but you have to be careful to not move the pot too much or the bacteria gets all upset and flops.

    Alternately, I just boil a kettle and put the whole thing in the over with the lid off the kettle. the steam keeps it warmer in there

  • Andrea 31 March, 2012, 5:45 am

    I just started making my own yogurt three weeks ago- and am similar to you in that I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner! So easy. I use the crockpot method and just wrap up the whole thing in a couple of towels and put it out of the way. I have a colander that I line with two cheesecloth type things and put that over a bowl. I use the separated whey in place of buttermilk and i have a “greek” style yogurt as a result. My two sons (ages 1 and 3) love it. We add honey, or pomegranates (in winter) or some homemade jam.

    This post has made me excited to start playing around with it! I love the vanilla idea mentioned earlier. I’d like to try egg whites. And I am excited to find out that this can be done with coconut milk!

    • jules 10 April, 2012, 6:20 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experiments in yoghurt Andrea! I haven’t tried straining it yet.. good idea to use the whey as buttermilk

  • Kristina 1 April, 2012, 3:44 pm

    I just tried using powdered milk water and a capsule of probiotics from my chemist (with four different strains – the more the better I’m told). I was scared that only certain strains should be used for yoghurts and that it might not thicken properly but guess what – the result is better than the old pre-mixed sachet’s I used to buy! Now my yoghurt will cost less than a dollar per kilo :-) Thanks again Jules

    • jules 10 April, 2012, 6:10 pm

      Awesome Kristina!
      I was going to make a batch with just probiotics last weekend, but chickened out.. Thanks for the inspiration to try them out!

  • Emma 12 April, 2012, 2:42 pm

    So I’m in love with the coconut yoghurt idea (I’m obsessed with thick yoghurt that’s coffee flavored and costs a lot for tiny tubs so figured I should bother to go back to making my own (which i havent yet done with the coffee flavour but that I’ll deal with as it comes) and my kids hate soy yoghurt (both intollerant to stuff) but one can’t have eggs, considering milk powder does the job for the milk based yoghurt could the same be assumed about coconut milk powder? I’m not good at makin small batches of things and would be sad if I put the effort in and discovered I was wrong. Thanks

  • Jane 15 April, 2012, 12:27 pm

    Thanks Jules! I had never thought of making yogurt at home until I bumped into your website a couple of weeks ago, and I tried immediately! I have experimented with 24% fat coconut milk, organic soy milk and coconut milk beverage (with 2% fat) so far. I found out yogurt culture often has whey and thus is not vegan, so I used dairy-free probiotic capsules instead at the ratio of 1 capsule per 500ml coconut / soy milk. I put the liquid in a wide-neck soup flask to keep it warm during fermentation.

    Result – I like the organic soy milk version the best because the taste and texture are yogurty enough and it doesn’t become grainy like coconut milk does after fermentation. The only drawback is that the colour is not nice and white like coconut milk.

    The yogurt with 24% fat coconut milk was the tastiest – I used it to make lassi, and it was devine! But the fat content is way too high for regular consumption. I also found that pure coconut milk with no stabiliser tends to split into two layers, which is not great for making yogurt or other things with coconut milk as the core ingredient (eg. coconut milk creme brûlée). Perhaps I’ll try using agar powder or cornflour next time to see if it would help hold the clear liquid and dense coconut extract together.

  • Madeleine 14 May, 2012, 7:54 pm

    Hi Jules,
    Absolutely love all of your recipes and your blog! I think you’re fantastic and your recipes are always a huge success at all of my dinner parties and regular meals alike.
    I’m just wondering if the “No-Egg” egg replacer works as a substitute in the coconut yoghurt? Or should I try it and get back to you?
    Thanks :)

    • jules 17 May, 2012, 9:58 am

      Thanks Madeleine!
      If the ‘No egg’ contains enough protein it should work.. would love to hear how you get on?

  • Sue 5 June, 2012, 2:34 pm

    I make coconut yoghurt using 30g of glucose powder (Lotus brand, and I use this for all yoghurt I make with non lactose containing milk) and around 100ml of starter per 1 litre of long life coconut cream (Kara brand). I use an electric yoghurt maker (Easy Yoghurt, which holds just over 1 litre). I warm the coconut cream in the microwave for about 90 secs and then stir in the glucose powder and the starter culture. I used a commercial culture which I obtained fromGreen Living Australia (http://www.greenlivingaustralia.com.au/yoghurt_culture_soy.html) for my first batch, but now store some of each batch to use in the next one. The yoghurt is so thick that you can stand a spoon up in it, and I recently drained a batch through cheesecloth to make a fantastic cheesecake.

    If I need to thicken any yoghurt that I make, I do this to make fruit yoghurts, and only after it has been incubated and then refrigerated. I use arrowroot starch as the thickener, as I find tapioca has an unpleasant flavour. If anyone wants a recipe, I’m happy to provide it.

  • Mark 8 June, 2012, 9:14 am

    Hi, I tried to make some yoghurt but I think I had the milk too hot as I didn’t have a thermometer. The outcome was a curdled liquidy whey I think. Could I make a cheese with this curdled product or would it be unsafe to eat? Thanks.

    • jules 11 June, 2012, 4:20 pm

      Sorry you had problems Mark
      Yes sounds like the temp was definitely too hot. I don’t think there would be a problem making cheese from a food safety perspective but you may have problems getting the results you’re looking for. I’d be inclined to start again when you can invest in a thermometer.

