Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Solar Yogurt?

Yesterday was yogurt making day, something I do about three times a month. Usually I use the "heating pad method" where you heat up your half gallon of milk in a double boiler to 185 degrees, then cool it to 110 and then add and stir in your yogurt starter (usually just about a quarter cup of yogurt from the last batch I had made). After that you cover it with a clean dish towel and let it sit on a heating pad set to medium for 7 hours. However this is what I saw on the thermometer in the shady comfort of our back porch:



Yes, that reads 115. I decided to try using the cement on the back porch as my heating pad from 2pm to 9pm. I was a little worried that the temperature might get too hot or not hot enough, but at 9, it was time to take the towel off, and it worked perfectly. Solar Yogurt? It's a go! I was very pleased and will be doing it this way until about October. Next, I'd like to heat up the milk in the solar oven, which will be a little bit trickier...

4 comments:

Tara said...

I have been mking yogurt with a heating pad too and was wondering about just sitting it on the brick wall outside. Did you stick a thermometer in yours to check its temp or just rely on the therm on the wall?

I'll give this a try next time. At least there is one good thing to having sweltering temps!

Tara said...

ps I'd love to hear about your solar oven. We're about to make one!

rachelbess said...

Tara- I didn't use a thermometer once it was outside, I just figured it was about the same temp, and it worked out! I put mine on concrete in the shade and it worked, I think if it was in the sun this time of year it would get way too hot and kill the yogurt cultures. There are some earlier posts about the cardboard and mylar solar oven that I still use, but I am getting ready to go all in and build a nice one out of wood and glass etc. I'll be posting about that in a couple of weeks as I get it going.

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