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Bryan Kushner

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since Aug 13, 2017
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Recent posts by Bryan Kushner

Hi Adam,

For a sensitive stomach I would suggest a yogurt recipe developed by Elaine Gottschall in her book Braking the Vicious Cycle.  They found that fermenting at 100-110 deg F for 24 hours produces a virtually lactose-free yogurt.  This is because the longer a starter sits with milk, for more it brakes down lactose.  So at 24 hours the lactose is broken down into its components of glucose and galactose.  In other words, the digestion of lactose has been done for you!  This long of a culture time also starts to brake down some milk proteins which means overall east of digestion for this yogurt.  

Another consideration is that some folks don't handle the milk protein called casein.  In that case you can try goat milk instead of cows milk.  If that stilll doesn't work then try non-dairy milks but I'd say away from store bought soy or almond milk.  Most have additives that interfere with the fermentation process.  
3 years ago
Hi David,

I haven't noticed a problem... add the agar-agar to the milk at the beginning heating (~1/2 tsp per quart of milk).  Bring temperature to 185 degrees and immediately turn of heat.  Let sit for about 15 min before you put it in a ice bath to cool it off.  This is popular with vegan yogurts that use coconut milk, almond milk, etc because those yogurts don't set up well on their own.

~Bryan  
3 years ago
A cheap/fast way to thicken your yogurt is to add a thickener like gelatin, agar agar, or tapioca starch.  You add these thickeners to the milk as it is heated and use a whisk to blend well.  Then cool the milk/thickener mixture and add your starter.

The best Greek style comes from using a Bulgarian starter which produces thick yogurt during fermentation.  Then strain the yogurt in cheese cloth or a bouillon strainer to desired thickness.  This yogurt can be substituted in Greek yogurt cooking recipes.  The tartness goes down with increasing the straining or increasing the percent milk fat.

The method of holding milk at 180 deg F or so does help thicken milk by removing water content.  I do that sometimes but use a double boiler so I don't scorch the milk.  Heating the milk also denatures the whey proteins which helps them coagulate when cooled.
3 years ago