July 8, 2012


Hi all! Since being back at Windward once more, I've been busy helping set up for the Village Helix, which went really really well. In some of the empty spaces, I've been experimenting with food. (Of course!)

More specifically, yogurt! I wanted to use some of Becca's milk, which doesn't get used very quickly, to make something people would consume. The alchemy of milk follows...

Yogurt-to-be in the Warmerator

Here's how:

*The warmerator is a refrigerator that's been converted into a warm, insulated place in which to hatch chicks. The temperature hovers around 100 degrees Fahrenheit inside.

Here's what I discovered:

Look at the texture of that Becca-derived sour cream! Whooee!

And here's the science behind the deliciousness:

Certain species of bacteria are responsible for turning milk into yogurt, giving it the slightly acidic taste of "yogurtiness". As the bacteria feed on the lactose (a sugar) in milk, they produce lactic acid, an acidic waste that cause the proteins in the milk to tangle into a solid mass and result in clotting the milk. The acidic environment serves to prevent other bacteria from moving in, preventing the yogurt-to-be from spoiling. And, in the process of altering the proteins, these bacteria also give yogurt its distinctive flavor.

While many different kinds of Lactobacillus bacteria may be used to make yogurt, the most common are: Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, as well as Streptococcus salivarius and Streptococcus thermophilus. They can be found in a cup of store-bought yogurt that describes the "live active cultures" contained within.

So, for people who have trouble digesting the lactose, yogurt is a great way to get calcium into the body. Yogurt also contains protein and fat, the amounts of which depend on how the animal producing the milk is treated. The lower pH of yogurt (more acidic) compared to milk may also aid in digestion. Experiment on yourself!

Want thicker yogurt? Try science!