Yoghurt temperature trick

So I’ve been making my rich yoghurt with my Yogourmet for 3-1/2 years. It always seemed to turn out fine. It gets thick, tastes tart and I seemed to tolerate it. Appearances aside, something was very wrong.

——— UPDATE 2017.08.14

It’s come to my attention that for some other yoghurt makers, a dimmer will actually ruin the machine. I cannot vouch for any make of yoghurt machines other than the Yogourmet I’ve been using.

An excellent alternative sounds like a sous vide machine as commentator Taylor has pointed out to me (Thanks Taylor!). They are made for low temperature, accurate, water bath cooking – exactly the kind of thing you need for successful SCD yoghurt. They are more expensive then a dedicated yoghurt machine, but they are a multipurpose tool. Just make sure the sous vide machine you buy works at a low enough temperature.


After following the Pecanbread and BTVC-SCD groups on Yahoo I come to find out that many people have problems with their Yogourmets getting too hot. A quick check of the BTVC book will tell you that the allowable temperature range for culturing yoghurt is from 100 to 110 degrees F (38-43 degrees C). If it gets too hot, the temperature begins to kill the bacteria that is digesting the lactose in the milk. If this happens you wind up with yoghurt that has sugars you are trying to avoid and lacking the probiotics you are trying to seed in your gut.

I thought I’d investigate my Yogoumet and as it turns out, I’ve been cooking my yoghurt too hot all this time. Rats! I did a test using water in place of my usual half and half. Even after just 7 hours, the temperature of the water was above the allowable range at 116 degrees F. I tried removing the lid of the maker, leaving the jar’s lid in place to see if that would make the difference I needed. Even after more than 12 hours of topless heating, the temp of the test water decreased only two degrees. “Holy insufficient cooling, Batman!”

Luckily, there is an easy solution – a plug in dimmer switch. What’s that you ask? It’s a simple little device you can purchase at your local hardware store for $10 – 20 USD (see image at left). It’s designed to take an ordinary lamp and make it dimmable. You simply plug your Yogourmet into the dimmer switch and the dimmer switch into a regular electrical outlet. The trick is to figure out how much to “dim” your yoghurt and when to do it to obtain and maintain the right temperature.

In my experiments I let the yoghurt culture at full power (dimmer on full) for six hours at which point my yoghurt was 104 degrees F – perfectly in the acceptable range. Then I turned down the dimmer switch to about halfway. This maintained the temperature at about 105 degrees for the rest of the processing. Woohoo!

Your dimming experience may differ due to the type of dimmer you have and the ambient temperature of the room. Mine was in a kitchen with an average temperature of about 77 degrees F. You’ll have to experiment to calibrate your dimmer switch. The good news is that once you’ve done that, you shouldn’t have to do it again.

Once you’ve figured out the timing and setting of your dimmer switch, I’d recommend marking your switch at the dimmed position so you don’t have to figure it out each time.

I start counting my processing time when the yoghurt temperature reaches the acceptable range.

I’ve not done it, but another popular way to make yoghurt is to use a food dehydrator.

UPDATE 3.3.10: April tells me that she uses a digital egg incubator to do her yoghurt. She tells me that although they are pricey, they keep the temperature to within 1 degree. See the comments on this page for more info.

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172 Responses to “Yoghurt temperature trick”

  1. 1 Kevin October 16, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Wait a minute. The Yogourmet is the simplest thing, does nothing but heat water to a specific temperature. And it can’t do that right?! Now you have me worried about mine. And royally pissed at the Yogourmet engineering boobs.

    • 2 Janice May 29, 2009 at 9:27 am

      I am thankful for this info as I had sropped using my maker and opted for the dehydrator. It seemed such a waste though. Now I will get a dimmer and try this so I have the option of both appliances again. Thank you Paul!

    • 6 Doug September 19, 2009 at 9:42 pm

      No, the Yogourmet does NOT heat to a specific temperature. It does not have a thermostat. It has a heater that simply turns on and stays on. The temperature to which it heats is random.

    • 7 DF in MA March 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm

      Ah, therein lies the rub. The Yogourmet *doesn’t* heat to a specific temperature. It doesn’t have a thermostat. It simply has a heating element that will get the temperature reasonably close for 4-6 hours. After that all bets are off.

      • 8 Lena November 29, 2012 at 9:14 am

        Hey Brooke, thanks so much for your kind words I’m here for you on the food front and hope I can counitne to help you! Doesn’t sound like your dehydrator will work because you won’t be able to control the temperature. Making good yogurt really is quite the science if you want a quality product. To be honest, I am going to just go ahead and bite the bullet and buy a real yogurt maker since I’ll be using the thing for the rest of my life the investment will be worth it. Seems if you order from Amazon you’ll get free shipping. Every little bit helps, right? Please let me know what you end up doing?

    • 9 Christine Horton July 4, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Don’t just blame Yogourmet. I have tried 4 other brands of Yogurt maker and they all have this problem, so I’m really glad to find this dimmer switch solution.

  2. 10 Paul Stocker October 16, 2008 at 7:51 pm


    My understanding is that the Yogourment was not engineered specifically for the needs of SCD yoghurt – namely long processing of 24 plus hours. As a tool for making regular yoghurt like the kind found in your grocery store, the Yogourmet is an excellent tool without any modifications.


    • 11 Linda Ross September 14, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      My Yougourmet maker ran at 130 degrees, which explains why I always get bad results. I thought it was my thermometer, but I tested with 3 that were within 2 degrees of each other. Disappointing! I will be trying the dimmer a.s.a.p. Thanks so much!

      • 12 Paul Stocker September 15, 2015 at 5:01 pm


        Sorry to hear you’ve been making bad yoghurt, but glad you found this post. Good luck and you’re welcome!


      • 13 Michelle October 28, 2015 at 8:59 am

        I just had the same problem. Used the same yogurt culture I have been using for years, in a different yogurt maker. After 10 hours all I had was milk that was 125-130 degrees. I am currently waiting for Yogourmet to call back with a solution to my problem.

  3. 14 Shannon November 10, 2008 at 8:30 pm


    Thank you so much for this information. I have been making yogurt ever since starting on the SCD about 7 years ago and it never occurred to me to test the temperature! I plan to do so with the next batch! I love your blog. Keep the ideas coming!

  4. 15 Paul Stocker November 12, 2008 at 2:24 pm


    You’re welcome and thank you.


  5. 16 Donna O'connor November 21, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for this info. Bridget (8 yr old) has been having some little problems lately. The last few batches of yogurt have actually had a bit of a burnt taste. I’m sure we were making it too hot. I hope this is the answer for her!!

    Did you mention this at the online group? If you did I must have missed it.

    I can’t wait to try the sausage recipe.

    By the way, thanks for your advice months back about ‘never allowing Bridget to cheat.’ You were right. We have had a few unintentional mistakes and “we all knew it” as you predicted. Ha!
    She’s doing very well over all. Still no meds or major flares.


