Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Making yoghurt


About twenty-five years ago V bought me a yoghurt maker. I took to it straight away and used to make my own yoghurt all the time. I think I stopped when I got married and had to share my under-the-counter fridge with one and a half others (husband and ten-year-old stepson) and there just wasn't room in the fridge for the yoghurt tub. That was over twenty years ago.

I noticed the kit in its box in a cupboard recently and decided that either I had to start making yoghurt again or it had to go. I now have a larger fridge, so why not? I've googled and found that you can't get these Deva Bridge yoghurt makers any more, which is a great pity. Apparently you now have to have electric kits with individual pots. This way is so much better.

The kit consists of an insulated pot, a milk saver and a thermometer. You start with a little live yoghurt as a starter. The instructions say as little as 1 teaspoon will do. The fresher this starter the better. You then put your milk in a pan with the milk saver, bring to the boil, turn heat down and simmer for three minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the milk to cool until the temperature drops below the top line on the thermometer. (If it drops below the bottom line, reheat the milk.)


Gradually blend the milk into the yoghurt starter, stirring all the time. Put the two lids on the pot. Apparently the curve of the inner lid, together with the channel in the rim, collects some of the condensation, but I'm not sure this would be completely necessary.) Leave for five hours.

Yoghurt.


It's a little difficult to photograph yoghurt but I think you can see the two curves on the spoon I stuck into the pot, which you wouldn't get with milk.

Fresh yoghurt is deliciously sweet. The instructions say that the acid taste will start after about three days. I remember only the first day as being actually sweet, though. You can flavour and sweeten your home-made yoghurt, of course, though I plan to have it just as it is, on muesli as I usually do.

POSTSCRIPT

There's good news and bad news. The bad news is that after 25 years of being careful, this morning I managed to catch the edge of the yoghurt thermometer with the dishcloth, sweep it to the ground where, of course, it broke. The situation is rescued, however.

Looking at the instructions that came with the yoghurt maker, I found the temperatures that were indicated by the thermometer. The top line, below which the milk must cool, is 49 deg C and the bottom line, below which it must not cool, is 43 deg C. Good news follows, though. By very happy chance, I was given a digital food thermometer from Lakeland Limited for Christmas, so it will do the job perfectly. (I do have, as I have mentioned here before, a jam thermometer but one of the ways in which I find them useless is that the line above which the liquid must come for accurate measurement of temperature is higher than I will ever have a pan of milk for yoghurt.)

More good news is that the yoghurt is still just as sweet this morning. And finally, although the directions say to leave the yoghurt making for five hours, by this morning it was considerably thicker than yesterday.

I'm still very sad at breaking the original thermometer, though.

26 comments:

  1. Dear Mrs Vernon,
    I like your article, since i'dd like to order one Deva Bridge Yoghurtmaker myself. i was wondering what kind of purpose the little white round thing has, the one with the big D on it?

    Kind Regards,
    Mia from Holland

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    Replies
    1. It is a tool you put in the boiling milk, to prevent cooking over.
      By the way, it is not necessary to boil and cool down the milk when you use UHT bricks. Just need the right temperature : 2min 30sec in microwave and stir with the starter yoghurt.

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  2. Thank you so much for this post! I'd recently resurrected my Deva Bridge yogurt maker (and thermometer) from the back of the cupboard but had mislaid the instructions. I made stacks of delicious yogurt with this back in the 1970s and can now look forward to making much more down here in deepest Devon.

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  3. this is just what I was looking for! I have returned from living overseas for 10 years and have been unpacking 10 years of stored boxes.
    In one of the boxes I found my deva bridge yogurt maker and I remember the yoghurt was so sweet. Unfortunately there weren't any instructions or the thermometer. But you have rescued the situation - especially with the temperature required for setting - I have just bought myself a cooking thermometer - hope it will be okay.

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  4. Hi there again, well I've made 3 lots of yogurt and all were unsuccessful - still runny in the morning. I'm obviously doing something wrong. I've tried full-cream milk and skim milk but nothing is working - help! Vanja

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    1. I' m using lactose free milk, it 's also working. But I use always more than a teaspoon : an eatspoon full, it's half of a little yoghurt tin. Only when its a heatwave it s not good. So I think you do the temperature wrong?