  • Pamela 12 June, 2012, 9:29 am

    This is my first time trying this. I think I put the live cultures in too soon & did not let it cool enough. Did I kill them? Is it safe to add more? Hoping to have better luck next time. Thanks

    • jules 3 July, 2012, 9:08 pm

      Hi Pamela
      It would be fine to add more.. it’s just costing you more money.. but it is important to get the temperature right

  • Jen 16 June, 2012, 11:19 pm


    Thanks for this recipe! I have been buying the So Delicious Greek style coconut yoghurt and was excited to try your version. Sadly my results were not good. I could not find any egg white powder so the first batch I opted to use arrowroot powder, it didn’t dissolve and ended up as gel chunks in liquid like yoghurt, though the taste of the non gel parts were good (I did use the same amount of culture as you used). My next trial used tapioca starch made into a paste with the warm coconut milk and I used a whole packet of starter. This batch would have turned out better texture wise I believe but ended up with mold spots on the top of the batch. For both batches I wrapped the jar in foil and a towel then put into a cooler bag. Not sure where I went wrong here but it seems coconut yoghurt making is not my forte! Oh well. Love your site!

    • jules 3 July, 2012, 9:00 pm

      Thanks for sharing your exploits Jen
      The mould probably came from the tapioca starch…
      Glad to hear you have another source of coconut yoghurt!

  • Jackielyn 27 June, 2012, 7:01 am

    Hi Jules,

    Just tried making you coconut yoghurt last night and it’s out of the oven and into the fridge for the next 12 hours. I’m pretty excited. I opened the lid of the smallest jar and it didn’t smell funky, it looks a little creamier (although still runny, which is ok for me) so i am excited to see what it’s like when i get home from work today.

    I did not have a thermometer and just kinda estimated using the ‘baby bottle approach’. I will try to buy a thermometer over the weekend just so that i have a bit more control over the batch rather than guessing.

    How do i know if the yoghurt is funky…??? To be honest i am a little scared to try my own yoghurt incase i get food poisoning.

    I’ll let you know how it goes :-))))….

    Sue..i would love your recipe????

  • Jackielyn 27 June, 2012, 7:02 am

    Oooh, also i skipped the egg white part of the recipe and used two dairy free pro-biotic capsules.

  • Jackielyn Powell 28 June, 2012, 11:08 am

    It’s pretty runny, but no mould, pink spots or greyish tinge or funky smells…so i tried it. It doesn’t taste sour, just like coconut milk (i wonder if i should have let it ferment for longer or if i killed off the bacteria by not using a thermometer to ensure that i had an accurate temp as it may have been too hot?). I’m going to try again, as this time i have a candy thermometer and i am going to add some blended up coconut meat from a young coconut when the mixture has cooled enough to add the pro-biotics to thicken it up, i also read that adding half a teaspoon of honey can also assist in developing good bacteria so i will do that too….take 2 coming up.

    • jules 3 July, 2012, 7:08 pm

      Look forward to hearing how round 2 goes Jackielyn…. temperature is important with delicate bacteria

  • Gillan 11 July, 2012, 12:10 am

    Hi Jules!

    I am super excited to try your recipe. I have severe asthma so I’ve been trying to cut diary out of my diet to help lower mucus production in the bronchial tubes. I tried So Delicious coconut yogurt a few weeks ago and it was so yummy. But when I tried it again this morning, it tasted funny to me. I’ve also tried Almande (so amazing) but it’s $1.49 for 4 to 6 ounces. For the chilling (or esky) part, could I just simply pop it in the fridge? Would that work? Thank you so much!

    • jules 16 July, 2012, 2:55 pm

      Hi Gillian!
      NO don’t put it in the frige.. the chillER (esky) is there to insulate and keep the yogurt warm so the bacteria can grow. If it’s cold they’ll die.
      Just wrap with blankets if you don’t have anything else to put it in.
      Hope that helps

  • Kathy 16 July, 2012, 1:43 pm

    I made greek yogurt for the first time last week using easiyo yogurt base. It set but a little runny when stirred. Is there a way to make it thicker? Not adding anything afterwards, in the process?

    • jules 16 July, 2012, 2:25 pm

      Hi Kathy
      Different brands of starter culture can influence how thick your yoghurt sets.
      The other option is to add some milk powder as well to increase the protein and give a thicker set.
      Hope that helps!

  • Sandy 19 July, 2012, 7:43 am

    Question..can PROBIOTICS like 50 billion from Renew Life capsules be used as a starter for Yogurt making??…My holistic doc told me to take 10 caps and use them as a starter for yogurt he told me Goats or Raw milk is best…do not want to go and use 10 caps and find that it failed at making Yogurt…they are expensive .

    Has anyone ever used Probiotics in caps to start Yogurt..or make yogurt.
    Thanks everyone!

  • Jackielyn 22 July, 2012, 2:24 pm

    Hey Sandy,

    I only use the probiotic capsules. i use the dairy free, inner health plus capsules and if i use three cans of coconut milk, i add about two capsules.