  6. 17 Paul Stocker December 2, 2008 at 4:19 pm


    I found out about the Yogourmet possibly being too hot on the online groups and so made this post. Afterwards, I think I may have mentioned this post on one of the groups, but couldn’t swear to it.

    My six year old loves the sausage – she’s a spicy gal.

    The good thing about making mistakes with the diet is they tend to reinforce how it is working for you.

    I’m very glad to hear Bridget is doing so well. Awesome!


  7. 18 Susie February 28, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Hi Paul,

    I never thought there would be an issue with making the yogurt, but my question is how did you figure out your maker was too hot? It may seem obvious, but did you just leave the thermometer in the water without a batch of yogurt in, or with it in?


  8. 19 Paul Stocker March 1, 2009 at 11:12 am


    I put water into the container instead of milk and measured the temp every hour of both the water inside the container and the water around the container. I left the yoghurt maker closed, only opening it to test the temp every hour. I did not leave the temperature probe in the maker at any time.


  9. 20 Atieno March 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Wow, your blog is so completely awesome…!

  10. 21 Paul Stocker March 15, 2009 at 11:30 am


    You are too kind…


  11. 22 Atieno April 25, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Time to tackle yogurt
    I skipped the intro days too
    Having a flare so going deeper into SCD
    (Poss culprits-interested what you think did it- Berry seeds, cider not cloudy enough, coconut milk, chik-fil-a not washed enough (they did special prep pre-cooking), soda water, restaurant lamb ingredients not disclosed, didn’t check if hot sauce was orig mcilhenny, red vinegar cldv been from rice…?I do eat peanut butter and yellow bananas) So, to make yogurt, dannon can be starter? Yogourmet mix doesn’t have illegal bifid? All dimmer work? Three way dimmer wld work?

    • 23 Paul Stocker May 1, 2009 at 11:17 am


      I agree that what you listed as possible culprits could indeed be giving you a hard time. You may want to avoid them for a while.

      I tried eating at restaurants in the early SCD years, but gave up on them – I don’t think they quite understand what we need, no matter how well we explain it. I especially would not trust a chain restaurant like a chick-fil-a. If I you must use a restaurant, I encourage you to use one that is locally owned.

      You may also want to avoid peanut butter during a flare. I understand that many people’s early problems with the SCD can be traced to peanut butter. If you need a nut butter, try pecan butter. It’s supposedly easier on the gut.

      Regarding Dannon as a starter – you must you the plain variety – the only ingredients listed are milk and culture. I have been using it for years and had good results. I find it easier than ordering the freeze dried starter.

      The yogourmet freeze dried mix is legal also.

      Regarding dimmer switches – A three way may work if one of those settings held the temperature at the right level. An infinite switch, the kind that slides without clicking would work for sure as you can make fine adjustments to get it just right.


  12. 24 Atieno April 25, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Ps black tea and coffee- both weak- likely don’t help?

  13. 26 IW May 18, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you so much for getting the word out about the problems with the Yogourmet device — ironically, the most often recommended yogurt maker for SCDers!

    This helped to explain so many of my problems on the diet, which seemed to all begin after first trying to make the yogurt about three months into SCD.

    I quit the yogurt a while ago, then switched to GI Pro Health probiotic capsules. Now, it looks like the diet is finally working again after 2+ years of setbacks.

    Thanks again for bringing these issues to light.

  14. 28 Sue June 1, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for mentioning the issue with the temp as I continue to have problems when eating the SCD yogurt made in my Yogourmet. I’ll get a dimmer as well and test for the right temp. Well, with UC, you certainly learn how to pay attention to detail, right?


  15. 30 scd.dieter June 2, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    I’ve just checked the european moulinex youghurt maker. It’s well above 42 degrees celcius, which is the maximum i can read i my thermometer. I will get the dimmer tomorrow. For now, I switched it off and I will wait for some hours. Hopefully it will cool down a little bit and the good bacteria will have a good opportunity to eat all the lactose.

  16. 31 Sue June 3, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Hi Paul,

    Now that I’m doing my temperature experiments with my Yogourment, I have realized that you also have to watch the temperature inbetween the yogurt container and the outside walls. Usually, I used regular fountain water, not paying too much attention to that because I was focused on getting the temp for the milk right. Today, as I’m doing my testing, I realized that I have been using cold water… what happens? When I tested the water in the inner container at the beginning is was 105 degrees Fahrenheit, then I added my water between the container and the outer walls of the Yogourment. After 30 minutes I realized what I had done, so I opened everything and started measuring. Results: Inner container 95 degrees and outer water 87 degrees. So, make sure that the water you use between the inner container and the outside wall is around 105 degrees as well.


    • 32 Paul Stocker June 4, 2009 at 11:50 am


      I suspect that the main effect of the starting temperature of your water jacket will show in the length of time it takes for your yoghurt to reach the 100 – 110 F temperature range. Colder jacket water would take longer and warmer jacket water would take less time. How much time, I don’t know.

      I think the key would be to not use really cold water one time and really hot water the next. Although I have to admit to thinking that if you are using simple tap water, the time difference should be minimal.


  17. 33 Jason Young June 7, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Is there a better yogurt maker on the market without this issue?

    • 34 Paul Stocker June 8, 2009 at 10:00 pm


      I only have experience with the 2 quart Yogourmet Multi so I can’t comment on other yoghurt machines. I suspect that with the special needs of SCD yoghurt there are issues with other makers as well.

      However, I do know that many people are happy using their Excalibur dehydrators for yoghurt making. For more info on that, search the BTVC-SCD group on Yahoo.


  18. 35 Will Mahler June 8, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Wow, thanks for blogging about this. My first batch of SCD yogurt gave me amazing results and I was basically able to eat anything I wanted so long as I had at least a half a cup a day. All of my subsequent batches gave me problems though and after reading around, I came across your site and checked the temperature which reached 122F! I purchased a dimmer and the first batch should be ready by tomorrow morning. Temp was about 105.5 the entire time, so fingers crossed I didn’t mess something else up this time hah.

    • 36 Paul Stocker June 9, 2009 at 11:02 am


      Yeah for the internet! How did people do the SCD before it was this easy to find info?


      • 37 Will Mahler June 9, 2009 at 1:24 pm

        I would imagine very few of us would know about the SCD were it not for the internet too, let alone learn how to do it properly :P.

        One trick I also picked up on was to just cool the milk to 110 and then use tap water at about 100-110 so that you don’t have to worry about changing your dimmer setting. I can set mine to a little less than 3/4 and it maintains 105.5F the entire time; I’m going to push it a little higher though as I’m thinking a higher temp (not above 110 though) would be more conducive to bacterial growth.

        Had some of the first batch this morning; looks & tastes like it is supposed to and it’s thick & creamy (good signs). Looks like a success, thanks again :).

  19. 38 Paul Stocker June 10, 2009 at 10:52 am


    Glad I could help and thanks for your trick.


  20. 39 Theresa June 11, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Could you put a dimmer on a crockpot? If so, would this work to make yogurt?

    • 40 Paul Stocker June 11, 2009 at 11:39 am


      Sure, I don’t see why you couldn’t use a dimmer on a crockpot.

