How Can I Make Thicker Homemade Yogurt?

Good Questions

Q: My husband and I have been making yogurt using a Donvier maker. But all too often our yogurt is super runny — like thick milk — rather than creamy. Every once in awhile we'll get a creamy batch, but it's totally random, and we're unable to replicate the results.

We've tried all sorts of starters (different fat contents, Greek, Bulgarian, Australian, and a bunch of American yogurts), and we make sure that the starters have live cultures. We've followed the instructions that came with the machine. We've tried varying the "cooking" times in the machine, and non-fat to 2% milk. We're at a loss, and looking for tips on how to get creamy homemade yogurt. (We're at a relatively high altitude, if that matters.)

Sent by Jen

Editor: Jen, our hunch is that your machine may not be keeping the milk warm enough, especially given your high altitude living circumstances. Yogurt needs to maintain a temperature of 100 to 100°F for about 8 to 12 hours in order to coagulate to a thick consistency. We wonder if perhaps the temperature isn't going high enough and staying there?

That's just a guess, though, since we don't use a machine to make yogurt (watch for a tutorial on this soon, in fact!). Readers, any help for Jen? This is a very interesting question for us; we're very curious to see what you come up with!

Related: Good Question: Does Anyone Have Tips for Making Cheese and Yogurt at Home?

(Image: Dairy Australia)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.