Utilizing Kefir As A Yogurt Starter

Yogurt making is having a second. See what all of the enjoyable is about by making your individual pure yogurt! This recipe makes use of kefir as a starter for an finish consequence that’s assured to thrill your style buds.

The next excerpt is from The Artwork of Pure Cheesemaking by David Asher. It has been tailored for the online.

(Images courtesy of Kelly Brown until in any other case famous.)

It TakesYogurt to Make Yogurt

Within the strategy of yogurt making, milk is first cooked; as soon as it’s cooled, a small quantity of yogurt starter tradition is added to the cooked milk, and the inoculated milk is then incubated at a heat temperature till the yogurt units.

However although most yogurt makers supply their yogurt starter both from packages of freeze-dried yogurt tradition or with a little bit of yogurt saved from a earlier batch of yogurt-making, I make yogurt with kefir.


Kefir tradition is a various supply of many useful cheesemaking cultures and might function a starter for making any type of cheese. Conveniently, energetic kefir grains rise to the highest of heat milk and will be simply faraway from the curd as soon as it has set.

And although it might be an unconventional method to yogurt-making (is there a recipe on this guide that isn’t unconventional?), utilizing kefir as a yogurt starter works.

Cooking Milk for Yogurt

That’s as a result of it’s the cooking of milk previous to culturing, adopted by a high-temperature culturing interval, that transforms milk to yogurt, and never any particular tradition that’s added to the milk.

Cooking the milk achieves a number of ends: First, it concentrates the milk, which leads to a thicker curd because the yogurt ferments.

Second, it denatures the albumin proteins within the milk into the curd, which additionally thickens the yogurt; and third, the high-temperature cooking and subsequent incubation reduces the oxygen within the milk, which encourages the suitable varieties of fermentation that give yogurt its finest qualities.

Making Yogurt With Kefir

Making yogurt with kefir, the high-temperature incubation encourages the event of Lactobacillus and Streptococcus micro organism, each endemic to kefir and each chargeable for giving yogurt good taste and texture.

The low-oxygen circumstances inspired by the high-temperature incubation of the fermenting milk scale back the exercise of kefir’s yeast and fungal cultures, thus eliminating any effervescence that will usually develop.

The Texture of Yogurt

Within the battle to achieve the proper yogurt curd, many yogurt makers pull out all of the stops. Some imagine that the one option to get an excellent thick yogurt is so as to add powdered milk or milk protein concentrates, which, sadly, can have questionable origins.

Others spend money on costly and pointless yogurt-making machines. Many substitute their yogurt starter cultures ceaselessly, particularly those that use DVI yogurts, whose lab-raised micro organism are delicate to contamination if reused.

Nevertheless, I’ve discovered that on condition that the milk is unprocessed, and the cultures are wholesome and energetic, getting the proper texture in yogurt is all about following the correct method— particularly taking note of the milk as it’s cooked and incubated.

Obtain the Good Texture

yogurt For yogurt to develop its finest texture, its making calls for the maker’s full consideration. The milk needs to be cooked slowly to a excessive sufficient temperature— 185°F (85°C)—and for an extended time frame, a minimum of half an hour.

The milk have to be stirred nonstop as it’s cooked, to encourage evaporation but in addition to make sure that it doesn’t scorch on the underside or kind a pores and skin on the highest, each of that are coagulations of milk solids that take away from the thickness of the yogurt.

What to Do After Cooking

After cooking, you need to cool the milk to the suitable incubation temperature, stirring all of the whereas to forestall a pores and skin from forming.

The cooled milk is inoculated with starter tradition (the much less you add, the higher the consequence!), then the inoculated milk is incubated in a heat place to make sure it stays within the vary of temperature at which yogurt units finest—between 100 and 110°F (that’s 38 to 43°C).

As soon as the milk has thickened, it has completed its transformation into yogurt and will be positioned within the fridge to halt its fermentation, or left to ferment longer for those who’re on the lookout for a extra acidic yogurt.

Benefits to Utilizing Kefir

I’ve discovered wonderful outcomes when fastidiously following this system when utilizing conventional yogurt cultures (lots of which will be present in yogurt-making communities or from pure tradition firms like Cultures for Well being), or kefir.

The benefits to utilizing kefir as a yogurt starter, nonetheless, are that you needn’t trouble maintaining every other starters (one thing that deterred me from making yogurt with particular yogurt cultures)…and the variety of microorganisms inside the tradition make a remarkably flavorful yogurt.

Moreover, if the kefir is ready with uncooked milk, the consequence can be a real uncooked milk yogurt.

RECIPE: Pure Yogurt


  • 1-gallon pot for cooking your milk (use both a heavy-bottomed pot or a double boiler to maintain the milk from scorching because it cooks)
  • 3 (1-quart or 1-L) Mason jars Improvised incubator

Time Body: 1–2 hours of preparation; 4–8 hours of incubation

Yield: Makes about 3 quarts (3 L) of yogurt


  • 1 gallon (4 L) whole-fat milk, pasteurized or uncooked, ideally unhomogenized
  • 3⁄4 cup (180 mL) energetic kefir (strained kefir grains), ready the day earlier than, or yogurt



To make yogurt, prepare dinner milk stirring all of the whereas; add kefir or yogurt tradition to the milk as soon as it has cooled, and maintain the milk heat till it units.

  1. Slowly heat the milk to 185°F (85°C) over medium warmth. Stir the milk because it warms.
  2. Cook dinner the milk at 185°F for half-hour to 1 hour. Stir it nonstop. The longer the milk is cooked, the thicker the yogurt can be.
  3. Cool the milk to 110°F (43°C): Take the pot of milk off the warmth, and stir it till the temperature falls to that time. Don’t have a thermometer? An age-old technique of judging the proper yogurt incubation temperature is to submerge your finger within the milk—if you must pull it out in ache after 10 seconds, the temperature is excellent!
  4. Add the yogurt tradition to the milk: Add 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) of kefir or yogurt to every jar, then add an equal quantity of the cooked milk, and blend the 2.
  5. Fill the jars with the remaining milk, and put a lid on them.
  6. Incubate at 100–110°F (39–43°C) for 4 to 12 hours, maintaining the jars in a heat spot, similar to an insulated cooler full of heat water, or a heat oven with the sunshine on.
  7. After 4 hours, watch the jars for seen indicators of setting. As soon as the curd has set, your yogurt is prepared although if left to ferment longer, it might probably develop its tanginess. Stored refrigerated, it’s going to final a few weeks.

Really useful Reads

Straightforward Cheeses to Make at House

Easy, Greek-Model Yogurt



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