      I believe that people use crock-pots to make yoghurt, but I’ve never tried it myself.

      If you don’t want to risk failed yoghurt, try your crockpot / dimmer combo with water and monitor the temperature throughout a cycle.


      • 41 Jeff June 1, 2010 at 12:05 pm

        Yes, I have been using a crockpot with the keep warm setting and a dimmer set at about 26 to 30 volts (as opposed to the normal 120 volts of household wiring). I have a Fluke digital volt meter, so I can get it down to the exact voltage needed for the crockpot water bath to remain in the 110 degrees F area.

        The nice thing about using a crockpot is I can use it to heat up the storebought milk to 190 F in the same pot, and then let it cool down before adding the starter.

        I’m not on the SCD diet, I just like letting my yogurt go the entire 24 hours so I have a very tangy and delicious yogurt which I can’t find in any store.

    • 42 Anonymous March 31, 2010 at 8:50 pm

      I am not sure if I should comment, but there is a way to do yogurt with your crock pot, the recipe is on the blog of crockpot365.blogspot.com/…/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html I hope that it is ok to refer this here on this page. I have used a ME72 Miracle Yogurt Maker, and I have not had any problems so far.

  21. 43 Lynda July 1, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I am just getting started and feel overwhelmed about the yougurt making. Do I understand that I can just take some tablets and forget this whole thing? GI Pro Health probiotic capsules? Do you eliminate consuming milk products still, or take it with milk?

    • 44 Paul Stocker July 9, 2009 at 10:19 am


      First of all, take a deep breath and try to relax. Doing the SCD is a learning process and making mistakes is part of that. The benefit of these mistakes is that you can really appreciate the effect of the diet.

      It’s not optimal to substitute probiotic pills for the yoghurt and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you cannot tolerate any form of dairy. For an explanation of why, see this page on Pecanbread.com: http://www.pecanbread.com/new/probiotics1.html.


  22. 45 KATHY July 2, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Paul,
    I just used my NEW Yogourmet for the very first time to make my very first batch of SCD yogurt. I have not tasted it yet — its still cooling.

    However, I’m really glad I discovered your blog right now, because I did notice while my yogurt was cooking that the temp. in the outer water bath was 113 degrees. So now I wonder if my very first batch of yogurt will make me sick. Bummer! I was SO looking forward to eating it tonight!

    My NEW Yogourmet came with a warning note, printed on yellow slip of paper inserted in the container. It said that in order to insure the UNIT operates at proper temps, the ROOM TEMP must be between 68 and 72 degrees. To insure this, I kept the air conditioning on at 72 degrees, for the entire 24 hrs, while I was cooking the yogurt. (I live where it gets to 90 or 100 degrees in summer) Apparently, this was not cool enough to keep the machine in the correct temp range for yogurt making.

    I think the next time I try making yogurt, I’ll use your dimmer idea, although it gets tricky when I have to consider the entire house temperature in my calculations.

    Thanks for your blog and your creative solutions!

    • 46 Paul Stocker July 9, 2009 at 10:36 am


      When I was doing my tests I generally found that the waterbath was a little warmer than the yoghurt itself. I bet your batch was okay.

      Comparing the cost of keeping a house in a hot climate at 72 degrees to the cost of a dimmer, I think you would quickly pay for the cost of the dimmer.

      It shouldn’t take too many tests to figure out where that setting on your dimmer is. Do it with water.


  23. 47 Christine August 31, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    We found the same problem to be true with our Yogourmet machine- it went up to above 120 degrees! Just a note of warning: we tried a different dimmer than described and it did nothing to lower the temp even at the lowest setting. Just got the recommended one and it works fantastic!!

  24. 49 Anonymous September 15, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    This is not a workable solution if your room temperature fluctuates a lot. This can be caused my changing seasons, using the oven, etc, etc. I am considering rigging up my yogurt making with a thermostat, like the one here http://www.alliedelec.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?SKU=5570152&MPN=CAP-75-140#tab=Overview

    This is basically the same idea as using a dimmer, except the thermostat automatically handles everything! The downside to this is it probably requires opening up the yogurt maker and doing some soldering, and drilling a hole in the top of the inner yogurt container to stick the probe in. Also keeping a copper probe submerged in the yogurt for 24 hours might cause some issues (oxidation maybe?).

    I might give this a try, and I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  25. 51 Jane September 19, 2009 at 11:23 am

    The other thing to consider is the reliability of one’s thermometer. I just checked the water in both the Salton and the Yogourmet after two hours, using two different digital thermometers. Bizarrely, the range of difference in temperatures is greater in the Yogourmet. That is, in the Salton, the thermometers (applied at the same time) said 101 and 103. In the Yogormet, the same thermometers (also applied at the same time) said 102 and 106. Perhaps they have to be in the exact same spot?! Just to complicate things further, I added two more thermometers…And got two additional different readings. Luckily, they are all in the safe range. But it does give one pause.

    • 52 Paul Stocker September 23, 2009 at 10:03 am


      I’ve had the same experience. I used to assume that a decent thermometer would give me an accurate reading, but it seems that it’s more akin to an opinion than a solid number. I used to take an average of a couple of thermometers until I decided that one would be the one I trusted.


  26. 53 Jodi September 19, 2009 at 11:44 am


    Do you feel a difference after you added a dimmer switch?
    Were there any changes for you good or bad?


  27. 55 mike November 13, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I just started making yogurt with the yogourmet and I’ve been testing my first 2 batches with two separate digital thermometers (the one that came with the yogourmet and another one). I was testing about every 8 hours or so. last night about 10 hours in it was too low (about 97 degrees) so I kicked it up a notch. Woke up this morning to find that it was too high (112 degrees on one thermometer). Does this mean this batch is now useless? Probiotics and lactose-eating bacteria have all been killed and it’s useless for improving gut flora (the main reason I am making it)?

    • 56 Paul Stocker November 19, 2009 at 11:34 am


      I suspect that your batch is fine since the 112 degrees is so close to the target range of 100 – 110 degrees.

      That small of a difference in temperature may even be within the accuracy range of your thermometer. For instance, check out this page at http://www.thermoworks.com and see the accuracy column for their different digital thermometers.


  28. 57 Sharlet February 6, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I tried to make SCD yogurt for the first time in a crock pot. The first 4 hours on the Keep Warm setting the temperature stayed at 110. At that point I had to go to bed and thought since it had stayed at 110 it should be fine. I woke up about 4 hours later just to check on the yogurt and the temperature was too high. I wasn’t sure what to do. My batch was really large (about a gallon) so I thought maybe I could add more bacteria so at least it would have some probiotic properties and those bacteria could eat up the lactose. So I warmed some milk and starter yogurt to 110 added it to my original batch and put my crock dish into a cooler with another pot of hot water to keep it warm. I believe that the yogurt stayed at 110 for at least 15 hours after that. I put the yogurt in the fridge and blended it. I ate some the first time and I didn’t feel any lactose effects but the second time I had a small stomach ache. Should I throw out all that yogurt? Can it be fixed?

