A word problem based on yogurt
January 31, 2017 2:58 PM   Subscribe

I am making yogurt in an Instant Pot. The entire cycle is 8 hours for a half-gallon of milk plus starter, which is held at 115F the whole time. Presumably the yogurt will continue culturing but very slowly in the fridge? I don't plan to eat this yogurt for several days. Can I shorten the yogurt cycle by an hour?
posted by blnkfrnk to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Leave it out on the counter for a while, and only then put it in the fridge? It'll be really, really slow in the fridge, but a little faster at room temperature. And it's not going to spoil in any meaningful sense unrefrigerated.
posted by LizardBreath at 3:10 PM on January 31, 2017

Is an InstantPot a yogurt maker? If so, leaving it for seven hours instead of eight won't do any harm but your yogurt will likely be a bit runnier. The cultures can continue to work in the fridge, but I would imagine the temp is too low to let them thicken the yogurt significantly (at least not in any timeframe of eatability!) Seconding the above that you can also leave it at room temp overnight (ideally in a cooler with warm water) and stick it in the fridge in the morning--I've always gone that route in yogurt making and have suffered no ill effects!
posted by stillmoving at 3:22 PM on January 31, 2017

From experience, it's "yogurty" in texture after about 4-6 hours, and develops more of a tang but doesn't thicken much more after eight. YYMV.
posted by holgate at 3:31 PM on January 31, 2017

Best answer: Yes. It's not so exact a science that anything less than exactly 8 hours won't work. It is, as the others have said, pretty yogurty in 4-5 hours. I often pull it anywhere between 5-7 hours, put it in a strainer (I'm basically making cheese) in a bowl in the fridge, and deal with it the next day.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:40 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think a lot of Instant Pot users do more like 6 hours, judging by the posts I see, so yes, go ahead.
posted by freezer cake at 4:12 PM on January 31, 2017

115F the whole time.

115F is usually cited as the very highest acceptable temperature for making yogurt, and if your Instant Pot is averaging 115F, it's spending around half the time above that temperature.

I think setting it to hold 110F would probably work better.
posted by jamjam at 4:21 PM on January 31, 2017

You can't change it, but it works fine at the presets it uses.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:31 PM on January 31, 2017

Best answer: You can shorten by an hour with no ill effect. But if you don't mind tangy yogurt, you can also extend the culturing time, depending on what is more convenient for you. I've done yogurt in my instant pot for 8 hours, but I usually go for 10; one time, though, the timing didn't work out, so I let it go for 16 hours, and it turned out just a touch tangier than normal but otherwise basically the same.

For future reference, if you want thicker yogurt, make sure your milk gets to at least 185 in the boil cycle, and hold it at 185 for several minutes. My experience has been that longer culturing time doesn't do much for thickness once you've been through the original heating cycle.
posted by devinemissk at 5:42 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yup, it just might not be as yoghurty. I normally go for however many hours are left until I wake up, say 8-12. Do you add milk powder? That can help with the thickness. Also, I make mine in (cleaned, reused) jars, which seal (button shrinks in) when put in the fridge. I find it keeps for an age that way.
posted by kjs4 at 6:30 PM on January 31, 2017

We stop around 6 hours. All depends on your preferences - how sour you like. I do suggest adding some powdered milk for thicker yogurt. It wont get much more sour in the fridge - we keep ours around for a couple weeks sometimes.
posted by latkes at 7:46 PM on February 1, 2017

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