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Yoghurt - All you need to know...

Updated: May 3

Yogurt fermentation time and temperature impact the bacterial quality of homemade yogurt. At the right temperature, milk turns to yogurt in 6 - 8 hours. But yogurt is not a food to rush along or be impatient with. Yogurt is a living food, full of active, beneficial bacteria that have a vital job to do. GAPS and 'specific carbohydrate diet' yogurt recommend yogurt with a long fermentation.
Within milk there is a type of sugar called lactose. Sugar is not permitted on GAPS & SCD. The bacteria that make up a yogurt starter culture consume and thrive on the lactose in milk. The longer the fermentation the more the bacteria have time to eat - the more they eat, the less lactose there is! The important thing to get is, even after a standard 8 hour fermentation, the milk still has plenty of lactose. 24-hours is an ideal fermentation time which produces a yogurt with minimal sugar.
Homemade 'specific carbohydrate diet' yogurt may be fermented for even up to 30 hours, however beyond that, you risk starving the bacteria and spoiling the yogurt.

Just as good bacteria (in the starter culture) consume the sugar in milk, bad bacteria (living inside our digestive system) also like to consume sugar. Inside the gut, lactose is a source of food for these guys. THEY LOVE IT! Bad bacteria in our digestive system are the dudes that are a big nuisance to our health.
So a yogurt that has been left to ferment for 24 hours is not only wildly abundant with healthy bacteria, it starves the bad bacteria of their favourite food source. Being almost lactose free, means, it’s almost sugar free!
This is the basis of the SCD diet; to remove all sugars and heal the gut by depriving bad bacteria of the food they love. Learn why SCD yogurt should be your first, go to healing food.

Natural, unsweetened, Greek yogurt is the nearest thing in the supermarket to homemade 24 hour yogurt, however, even this remains full of lactose. I doubt many commercial yogurts are left to ferment longer than 6 hours. It's pretty simple: all store-bought yogurt feeds bad bacteria and 24 hour yogurt feeds good bacteria.
"These friendly creatures and their by-products keep pathogens at bay, guard against infectious illness and aid in the fullest possible digestion of all food we consume." Nourishing Traditions, page 81
A bowl of fresh, chilled, homemade, 24-hour yogurt has an abundance of good bacteria set in the environment they grew in. By contrast, store bought yogurt has been transported from factory to supermarket and then to your fridge. No wonder preservatives and stabilisers are often added to ensure longevity and shelf life.

Many people worry about casein; the protein found in milk that is well known for causing allergic symptoms and digestive upset. People who have problems digesting casein can often tolerate 24 hour fermented raw milk yogurt and goat milk yogurt. Coconut cream yogurt, easy coconut cream yogurt and homemade almond milk yogurt, vegan, date sweetened, coconut and cashew yogurt are other great alternatives if you prefer to avoid casein altogether.

Higher heat will speed up the fermentation process. But that’s not such a good thing if you are aiming for a probiotic rich yogurt. Too much heat will damage or kill off your starter culture. Conversely, if the temperature is too cool, the culture will become dormant and fermentation will not occur.
Homemade 24-hour SCD yogurt requires a stable, continuous heat between 36 – 42 degrees Celsius for (obviously) 24 hours. A Luvele Yoghurt Maker will ensure your yogurt remains at the ideal fermentation temperature for perfect homemade yoghurt goodness, every time, in every season!

Fermentation time will also effect the taste of homemade yogurt. A short fermentation will result in a milder tasting yogurt while a tub that has been left to incubate for 24-hours (or up to 30 hours) will taste tart and full of flavour. Additionally, it is the combination of bacteria that determine the flavour. Some yogurt starter cultures specify 'mild' or 'tart'.

Before you begin it is important to sterilise the making glass jar, lid and any utensils you use, in hot water. The danger of not sterilising is that other bacteria may over power your starter culture and affect the quality of your yogurt.


1. Measure Quantity Measure the appropriate quantity of milk to fill your yoghurt maker and pour into a large, clean saucepan.

2. Heat and hold the milk at 82° C Use a thermometer. Note, as you become more confident with heating milk to make yogurt you will be able to judge when the milk is nearing 82° C because it will begin to swell and rise in the pot (just before it simmers). Hold the heat at this temperature for anywhere between 2 - 10 minutes. The longer the better. Holding the milk at this high temperature allows the milk proteins to denature which thickens the yogurt.
Tip: It can be a challenge to hold the milk at a high temperature for so long. Don’t get too caught up on the precise temperature. If the milk accidentally simmers briefly, don’t panic – reduce the heat and continue. Use a wok ring (or something similar) to create a distance between the flame and pot or use a double boiler pot filled with boiling water.

3. Cover the milk & let cool to below 42° C It is fine if the milk cools down well below 42° or even goes cold, it just mustn't be too hot. Temperatures above 43° C will kill the starter culture. The perfect temperature range for making SCD diet yogurt is between 36° C and 42° C . Tip: You can actively cool it by filling a sink, or bowl with cold water and setting the pot of heated milk in the cold water.
As the milk cools a layer of skin will form on top. Some SCD yoghurt recipes recommend taking this off. There is no harm leaving it in though. It does not produce lumpy yoghurt. NOTE: If you are using unhomogenised milk, the skin will include the cream, which is divine. You don't want to miss out on this!

4. Add the starter culture and gently whisk it in. Tear open one 5 gram packet of Yogourmet 'Traditional' yogurt starter culture and pour it into the milk while whisking so that the grains of culture are evenly dispersed.
Note that you can also use an existing yogurt or the dripped whey from another dairy ferement.

5. Pour the milk into the yogurt making glass jar and put the lid firmly on. Place the glass yogurt jar into your yogurt maker.

6. Pour water slowly into the base. The water must not be filled over the ‘tall line’ indicated on the inside wall of the maker.

7. Place the cover lid on top. The milk is now ready to begin fermentation.

8. Set the time & temperature. Use the digital control panel to set the temperature to 38° C, the time to 24-hours and then press ‘confirm’ to begin incubation.

9. After 24 hours the fermentation is complete. Condensation will have collected under the cover lid. Please take care removing it and allow the water to drip into the water bath, instead of your bench!

10. Switch the yogurt maker off and remove the yogurt jar. Straight from the maker the yogurt will be runny and warm. NOTE: Depending on the milk you used, there may be a layer of yellow cream on top of the yogurt.

11. Place the jar in the fridge for at least 6 hours to chill and set. Be gentle with the warm yogurt and don’t stir it or else it won’t set in a perfect white mass.

12. Sweeten 24-hour yogurt with honey, berries or fresh or stewed fruit.

Source : Luvele
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