    • 58 Paul Stocker February 9, 2010 at 1:23 pm


      The short answer is that I don’t know if it’s still good, but if it’s giving you a stomach ache, perhaps it’s a loss in the probiotic sense. I also don’t know of any way to fix over-cooked yoghurt. It can still be valuable for cooking, baking and freezing applications though.

      The viability of the culture depends on how high the temperature got and how long it stayed there. As far as I know, there is no simple scientific test to quickly and cheaply test yoghurt culture. I think the most effective test is eating some and recording your reactions.


    • 59 Jeff June 1, 2010 at 12:19 pm

      You can use the keep warm setting on your crock pot with a dimmer and it will work just fine. If you have a digital volt meter, you might try the 26 to 30 volt range on your dimmer. Of course, crock pots vary from one manufacturer to another and from one model to a different model, but for my crock pot, it seems to be ideal for the 110 degree F range. And only crock pots with a knob control (the old style– some are still available at stores) will work. Digital crock pots won’t work with a dimmer.

  29. 61 Steve March 1, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Just a thought…..
    If people are having so many problems maintaining the ‘correct’ temperature for the desired 24 hours I can’t help but assume that Elaine must have had the same problems. My question is, are we all absolutely 100% sure that the correct temperature for getting rid of all the lactose and maximising the number of live cultures is in fact between 100F-110F and whether or not it is so critical? I for example, have an EasiYo yogurt maker which doesn’t use electricity but it does make perfect yogurt and the makers actively market the fact that it has millions of live cultures in it but it does not stay consistently between 100F-110F, yet I feel sure that the makers would have checked out their claims because they would lose huge amounts of their business should someone check.

    • 62 Paul Stocker March 4, 2010 at 7:37 am


      My assumption is that someone has done the lab work to find the optimal temperature for those cultures to thrive and found it to be between 100-110F. With the proper equipment and training, I imagine this would be a trivial exercise. Do you have research that disagrees with this temperature range? Have you measured the temperature of your yoghurt maker?

      The key is for the yoghurt to not get too hot. I think there is a little room for error, but what the critical temperature is that kills the culture, I do not know.

      To my knowledge, no yoghurt maker has produced a device intended to make SCD yoghurt. Their devices make perfectly acceptable non-SCD yoghurt full of probiotics, but also loaded with lactose which we are avoiding.

      So yes, I believe that the temperature range is correct and it is very important.


  30. 63 Sandy March 26, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I am new to this and reading the messages I am now a little worried about my yogoumet which is being delivered to my house within the next few days. I am lactose intolerant so have been concerned about making the yogurt anyway. I have printed off the picture of the dimmer for the maker and will do some experimenting. I wish I had known about the digital egg incubator before I placed the order! Thank you for helping out “newbies”. You definitely have to take some time to get started with all of this.

    • 64 Paul Stocker March 27, 2010 at 12:58 pm


      There are many children using the SCD for autism who also have a dairy intolerance. Pecanbread.com is the resource for the parents of these children and anyone using the SCD. One possible solution is to make goat yoghurt. See this page for more info: http://www.pecanbread.com/p/yogurt1.html .

      The probiotics are very important to help you heal and yoghurt is the best delivery method. More of the culture reaches more of your gut intact as compared to probiotic pills. Therefore, yoghurt is preferred over the pills.

      You may find that even going slow and even using goat yoghurt you cannot tolerate it. If this is the case, keep in mind that after some time healing on the SCD you may then be able to tolerate it. Point being that if you don’t tolerate it in the beginning, don’t assume you’ll never be able to use it.


  31. 65 Vanessa April 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    While doing research on making yogurt I found this tutorial:YOGURT MAKING ILLUSTRATED

    The author, a professor of Biology and Chemistry at Clermont College in Ohio uses the range of 98-130F.

    My yogurt maker gets up to about 120 so I really wanted to find out if my yogurt was worthless. I emailed him about scd yogurt. (After checking the college website to confirm this person was indeed a professor, he he)
    I explained to him about incubating the yogurt for 24 hours and that Elaine gives us a range of 100-110. I asked him if incubating at temperatures higher than 110 for 24 hours would kill the bacteria and this was his reply:

    “Incubating at the temp I specify does not kill yogurt bacteria because they are ‘thermophilic” which means they LIKE heat. Yes, you CAN incubate too hot, but 122 is within their rang. Incubating longer will digest more of the lactose, and make it more sour.”

    So, according to Professor Fankhauser our yogurt should be OK.

    • 66 Paul Stocker April 29, 2010 at 1:32 pm


      I disagree with Professor Fankhouser. This temperature issue presented a conundrum for me so I had to seek a higher wisdom. I wrote Marilyn, a moderator from the BTVC-SCD Yahoo group and she provided me with a detailed and very satisfying answer.

      The long and the short of it is that using Professor Frankhauser’s temperature range is not optimum for the SCD with regard to eliminating the lactose in the yoghurt. It could leave some behind which we don’t want.

      To quote Marilyn’s email:

      My interpretation of it is that yes, you can make A yogurt at the higher temperatures, but it may not be SCD yogurt. The other thing which I collected from the data below is that while the bacteria do ferment in the professor’s range, my information notes that certain bacteria ferment BEST in the ranges specified below — and our SCD range is a compromise between the needs of all three (or four) species used for SCD yogurt.

      She finishes with excellent advice:

      I don’t think the person whose yogurt maker is 120 needs to panic, but I think they might want to look into a dimmer switch to reduce the heat a little. If they choose to continue using the 120°F yogurt, and they do not see the results they are hoping for from SCD, or have unexplained issues, they should consider pulling the 120°F yogurt and replacing it with yogurt made in the temperatures specified by Elaine.

      I can’t add anything but to nod in agreement with Marilyn.


  32. 67 Jeff July 2, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I just recently bought a Yogourmet maker, and it had a piece of paper inside that said for those making SCD yogurt, they should make sure the room temperature is between 68 and 72F for the entire 24 hours to get the required 100-110F in the yogurt.

    There are about a million variables that go into making sure you get the temperature just right. Considering that the yogurt needs to be 100-110F, there’s a pretty good chance you can hit that range with a fairly constant room temperature. For me, I just set my house’s thermostat to get 70F where I make my yogurt and let it do it’s thing. Most thermostats are good enough to get you within the 4 degree range that the manufacturer recommends.

    • 68 Paul Stocker July 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm


      This sounds like it could be good news, but did you measure the temperature of your yoghurt to verify that it didn’t get too hot?

      Unless you have proof positive, I’d encourage you to use caution.


  33. 69 Mia August 31, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    I just tested my yogurt after 10 hours and it is at 113 farenheit. I will go to the store tomorrow! Thanks for the interesting information!

  34. 71 RJ Hirsch November 8, 2010 at 7:35 am


    While I do have a Yogourmet– was a hand-me-down gift– I seldom use it. Am keeping it for travel.

    Making yogurt in the oven with only the lightbulb for heat has been SUPER!