    Jules, i tried the young coconut flesh but it had a grainy texture (even after blending in my vitamix – before the probiotics were added of course!). So now i am trying pectin, so this arvo i am making a batch and used three heaped tablespoons of pectin which i added at the hottest point and allowed to mix in before i added the probiotics. This time i have also added about 1 tablespoon of organic maplesyrup. Smells delish so far….soon i will pop them into my oven with only the gas light on, should be ready by 9pm :-))))

    • jules 23 July, 2012, 10:06 am

      Thanks for sharing Jackielyn!
      Really interested to hear how it goes with the pectin… brilliant idea

  • Jackielyn Powell 23 July, 2012, 3:21 pm

    Hey Jules,

    Wow, the pectin worked and the texture is creamy and smooth just like yoghurt. This was my third attempt and it was PERFECT! I used three heaped tablespoons of pectin (which also have castor sugar as a carrier and citric acid – i hope the citric acid doesn’t harm the bacteria?). I actually heated the coconut milk up to 60-70 degree so that the pectin would dissolve easily and then cooled it down to about 40 degrees where i then added the contents of my pro-biotic capsules.

    I got the pectin from coles, but am going to check out woolies to see if they have any other brands that i can try which don’t have citric acid and castor sugar as when my yoghurt was ready to move out of the oven and into the fridge, i opended the lid and tasted my yoghurt to see if it was tart enough, i couldn’t tell if it was naturally tart or because of the citric acid?

    All in all, it worked out well and this is how i will continue to make my coconut yoghurt, the pectin gives it the perfect texture, you could use about 3 or 4 heaped tablespoons for a batch using 3 cans of coconut milk.

    Next mission. To make my own coconut milk.

    Thanks Jules, love your blog!

    • jules 23 July, 2012, 6:46 pm

      Wow Jackielyn!
      Thanks for reporting back… I’m going to have to track down some pectin myself.
      The citric acid shouldn’t harm the bacteria as lactic acid bacteria are relatively tolerant – although only up to a point.
      I’ve tried coconut milk.. way too much effort for me… but hope you come up with an easier way.
      Good luck!

  • Maria 26 July, 2012, 8:23 am

    please help, my home made yogurt has to much water on the top? is this normal. What about 40% of the jar is water? how can I avoid this ???

    • jules 31 July, 2012, 9:12 am

      Hi Maria
      It’s normal to have some liquid but not 40%.
      Does it taste like youghurt? I’m not sure how you can avoid this, although my first step would be to choose a different brand of starter culture as that can make a huge difference to your yoghurt texture.

  • Sharon 31 July, 2012, 12:11 am

    I wanted to test my probiotic’s potency and just for curiosity’s sake tried to make coconut milk yogurt. I just mixed 2 capsules with 1 can milk, covered and let sit for approx 12-24 hours (don’t exactly remember)… I live in Tx and since it is hot here I just put it behind my crockpot which was on high and I did not do anything further. Then, put in the fridge for another 24 hours. The yogurt tasted a lot like sour cream and was soooo delicious to someone who has not had any dairy for 8 years. Then I got on the net and some say it is absolutely essential to heat the coconut milk first to an exact temp to kill off bad bacteria. Do you see this as necessary since it is canned milk? Also, my coconut milk says consume within 2 days of opening. Do you think the fermentation process will extend this out some… it is really tart and thus, I guess, the pH has been significantly lowered by the lacto-fermentation.

    • jules 31 July, 2012, 8:57 am

      Hi Sharon
      So glad you’re enjoying!
      Definitely no need to sterilise canned coconut milk, unless the can has been opened and sitting around for a few days.
      You’re right about the lower pH extending the shelf life. I will last for at least a few weeks, possibly longer.

  • Susan 12 August, 2012, 2:37 am

    I read, with interest, your blog on yogurt. Years ago, I made all my own yogurt. My kids were raised on it. Now, one of my daughters lives in Cambodia. I am thinking she might want to try your coconut yogurt.

    You mentioned some yogurts are a bit runny. One thing we always did was to add 1 cup of powdered milk to the mixture. It thickened the yogurt nicely.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • jules 13 August, 2012, 6:52 am

      Thanks for sharing your yoghurt story Susan

    • ryan 14 January, 2013, 9:40 am

      I’m also in Cambodia and love making probiotics. I have yoghurt and kombuscha going.

  • sue 18 August, 2012, 8:18 pm

    Hi Jules,

    Just about to attempt your yogurt recipe but wanted to ask how much to use if using a live culture vs powdered culture?

    My friend is giving me some live culture so I wanted to find out how many spoonfuls to add to make 1kg of yogurt.

    Look forward to your reply.


    • jules 23 August, 2012, 12:34 pm

      Hi Sue!
      It really depends on how concentrated the live culture is.. I usually use 3-4 tablespoons of old yoghurt… but the amount isn’t so critical… if you add more there will be more bacteria so it will ferment quicker where as less will take longer but it will still get there.

      Good luck!

    • Daniel 12 April, 2013, 8:32 pm

      Hey Jules and Sue,
      I did it and bought a machine that’s good at maintaining a constant temperature. In the instructions manual it says that if you’re using a live culture as a starter, you should only do this once. I’m wondering why. I always imagined making yoghurt with live starter akin to making sour dough bread. Any insights?

  • Angeline 21 August, 2012, 11:18 pm

    I too have been delving into the adventurous world of yoghurt making, it’s fun. My 7 year old will not eat commercially made yoghurt, says its too sweet (I smile). I mostly use left over yoghurt to start the next batch, occasionaly there is a dud with no known cause (use that up making pancakes or scones though). I love to read about other techniques and am eager to try your coconut yoghurt, thank you for sharing, the video is just great!

