Be sure to reserve 1/2 cup of your yogurt as a starter for your next batch. Starter should be good for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
So after looking at HEAPS of recipes for yogurt made in the slow cooker/crockpot (and finding them to say pretty much the same thing) here’s what worked for me:
1/2 gallon of raw whole milk (from what I’ve read you could also use pasteurized milk – just not ultrapasteurized)
1/2 cup of plain organic whole milk yogurt (I used Trader Joe’s brand – other brands are fine as long as they have “live and active” cultures – look for that on the tub) – this is called a ‘starter’
Heat milk in crock pot for 3 hours.
Turn off crock pot and let sit for 3 hours and 15 mins.
In a separate bowl, whisk yogurt and 2 cups of the cooled milk then whisk that mixture back into the crockpot.
Wrap the crockpot with towels and/or a throw rug (yes, I’m serious). Let sit overnight.
Remove ceramic portion of crock pot with lid and sit in fridge for 2+ hours.
Spoon into a container.
Now, before I had a success with this I had two “flops”. Well, not really. I first tried it with a gallon of soured milk and I just couldn’t get the timing and temperature of the milk right so it ended up tasting like yogurt but very runny. If this happens DON’T throw it out. It was perfect for smoothies.
The second time I tried it with only slightly soured raw milk but did the 1/2 gallon instead of the full. This was slightly thicker but not much. Again, we used it for smoothies.
Finally, I used 1/2 gallon of fresh raw milk and we ended up with thicker (but not as thick as store bought) yogurt. If you would like the yogurt even thicker, line a colander with cheesecloth and strain the whey out of the yogurt. You can use the whey for making pancakes, french toast, mix in smoothies etc. It’s VERY good for you!
**Keep in mind that you’ve just made PLAIN yogurt. This won’t be sweet. Try topping it with things like granola, applesauce, honey, raisins, dried fruit, maple syrup, cinnamon, fresh fruit, or a combo of any of these.**