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Yogourmet Electric Yogurt Maker 2 QT
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Average Customer Review:
( 390 customer reviews )
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464 of 477 found the following review helpful:
Good and bad features; overpriced for what it isNov 19, 2008
1. Large capacity, can make two batch sizes.
2. Water bath for even heating.
3. Digital thermometer.
4. Cheesecloth bag included for making yogurt-cheese.
5. Avoids the hassle of little single-serving containers.
1. No way to view the yogurt's progress without significantly disturbing it. When you're dealing with incubation periods anywhere from 4 hours to 24 hours, a window would be nice to give you an idea.
2. Exploding lid. I've actually had both lids blow off while incubating from the gases created by the culture, as others have mentioned, and found them halfway across the counter. At best, you have to be careful when removing the lid even when you're ready. When you lift the jar out of the machine, you have to catch the edge of the lid to lift it out -- and that can cause problems and mess if it pops too easily.
3. No time indicator, nor any other kind of indicator. I also have the Donvier maker with small serving cups, and it has a digital timer with automatic shutoff. Not necessary, but would be a nice feature for this price. You need to actually be there to shut it off (and make sure the lid doesn't blow off midway through).
4. The batch jar it comes with is plastic instead of glass. It does have a tight seal, however, and keeps the yogurt fresh for weeks.
5. It does get very hot. I don't incubate more than 8 hours, but have tested the water and found it at 123 degrees at around 3 hours.
6. For this price, you basically get a plastic vat that heats up and has a light to indicate it's on. That's it. This machine does not remove any of the guesswork. I've been making yogurt for years, and I've still screwed up many batches with this one. When you're growing bacteria, there's little room for error. Also, you still have to go through the process of heating to sterilize, cooling, etc., as you would with any machine.
Recommended? Maybe. I use it more than the Donvier simply because of the container size.
A couple of tips:
1. Soy-based yogurt is very difficult to get right. If you're like me and you don't mind eating dairy, but you want to eat more soy and prefer to avoid saturated fat, try using a quart of creamy soy milk (not light!) and adding 1/2 cup dry dairy milk powder to it, plus sugar and any flavor extracts. It makes an absolutely thick and creamy, delicious yogurt that sets up properly and has no weird flavor. I have experimented with pectin and do not like it -- adding additional milk powder thickens the yogurt nicely.
2. Honey is naturally antibacterial, and therefore will impede your culture. Don't sweeten with honey before culturing -- use it afterward if you like it.
3. Do not use a starter yogurt that contains a lot of gelatin. It's very difficult to get it to mix evenly with your warm milk, even if you pour the warm milk into the starter a little at a time.
4. Unfortunately, almond milk and hazelnut milk do not work, even if mixed with some cow's milk. However, coconut milk (full fat) or coconut cream make an incredible, rich silky yogurt when mixed with dairy milk.
212 of 216 found the following review helpful:
Nice thick yogurt, used starterFeb 26, 2008
By S. MacDonald
I have made three batches of yogurt with a 24hr-ferment time and have been very pleased. I did use Yogourmet starter and have had thick, creamy yogurt each time. I like that the yogurt maker comes with a thermometer for when the milk is heated prior to making the yogurt.
My yogurt maker does not get very warm to the touch, even after 24 hours, but I will have to check that with a thermometer the next time I make yogurt (tonight) because there have been concerns voiced here that the yogurt gets too hot for the probiotics to survive.
I have been completely happy with this product so far!
Ok--news flash update--I have been checking the yogurt with a thermometer and it has been fermenting at the same temp for 19hrs which is about 110F. The Yogourmet therm. has a green line on it and that is right where the temp. staying--well under 120F. I doubt it will suddenly heat up in the next sev. hours. I AM happy with this yogurt maker!
123 of 126 found the following review helpful:
Glass Jar for Yogourmet Yogurt MakerDec 30, 2011
By R. Day
Desiring a GLASS JAR, after looking at several stores, I found a nice heavy glass jar that works very well in place of the original plastic container. It is the Anchor Hocking 1/2 gallon Heritage Jar (this jar style used to be called apocathary jar). The base of the jar fits perfectly (using lower water fill mark) and the jar has a nice lip making it very easy to lift out without slipping. The sides are nearly straight and make it easy to get the contents out, too. The glass lid will not fit inside with the incubation cover on so I use the original plastic lid to incubate then the glass lid for storage, or I make 1.5 cups less and use the glass lid upside down. See uploaded picture of glass jar. In WA state, I purchased the jar at Fred Myers store.
53 of 53 found the following review helpful:
Great Yogurt Maker for people on the SCD Diet treating an IBD (Tips / Experience / Equipment Included)Mar 01, 2014
*** A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON ME AND SCD ***
I personally have Crohn's Disease and I am on a lot of heavy medications to keep me healthy and out of the hospital. Even still I do not have good control of my symptoms.