    • jules 23 August, 2012, 12:27 pm

      I think the ‘duds’ happen when you get other strains of bacteria taking over Angeline.. nothing to worry about though.
      And you’re right! It’s so much fun

  • Deb 3 September, 2012, 3:29 am

    Thanks for the coconut milk recipe; we’re trying a dairy-free ED for my older child to see if we can’t conquer some chronic eczema without the heavy-duty steroids the doctors want to use, so since we already use tons of coconut stuff at home (and because I’ve been making my own yogurt for ages – we go thru a gallon a week easy!), I figured a search for a recipe wouldn’t hurt.

    When I make my dairy yogurt, while I heat most of the gallon of organic milk, I reserve maybe a pint in a separate jar (jelly jar or mason jar) and sprinkle a packet of unflavored gelatin over it and let it dissolve into that milk. (I also let the milk jug drain into that jar so I get the stubborn drops instead of washing them down the drain before I recycle. LOL) Once my milk reaches 180, I ladle a bit of the hot milk into the mason jar and shake it up to make sure I get any undissolved gelatin mixed in and then add it back into the pot of milk. Unless I mess up something else, my yogurt comes out pretty creamy; even my kids tell me they like the texture better than yogurt with commercial thickeners like guar gum. :-) Just another way to thicken, which I’ll also probably use for my coconut milk yogurt recipe.

  • Tash Page 6 September, 2012, 6:52 pm

    Oh ive just tried a similar recipe today, apart from not using the egg white powder… i hope its not tooooo runny! So if after 12 hours its not set, should i just put it in the fridge anyway? I guess i could use it in smoothies if it doesnt set?

    • jules 15 September, 2012, 1:14 am

      Hi Tash
      If it’s not set, leave it out a little longer… and yes smoothies are a good solution for runny yoghurt!

  • Corrie 7 September, 2012, 7:27 am

    Thanks so much for your recipe and guidance- your experience in the food science world is very valuable! And the pictures you add are so beautiful – thanks for your great website.

  • Ryan 8 September, 2012, 9:44 pm

    Hi, I’m in Japan and I’m trying to make this coconut yogurt. I don’t have access bacteria starters or natural coconut yogurt here. Would it be possible for me to mix regular yogurt into coconut milk to make coconut yogurt? How would I go about doing this? What proportions would I use?

    Thanks in advance

    • jules 15 September, 2012, 1:02 am

      Yes using yoghurt as your starter should work.
      I’d use about 3 tablespoons starter for 4 cups of coconut milk.
      Good luck!

  • Cat 10 September, 2012, 11:40 am

    i have a few questions.
    1. Why is it important to sterilize containers used for making yoghurt?
    2. What are ‘good’ bacteria?
    3. Why do people thing ‘good’ bacteria are good things?
    4. Why are some people who can’t drink milk still able to eat yoghurt?
    5. Find out what chemical reactions are happening in your yoghurt mixture?
    a. What types of bacteria are used for yoghurt making?
    b. Why might the yoghurt taste slightly sour?
    c. What is happening to the sugars in the milk?
    d. What is the benefit of converting milk to yoghurt?
    e. Suggest why a lid is put over container when making yoghurt.
    f. How do large producers ensure there is no contamination by other bacteria and moulds?
    g. Why is it important?
    h. What is the difference between stirred and set yoghurt?

    • Bogon Moff 13 December, 2012, 10:50 am

      Ahhhh, the ol’ use the blog comments to crowdsource answers to homework tasks trick….

      Great writeup, definitely inspired me to try making some, today!

    • pren10 12 April, 2013, 11:58 pm

      1. Because bacteria scares people. Or it should
      2. Good bacteria are little soldiers that fight for you instead of against. Without many strains of lactobacillus and bifidobacteria and a few others, your digestive system would not work very well.
      3. That’s why it’s called good bacteria, there are only so many inches of surface area in your stomach, if it is not covered by good bacteria, it will be taken over by the bad kind resulting in disease.
      4.people who can’t eat milk mostly differ from lactose intolerance, yogurt eats up the lactose, or breaks it all down.
      5. I add flora cultures to my yogurts so I end up with 10-12 strains, I then pour it into a cheese cloth and let it sit to allow the whey to drain off. Nice yogurt.

  • Mary 17 September, 2012, 9:24 am

    I’ve read you should use aluminum pans/bakeware with yogurt, is that true? Not only do I want to make my own yogurt I would like to bake with it.

    • jules 5 November, 2012, 4:04 pm

      I’d recommend avoiding aluminimum pans all together Mary

  • Ken 19 September, 2012, 10:03 pm

    I have been making yogurt for almost a year. I have been doing it much as you suggest except I have been letting in culture overnight in the same saucepan as I heated the milk in. In the morning I funnel it back into the original plastic milk bottle and place it in the fridge. I believe the saucepan is aluminium, but I’m not really sure. Lately I have become very tired all the time. Is it possible culturing it in a metal container is not a good thing to be doing?

    • jules 5 November, 2012, 4:02 pm

      I’d get rid of your Aluminimum pots if you can Ken
      And yes I’d steer clear of culturing in metal
      Hope that helps

  • Amelia 9 October, 2012, 1:15 am

    Hi Jules, I have been making cow-milk yogurt for a while now. I am in the Bahamas and we have plenty of coconut trees around. Would it be advisable to use real fresh coconut water for yogurt making? Would I need to heat it first?

