Bulgarian Yogurt Starter
Product Review (submitted on March 6, 2014):
I've made homemade yogurt before using all kinds of methods - yogurt maker, crock pot, oven. I stopped after a few failed batches and just went back to storebought. When I found these heirloom cultures I was intrigued. Not sure what variety to try, I hemmed and hawed over the Greek vs Bulgarian and finally went with the latter.
I was surprised how *little* starter culture was in the packet. A few of the grains escaped the packet and I was afraid I wouldn't have enough! I tried incubating the initial starter in the oven but it didn't work. Not wanting to break into my second packet of culture I immediately put the mixture into my yogurt maker (with little jars). It worked!
I've since made the yogurt a few times, using a gallon of whole milk to make 2qts a week. I've found subsequent batches to be a bit runny, kind of separated, so that bothers me a bit. There seems to be quite a few variables that can be off (temperature, time, amount of starter, etc.) and I'm not sure if I should do something differently.
I'm not a fan of plain yogurt but my kids love it, so that's a plus. I prefer to strain it in a coffee filter over a colander then stir different flavorings into the thickened yogurt. After doing that, it's more to my liking. :)
Response from CFH: We recommend verifying the temperature of your yogurt maker before attempting to make yogurt. Thermophilic yogurts, like Greek and Bulgarian, prefer temperatures between 108°-112°F.