About two months ago I was on an IBD forum and I saw someone mention in passing that they love their SCD yogurt. It was very casual in mid comment for them, but for me.. I never heard of it?!?! This lead me on a quest to buy the book and a couple other cooking books on the diet and google like crazy on the topic.
Early on it seemed like the most complicated part of this whole diet is this homemade yogurt that is fermented for 24 hours to build up massive amounts of probiotics. Some people skip this step and realize the diet alone is not enough. The other steps help and are important, but it is no where near as effective as taking the yogurt too. Most of the amazing effects of this diet come from this yogurt, so it is very important to take.
I decided a few weeks ago to try making SCD yogurt to help reduce my CD symptoms. For those that do not know what SCD is (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), it is a diet that focuses on building up the beneficial bacteria in your intestines and starving out the detrimental bacteria in a attempt to reduce your symptoms and ultimately "IBD remission".
This is the book here on amazon http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Vicious-Cycle-Intestinal-Through/dp/0969276818
Before this began, I was already a believer in probiotics and my doctor (as well as myself) have seen the positive benefits with IBD patients. However, the results have been all over the place and not super effective in my case.
When I read that the amount of probiotics in SCD yogurt is approximately 50 times stronger than most probiotic supplements, "...you'll get 708 Billion beneficial bacteria and that's about 50 times more than that claimed for a typical 15 billion capsule.", I realized the potency of this yogurt. I have read somewhere that there are a few trillion bacteria in your entire intestines so when you take a small 15 billion beneficial bacteria probiotic pill, it's like throwing a stone into the ocean. While this yogurt makes a much more sizable impact (50 times greater).
That is when the light bulb when on that I have been doing probiotics all wrong up until now.
*** THE EQUIPMENT ***
Therefore, before I started this diet I wanted to invest the money in a yogurt maker all the other equipment I might need and learn how to make it. I am the type to get very precise with my hobbies :D One does not need to purchase all of this equipment to get started, all they need is the yogurt maker only.
* [Yogourmet Electric Yogurt Maker]
I settled on this device for a few of reasons. It has a good SCD track record in the community. They last for years. This model makes 2 quarts of yogurt at a time instead of a lot of other models which makes tiny baby jars which can be finicky to fill and more frequent to make. The downside (to me) was the plastic interior container. I wanted glass instead. I found a couple of replacements online and finally found the best one... read below.
* [Glass Jar Replacement that fits the Yogourmet Machine perfectly!]
(This is not sold on amazon sadly, but google "DigestiveWellness Yogourmet Glass Jar" to find it. Sadly, the first jar I bought was an Anchor Hocking jar on Amazon and while it did fit. It was very tight, the lid didn't seal at all and the glass was prone to chipping easily.. I cracked glass into my yogurt the first week and I knew it was chip sensative.. avoid those jars! This new jar (the digestive wellness one) has a tight fitting flat lid has perfect breathing room around edges for the hot water to flow around and is ideal for this machine. I bought 2 myself.
* [Lutron Lamp Dimmer]
When you do a lot of homework on this stuff you realize there is literally NO yogurt maker on the market that I have seen that does not fluctuate in temperature. You need to maintain 110 degrees F the entire 24 hour fermentation process. Depending on the internal temperature of your house it can be much hotter than those 110F which is bad. Anything over 110F starts to kill off the good bacteria which is the entire purpose of making it in the first place. This dimmer allows me dial heat up and down depending on the climate. Right now I have it about 1/10 of the way slid down to maintain 110F.
* [ThermoWorks ChefAlarm]
I want to first state right away this is very expensive and is not required to do this. Yogourmet comes with a small analog thermometer and you can easily buy nice digital ones for around 20 bucks. You can easily just babysit you pot during the cooking/cooling process with your analog thermo and have no need for this.
However, WOW... this ChefAlarm makes this process EASY! This is one of the best digital cooking thermometers on the market (google around). What makes this so great it is has both a HIGH and a LOW temp alarm. Which means I can walk away and be distracted while I make my yogurt. I set high alarm at 180F and low alarm at 110F. The thermo probe has a nice clip to go on the side of the pot. Not many units have both alarms on market and some of the other units on market that have both alarms can cost much much more.
* [GI Prostart - Yogurt Culture Starter]
There is a lot of Yogurt Starters on the market. You can even use a few over the counter yogurts to start your yogurt. I settled on this one, because I found some positive reviews of people with IBD who used it with success. The price seems high upfront, but when you realize how many batches it can make (80x 2Quart batches... 160 quarts of yogurt) you realize the price is not to bad especially compared to buying store bought starter yogurt. It is important to keep this stuff refrigerated and it also ships refrigerated so shipping can cost around 10 bucks. What is great about this starter is you can make non-dairy yogurts too (like almond milk or soy).
