Making Matsoni Yogurt with an Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe and Temperatures for Homemade Yogurt
Table of contents
We made Matsoni yogurt from milk and a starter culture. This post includes an Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe and temperatures for making all kinds of Homemade yogurt.
Matsoni Yogurt is an heirloom yogurt, which means it can be made again, indefinitely, by adding some of the previous batch to milk to make the next batch. It is also mesophilic, which means it is cultured at a lower temperature. The mild, honey-like flavor makes this perfect as a dessert. We sweetened it and served it with blackberry juice, blackberries and blueberry powder.
THE SCIENCE PART OF MAKING YOGURT
There are a variety of different yogurt cultures. They can be grouped into two categories – mesophilic and thermophilic. It is important to know which category your yogurt starter is in, because they thrive at different temperatures.
- Mesophilic, which translates to “medium-loving”, indicates that it thrives at medium temperatures (around 68-100 degrees F) and is destroyed at a higher temperature (around 113 degrees F).
- Thermophilic, which translates to “heat-loving”, indicates that it thrives at higher temperatures (around 105-115 degrees F) and is destroyed at a higher temperature (around 130 degrees F). Most yogurt cultures are thermophilic.
MAKING MATSONI YOGURT IN AN INSTANT POT
We wanted to make real yogurt, so that we would know exactly what was in it. The yogurt would be just high quality milk with a yogurt starter culture – no sugar or additives. But making yogurt at home can be a little tricky, because you need control the temperature for a number of hours, and not all yogurts are cultured at the same temperature. Also, you may want to boil the milk before culturing, which requires another temperature.
Making yogurt in an Instant Pot is perfect for this. It has a special yogurt setting that scalds the milk, and then another setting that allows you to select the temperature and it will hold it there for hours. The Instant Pot Ultra has a yogurt setting that can be adjusted to low, where it will maintain a constant temperature of 91 degrees, which will usually work for culturing a mesophilic culture. The medium setting will culture a thermophilic culture.
Because this is a cultured product, it is important that everything is clean. Start with milk that is not near its expiration date. Remove the sealing ring on the Instant Pot lid. Thoroughly wash the sealing ring, the inner pot and the lid with very hot water and put the sealing ring back on.
For this yogurt, boiling the milk is not required, but will produce a thicker yogurt. If you decide to boil the milk, use the boil setting on the yogurt setting to bring the temperature of the milk above 180 degrees F and then let it cool to below 91 degrees F before adding the Matsoni yogurt starter culture. This will kill any unwanted bacteria, and also help produce a thicker yogurt.
The milk and starter culture must be kept at a constant temperature where the culture will thrive. Matsoni yogurt is a mesophilic variety, so it needs to be kept between 68 and 100 degrees F. The low setting on the Instant Pot is 91 degrees F, so this setting will work. The longer it is cultured the thicker and more tart it becomes.
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING YOGURT IN AN INSTANT POT:
The yogurt starter culture is from Cultures for Health. Since Matsoni yogurt is an heirloom variety, it is possible to make successive batches of yogurt from a few tablespoons of a previous batch, but we usually start with fresh starter culture to make sure the culture is strong and the milk is kept clean. The starter culture comes in powdered form in tiny packets and conveniently stores for months in the refrigerator. It also comes with instructions, but the method we describe here is just easier.
That’s it – no sugar, no additives.
NOTES ON HOW MAKING YOGURT IN AN INSTANT POT FITS INTO OUR PLAN TO EAT BETTER:
By selecting better brands and eating more healthy foods we cut our carbon footprint in half and are helping to control climate change. We use Horizon organic milk because we like the taste and quality and also because the company is taking action on climate change to be carbon positive in just 3 years. Also, making it in an Instant Pot is easier, and a great way to use less energy. We use an Instant Pot Ultra, that has a special yogurt setting. This creates incredible yogurt, allowing us to eat less meat, and also saves money.
Photos by Tony Fitzgerald Photography