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  5. Vanja,

    When I make yogurt, I add about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dry milk before heating the milk and it helps to thicken it, not so runny. Love the yogurt in my Deva Bridge. Before it, I had the electric one and it died. Had the Deva for years and it's still great!

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  6. Dear Mrs Vernon,
    I have just resurrected my Deva Bridge yoghurt maker at the suggestion of my 20yr old daughter, only to find that the instructions are missing. As with everything I googled it and here you are. What a blessing, can you please just tell me how much milk I need to use, was it 1 pint? Many thanks, Jenny in Sydney

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    Replies
    1. I still have my Deva Bridge Yoghurt maker and the additional cheese maker, it is one of the best things my mother in law ever gave me, the other was her Yorkshire (from Yorkshire!), Yorkshire Pudding recipe which has never failed! I also have the original box for the two Deva Bridge items and all the instructions. I have been trying to search for/buy one for my nephew and his new wife, that is the only reason I found this blogspot! The company no longer exists sadly, but actually it is a glorified flask, and the open topped soup flasks will do the same yoghurt making job. The filter mesh for making the cheese fitted exactly on top of the yoghurt maker and made straining easy and not at all messy, very easy to clean! How can I help? Send you photos of the instructions ? I don't know how to make 'secure' comments on blogs as I never have time to look at them or keep up with them!?

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  7. I bought a Devabridge yoghurt pot 30 years ago and have made my own yoghurt ever since. I ran a B&B for 10 years and taught many guests how simple it was to make. For the correspondant who worried about the correct temperature - I only use my little finger as a temperature test. I place the boiled milk in its pan in a sink of cold water to cool rapidly. Stir a few times and after a two to three minutes hold your little finger in the milk for a few seconds and it should feel just warm.
    My experience is that you do not need a milk saver either as once the milk has been brought to the boil, turn down the heat until the milk is just bubbling and leave for 6 minutes.

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  8. I bought my Deva in London in the 70's and recently resurrected it after moving from a big house. I too had lost the instructions so you are a life/yogurt saver! English milk is usually full cream and that probably has a significant effect on the final consistency. I can't remember what I might have done once I was in the US to deal with this. I have also been told that Stoneyfield brand makes the best 'starter". Just going out to buy some & get started!

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  9. Oh, what fun to read that I'm not the only one whose Deva has been sitting in the back of a kitchen cabinet for decades! Bought it in the UK in the early 80s, moved it with us to the USA where I made yoghurt for several years. Just the other day we were talking about that great little yoghurt maker and I digged it up, still in excellent shape, together with the milk saver and the thermometer. Thanks to the instructions on this website I'm now halfway the yoghurt making process :-) I found a similar yoghurt making kit on a cheesemaking website from Vermont. Keeping my fingers crossed the yoghurt will taste like it used to....

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  10. Mary, PeterboroughMarch 4, 2012 at 7:06 AM

    It is so good to read that the dear old Deva Bridge Yoghurt makers are still out there! My Mum bought one for me back in the early 80's after having great success with hers. I have always used Greek yoghurt as a starter and never had any problems. Mum's tip which I always follow is to fold a teatowel and place that on top of the outer lid to keep it extra warm while you are waiting for the yoghurt to develop. I leave mine for about ten hours before opening it and enjoying the contents.

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  11. I have a surprise for you all! I have found the yoghurt maker from Deva Bridge AND the Deva Bridge SOFT CHEESE MAKER!

    I am about to experiment with them both! I will let you know how I get on!

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  12. Great stuff! I've just resurrected my Deva Bridge Yoghourt Maker and used it fpr the first time since the 80s. It was just as good as ever. Why don't they make these brilliant things any more?

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  13. Just found mine in the back of my cupboard and had placed it into a charity shop bag this morning. But I shall be keeping it and using it. It's still all in it's original box too. Thank you for this blog.