So this is my setup! I took it over the top.. especially for a novice... but I read a lot of forums and a lot of tips and I knew this was something I wanted to dive head first into.
*** THE RESULTS! ***
I am eating 1 cup of yogurt per morning. My first batch lasts about 6 days. I normally go to the bathroom about 6-15 times per day on average (even with all my medications) with my CD (Crohn's Disease).
Within the first 24 hours of taking this I felt some intestinal aches and pains, but I realized my body is going to have to get used to this powerhouse probiotic.
After the end of day two I realized I had only went to the bathroom 3 times. This was already shocking to me, but I reserved judgment...after all, good day flukes happen with CD.
Day 3 & 4 I went to the bathroom 2-3 times each day only! I instantly saw this was the yogurt working in grand fashion. I noticed I was feeling gassier than I normally do, which I am not a fan of.... but I am a bigger fan of not going number 2 dozens of times a day.
Day 5-6 (My first batch lasts about 6 days.) I started feeling bad... really bad. I went to the bathroom about 15-20 times a day. Day 6 I was sickly feeling.
I decided to call off the yogurt making process for a few days until I recovered. I was confused by the results. How could I do so well and then do so bad?
A few days later I decided to start the process back up again. Same results first 4 days I felt great last 2 days sick as a dog.
At this point I knew that my yogurt must be spoiling in some way by those last 2 days. It smells fine, looks fine, tastes fine... but why else would the last 2 days make me sick? This is a natural yogurt with no sugar or preservatives so I can easily imagine how the yogurt would go bad quickly due to this.
Now at week 3... I am on a 4 day cooking cycle. I keep my yogurt no more than 4 days in the fridge. Since I have switched to this new cycle... viola... NO MORE PROBLEMS!! I don't have those harsh results anymore on day 5-6 now. I do have to make this yogurt more frequently, but it's worth it for quality of life.
*** COOKING TIPS ***
* The process takes me about 20 minutes start to finish. Then 24 hours of hands free fermenting, followed by 8 hours of cooling in fridge.
* When I boil up to 180F I pull the pot off the burner and let it sit about 2 minutes up around 180F to kill off any bad bacteria before I start the fermentation process.
* To cool my milk/soy/almond milk I fill my sink with cold tap water and place the hot pot into the sink and stir the mix frequently. I also move the water around the sink to keep it cool on the sides of the pot. I can get the temp down to 110F within a couple minutes... this make this step super fast.
* Try not to let the temperature drop to low or the yogurt maker has a hard time getting it back up to 110F.
* At 110F I pull the pot out of the sink and mix in the culture (1/8 teaspoon) thoroughly until its perfectly mixed in. Do not add the culture above 110F or it kills off the bacteria. By the time you are done mixing the temp should be around 106-108F from my experience.
* If you drop way below 100F you may want to gently warm it back up again... just be careful not to go over 110F. If you mix the culture quickly you will not even need to do this though.
* When I first start the process I plug in my yogurt maker so it has time to warm up and I put in 2 cups of hot water (from tap) into the the machine... 2 cups is what is required to work perfectly with the replacement glass I recommend above. By time I am ready to ferment the machine is nice and toasty warm at 110F ready to go.
* I recommend you measure the water temp of the yogurt machine to make sure you are not going over 110F. If you are adjust the light dimmer lower and come back and measure again in an hour or two. Keep doing this until you are dialed in perfectly.
* Once you find the perfect dimmer setting use a marker and make a small dot next to the location of the slider so you can use this as a quick reference for the future. I have noticed once I find my magic dimmer setting it requires very little worrying in future batches, at least until the outdoor season changes again.
*** IBD CAUTIONS ***
I have spoken to some people who are VERY sensitive to probiotics. As we all know IBD gives us random symptoms to random things... we are not all equal. If you know you are sensitive and get sick from probiotic supplements... I would caution you away from this process since it will only be 50 times stronger. If you know you handle probiotics fine this process may be worth experimenting with. No matter who you are though just be careful when adding new things to your diet.. as always :D
I hope this write up helps some people. Please feel free to chime in and comment about the good/bad results you have had with SCD yogurt, perhaps share your techniques too.
39 of 40 found the following review helpful:
Very Good Yogurt MakerDec 26, 2007
By Daniel R. Graziano
The yogurt maker is pretty simple to operate and is as advertised. Depending on the type of milk, and the length of incubation time effects the consistency of the yogurt.I have made several batches with organic milk, soy milk, and low fat milk. Instead of spending $16.00 for an extra batch jar, I pour out to a seperate container, and can reuse the 1 jar that it came with, and if you save at least 1/2 cup of fresh yogurt, you can use that as your starter, instead of paying for a packet every time.
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