Can I Make Yogurt with Ultra Pasteurized Milk? 

 July 15, 2023

By  Diane Miles

Homemade yogurts are becoming more popular as more people want to create their own versions of the popular treat. Milk is an essential ingredient in the yogurt making process and you can consider using several options.

You can make yogurt with ultra pasteurized milk but it can impart a slightly cooked flavor to your yogurt. That change is due to how ultra pasteurized milk is prepared and packaged. Apart from the change in flavor, yogurt made using ultra pasteurized presents no other noticeable differences.

Yogurt making is a fun and worthwhile activity to try at home. It’s especially beneficial if you want to trim your grocery expenses even by a little. Read on to learn more about how you can try it at home using ultra pasteurized milk.

You will need to use quite a few different items in order to make a batch of yogurt at home. However, only two main ingredients are needed, with those being a starter culture of some kind and milk.

Now, when choosing which type of milk to use, you can consider a wide variety of options.

Milk from different animals can be used with relatively no issue. Cow’s milk is still the most popular choice, but goat and sheep’s milk are becoming viable alternatives. Even non-dairy milk is an option.

sheep and goats

Others focus more on the fat content of the milk they’re using. That’s why they choose carefully between using either whole or skim milk.

What doesn’t often change though is that some variant of pasteurized milk is used to make yogurt.

The main reason why pasteurized milk is used is because it’s safer than the raw variant. Raw milk contains all kinds of harmful bacteria that can cause illnesses upon being ingested. Pasteurization helps eliminate those disease-causing bacteria.

So, what about ultra pasteurized milk then? While pasteurization kills off the most threatening bacteria in raw milk, some do manage to survive the process. When milk is ultra pasteurized though, virtually all of the bacteria that could cause even minor issues are taken out.

There are significant differences that can be observed between the pasteurization and ultra pasteurization processes.

In pasteurization, the milk can either be heated up to 145 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or up to 161 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 15 seconds to get rid of the dangerous bacteria. The milk produced after pasteurization is then packaged using sanitized equipment.

When it comes to ultra pasteurization, the milk is heated at a minimum temperature of 280 degrees Fahrenheit for at least two seconds. Once the milk is heated at the appropriate temperature for the recommended length of time, it is then packaged in an almost sterile environment.

You don’t have to worry about getting sick if you use pasteurized milk for yogurt making and the risk is driven down even further if you opt for ultra pasteurized milk instead. It’s simply a good idea to use either option for your homemade yogurt.

While it’s true that you can produce safe, homemade yogurt regardless of whether you use pasteurized or ultra pasteurized milk, there is still a difference that can be observed depending on your choice. That difference manifests itself in the flavor of the homemade yogurt.

If you’re a frequent eater of commercially made yogurt, then you already know what to expect if you’re using pasteurized milk. Most of the yogurt options you’ll find at the supermarket use that ingredient. Homemade batches will always taste a bit different, but they will still resemble the ones you’ve grown familiar with very closely.

women supermarket shopping

Yogurt made using ultra pasteurized is going to have a more atypical flavor. Remember that this milk is heated all the way up to 280 degrees. That kind of preparation cannot help but have an impact on the flavor of the milk. More specifically, you can expect the milk and the yogurt made using it to present a slightly cooked flavor.

Ultra pasteurized milk having that cooked flavor is not necessarily a bad or a good thing. It all depends on your preferences. If you’ve never tried ultra pasteurized milk on its own before, it’s at least worth tasting to see if you’d like its flavor in other applications.

How Do You Make Yogurt Using Ultra Pasteurized Milk?

Yogurt making is a relatively simple process. You can manage it successfully even if you’ve never tried it before. Listed below are the steps you need to follow.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Tools

Starting with the ingredients, all you’ll really need are the ultra pasteurized milk and the starter culture. You can opt to use powdered starter culture or a store-bought item with active cultures. Plain store-bought yogurt with active cultures would be best.

As for the tools, you’ll want to prepare a large pot, different-sized bowls, a ladle, a whisk, containers, a candy thermometer, and some kind of incubator. A yogurt maker works well as an incubator.

Step 2: Clean Up Everything

Clean all the work surfaces and tools you intend to use for yogurt making. Be as thorough as you can be because the presence of any foreign bacteria can affect the final product. You can even consider boiling some of the tools you’ll use to free them from bacteria.

Step 3: Heat Up the Ultra Pasteurized Milk

Place the ultra pasteurized milk into the pot and then put that on the stove. Heat the milk until such time that its temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Don’t leave the milk alone during this time. Keep an eye on it and stir it periodically to keep it clear.

Allow the milk to remain at that temperature for at least a few minutes. Doing so will result in a creamier yogurt.

Step 4: Allow the Ultra Pasteurized Milk to Cool Down

Now, you must allow the milk’s temperature to drop back down to the incubation range of 110 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Stirring the milk will help cool it down. Remember to monitor the milk’s temperature using the thermometer so you don’t miss when it hits the sweet spot.

Step 5: Prepare the Starter Culture

Assuming that you’re using store-bought yogurt as your starter, you’ll need to prep that before using it.

Grab a bowl and plop the yogurt into it. Next, take some of the cooled down milk and pour that into the bowl with the yogurt. Now, go ahead and mix the two together.

Once you’ve combined the starter culture and the milk, you can mix that into the rest of the cooled down milk. Stir the whole mixture to ensure that the starter culture permeates the whole thing.

For those using the powdered culture, you can just whisk that directly into the milk.

Step 6: Transfer the Mixture into Smaller Containers

You now have to prepare your yogurt base for incubation. Get your ladle and carefully transfer the mixture into the smaller containers. Tighten the lids on the containers to ensure that the yogurt will incubate properly.

Step 7: Let the Yogurt Incubate

Open up your yogurt maker and start placing the containers in there. Close it up then allow the mixture to incubate.

You will now have to leave the mixture alone for five hours at the very least. That will give it time to incubate and turn into the yogurt you want. During that time, do not open or even move the containers or else you could impede the incubation.

Step 8: Check on the Yogurt

After the first five hours have passed, you can start checking on the yogurt. Open up one of the containers and taste the flavor of the yogurt.

Stop incubating as soon as the yogurt reaches just below the level of acidity you prefer. The yogurt will become more acidic once it’s stored so keep it from getting too acidic.

If you want to give the yogurt more time, close the lid again and check on it every hour until it reaches the level of acidity you’re aiming for.

Step 9: Refrigerate the Yogurt

You are now officially done making the yogurt! Go ahead and place the containers in the refrigerator so that they are chilled and ready to eat later on.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Can You Store Ultra Pasteurized Milk at Home?

Ultra pasteurized milk is notable for its remarkably long shelf life. As long as the container remains unopened, it can stay in your refrigerator for up to 90 days.

After opening though, you should consume the ultra pasteurized sooner rather than later. Even refrigerated, it will only remain usable for up to 10 days.

Is Ultra Pasteurized Milk More Nutritious than Pasteurized Milk?

No, the nutritional profiles of pasteurized and ultra pasteurized milk are similar. You don’t need to take nutritional content into consideration when choosing which one to use.

Are Ultra Pasteurized Milk and Ultra Filtered Milk the Same Thing?

No, ultra pasteurized milk and ultra filtered milk are not similar. Ultra pasteurized milk features virtually no bacteria while ultra filtered milk features no lactose. Removing the lactose makes ultra filtered milk more suitable for those who are lactose intolerant.

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