    Follow all the regular steps, then I usually pre-heat oven slightly, then turn back off–I pre-het to lowest setting, 170, for ten or so minutes except during summer here in the NorthEast. Then I turn on th ebulb–I have switched from a 60 to a 40 watt incandescent bulb. Finally a use for those incandescents!
    And I have put a digital thermometer probe in the yogurt, with the gauge out of the oven on a stool: 100 degrees the entire time.

    So simple and so neat not to be using another counter-demanding appliance!


  35. 73 Amie S November 14, 2010 at 7:21 pm


    Just started this diet for my husband’s crohn’s. Found it online and am hoping it works for him! Making my first batch of yogurt now.

    I got a difft yogurt maker then the yogourmet b/c it sounded tricky with all the temperature adjusting.

    My yogurt has been in the yogurt maker and is only 90 degrees. I am worried this is too low. I am thinking it may take a while to heat up to the correct temp.

    Thoughts? Advice?

    Amie 🙂

    • 74 Paul Stocker November 15, 2010 at 6:46 am


      My yogourmet takes six hours to reach the 100-110 range. I would guess that yours takes some time to get there too. Keep measuring the temp every hour or so and track it.

      If it doesn’t get to and keep the right temp for the entire time, you’ll want to fix that or the yogurt wont be as good as it could be for your husband.


  36. 75 Sal January 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Hi Paul

    I’m using a different yogurt maker, when i measure up the temperature it shows higher temperature at the bottom, little lower in the middle and lowesst at the top most part. So my question is how deep do i need to insert my thermometer to get the right temperature? Is it normal that there is temperature differs from top to bottom?

    Any Advice?


    • 76 Paul Stocker January 8, 2011 at 8:34 am

      Hi Sal,

      I would use the middle measurement. I’m presuming that the heating element is in the bottom of the maker so hotter there.

      I’ve never tried tri-level temperature measurement so mine might be doing it and I don’t even know it. This doesn’t sound like something you need to worry about unless there is a great difference between the top and bottom temps, say 30 degrees?


  37. 77 Karen January 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Hey Paul:

    Came accross your website and glad that I did. I’ve been making SCD yogurt for over 2 years with no problems. I’ve recently been in a flare that has lasted over 2 months and wondering why. I tested the temperature of my yogurt and it was 120 degrees. I’m wondering now if this has been the source of my problems. I’ve decided to take a break from the yogurt for a while and I do seem to be getting better.

    In the meantime, I’ve bought a dimmer and tested it with water. After only 2 hours the temperature was 112 degrees.

    I have 2 questions.

    Should I be setting the dimmer as the appropriate level right from the start rather than waiting.

    Second, I have a batch of yogurt that was made at the wrong temperature which I have frozen. Can this frozen yogurt be used in recipes with no ill-effect. I understand that freezing yogurt will kill all the beneficial bacteria. This is fine, but what about the lactose. Was it properly converted in the first place considering the temperature was too hot.

    Thanks for your help.


    • 78 Paul Stocker January 22, 2011 at 9:47 am

      Hey Karen,

      I’ve not tried making my yoghurt with the lower heat setting so you’ll have to experiment. It could take a long time to get to the right temperature or maybe it will be just fine. I want to expedite the process, so I start on high to get to the target temperature as quickly as possible.

      Regarding your frozen yoghurt, perhaps not. If it was too hot in processing, the bacteria may have been fried before they had digested all the lactose. Short of lab testing, I don’t know how you’d be able to tell how much lactose remained in the yoghurt.


  38. 79 Christopher Ryan Punkosdy September 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Very neat tip. Thank you for this!

  39. 81 Anonymous September 19, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Also, where did you find half and half without additives? I have looked but no luck so far.
    Thanks, Chris.

    • 82 Paul Stocker September 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm


      I think I sometimes get an organic brand that has no additives, but my memory is foggy on that. Because it’s the most convenient for me, I most often get a brand called “Prairie Farms” at my local County Market grocery. The label shows milk, cream and dipotassium phosphate as ingredients.


  40. 83 Audrey October 14, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I have been using the Yogourmet yogurt maker for about a year and recently found the yogurt on the bottom is getting thick and sticky and has a burnt taste. I checked the temperature and found it is heating over 115 degrees. Thanks so much for the information on the dimmer switch. I am going to buy one today.

  41. 85 lookingatunseenthings December 9, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Paul I just got a new Yogourmet and had a question about testing the temp of the yogurt while it is in the maker. Is it OK to open the lid several times during the making and put the thermometer (the one that came with the Yogourmet) inside the thing of yogurt? The water between the container and the wall was up @ 120. . but I was hesitant to keep opening up the container of yogurt to test it with the thermometer. I thought I might mess up the live cultures. . I did it a couple times throughout the 24 hour period and it was always up over the “green” labeled area on the thermometer, which was over 110. . too high. The directions to the yoghurt maker say if it’s too hot, to take the lid off.. . Sigh. Thanks for your help. ~Pam

  42. 87 Anonymous December 19, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    So, I’m new to the SCD, and I’m making my first batch of yogurt using the Yogourment multi…

    And I just came across this site, and this is the first time I’ve heard about the temperature getting too hard on the yogurt maker. I have about an hour before I remove the yogurt from the incubator. I guess this means my first batch is screwed?

    What I don’t get is this… if the yogurt was not working for most people because of the error in temperature, how come many people claim the yogurt helped them?

    • 88 Paul Stocker December 22, 2011 at 10:33 am


      I don’t know how big the yoghurt temperature problem is as not everyone uses a Yogourmet or has a problem with theirs. However, this seemed like a problem that enough people had to warrant a post. I’m supposing this is useful to many, but not most SCDers.

      Without the ability to test for sugars or cultures in the finished yoghurt, it’s a bit of a guessing game. What you can know for sure is that if your yoghurt goes above the SCD recommended temperature range for a significant amount of time, you’ll probably end up with a non-optimal food. Perhaps it will have some sugars left or maybe the bacteria count will be lower than desired or maybe a mixture of the two.


  43. 89 Karl March 6, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Hi, I am in my first week of trying the diet and want to start altering some yogurt. I would like to try using cream to make it a bit thicker and smoother. How do I add the cream? Does it need to be heated like the milk or can I just add out of the tub with the starter yogurt?

  44. 91 Blackbass April 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Paul …you are awesome! I have been doin the yoguart thing on and off for a year…and couldnt figure out why I was having issues..I have probably been feeding the bad bacteria the whole time, thinking I was healing inside and constantly defending the diet to non-believers….so now I am making my first batch with a dimmer..hope its the final touch to complete recovery from Crohn’s…Thanks for your post…and the SCD lifestyle and BTVC sites…a God sent for me!!!

  45. 93 Lisa June 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I bought a dimmer and it did not work. What is the exact dimmer that you used?

  46. 97 Mike July 24, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I purchased a Noma digital timer. You program the timer to turn the Yogurmet on and off at specific times. I’m trying 4 hours at start up, then on and off every 2 hours. I go for a 32 hour ferment time. Hope it works

    • 98 Paul Stocker July 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm


      Thanks for your input. If you think of it, let us know how it went.


