Here's what you need and what you need to do to reach your own yogurt nirvana:
- 5 or 6 quart crockpot
- thermometer (candy or digital)
- 1/2 gallon milk (can be all whole milk, all skim milk or any combination thereof)
- milk powder (enough for 1 quart of milk; I use RGBH free milk powder from Azure Standard -- it's the only kind I've found that doesn't have a "whang." I've hated powdered milk since I was a kid, but this stuff is so very different!)
- 1/4-1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 8oz container Braum's plain yogurt
- 1/2 6oz container Greek yogurt (I've used Chyobani & Oikos.)
- 6-8 beach towels/several blankets/etc.
Turn on the crockpot to low. It takes about 3 hours, but you want the milk to reach 180-ish degrees. The first time you do this, start checking it at 2 1/2 hours just in case your crockpot heats faster than mine.
When the milk reaches 180, take the crock out of the heating element and place it on a folded towel. (This will help keep the temperature steadier in the next phase.) Make sure to stir your milk each time before checking the temperature. There will be hotter and cooler spots, so to get an accurate read, you must stir the milk.
Put the plain & Greek yogurts on the counter so that they reach room temperature by the time you add them to the milk.
Whisk in the sugar and the powdered milk (if you're using traditional powdered milk).
Check the temperature after 2 1/2 hours...the milk needs to cool to between 105 and 110 degrees. It may take 3 hours or so, but you don't want it to get below 105 degrees, so start checking the milk temperature at 2 1/2 hours. Once the milk is between 105 and 110, whisk in the plain & Greek yogurts, then cover completely with the towels. You want it to stay at this temperature as long as possible.
Let your yogurt sit for at least 8 hours. I let mine sit overnight. When it has set, I uncover it and blot the top with a paper towel. The liquid on the top is whey -- you can just stir it into the yogurt, but I blot it off (or pour it off the top when it's in the final container).
Chill & enjoy! I eat it straight, or with honey and fruit, or with granola. Yum. You cannot go wrong as long as you're getting it into your mouth!