Part 1 is here, if you missed last week’s installment.
Yogurt isn’t hard to make. I’ve been successfully making yogurt from goat’s milk for a while. So it didn’t seem like a stretch to make non-dairy yogurt while my source of corn-free goat’s milk was on maternity leave.
It was, unequivocally, a flop.
The day after incubating my hemp milk yogurt, I tasted some. It was still very sweet like regular hemp milk, but also a smidge tart like yogurt – not at all what I was expecting, and not very tasty. Considering how the liquid had separated into watery yellow stuff and the off-taste of the liquid, it was a bit off-putting. I shoved the jars into the back of the fridge and tried to figure out what to do next.
It was a few days before I was brave enough to consider trying the yogurt again. At that point, I decided to strain the yogurt through cheesecloth. The batch with the goat’s milk yogurt starter had far more solids in it than the batch with the vegan yogurt starter, which was pretty much just liquid. I think out of 2 quarts of hemp milk, I ended up with one serving of actual yogurt – not much more than the goat’s milk yogurt I added to start with. And it was strange tasting yogurt, to be sure.
So then I had 1 serving of weird non-dairy yogurt, and a bowl full of whey-like stuff that tastes funny. I ate the yogurt. It wasn’t that great, but with enough granola mixed in, I could get over it. The whey-like stuff is a different matter. I tried it on cereal, but it was too sour. I tried it in pancake batter. That worked, but there was still more left. I thought about trying to make a smoothie, but the blender always seems to be dirty around here, and I didn’t have much fruit on hand.
I wasn’t about to commit the sin of letting it go to waste. I hate to waste anything. Even failed experiments usually find their way into being useful for something. So I made more pancakes – lots more pancakes.
Did I break down the hemp milk by overheating it to begin with, causing it to separate? Did I kill the culture with my uneven incubation temperatures (which would also explain the overly sweet taste)? Or do I need to use different non-dairy milk, since the vegan starter said it was optimized for rice milk or soy milk, and never said a word about hemp milk?
I think next time I’ll try making a smaller batch, using my usual incubation method, and using rice milk instead of hemp milk. Stay tuned for the continuing saga…