      • 99 Paul Stocker August 4, 2012 at 8:21 am

        Followup on Mike’s experience:

        Mike tells me that he monitored his fermentation with a thermometer and his equipment and method kept the temperature in the 110 – 113 degree F mark.” He also notes that he does not use the outside cover over the water pot, just the inside lid on the yoghurt itself.

        Thanks Mike!


  47. 100 Doug July 30, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Paul / April,

    What model / brand of digital egg incubator is working well?


  48. 102 Sonia August 1, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Thanks so much, Paul, I’ve been having so much trouble with my yogurt. I figured out that something was wrong because my whey got stinky and horrible after only a couple of weeks in the fridge. From what I understood whey stays good in the fridge for a few months. I am hopeful that I will soon be able to move from only being able to tolerate whey (my old “set it and forget it” method’s product) to being able to eat the entire yogurt. My family will be sorry to miss out on the solids I strained and gave to them!

    I fold aluminum foil over the yogurt machine at full power for 5 hours to bring the temp up to 102 or so pretty briskly, and then replug it through the dimmer switch at about three quarters with no foil until the yogurt is ready. It’s about 106.

  49. 104 Steve August 4, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Hi Paul. I have enjoyed reading all this information—particularly found some of your recipes tasty and cannot wait to try them. I know Breaking the Vicious Cycle suggests temps between 100-110F to make yogurt. I am trying the oven light method with an oven safe probe in the oven—testing it in water first. So far, I can get just below 100…maybe 95 in the middle of the oven 97 closer to the light. Would those temps work? I’m using pint size Bell jars, and going to use eight of them to do a gallon at once…the reason I want the oven to work? We have two. A small upper and a normal sized lower…so if it works, I won’t be taking up counter space or putting off a bunch of heat into the house. Thanks for any help!

    I can’t really seem to find reliable info anywhere.

    • 105 Paul Stocker August 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm


      I’d advise you not to settle for almost right.

      The method described in BTVC creates yoghurt that is designed to do the maximum good. If your temp is too high, you begin to kill the bacteria you want working for you and if it is too low, you risk not getting a complete ferment. Those variances can result in yoghurt that is either weak or completely lacking probiotics or has residual milk sugars. The tricky part is that you can make failed yoghurt that both looks and tastes like it’s right. The best case scenario for failed yoghurt is that the bacteria has completely consumed the milk sugars before they died. You wouldn’t get the helpful bacteria for your gut, but it won’t set you back. The worst case scenario for failed yoghurt is that the bacteria haven’t been able to do the whole job and you’re now eating milk sugars polysaccharides and working against the SCD.

      By adhering to the BTVC range of 100-110F you eliminate a variable when you’re trying to figure out what is not working for you.

      For the practical advice regarding using your oven, the first thing I’d urge you to do is confirm the readings of your oven probe. My last oven came with a probe and when I first used it, it was 40 degrees off. They replaced a control board and it was still 20 degrees off. I haven’t used it since.

      Assuming your readings are good, perhaps if you preheated your oven to a low temperature before you began it would help. I’m not suggesting you leave the oven on, but in a cold oven, the light has to warm the entire oven, not just the yoghurt. If you start with a warm oven, perhaps it will do the trick. With your two ovens, it seems like it would be worth the trouble of figuring it out.


  50. 106 Doug August 7, 2012 at 12:31 am


    I found a great (and cheap) method on youtube to control the temp.

    Basically, you’re going to use the “60W light bulb in the oven” method of making yogurt (switch your oven light bulb for a 60W bulb and leave it on). This 60W bulb will keep the temp up “around” 110F. (the bulb is the heat source, not the oven…the oven is just an incubator).

    Well, I don’t want to waste my time/money making yogurt that’s not in accordance with the SCD diet. I really wanted the temps to stay as close to 100F as possible and was not positive that leaving the light on for 24 hours would keep it under 110F.

    This youtube link shows you how to add an $8 hot water heater thermostat to the process! It works amazingly well!!!!

    You take an extension cord and cut only ONE wire in the middle of the cord. In between the cut/splice you add in a hot water heater thermostat ($8 at Lowes). The thermostat has only two terminals to connect wires to. (so simple!! :).

    Now plug in a light bulb socket at the cord’s end and insert a 60W bulb. Plug the cord into the wall socket outside your oven, and string the light/thermostat into the oven and shut the door. The light bulb will now cycle on and off based on your temperature setting on the thermostat.

    I put a thermometer inside the window of the oven. I check it every once in a while and it’s working very nicely. It heated up to 110F 44 minutes ago and then shutoff. It just turned back on at 98F.

    I’m trying goats milk yogurt for the first few months of the diet. I’m not sure if that’s better/worse than cows milk for an SCD’er.

    Take care and good luck!


  51. 108 Pat August 26, 2012 at 8:35 am

    I have made two batches of yogurt using the heating pad. I can get the temp to stay at 110 for the entire 24 hour period. It tastes great!

  52. 110 Finnie December 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    All this scd stuff is new to me and so is yogurt making. I almost ordered the Yo gourmet until I read about the temperature issue. My house is 58. So instead I ordered a, don’t laugh, Dorkfood DSV temperature controller. Its a box you plug in the wall, plug your crockpot into it, and stick the temperature probe into the water in the crockpot. Set it for 110 and forget it. Its made for Sous Video cooking. They sell them on amazon. Cross your fingers it works.

    • 111 Paul Stocker December 29, 2012 at 11:16 am


      First of all, it’s not fair to ask me not to laugh when you use a word like “Dorkfood” which, by any objective measure, is funny. I in fact did laugh. Having said that, it sure looks like a great set-and-forget solution and I hope you’ll post again in the future to let us know how it works out. 

      My only advice would be that you find out how long it takes your setup to reach that 110 degrees so you know when to start counting the 24 hours of fermenting. For instance, my setup requires six hours to reach 110 degrees, so it’s plugged in for a total of 30 hours. 

      Thanks for sharing and good luck.


      • 112 Finnie January 7, 2013 at 7:16 pm

        Yes! The Dorkfood device works like a charm. I made my first 1/2 gallon of yogurt Sunday and it turned out perfectly. I place the milk in a glass container in the crockpot. The crock pot contained enough water to match the level of the milk. The “Dorkomatic” sensor was in the water thru a hole I drilled in the plastic crockpot lid. In a second hole I stuck a thermometer into the milk as a double check. They always read within about 3 degrees F. The biggest pain of the process for me was boiling the milk
        I poured hot tap water into the crockpot to pre heat it. Once I mixed the yogurt in and turned it on it took a little over to hours to get to 110.


        • 113 Paul Stocker January 10, 2013 at 12:38 pm


          That’s awesome. Thank you so much for posting back here to add to the yoghurt wisdom.


