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Product Review (submitted on March 20, 2013):
After the initial activation step, I've been re-culturing the starter for about 2 years now. I still have the second half of the original starter that i bought though I'm not too sure if that's still good. In the beginning I was somewhat skeptical regarding how long the re-culturing process would last but 2 years later and it's still going strong.
I usually make 2 quarts every 4-5 days using skim milk. While its true that whole milk and 2% make a thicker/creamier yogurt.
To get thick yogurt using skim milk:
1)Stir in 1 Tbls of gelatin prior to initial heating. Make sure it is thoroughly dissolved. **i set aside about 6 oz WITH OUT gelatin which i culture separately in a small jar. this is what i use as my starter next time**
2)Cool and incubate as you normally would.
3)After 6 hours (that;s how long its always taken me @ 110F) stir in sweetener/flavoring.
4)Since skim milk lacks fat, after mixing the yogurt looks slightly grainy and not fully emulsified. I use a Immersion blender to completely homogenize the yogurt which also fully mixes the sweetener.
5)It will look runny but it fully firms up in the fridge with the aid of the gelatin.
I've never once run into a problem with this method. The addition of the gelatin doesn't make it into solid jello mass but simply helps it re-coagulate. You don't taste the gelatin either.
I normally don't write review and certainly not ones as long and wordy as this one has turned out to be. But i felt that 2 years of successfully culturing my own yogurt from that first initial activation was worthy of a good review.