    • jules 5 November, 2012, 3:38 pm

      Hi Amelia
      If it’s not out of a can it will need to be heated to sterilise it.
      I’d say it would make a pretty watery yoghurt though.. worth a try

  • Maria 12 October, 2012, 2:36 am


    I am following the GAPS diet which requires making homemade yogurt but it needs to be cultured for a minimum of 24 hours to remove all the lactose. I have tried to do this without a yogurt maker but I seem to end up killing the bacteria by having the temp go to hight. I purchased a yogurt culture with probiotics. I thought this would be more powerful and helpful to me right now as I try to rebuild the gut flora. this particular starter requires initial heating of the milk to 180 F and then allowing it to cool to somewhere between 72-77F before adding the starter. Then you need to GRADUALLY bring the temp up to a max of 112 in a yogurt maker. I have been doing this without the yogurt maker because I cannot find one that will do this. (There is one on the market that corresponds to the same company that makes the yogurt but the container is plastic and I will only use glass.) Do you have any clever ways to gradually bring the temp up over a 24 hour + period with or without a yogurt maker? I was nearly successful putting everything in the oven and warming and cooling the over but it was tiresome over the long fermentation process it needs to be most beneficial to me.

    thank you

    • christa 25 October, 2012, 1:28 pm

      try an electric heating pad

      • jules 5 November, 2012, 3:01 pm

        Not sure what you mean by that Christa?

    • jules 5 November, 2012, 3:30 pm

      Hi Maria
      I’m not sure why you need to warm the yoghurt as it ferments – sorry can’t help you I’m afraid

      • Barbara 30 November, 2012, 2:42 pm

        Maria is referring to the fact that the yogurt needs to be kept at a temperature around 110 degrees F to properly culture, and she needs to do this gradually over a period of 24 hours for the bacteria to completely consume all of the lactose. Christa is referring to using an electric heating pad, used for aching muscles and such, to gradually bring the temperature up. Using a heating pad is another technique used to keep fermenting yogurt at a steady temperature.

  • Olga 5 November, 2012, 12:38 am

    Hello, I have a question. Can I use So delicious coconut milk( that contains carageenan and other additives) to make coconut yogurt?

    • jules 5 November, 2012, 2:40 pm

      Hi Olga
      Yes it should work – can’t see why not.
      Good luck

  • Rachael 9 November, 2012, 11:18 am

    Hi.. Love your recipe for coconut yogurt… Just wanted to know if I could use some of the culture from a tub of bought coconut yogurt.. Would it work.. It says on tub that it has vegan cultures in it?

    • jules 12 November, 2012, 4:33 pm

      Hi Rachael
      Yes it should work… but there’s only one way to find out.. just try it!
      Good luck

  • Viridiana 3 December, 2012, 1:05 am

    Hi Jules,
    When I was little, I used to have a live culture–they looked a bit like crumbled blue cheese–and I really loved making my own yogurt smoothies. I’ve just started to use powdered starters to make yogurt and wondered what the difference is between the two (or if I can get the powdered cultures to be more like what I had growing up).

    • jules 4 December, 2012, 5:30 pm

      Hi Viridiana
      The main difference between powdered cultures and live ones is that the powdered cultures use strains of yeast that are more hardy and able to tolerate the freeze drying process. I’m not familiar with any yoghurt starters that look like blue cheese… might be worth your while tracking down a keffir culture… which tends to be crumbly like you describe. Good luck!

  • Nino 6 December, 2012, 6:40 am

    What an awesome name for a blog!!! I (and probably the vast majority of those that are familiar) LOVE that book, as do our children!
    I just wanted to say that your site is amazing. Your generous tips are guiding me through to some amazing discoveries. Who would have thought an ex “gang banger” gone counselor, photographer, entrepreneur,-baker… would be trying to incubate yogurt in order to perfect his next frosting. Boom! but here I am. Thanks Again, I’ll let you know how it goes. Going for yogurt as a starter to then make our cream cheese frosting. We’ll be up soon. (www.calicakesca.com) Sugar, Flour, Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Nut free Premium Sweets.
    Respectfully, Nino Gabaldon

  • Angie 9 December, 2012, 3:27 pm

    Hi there – just wondering if you could use coconut milk powder in place of the egg white powder?


  • Biggy 24 December, 2012, 3:38 am

    how can I use pre-made yoghurt as a starter since it contain preservatives?
    please expatiate.
    Best regards.

    • jules 2 January, 2013, 4:32 pm

      Hi Biggy,
      Try finding a good organic commercial yoghurt – it is possible to find them without preservatives

  • Michelle Wilczewski 7 January, 2013, 3:16 am

    Hi. Tried my first batch of yogurt. It’s definitely too runny for me. Would putting it back in the yogurt maker help thicken it up? Thanks. Michelle

    • jules 9 January, 2013, 4:57 pm

      Hi Michelle
      If it’s really runny sounds like your culture hasn’t done its job… I doubt putting it back will help.
      Best is to try a different brand of culture.

  • Peter Cartouche 9 January, 2013, 8:17 am

    Thank for the care you put into all of this Jules :)

    I usually make yoghurt using exclusively full cream cream milk powder. ie zero fresh and so zero need to sterilize. Is there any particular reason you know of why I should not continue to do this? Safety? Better result with fresh milk?

    • jules 9 January, 2013, 4:49 pm

      Hi Peter
      I’ve stopped using FCMP in my yoghurt because I’ve been reading how the process of making the powder oxidises the fat and cholesterol in the milk… which isn’t the best health wise. I’ve also found that the milk powder give a funny flavour that you just don’t get with fresh milk.
      But from a safety aspect I can’t think of any problems as long as your water has been boiled first.