          • 114 Sonia Caroline Shapiro January 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm

            Based on Finnie’s suggestion I bought a dorkfood DSV. I am delighted with it. I’ve found that I don’t have to be quite as careful with it as she suggests. I Have my milk and culture mixture in quart jars that are taller than the water level and I wrap the whole collection including the crock pot, the temperature controller, a secondary thermometer attached to a probe (just for peace of mind) in a towel and other insulation. The trick is to let the DSV “settle” its temperature for an hour or so before putting in the culture mixture because it can overshoot. But you can unplug the whole thing three hours before it’s finished because the temperature falls very very slowly. (I tested it with water before I made yogurt. Thanks to Finnie. She’s saved me so much effort and fussing (and yogurt that got too hot and had to be given away to people whose tummies are sturdy).

            • 115 Paul Stocker January 11, 2013 at 11:09 am


              Thanks for adding your experience!


            • 116 Finnie February 3, 2013 at 9:11 am

              Gee whizz, I’m glad I could be of help. Fyi for my next batch I purchased mason jars and rooted through the linen closet for a “yogurt coozie”. I was still annoyed by how slow my crockpot heated up and looked for a more powerful one but they seem to be limited to about 250 watts. But, yesterday, in the back of a local five and dime, I found a deep fryer, 850 watts! It has a thermostat you can adjust from warm to 395 degrees! I set the Dorkfood to 180 and let it boil the milk. Let it cool, set the dorkfood to 110 and go. The boiling is what gave me the most trouble. I haven’t tried to set the thermostat on the fryer to maintain temperature but it might work without the dorkfood. The device is called a Chef’s selection, multi-cooker, deep fryer, model CE23278DG. It was $25 at the dollar general.
              Be good
              Eat well

  53. 117 Karen December 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I would like to know how long the yogurt stays fresh in the fridge. I’ve been noticing lately that it seems to go off after about a week or so. It smells off, but it still tastes fine. It’s definitely not a sour smell, which would be normal, but a definite “gone bad” smell. I’ve tried transferring the yogurt into glass jars, but it hasn’t helped. What would you say is the “best before” date? Maybe I need to make smaller batches.

    • 118 Paul Stocker December 31, 2012 at 8:28 am


      According to the BTVC yoghurt will stay fresh for three weeks in your fridge, but loses it’s maximum potency after two weeks. I can’t explain the “gone bad” smell, but I’d suggest you put it in the coldest part of the fridge and see if that makes a difference.


  54. 121 cheryl February 2, 2013 at 3:00 am


    I made my scd using organic half n half. I made a mistake an put 1 cup of cannon plain yogurt for the stater. After I put it in my yogurt maker I realized it put a half cup to much. My question is will that affect the probiotics in the yogurt?

  55. 123 Lisa April 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Does anyone have an opinion on GI Pro Health’s starter? The only ingredients besides the probiotics is cellulose. According to this link I think it should be OK. http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/knowledge_base/detail/cellulose-in-supplements/. Also, I use Enzymedica and other cellulose based enzymes. I think it is OK based on this link but I don’t use this one because of the egg. http://www.giprohealth.com/prozymes.aspx. Thanks!

  56. 124 Anonymous April 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    If you use a Yogourmet you might find (as Paul noted) that it runs a little too warm for SCD yogurt. I do want to warn Paul and others that they shouldn’t assume that analog thermometer that comes with the Yogourmet system is accurate. It often reads about 5 degrees too hot.

    This means that when heating your milk you might be falling 5 degrees short of 180 F. It also means that if your yogurt temps are reading 116 F that you might actually be at 111 F — on the high end, but certainly acceptable for SCD yogurt.

    So how can you find the “real” temperature of your yogurt? The best bet might be right in your medicine chest. Most digital oral thermometers measure up to 110 F. When you make your next batch of yogurt use the digital oral thermometer to measure the temperature before adding your starter and compare with the reading you get from the Yogourmet analog thermometer.


  57. 125 Michael Petrie April 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Paul and everyone,

    Thanks for your excellent site – it’s covered much ground fro me that BTVC doesn’t.

    I just made my first batch of yoghurt and it came out perfectly – using an electric blanket, and thermometer to make sure it was always with range. It can be done but I’ve now ordered an electric maker.

    My question is, I just had a spoonful of yoghurt last night and this morning, and am getting more gas than usual – but no stomach pains or increased looseness of stools (yet – fingers crossed). Would the gas be a sign that I’m introducing the yoghurt too early? Or do you think it’s best to keep at it and stick it out. I’ve been on SCD for one month – so the gas increase was definitely noticeable after starting the yoghurt yesterday.

    Thanks once again,


    • 126 Paul Stocker May 2, 2013 at 8:41 am

      Hi Mike,

      Seeing that gas is your only symptom, I’d keep on with it and monitor the progress. I don’t see the gas as a sign of starting too early, but as an effect of changing your flora.


  58. 127 Michael Petrie May 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks for your answer Paul.

    I reduced the amount I tried this morning and so far not too bad. But the other great revelation was I froze a large amount (4 Tbsp), which supposedly kills the probiotic bacteria, and ate it last night, and so far… no reaction.

    …which I think proves you’re right, it’s the probiotic giving me gas (a good thing I assume), and not a reaction to the dairy. So I’ll take it much slower from now on.

    I definitely recommend anyone having trouble with the yoghurt to try the freeze test and see how you go.


  59. 129 Anonymous May 21, 2013 at 6:58 am

    my yogurt was at 113 for maybe 2 – 3 hours is it ruined

  60. 130 Anonymous May 23, 2013 at 8:30 am

    so the yogurt is ruined if it was at 113 for maybe 2 hrs reply didnt really answer my question although it was nice for u to reply a yes no would be good is it ruined if it was at 113 for just maybe 2hrs if that.

    • 131 Paul Stocker May 25, 2013 at 8:49 am


      Sorry I didn’t reply sooner. I misread your previous comment as a statement, not a question. My answer is no, I don’t think it was ruined if it was at 113 for only 2-3 hours.


      • 132 Anonymous May 26, 2013 at 4:22 am

        thank you soooo much. things are going good now with the yogurt making. finally making bread people. sunflowers weird but good. i think sunflowers ground up is okay. glad to find this website. and all the chat rooms and such popping up everywhere. my path has clearly been changed for a reason i find this whole thing rather interesting and disturbing at the same time. good luck to all and let the scd force be with you.

  61. 134 Beverly June 24, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    OK..when i first used my yogourmet to make yogurt I knew something was wrong, cause I had nothing but lumps of white with whey everywhere in that container! Sooo I got on line and discovered that the temp probly wasn’t right. I live in the tropics and in summer it is humid. Sooooo I found out the yogoumet machine was heating my milk up to over 120 degrees while making it! I called Yogourmet and they are sending me out a new ‘bottom’ well to use, but really that is not the problem. I keep my ambient temperature at 80 degrees here in the summer because I don’t want to pay an arm and a let for air conditioning costs every month! I need a thermosate for sure and will be getting one. IN the mean time, I took that awful batch of white stuff lumped into whey, drained off the whey with a “cheese bag” and it turned out tasting like mozzerella cheese! I AM SO GOING TO DO THAT AGAIN..LOVED IT!

