i made yogurt yesterday and it worked! i made about 1/2 quart in a mason jar - i used vitasoy soymilk, plus 2 tablespoons of dairy yogurt with active cultures (i'm not vegan so using dairy yogurt to start it was fine for me - may not be for some of you). i sterilized the jar, lid and a metal spoon (for stirring) by boiling it all for a few minutes. i then poured in the soymilk and let it cool (i don't have a candy thermometer but it's supposed to not be above 120 degrees F). i then stirred in the yogurt well and put it in my pre-heated oven (i used an oven thermometer to ensure the oven was not too hot). should be between 90-120 degrees (not over or the cultures will be destroyed). i found that incubating it in my oven with the oven light on the whole time (and the oven off after my initial pre-heating) was sufficient in terms of warmth. i put the jar near the light. i left it in the oven for about 12 hours but i did notice that after about 6-8 hours, it was yogurt already. i poured off the top bit of whey after about 6 hours later (cuz i didn't want it to mix in too much and make the yogurt more watery) and put it back in the oven. i'm going to save about 3 tablespoons from this batch to start my next one.
my one question is: how do you make the yogurt thicker? it tastes fine to me, but is milder-tasting and less sour than store-bought stuff, and is also thinner in consistency. i wouldn't mind if it was a bit thicker and stronger tasting. any ideas? do i just need to up the temperature (i probably had it at 90-100 most of the time) or leave it in longer? or..?
edit: for those who cannot tell, this can very easily be veganized by using soy yogurt (but it must have active cultures - as i mentioned in my original entry, my old roommate didn't have much success with soy yogurt because the kinds we have available here do not have enough active cultures) or a commercial vegan yogurt starter instead.