  • Amy | Appetite for Discovery 9 January, 2013, 5:50 pm

    Great post, thanks! I have recently entered the world of yoghurt making and am really keen to make my own probiotic yoghurt to get more of the ‘good’ bacteria into my diet but am a little confused as to whether I would be better off using a probiotic powder or store bought probiotic yoghurt as a starter. I was also wondering how many times I could use the yoghurt I make as a starter for my next batch before I need to start again with a fresh live or powdered starter. Does the potency of the live cultures reduce with each batch or do they just continue to multiply? Finally, can you recommend a good probiotic powder – there seem to be so many to choose from with different cultures in them. I don’t have any conditions or intolerances, just generally looking for more ‘good’ bacteria! Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  • Cass 16 January, 2013, 9:24 pm

    I have soya yogurt-making down to a fine art now. I use organic long-life soya milk (UHT) and a starter of live Soya Yogurt that has the minimum of additives. I use a yogurt maker – either Salton or Bel – and usually boil the milk and let it cool to the temperature indicated on the special spoon/thermometer. I strain it to get rid of the skin and add the amount of yogurt contained by the spoon/thermometer and an almost equal amount of ordinary sugar (not Xylitol). The result after 5 or 6 hours is several pots of firm, ‘set’ and very pleasant tasting yogurt. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet achieved this with homemade soya milk or with powdered culture.

  • Abby 18 January, 2013, 12:54 pm

    My daughter seems to not be able to tolerate dairy, so I have switched her to alternatives. I found the soYo coconut milk yogurt, but it is very pricey so I want to make my own. I just want to be sure that it can’t grow any bad bacteria that will make her sick (botchalism?). Also, I too want use the SoYo as a starter, but does it matter that it already contains sugar? And how do you know that the batch actually ends up with live cultures, just how it sets up thicker? I really appreciate your blog, you already explained so much!

  • Steph 21 January, 2013, 10:23 am

    egg-white powder in the yogurt? this is the 1st I’ve ever heard of such an addition, even in commercial yogurt.

    does albumen offer any advantage over gelatin? -not that I like the texture that gelatin imparts to yogurt…

  • terese 30 January, 2013, 3:51 pm

    Hi Jules
    Had no idea making your own yoghurt was that easy. Thank you for posting the video. What brand powder culture do you use and where can I buy it?
    I live in Melbourne. An esky is fine for maintaining the temperature?


  • Nadine 30 January, 2013, 8:24 pm

    I can only buy powdered yoghurt starters in Germany. They are really expensive, that´s why I wanted to ask if I can reuse some tablespoons of the coconut yoghurt for the next batch (or does it only work with cow milk yoghurt?)? I read that it is not possible with coconut milk yoghurt, but as you add the egg white powder – perhaps it works…


  • Carly Soule 2 February, 2013, 1:03 am

    Recently I have used an organic yogurt that contains pre and probiotics. Is this a good or bad thing and how will it effect the yogurt?

  • Rachelle 3 February, 2013, 5:15 pm

    We have success! Made a total mess of the first batch and had made the second batch and then decided to buy powdered milk and despite my messing it thickened up nicely and is lovely and smooth. Little Miss 4 will only eat it with strawberry milkshake syrup in it but at least I know that the culture is live. I’ll work on reducing the amount of powdered probiotics as I did heap it in. for the second batch I prolonged the heat by putting a heated rice bag in with it. You can make one yourself out of brown rice and cotton material. A couple of more times and I’ll be a pro.

  • Amber Gubler 5 February, 2013, 10:05 am


    I am trying to increase the calcium in my children’s lives so I want to use coconut milk from a carton that has added calcium. Would calcium milk from the cold section of the store work? Do I need to boil it first since it is not in a can?

    • Amber Gubler 8 February, 2013, 3:14 pm

      I realize my comment on Feb. 5th is confusing because I wrote calcium milk instead of coconut milk. So let me ask my question again. Do you think I could use coconut milk from a carton found in the cold section instead of coconut milk from a can? If so would I need to boil it first?

      • jules 22 February, 2013, 8:54 am

        It should work Amber…
        And if the use by date is more than a few months away, it means the coconut milk has been heat treated so it would be the same as using from a can… no need to boil first.

  • Melinda 10 February, 2013, 3:37 am

    Hi Jules,
    I make yogurt and kefir at home, often from homemade oatmilk and sometimes store bought goatmilk. Because I have read that coconut oil and milk are antibacterial, I never culture coconut milk, have avoided adding coconut milk to cultured smoothies, and even put a couple hours between consuming coconut items (and other antibacterials like heavy garlic) and cultured items. Have you heard this and can you confirm it? Despite all the cultured coconut items available in stores, it has long given me pause.

  • Jeremy 10 February, 2013, 9:54 am

    loving the blog. Don’t even know how I ended up here but so glad I stumbled upon it. Always after a new challenge… My partner is gluten and lactose intolerant so its always best to make things ourselves to ensure its all as safe as possible.
    anyway, was wondering if anyone had noticed any separation in any of their batches of coconut milk yoghurt. I know coconut milk has a habit of separating in the can but is this a bad thing in the yoghurt? Im kind of tempted just to mix it. Thoughts??
    . Jeremy

  • Rachel 10 February, 2013, 4:27 pm

    Have just started trying cow’s milk yoghurt, using milk powder and esky overnight. One question regarding consistency – the yoghurt looks to be mostly set, however has a texture/consistency similar to melted cheese (a bit ‘stringy’) – and ideas of what I might be doing wrong? Thanks for your post – the kids are enjoying ‘fresh’ yoghurt, and will do so even more if I can get the consistency right!

