I tried the powdered cultures and the starter base culture, but for me this just wasn't a sustainable process. My home does not have central heat and air to keep a steady indoor temp. Each of the cultures I purchased really needed a consistent temp to maintain and grow the culture..in my home this just wasn't practical. After many trial runs, the powdered cultures and starter system ended never to return.
So how do we make yogurt consistently and repetitively? Simple...one gallon of milk, one carton natural yogurt with live cultures and my oven set to 100 degrees. Here we go.
After culturing I ladle my finished yogurt into canning jars and refrigerate until use. Over the years I have tried several varieties of yogurt as a starter culture, but Dannon natural is my first pick for consistent results every time. If my goats are in milk then that is the milk I use, otherwise, purchased cow's milk is next in line.
The question has been asked whether or not to flavor the yogurt..I don't. We tried it twice learning that adding to the culture speeds up the growth and seriously shortens the self life of the yogurt. When it is time to eat it honey, vanilla, fruit or home made jams are stirred in at the last minute and since smoothies are our current mode of eating plain yogurt is just fine.