I made a half gallon of crockpot yogurt from the instructions on A Year of CrockPotting, and it turned out pretty good. I had almost a half gallon of milk that was starting to turn, so I needed to use it up fast.
The yogurt tastes a little more like sour cream than yogurt to me, and it's not quite thick enough for my liking, so I'm experimenting with a few ways to make it thicker and add flavor.
First, I read that if you drain it through a kitchen strainer lined with a coffee filter, it will become more the consistency of sour cream, so I have one of those going in the fridge, and I can already see that a lot of the fluid is draining out. You're supposed to leave it for 24 hours, so by tomorrow morning, I'll know what it's going to look like.
I got the idea that more gelatin, in the form of flavored gelatin, would make it thicker and give it flavor, so I'm experimenting with that as well. I took two cups of crockpot yogurt and heated it for 2 minutes in the microwave (it had been refrigerated, so that just got it warm). I don't know if microwaving kills the active cultures, but I'm hoping not.
I dissolved a package of sugar free lime Jello in a half cup of boiling water, and added that to the yogurt, and whisked it all together well. I poured this into dessert glasses, and put it back in to cool. Hopefully, this will turn out somewhat like the Yoplait Key Lime thick and creamy yogurt. We'll see.
Anyway, I figure at $1.50 a half gallon for the milk, and a little electricity, and maybe a few packs of Jello, I'll have yogurt much, much cheaper than store bought. Plus, if the draining thing works, I'll have sour cream as well.
It takes awhile to make this, but I figure it will be well worth the price once it's done. I'll update this when the lime flavored concoction sets.
CLICK HERE for the update.