    • jules 22 February, 2013, 8:52 am

      The stringinesss is probably caused by the type of culture (or a contaminant). I’d try using a different brand and making sure everything is super clean before you start.

  • David 13 February, 2013, 7:37 am

    I have been trying to make my own yoghurt with dry cultures from a company named Mad Millies. There is a TINY amount in the satchel ( 1 level teaspoon ) and instructions tell me it’s enough for 10 litres of yoghurt. I have tried 1 batch but it didn’t set thickly enough. 24 hours I left it in my incubator, after heating to 82c then cooling to 43c. Could you let me know how to mix the milk and how much dry culture in the correct proportion, thanks. David

    • jules 22 February, 2013, 8:47 am

      Sorry David
      I’m not familiar with your brand of yoghurt culture. They can vary quite a bit – I’ve used ones that take about 2 teaspoons for a liter of milk. My current favourite is freeze dried and about 1/2 teaspoon works for 5L.
      Just keep experimenting

  • Olesya 13 February, 2013, 9:26 am

    Dear Jules,

    I have been making yoghurt at home for over a year now, but have recently heard from a family member that apparently it’s very dangerous as when you take a spoonful of the old batch of yoghurt into the boiled milk to make a fresh batch of yogurt, some pathogenic bacteria gets transferred as well, and so over time you keep building up more and more harmful bacteria as you always take some of old yoghurt into the fresh batch. Could you comment on this from the microbiology point of view? It does seem a bit like scaremongering, as people have been making yogurt like this for generations.

    • jules 22 February, 2013, 8:36 am

      Great question Olesya!
      Here’s the thing, the ‘good’ lactic acid bacteria that we use to make yoghurt are special in that they are tolerant of acid environments. And in the yoghurt making process they actually make acid and lower the pH of the yoghurt… hence the lovely ‘tangy’ taste.

      Pathogenic bacteria, generally can’t survive in the acidic environment of yoghurt so it’s really unlikely that there would be any in the old yoghurt you’re using as a ‘starter’. So it’s really low risk.

      That being said, I usually make my yoghurt in jars rather than one huge container and try and use yoghurt from one of the unopened jars as my starter to make sure there’s even less risk of any harmful.

      Hope that helps and keep up the good yoghurt making work!

  • Jennifer 15 February, 2013, 1:09 am

    Melinda – with regard to your earlier comment about coconut milk being anti-bacterial and therefore possibly killing the friendly bacteria in cultured products, I thought you may be interested to read this extract I read on another website: “Coconut milk ferments very well with honey as a sweetener, as the many commenters here can attest. You can also ferment honey into wine! Neither honey nor coconut oil are antibiotic enough to harm the probiotics in your yogurt.” This is the website where I read this FYI: http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/2009/04/25/homemade-coconut-milk-yogurt/

  • Ann 16 February, 2013, 7:24 pm

    Hi This is a query regarding the use of yogurt, I would like to make the hard yogurt icing that can be found on cereal bars and raisins etc. Do you know how this is made? I am hoping to make the yogurt then turn into icing and use as an on cakes.

    Hoping you can help

    Ann Ronaldson

    • jules 22 February, 2013, 7:01 am

      HI Ann
      The hard ‘yoghurt’ icing found on cereal bars etc is actually white compound chocolate with some yoghurt powder added for flavour… so using fresh yoghurt won’t give you the same result.

  • Madelynne 20 February, 2013, 6:24 am

    I’ve had great success using probiotic capsules!! (Dairy free ones)
    I just use the contents of one capsuel per cup of liquid and it works a treat! Have tried the same technique with soy milk as well with great results.

    • jules 22 February, 2013, 6:55 am

      Thanks for sharing Madelynne!
      Great to know it works with soy milk too

  • lydija 4 March, 2013, 3:02 am

    Thanks for putting this recipe up. I tried it last night and it was great. It is still more of a European style (runnier than most American yogurts) and so I put half the batch to drip off a cheesecloth and got the greek style I was hoping for. I used honey during the incubation phase and probiotic capsules. I also added some protein powder for a bit of extra protein. I also added a drop of vanilla and I was in heaven.

    Thank you so much again – I am looking forward to years of eating yogurt again – something I miss not being able to eat dairy anymore!

  • kylieinegypt 6 March, 2013, 5:44 pm

    Hi Jules, I am an Australian living in Egypt, and have been making my own yoghurt for about a month now, with great success. That is, until now. I purchase raw milk from my local milk man (for whom good hygiene practices are yet to be learned), have been heating it till about 75degrees (lower than you say, I know), and then cooling it etc. But twice now (once when I was making a custard base for ice-cream), I heated the milk, and at about 65 or so degrees, it separated into a rubbery mass and whey. The first time I had been whisking it a lot, but this time I had hardly done any whisking.

    I think I have made some sort of cheese. But why? Is it because the milk is contaminated with a large amount of bacteria? What do I do with it?

  • FR 15 March, 2013, 10:44 am

    Okay, I feel like this might be a silly question, but I don’t understand why you have to chill it in an esky but then leave that in a warm place. Why don’t you do one or the other? Either leave it in an esky or put it in a warm place? Basically, what I am trying to get at, is what temperature are you aiming for during the initial 12 hours?

