116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Have you realized the difference in taste between milk and yogurt? Maybe a little sourness in yogurt? Well, that is because yogurt is made out of milk through the help of bacteria.
Yes, bacteria — but these bacteria are good. They don’t harm you. According to Scientific American magazine, the bacteria’s job is to break down, or ferment, the lactose sugars in the milk and turn them into lactic acid in a process known as fermentation. Lactic acid is what gives yogurt its sour taste.
Now that you know how yogurt is made, you can experiment with it yourself at home!
The end results will vary depending on the type of milk and yogurt you use, and the precision of the ingredients’ temperature. Nonetheless, it is still delicious yogurt made at home and can be made again and again. This activity requires an adult’s supervision.
What you need:
- 1 liter (4 cups) of whole milk or any milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon of plain, white yogurt
- A large pot
- A food thermometer
1. Have an adult boil the milk in a pot until it is about 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will get rid of any bacteria within the milk. and create a rich texture at the end.
2. Cover the milk and let it cool down. It shouldn’t be so hot it kills the bacteria, but not so cold it slows down the fermentation process. You want it to be warm, between 109 and 129 degrees Fahrenheit. To speed up this process, you can place the pot in cold water.
3. Add a few (3 to 5) spoonfuls of the milk to the yogurt, and mix until a creamy, smooth texture is achieved. Then, add the mixture to the milk and stir to distribute equally.
4. Cover the milk and keep in a warm, 110 degree Fahrenheit setting for 8 to 10 hours. This time will allow the good bacteria to divide and ferment, or change, the milk. To keep the pot warm, wrap a cloth around it and store in a closet, or put in a turned off oven.
5. Give the yogurt a final stir to get a smooth texture. And there you have the final product: yogurt made at home! Place it in a resealable container and store in the fridge and enjoy the taste for the next two weeks.
Mishka MohamedNour is a junior at West High School and a reporter and a designer for the West Side Story.