basic yoghurt culturing

oh she cultured, man!


I once had a coffee with a friend who changed my yoghurt life forever.
’ Crish… you know you can make your own by heating milk and adding a previous active yoghurt?’

Mind. blown. Here I was thinking I needed a lab, underground leeds to grabbing cultures (‘good bacterias’).
Making these batches of yoghurt slowly becomes like your own kid, and as you keep feeding it milk (when you’re low) the batches just get better and better (and you won’t have to be fooled by the large fraction of supermarket yoghurts thats using additives and gelatins to thicken their yoghurts!)

Clues/hints as follows

  • use an organic natural flavoured yoghurt to begin with. You want it have active/living cultures (it will say ‘ acidophilus/bifidus’.

  • You can easily flavoured it after (and save yourself 20grams of sugar! supermarket are sneaky I tell you!)

  • you can strain it with some muslin cloth (hello labneh!)

  • a go to ‘culturing space’ is my oven, that I preheated at its LOWEST heat and left the door a little cracked, so its down to around 40-45 degrees celsius in there. A hot water bottle and some tea towels over it helps in the turn off oven too :) Make sure the environment is in the sweet spot of around 30-38 degrees celsius (so bacterias flourish and everything becomes magical). Too cold might not allow culturing, too hot may kill cultures.

  • I leave mine overnight, some people for 5 hours, some people for 2 days. You’ve got to experiment with the consistency/texture that you love.

  • As with anything that’s cultures, if it looks funky, tastes funky or smells funky. STOP EATING IT.


  • Sanitise Jars (boiled and dried)

  • In a large saucepan, over medium heat up milk to 85C. Once reached, cool it down to 45 C 

  • With a clean stainless steel spoon/whisk, add yoghurt until fully incorporated

  • Pour into pre-sanitised jars. Screw on tops.

  • Place in culturing sport (where its around 27-35 C)

  • Check after 5 hours, if not desired consistency, culture for as long as 8 hours (..or up to 48 hours)

  • ** yoghurt will get thicker in the fridge 


  • 1/2 cup (11og) plain full fat yoghurt (with live cultures)

  • 1L raw or unhomogenized pasteurized whole or 2% milk