  • Meghan 18 March, 2013, 11:03 pm

    ^^ The chiller bag is not to chill but to keep the yogurt warm. :)

  • Kevin 30 March, 2013, 3:05 am

    Hi All –
    Been making my own Greek style non-fat yogurt for a while now.
    Not into the probiotic/non-dairy thing as a lot of you seem to be.
    I use store bought skim milk (sometimes add non-fat powdered milk to bump up the protein and the calcium) and either my own yogurt or, if I forget to save some for starter, use any commercial plain yogurt for starter. Have never tried the powdered stuff.
    I heat 7-8 cups of milk to 180 deg./F (altho I don’t think it’s necessary for commercial milk), cool it to 110 deg., put 3-4 good tablespoons of yogurt into a 2 quart glass casserole dish and stir in the milk. Then I put the dish into my yogurt maker for about 8 hours. The longer you leave it the more tart it gets. I’ve heard of using the cooler or heating pad method, even putting it in the oven w/ just the light on to keep it warm but I have a yogurt maker so….
    At this point it’s good to go (just stir and refrigerate) but I prefer Greek style so I strain it thru a linen napkin for an hour or two (you loose about 50% of the volume) and since I like it really creamy I force it thru a fine mesh screen. Then I stir back in enough of the whey to get the texture I like. It does thicken somewhat in the fridge. Lasts at least a week or two. Have never had it go bad before I used it up.
    You can use any milk (whole, 2%, goat, etc.) Have never tried soy milk but I might try it for my neice.
    Definitely am going to try coconut. Sounds great!

    • Kevin 30 March, 2013, 8:25 am

      Almost forgot… you need to use fresh starter after 4 batches. It definitely loses it’s potency over time.
      For FR – you’re looking for approx. 112 deg./F for the entire fermenting time.
      Doesn’t have to be exact but should be above 100F and below 130F. Above 130 deg./F will kill the bacteria culture, below 100 deg./F the bacteria don’t grow quickly enough to gel properly.

  • Brent 1 April, 2013, 5:24 pm

    Thank you for the steps! I made mine and it turned out well, for a first timer. ;)

  • hippytea 2 April, 2013, 5:39 am

    Hi there! I must try coconut yoghurt – I have lots of fun making regular cow’s milk yoghurt.

    Just a comment: the step of heating the milk up to 83C is not for sterilisation (though that’s a bonus) – it’s to denature the milk proteins, and it gives a better set, especially if you can hold it around that temperature for 20-30mins before cooling and adding the starter. That’s why a lot of yoghurt recipes recommend doing this even with freshly-opened pasteurised milk – pasteurisation doesn’t keep the milk hot for long enough to denature the proteins.

    I believe UHT/ultrapasteurised milk doesn’t need this step as it has already been done (hence why it tastes a bit different). I’ve never used UHT for yoghurt but apparently it works well.

    • Kevin Moore 9 April, 2013, 1:39 pm

      h/t – thanks for the info. How do you hold it at temp for 20-30 min? Maybe a water bath? I just heat it directly on the stove and then let it cool.
      I’m wondering if denaturing the protein might increase my yield?

  • pam 12 April, 2013, 2:40 pm

    hi….we eat raw eggs all the time in my family…straight from the chicken so i have no concerns. with that in mind, do you think you could use real egg white rather than a powdered version? would that work? thanks heaps….

  • pren10 13 April, 2013, 12:01 am

    Throw away all yogurt tools, accept for the thermometer, and buy a thermal cooker. Yogurt making becomes 1-2-3 easy. Plus the thermal cooker has many multi uses.

  • Marion 15 April, 2013, 8:58 pm

    Very new to all this – researching Net for days. Been Gluten, Dairy, Starch, Yeast, Soy free for last 10 years. Immune Disfunction!
    Live in Spain, can’t buy any Yogurt here without some Sugar (3.0g min) could I use this? Will look for Powdered Starters. Can get Sheeps Milk, but Pasteurized and probably UHT. Might try Almond Milk (if I can make it) and the Coconut one.
    Could I mix Sheeps Milk with a little Cows?

    • Kevin Moore 16 April, 2013, 6:58 am

      You can use any yogurt for a starter as long as it contains live cultures. I’ve used sweetened yogurt in a pinch (vanilla flavored and honey flavored) and it works okay. Prefer the plain.
      You can also use any milk – cows, sheep, goat – raw, pasteurized, UHT and can combine them. I don’t use raw milk and have never tried soy or almond but have my first batch of coconut working right now.
      Buenas Suertes!

  • Elle 21 April, 2013, 8:06 pm

    Jules, thank you for your inspirational recipe for yogurts. I have been making cows milk yogurt for years without any problems.
    I have thrown out many coconut yogurt attempts – worse one had almonds in. I at last had success adding some powdered coconut milk to tinned coconut milk, instead of the powdered egg white. (Just didn’t have the powdered egg white). Is there any reason I shouldn’t use powdered coconut milk?
    I used the live cultures I keep in the freezer and they work for both cow and coconut yogurts.
    Thanks, Elle

  • John Spitaleri 25 April, 2013, 5:26 am

    When I lived in Ecuador I used to make yogurt ever day.

    No jars needed, no bags for storage, no thermometer needed.

    We had raw milk delivered each morning. Just put a tablespoon of yesterday’s yogurt in a shallow bowl mixed with fresh milk. Cover lightly with cloth, on a warm spot. Tomorrow your yogurt is ready. Next day repeat.

    No Work
    No Storage needed
    Fresh Every day.

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