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  14. Saved the day! Thanks for this information. I have dug mine out and have everything but the thermometer which I broke a life time ago. My instructions are so old they didn't specify the temperature requirements but you have rectified the situation. Great.

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  15. These Devabridge yoghurt makers are still turning up at the back of kitchen cupboards. Rediscovered mine the other day and just refining my technique. Really is the best yoghurt!

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  16. We bought a Deva Bridge yoghurt pot 30+ years ago in Liverpool. We moved to Canada in 1988. Happily the pot made the journey with us, but packed away in the basement several years after that. Rediscovered, dust covered, in our basement about 10 or 11 years ago, and making yoghurt almost daily since then. Great product, simple to use. Pity nothing like this is available any more.

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  17. Good day.... I found a Deva in a box of kitchen goodies that was given to me.... I am so exited to try this out. Just dont know what is supposed to be in the complete set. This is the plastic container, a clip on lid and a screw on lid, Then there is a ceramic type lid with a D on it? something missing? I figured there is a thermometer misssing but I will do the Little Finger test as described by a reader here....

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    1. The ceramic disc is to put in the milk pan while you heat the milk. When it begins to rattle remove pan from heat.
      Set kitchen timer for 30 mins (you can use thermometer but I broke 2 and this time works just as well). Then when timer rings in the larger plastic container put your 2 teaspoon of starter yoghurt (must be a 'live' one available in any supermarket) and slowly add your heated milk stirring as you go. Put on white inner lid then outer one and leave on kitchen work top (I make mine day before needed). Once it has set it can live in the 'fridge.
      To make your next batch you can use 2 teaspoons from this batch and so on. You will need a fresh supermarket starter after a while when the set is not so good.
      Christine

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    2. Here is what my Deva Bridge instruction booklet says about the ceramic disk:

      AGI-DISK - The white ceramic disk, used while heating milk, is especially designed to rock or rattle as the milk begins to boil. (Hard rock or rattle indicates boiling. Soft or very gentle rocking or rattle indicates simmering.) Agitates the milk as if you were stirring and prevents milk from boiling over. This handy disk can be used with any liquid to prevent its boiling over -- place it in the pot and put your mind at ease.

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  18. Does anyone know where I can get another inner white cap for my Deva Bridge it has gone missing?

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    Replies
    1. 2015 now, just read about your soft cheese maker! How did you do? I have just found my yogurt/cheese maker with no instructions, not surprising after 30 years, but grateful for this site. However, can't remember what to do to make soft cheese. Help...

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  19. I came across this site while searching for info about the Deva Bridge Yogurt (US spelling :) ) maker. I too have one from many years ago and have decided to dust it off and start using it again. I have both the yogurt maker and the soft cheese maker - both with all their parts and instruction manuals!
    To answer the question above regarding making soft cheese, here are the steps given in the manual (the same manual has instructions for both devices)
    EASY TO MAKE:
    1. SET-UP: Simply place the DEVA BRIDGE SOFT CHEESE MAKER onto a plate. Spoon unstirred yogurt into the strainer. Stand the strainer on the rim of the DEVA BRIDGE Yogurt Maker container. The legs are designed to fit securely into the indentation in the rim.
    2. POUR: Any drips of yogurt from the plate back into the strainer then place the lid on the strainer.
    3. STAND: Set aside for 4 to 8 hours or longer -- 4 hours for a very soft, creamy cheese; 8 hours for a slightly firmer, but still creamy variety. Most of the whey will drain off in the first 8 hours, though you can control the solidity of the cheese by the length of time you leave it to drip. If desired, leave up to 24 hours at room temperature.
    4. REFRIGERATE: If you do not plan to use the cheese immediately, place it in a covered container in the refrigerator. It will keep well for a week or more.
    5. CLEAN-UP: The soft cheese will come away from the strainer very easily. After emptying, rinse thoroughly with warm water and leave to air dry before storing (we do NOT recommend washing in a dishwasher).

    Hope this helps!

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  20. Nice to meet you admin, here i found some great information on yogurt
    and which is really helpful to the yogurt lovers.
    by the way, here my blog on yogurt, please read articles from
    my blog click for reading thanks

    ReplyDelete