Here's how you can make your own yogurt at home:
1/2 gallon of whole milk, preferably organic
2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt (this is your starter)
Eight cups of milk equal a half gallon. This is just a side note :)
Pour the milk in a pot and bring it to a boil while stirring often with a whisk. This will prevent the milk from burning on the bottom.
Allow the milk to cool to 110 -115 degrees. If you do not have a thermometer, you can feel the milk with your finger. It should be pretty warm to the touch, but not at all burning. If it is too hot, it will kill the good probiotic bacteria in your yogurt starter. If it is too cool, the yogurt will not set.
I know that I've said it over and over again, how I don't like kitchen gadgets and such, but kitchen thermometers don't take up too much space and are a very useful tool. Especially if you're making yogurt for the first time. They're inexpensive too!!! I don't need one, because I've been making yogurt for the past 15 years.....
Now that we've cleared that up....
Put 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt in a bowl and pour some of the cooled down milk over it. Whisk until creamy.
Pour into the rest of the milk and whisk to combine.
Distribute evenly in mason jars or storage containers. Place the container's covers on them.
Place a blanket or towel on the bottom of the containers and wrap. Make sure they are standing and on a secure counter so that they do not spill. Put another blanket or towel on top and wrap it up nice and cozy.
Leave it alone overnight or for 8-10 hours.
Uncover the blankets and place the yogurt in the refrigerator to firm up for a few hours.
To make Greek yogurt:
Place a strainer in a bowl that can hold it suspended. Make sure that the bottom of the strainer is not touching the bottom of the container/bowl it is in. The yogurt will release a lot of liquid (whey) and it needs to drip to the bottom of the container.
Line the strainer with a clean kitchen towel or handkerchief and put the prepared yogurt in it.
Place the strainer with the yogurt in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until the desired thickness is reached. The longer it drains, the thicker your yogurt will become. You can add some of the liquid whey (the stuff that has strained and dripped to the bottom of the container) back to your yogurt if it has thickened too much for your liking.
Place the strained "Greek" yogurt in a container and enjoy it however you like!
You can save the whey if you like in the refrigerator and use it in many recipes :)