First, fill your crockpot with 1 gallon of Organic (preferably Raw) Milk...not ultrapasturized. You can use 2% or Whole milk but not skim milk.
Set the temperature on LOW for 2 and a half to 3 hours (mine takes 3 hours).
Check it at two and a half, if the temperature is not 180 degrees then put it on for another half hour and check again.
When the temperature of the milk reaches 180 degrees F, turn off the crockpot and set the timer for another 3 hours.
This is to allow the temperature to drop to 100 degrees..no higher than 110 before adding the starter. Higher temps will kill the beneficial bacteria in the starter. Watch this carefully!
When your temp reaches 100 degrees F, put one and a half cups of the warm milk in a bowl and add 1/2 cup of a good yogurt to the warm milk, stir until well blended.
Add the yogurt/milk mixture back to the crockpot, stir well, make sure you stir the entire pot so the yogurt starter is well blended.
Put the lid on the crockpot (temp is still OFF).
Say nighty-night and completely cover it up with a "blankie" or towel and let it sit for a total of 24 hours (measure the time from when you started making the yogurt to completely finished).
Don't peek! You will be tempted, all right but just once! At the end of 24 hours the lactose is consumed by the bacteria making this a lactose free yogurt and there for no longer a potential allergen or gut bomber.
You will be amazed when you look in the pot and it is YOGURT!! WOW!
Take out one cup and put in a jar marked "Starter" you will use this on your next batch of yogurt..you only need to buy a commercial yogurt starter every other batch.
Now the hard part. This picture is strained, Greek Yogurt, smooth thick and creamy.
If you just want regular slightly runny yogurt, it's done! Put it in jars in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
If you want Greek yogurt you must strain it. I put coffee filters in my small strainers to make cream cheese and lined the large strainers with several coffee filters. This did not work out too well, so make sure you pick up some cheese cloth from Bed Bath and Beyond or the grocery store.
Put the yogurt into the lined strainers.
For Greek Yogurt, 2 hours in the refrigerator, covered with a cloth.
For cream cheese, 6 hours-on the counter, covered with a cloth, after it becomes firm I put a jar lid and a can on top to push out more of the whey and make the cream cheese solid in a mold.
Look at the beautiful yogurt! Simple, delish and affordable.