- Pour yogurt into a yogurt strainer or a mesh kitchen strainer lined with butter muslin.
- Cover and refrigerate. The whey will separate from the yogurt over time.
- Once the yogurt has achieved the desired consistency, remove from the strainer and keep refrigerated until you are ready to eat.
The longer you let the yogurt strain, the thicker it will be. If left to strain long enough, you'll have delicious yogurt cheese!
Increase fat content
Whole milk yields a thicker yogurt than lower-fat milk. You can also add cream to the milk or use it in place of milk. Heavy cream is too low in lactose to sustain an heirloom culture long-term, so be sure to refresh the starter in whole or 2% milk after 2-4 batches if you decide to use this.
Heat the milk
When preparing milk for culturing, heat it to 160º-180°F and maintain that temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Then cool to culturing temperature. If milk is accidentally heated to over 180°F, simply let it cool back to 180°F before maintaining the temperature. Heat the milk slowly. Fast heating creates a grainy texture in the finished yogurt.
Click here for a list of yogurt thickeners.
This process is most successful with direct-set cultures, or when maintaining a separate mother culture, since the thickeners may interfere with re-culturing. Yogurt usually will not thicken until cooled, especially non-dairy yogurt. In some cases, thickening can take up to 24 hours. Even if the yogurt is thin, it is still a cultured food and may be consumed.