Making Yogurt at home with a crock pot

Making yogurt in a crock pot by Jen Knight
I make this by the gallon, so I use a large crock-pot.  Make sure that your milk amount matches your crock pot size.  The milk should fill the crock pot up to 1 inch from the top.
  1. In a large saucepan, heat milk over medium heat (or high heat if you never stop stirring), stirring frequently to just below the boiling point (185 degrees). Remove the milk from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm (110 - 100 degrees). To cool the milk quickly, place the saucepan into the refrigerator or a sink of cold water, stirring occasionally to cool evenly. This takes about 20 minutes.
  2. Pre-warm the crock pot.  I plug it in on high for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add yogurt starter to the warm milk, stirring gently to blend. Do not beat or whip. Pour the mixture into the warmed crock pot, secure the lid, and unplug.  Then wrap entire crock & heating base in a beach towel and put into a large cooler and stuff empty space with more towels.  Leave undisturbed and out of drafts for 6-10 hours, depending on tartness and thickness desired. Yogurt should be partially set after processing and will thicken further after refrigeration.  I refridgerate for at least 6 hours before using.
The yogurt starter I use is: DCI #ABY-2C Yogurt Culture from Dairy Connection inc, 501 Tasman St., Suite B, Madison, WI 53714 phone 608-242-9030.  I use about 1/16th - 1/32 of a tsp per gallon of milk so the 100 gallon size I buy lasts me 1.5-2 years and I keep it in the freezer.  The 100 gallon size comes in a small container the size of a perscription medicine bottle.