Directions for Making Yogurt: Using Natren’s Yogurt Starter - Natren, Inc.

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Directions for Making Yogurt: Using Natren’s Yogurt Starter

May 17, 2021

Directions for Making Yogurt: Using Natren’s Yogurt Starter

Making homemade yogurt with Natren® YOGURT STARTER will easily fit into your busy lifestyle! Once you have mastered the method, it usually takes less than 30 minutes to prepare the milk for incubation.

Learn more about Yogurt Starter here:

Equipment - Natren YOGURT STARTER

  • 2 quarts (or two liters) of organic milk (do not use powdered milk)
  • Cooking/candy thermometer (temperature range 110° - 200° F / 40° - 95° C)
  • 2 - 3 quart double boiler with lid
  • Oven or yogurt maker for incubation

If your double boiler or pan is oven-proof and has a tight-fitting lid, you do not need a separate utensil. Casserole dishes with lids are preferred because they are better insulated and will retain heat longer, however, the dish you choose to use does not technically have to be “oven-proof.”

If you do not own a yogurt maker there are many methods that can be used for incubation. The oven method is the easiest and most convenient. Depending upon how much yogurt starter you use it will take 4 – 8 hours to incubate, so you can do other things or sleep while it incubates!

Centuries before gas and electric heat sources, people were very innovative in finding ways to incubate yogurt. Be creative! If your oven is in use, try wrapping the pan in a towel and placing it in a small insulated chest or wrap the container in a towel and wrap that in a heating pad on a low setting – no higher than 110° F / 43° C.

Let’s Get Started:

Read through the instructions before you begin. Gather your equipment and see how easy it is to make great-tasting, healthy yogurt.

1. HEATING THE MILK - To prevent scorching, heat the milk in a double boiler or water bath. Use stainless steel, glass, or enamel container. Heat the milk to 180° - 190°F (82° - 88°C) for 20 to 40 minutes to achieve gourmet results. Low fat and non-fat milk must be heated the full 40 minutes. Do NOT heat the milk in a microwave oven. For Faster Yogurt Heat the milk to 190° - 200°F (88° - 93°C) for 5 to 10 minutes, watch carefully to avoid boiling the milk. This first step breaks down the protein molecules in the milk while evaporating a great deal of water. It also kills any existing bacteria.

2. COOLING THE MILK - The milk must be cooled to 110° - 112°F (43° - 44°C) before adding the yogurt starter. This is important so the bacteria will thrive and the yogurt will set properly. The milk cooling process may be accelerated by placing the pan in cool water (be careful not to splash any water in the milk). You may also stir the milk to hasten the cooling. This takes about 10 minutes. The longer the milk cools, the thicker and tastier the finished product. Do not allow the milk to cool to less than 110° F/ 40°C.

3. ADDING THE STARTER - Use 1 to 2 level teaspoons of Natren YOGURT STARTER. Place the starter in an empty cup and pour about 2 tablespoons of the cooled 110° - 112°F (43° - 44°C) milk into the starter and stir to form a smooth paste. Continue adding milk to the paste, thoroughly blending after each addition until the cup is nearly full. Stir this mixture gently back into the pan of cooled milk and mix thoroughly.

4. INCUBATION - Yogurt makers: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for incubation. Oven Method: Gas oven with pilot light - place on the top shelf, in the back. Electric Oven or Gas oven with electronic ignition: Wrap the container with a towel before placing in the oven. It is best to remove the yogurt as soon as it is set to preserve sweetness, check after 4-6 hours. If you are incubating overnight, take the yogurt out of the oven when you arise in the morning.


Yogurt is ready when it has thickened and has a custard-like appearance - or separates from the edge of the container. Yogurt continues to thicken while incubating. If longer incubation time is needed, check every 15 – 20 minutes but don’t keep opening and closing the oven door.


Whole milk provides a sweeter, thicker, creamier yogurt. Low and non-fat milk can be used but the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are depleted and the yogurt will be slightly more tart and tangy. With goat’s milk, you may have a more liquid yogurt because the protein to fat ratio is different than cow’s milk. Goat’s milk also has more natural inhibitors for coagulation. You may add a six ounce can of evaporated milk or one heaping tablespoon of non-fat powdered goat’s milk (mix in blender to remove lumps). Soy milk is another delicious alternative.


When set, refrigerate the yogurt and leave it undisturbed for several hours until thoroughly chilled. There will be a watery separation on the top - this is whey - do not stir it in - pour or spoon it off. If you desire, you can drink the whey. It easily stirs into smoothies or other blended drinks. Some people save the whey to use it in place of other liquids in cooking. Do not heat in a microwave oven. Do not start with reconstituted powdered milk.

Too Lumpy? The starter must be mixed thoroughly into the cooled, pre-treated milk. Use only the recommended amount of yogurt starter. If you use too much starter, the bacteria will be crowded into making lumpy yogurt - too little YOGURT STARTER and it won’t thicken.

If you have any questions or would like to share information about the uses of fresh, homemade yogurt please contact us through or write to us, we are always excited to hear from our customers. Much of the information in this brochure is the result of many conversations between our test kitchen and our customers.

Natren is known as the “Probiotic Specialist.” Probiotics are acidophilus-type products that benefit our gastrointestinal tract. Yogurt, the most famous probiotic product, is probably the world’s oldest health food.


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