Homemade yogurt left out overnight

We made yogurt in the Instant Pot last night (using store-bought milk, so def pasteurized).

We forgot to put it in the fridge after it had cooled to room temp, so it’s been sitting out for ~8.5 hours.

It looks and smells fine. No additional whey or “clumping,” as far as I can tell (although it’s been totally undisturbed this whole time).

I saw a thread on CH that said it’s fine to eat, but one website mentioned yogurt should be tossed after 2 hours at room temp (which seems very “conservative” to me).

Is the yogurt it okay to eat?


Smell it. Does it smell clean and yogurty? If yes, give it a small taste - notice any off flavors? If no them you should be fine. The good bacteria should have taken over.

But no one can tell you with 100% certainty. If there is any doubt throw it out.

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If it smells right, looks right, and tastes right, it’s fine. Fermenting dairy products was the main way of preserving them before refrigeration.

Whoever published that two-hour nonsense is an utterly unreliable source.


Okay, so another Instant Pot yogurt question.

Tonight’s batch turned out… curdled? Grainy? Also a LOT more whey.

Smells totally normal, though.

We’ve never had this issue and make a batch about every 10 days.

Is this still okay to eat? The little I can find through an internet search indicates that it is.

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Should be fine to eat, you could strain the whey and use it as a slightly sour ricotta or quark

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Okay, another homemade yogurt question…

Our current batch was tasting kind of sour, even w/ shorter fermentation. So we ordered another batch of started (from Cultures for Health). Unfortunately, we only put in half the amt needed (which I discovered after the milk still looked like, well, milk after 6.5 hrs). Smells just fine.

The directions state that, if yogurt has set up, continue to ferment for up 12 hrs. But that, of course, is when you put in the full amt of starter.

So I dumped in the rest of the starter, stirred (I only later read one website that said stirring was a big no-no), and set it for another 5.5 hrs.

Question: assuming it sets up by the end of that time and smells and looks fine, I assume it’s fine to eat? I was kind of worried about “bad” bacteria taking over the milk/yogurt, if I didn’t put enough started to begin w/…

Should be fine but taste and smell a small amount. If it tastes like yogurt you are fine

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It set up just fine and smelled really good. The taste was… diff from our previous batches. Super, super mild w/ just a hint of tang? TBH, I like it better than our previous batches in many ways, but we’ve totally psyche’d ourselves worrying about food poisoning! So we’re just going to start over. Such is the human mind… ::sigh::

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Care to share a recipe?

:man_shrugging: it’s like making bread, you did introduce good bacteria as long as you didn’t contaminate it with bad bacteria the process should just happen slower. But it never hurts to have an abundance of caution.

Instant pot. 1/2 gallon milk. First step, yogurt setting → boil (which I think lasts ~1 hr). Let cool to around 105 - 115 deg F. Pour a ladle full into a bowl and mix w/ 2 tablespoons of previous batch of yogurt. Pour that back into the main portion and stir. Yogurt setting for 6.5 hrs.

Cool in fridge for at least several hrs (we usually do overnight). Strain (we use some cloth thing advertised for nut milk straining) for ~3 hrs. The resulting product also can replace sour cream. :slight_smile:

I don’t experience w/ a TON of store-bought yogurt, but the texture of the homemade stuff is SO much better. Fage now feels super chalky to the point of bordering on “inedible” for me.

I always mix my yogurt w/ fruit, nuts, and hemp seeds, so I can’t detect much diff in taste btw our and store bought stuff; I just don’t want the yogurt to overwhelm the fruit.

That’s what I was thinking, too! If I didn’t add enough starter, just “proof” longer. But dairy always weirds me out. I know that it is totally irrational. Maybe next time I will be brave enough to do what is rational. :slight_smile:

Partner and I are both wondering if today’s batch is how our yogurt starter tasted when we first cultured it ~2 yrs ago. Our previous batch is SO tangy. It’s totally fine when it’s just been made. But after several days, it almost becomes unpleasantly tangy. We normally make a new batch every 7-10 days. Wonder if it’s normal for yogurt starter to get more tangy over time?

And, if so, also wondering if I should take a small portion from future batches to freeze to reduce increased tangy-ness over time…

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Remember that the practice of making yogurt and other fermented dairy products developed before there was refrigeration, as a way of preserving a perishable product.

When “bad” bacteria take over a fermentation, it’s obvious. It looks, smells, or tastes bad. If that’s not the case but it tastes mild, just ferment it longer. If you add less starter, it takes longer.

Homemade yogurt will naturally get tangier and less sweet since fermentation doesn’t stop until the bacteria run out of food.


Thanks for the link. So this does confirm what I had been thinking. I didn’t realize you could just feed the yogurt starter the same you would other type of starter! ::smacks head::

When we cool our cultured yogurt, we normally just put the Instant Pot in the fridge w/ no lid. I’m wondering now if I should actually put a lid on it…

If I don’t have yogurt starter I can just use yogurt from the store to inoculate? Or do I buy something like that online?

Yes. Just make the ingredient list has live active cultures listed on it (it’s really obvious when it does). The little reading I did, though, indicated that starters from store-bought stuff can be weaker and poop out after a few rounds.

The ones we bought from Cultures for Health are “heirloom” and are advertised as being able to be cultured indefinitely.


Ok thx I will check those out!

Some commercial yogurts say which cultures they use on the label.

What’s the point of having starter rather than just using some of the previous batch?

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I’m using starter and previous batch interchangeably.

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So why do the extra work to maintain the starter?

Oh, just some thoughts based on the article you linked (which suggested taking out a small amount immediately after the fermentation has finished for starter).

Okay, we didn’t throw the yogurt away and are gonna give it a try (tomorrow, for breakfast). If I’m still posting tomorrow night, you’ll all know it went fine. :wink: