Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Cultured Activities

In the early 80’s I always made my own yogurt. I  had a dacor yogurt maker, fairly simple an esky with a 1 litre glass jar and thermometer it always made good yogurt and the next batch was started from the previous.We then met up with the folks from Paris Creek Dairy , they where just starting out so it was a good idea to support them so I sold the yogurt maker and we bought yogurt. Over the years we consumed more and more yogurt  Paris Creek for on cereals, yogurt cakes,potato salad. Jalana on pancakes,as a cream subistute. One of the problems is all those plastic containers , I know they make good plant labels and my plastic container  cupboards and freezer are  full of them but at  2 a week they start to mount up , sure you can put them in the recycle bin but I’d rather not have them.
We are very lucky to buy our milk, unparerised direct from the only dairy left in our district. They have a honour system get the milk from the fridge and leave your money.  At $4 for 2 litres its dearer than the crappy stuff at the supermarket. You Know most goes direct to the farmer the rest in bottle washing and replacements. It is sold in 2 litre glass flagons that you return when empty (no storage space or bin required )  and the taste, well how milk should taste ,rich creamy and wholesome. The seasons are reflected through the subtle changes in flavour something you’d never notice in supermarket milk. 
Since we have such good milk I was thinking about making yogurt again. A visit to Maggie & Bobs confirmed this as we tasted a lemon and rose sparkling drink and milk fermented  with kifir and Maggie said she was trying yogurt and had read several tips on various blogs . So I decided it was time to restart yogurt culturing after all it was so easy.
So I made a batch how I remembered , bring milk to boil then  drop down to around 40oC, add some yogurt and put in a warm place. I used and esky and put stubby holder around the jars and left them overnight. They worked Ok and tasted fine  but were quite runny(made good yogurt cakes) It seemed to me they needed the heat sustained longer so I dusted off the heat pad plant propagator to use but Quentin suggested putting them in with the  brewing beer.  The beer is brewed in an old solid wooden  sewing cabinet that opens at the side and also at the top so the beer can be siphoned out the top . This means the brew bin does not have to be moved so sediment stays on the bottom and does not end up in the bottles.It is also fitted with a light globe that keeps it at 30oC

Yogurt keeping warm in their ‘crows’* stubbie holders**
Yummy yogurt
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Home brew area. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Crow yogurts keeping warm by keeping close to bubbling beer.
Lingo for non South Australians
*Crows - Adelaide’s Australian Rules football team. They won the AFL premiership in 1997 & 1998.
**Stubbie Holder-. An insulated cover to keep 325 ml bottles of beer cold and keep your hands warm while holding ice cold beer.
Footballers and supporters have an affinity with beer.
The scientist in me insisted on a trial of different yogurts.I used 3 x 300ml jars .Easy to clean,reusable and useful size for us. I tried Maggies suggestion ( she read it on a blog somewhere.) That you can to freeze commercial yogurt in ice cubes and use it as a starter. I did this with some Paris Creek Swiss Style using  I ice cube still frozen, I also used 1 tablespoon of Paris Creek Greek style and 1 tablespoon of Jalna Biodynamic whole milk yogurt.  All jars where filled with Pine Heights milk that had been brought to the boil then cooled to 40oC. They where stirred, lids and jumpers fitted and put in the brew box and left overnight. They where left this long as it was easy and we like it tangy.Next morning they where all set nice and firm. Each tasted like their starter. I liked the Jalna best as its tangy where as Quentin liked the Paris Creek Swiss Style with a mild flavour.Now I can freeze some starters and make a range of yogurts anytime.

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