Homemade Soy Yogurt

My latest mad-scientist food experiment is to try my hand at making soy yogurt. I’ve done other fermented foods: sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, lacto-fermented vegetables, but this was the first yogurt expedition.

I mixed in a small amount of regular yogurt (with starter cultures) into some soymilk that I heated and cooled to the proper temperature. The mixture has to remain at the correct temperature in order for the bacteria to grow and cause the thickening and sourness.

My low-tech solution was a plastic container which fit perfectly into an old insulated foam cooler I had lying around…house full of junk=lots of opportunity!

The mixture is placed in a container inside a cooler to maintain an even temperature.

The mixture is placed in a container inside a cooler to maintain an even temperature.

Then it was set in the corner to work its magic, literally! I let it incubate for eight hours.

The concoction is put to bed.

The concoction is put to bed.

I opened the box and lid with crossed fingers to find…

After eight hours, the transformation has begun...

After eight hours, the transformation has begun...

Voila! The bacteria have infiltrated the soymilk, leaving the telltale fermentation calling card behind: bubbles.

I took a scoop to sample. It still tastes very much like soymilk, with slight souring, and the creaminess and thick consistency of a watery sour cream. I will let it be until I wake up tomorrow and see what I end up with.

So much excitement. How will I ever sleep tonight?

If only chemistry in high school had been this much fun…

UPDATE: The next day…
Today the yogurt was tangier than when I tasted it last night, although the flavor still wasn’t very strong. I was afraid to leave it out longer to see if it would continue to sour.

As far as thickness goes, it was fairly runny. I suppose I could strain it to get it thicker. More experimenting is in order, but it’s very exciting to be able to completely transform soymilk into yogurt.

From now on I should be able to use that as my starter culture and just add some from the most recent batch to make more yogurt.

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