16 Jan 2011
Testing Out the Yolife Yogurt Maker
by Amber Reddinger
It has been an absolute honor blogging for Grow Indie. Not only do I get to share what I am up to with an ever-growing audience, I also get to read about what all sorts of fellow gardening enthusiasts are doing.
I have learned so many new tips and tricks and have been introduced to so many new-to-me seed companies -- and even got some free samples to test out in my own garden!
One of the most exciting things to happen to me recently through Grow Indie was the opportunity to test the Yolife Yogurt Maker, from Tribest Corp. When my yogurt maker arrived, I eagerly removed the box from the outer packaging and was pretty excited to see all the delicious looking serving ideas on the outside.
The maker itself is a round, plastic base which plugs in to generate the perfect amount of heat for safely incubating your activated milk. One of the reasons I hadn't tried making my own yogurt before was that I just didn't trust myself to use the old jar and towel method -- what if my cabinet was not warm enough/too warm? What if I left it sit too long/not long enough? You get the idea. The great thing about the Yolife Yogurt Maker is that it offers a consistent environment and clear instructions on how long to leave your yogurt in, how to prepare your milk, serving suggestions, and many more things. It comes with two lids, a short one:
For using the 6oz single serving jars that come with it:
And it comes with a tall lid if you wish to use your own jars to make a family sized batch. (Yolife also offers 64oz jars which can be purchased on their website.)
The two lids nest together for easy storage, which is a big plus for me in a house with minimal cabinet space.
The kit also comes with several envelopes of cultures to get you started.
I do have to mention, in case anybody else experiences this, that I believe my cultures were expired and therefore ineffective. The first batch I made didn't set and barely smelled "yogurty" if you know what I mean. For the second batch, I doubled the amount of cultures I put in and it was only marginally more successful.
Before I discounted the whole thing, I decided to try some different cultures that had a clear expiration date on them, and sure enough, that batch came out perfectly! Here's a shot of the milk after I added my fresh cultures. Not only did the smell slightly change as soon as they were thoroughly dissolved, the quality of the bubbles on the surface changed as well, taking on an almost foamy quality (as opposed to just the air bubbles from stirring).
I poured my activated milk into two Mason jars,
put the lid on, and was ready to go!
The instructions recommend eight to twelve hours of incubation time, but if you're not satisfied with the way it looks at that point, you can keep it in longer. Here's what the surface of my yogurt looked like after about ten hours in the yogurt maker (which I made sure to put in a non-drafty area).
And after a few hours of refrigeration:
The thickness is comparable to that of any non-custard style store-bought yogurt, and it strains well into a firmer yogurt. Overall, even with the minor culture performance issue, I am extremely happy with this product and would recommend Tribest's Yolife Yogurt Maker to anyone interested in easy, nutritious, homemade yogurt!