  62. 135 I_Fortuna July 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Well, I make mesophilic yogurt and thermophilic yogurt. Mesophilic yogurt is so easy and cultures on the countertop at 68 to 78 degrees. I use any milk and have never heated it. I put the mesophilic culture in the container, add milk, leave overnight, put in the fridge for a couple of hours and have perfectly good yogurt. Both of these can culture your next batch and so on. Just don’t forget to save a few tablespoons to start the next batch. : )

    My thermophilic yogurt, the kind mentioned in this posting is a little more tricky. I use UHT and powdered milk for this type of yogurt. UHT is ultrapasteurized already so no need for me to heat it. On triple digit days, I set it outside in the heat to culture. On other days, I preheat my oven at the lowest 170 degree setting. Open the door to let a little heat escape and check the temperature with an oven thermometer in a few minutes. When it reaches about 110 degrees, I set my yogurt in the oven with the light on I shut door and in the morning about 6 to 8 hours later. I have perfectly good yogurt started with a live active culture from a live culture yogurt bought at a grocery store. If I leave it longer it starts to become cheese and gets a little ropey but still great.

    Yemoos.com also has a heating pad especially for cultures. It is a washable vinyl type material. Just wipe it clean. It will be my next purchase along with thermometers that stick to the sides of my glass jars that I culture in as well as pH strips.

  63. 136 Anonymous September 14, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    THANK YOU – can’t see why it can’t be used on crock pots – anything. will come in handy to not overcook my crockpot oatmeal too – thanks! DUH.

  64. 137 Jon September 23, 2013 at 4:14 am

    Do any manufacturers make a thermostatically controlled yogurt making machine that maintains the correct temperature that is not hit miss???

    Surely in this day and age there must be one?

    • 138 Paul Stocker September 23, 2013 at 9:56 am


      I presume that they all are controlled to some extent. What makes it different is that “normal” yoghurt requires a relatively short amount of time to make compared to the requirements of SCD yoghurt. The extra time we require, say 6X normal, which is presumably outside the specs of the machines is when the machine gets too hot.


    • 139 I_Fortuna September 23, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      I imagine a reostat can be used but often they are not marked with temperature markings and to use it would be trial and error. In the past, I have used one on my dremel to regulate the speed.

      I believe there are no manufacturers that produce a yogurt maker with a thermostatic control other than an internal device which regulates the temperature to a certain degree for a period of time and shuts off. There are some yogurt makers that get too hot or do not keep a consistent temperature from what I have read. That may be due to how the home is wired and what other appliances are being used during the yogurt making process or possibly a defective unit.

      Seed or reptile heating pads or mats are popular for making yogurt and easy to use and generally waterproof. I use my oven preheated and cooled to 110 degrees per an oven thermometer, place the jar inside the oven with the light on and leave it for a few hours.

      One time I forgot it and it produced the most wonderful cheese! I left my mesophilic yogurt out too long and the result was one half whey and one half solids. I just mixed the whey back in, refrigerated it and it was fine. I mostly use my yogurt for smoothies or cooking so consistency is not a major factor for me. It is hard to mess up yogurt.

      If it is not thick enough mix in powdered milk next time [Edited by Paul for legality – see my response below] or strain out the whey and use the whey in cooking or smoothies. It has a lot of protein in it. It can also be used to lacto ferment veggies. My Filmjolk (mesophilic-no heat appliance needed) is not meant to be thick like Greek yogurt. Check Cultures for Health website for cultures and more detailed info.

      • 140 Paul Stocker September 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm

        Hey I_Fortuna,

        Thanks for the practical advice on making yoghurt, but it should be noted that it is not allowed on SCD to mix powdered milk into liquid milk. From the BTVC book, page 157:

        You may use powdered, skim, 2%, or whole milk. If you use powdered milk, add only the amount of powder which you would use to make regular fluid milk. Do not add additional milk powder to fluid milk in order to get a thicker yoghurt or more protein as you will not get a “true” yoghurt and it will be detrimental to those on the Spedfic carbohydrate Diet.


  65. 141 Nicole January 4, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I just tried out the dimmer switch mentioned here and wanted to let you know that all yogurt makers are not created equal. My Euro cuisine is now dead…it won’t turn on! I found out later that not all appliances are built to work with a dimmer switch. It’s my fault for not checking, so please learn from my mistake and check out your yogurt maker before using a dimmer switch.

  66. 143 Joel Cheek February 20, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Thanks for this, Paul. I’ve been researching like crazy to figure out the best way to make yogurt for my 5-year-old son who has severe GERD and just started on the SCD. I got a dimmer at Lowes and tried a test with my crockpot. It worked great to keep the temperature right, but the crockpot started smelling like burnt plastic. Anybody have any idea what’s going on? I’m hoping not to burn my house down : )

    • 144 Paul Stocker February 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm


      I don’t know. Is it your crockpot or is it the dimmer that smells? I know that dimmers will get warm, but I think that is by design. Until you figure it out, maybe you don’t want to leave it unattended. Know any electricians?


  67. 146 pam November 15, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    I am using a Cuisinart electric yogurt maker and made yogurt the first time today. after 5 hours of fermenting I checked the temp of the yogurt with a digital thermometer and it read between 109 and 112…is that too high? should I keep checking every couple of hours or will I ruin the yogurt if I keep putting the thermometer in?

  68. 148 Gerry September 23, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    Hi All,
    I have been using a yogurt maker without a thermostat, similar to Paul’s, resulting in a too high temperature after eight hours (120 degsF+). I use a cheap mains timer ($5) and program it to turn off for 15mins every 2 hours. This results in a yogurt temp of about 105 degsF. Success! Experimenting with different on/off times obtains different temperatures. I don’t think temperature fluctuations of a fraction of a degree during the yogurt fermentation would be detrimental. Cheers.


  69. 150 Cheryl March 11, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    I just use a cheap hearing lad and place the boiled milk, still in the pot on the pad. I make 2 – 4 litres at once with pad on medium. Checked temperature and it is 108:)

  70. 152 June Matteo September 13, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    I made a mistakr and whisked in my freeze dried starter while milk was at 190degrees. Then coled it to 80 before pouring into,the electric yogurt maker jars. Will this be edible?

  71. 154 Gail September 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    I am a long time follower (mostly) of SCD. 15 years now. Often I can go a year to 2 years without a real problem. However, when I start having trouble again, I revert back to the beginning of the diet and start over. I thought the yogurt was a problem for me (as well as the nuts). But I am trying the yogurt again. My question is rather basic. Am I supposed to be measuring the temp of the water bath or the yogurt itself? The nice thing I have learned after 15 years is that I know not to get hysterical. It will get under control so not to stress too much. I also learned to take a probiotic, digestive enzyme and calcium.

  72. 156 Chris Shermer October 24, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    HEY — i am new to scd but have been eating the fast tract diet using the app — it really helps to calculate your fermentation potential and there are some improvements on the scd diets system , listing more fermentable fibers and carbs that should be minimized !

    regarding the yoghurt issue :
    i will buy a dimmer for yogourmet , but i have another idea :

    why don´t you add 3 or 4 lactase enzyme capsules to every batch of yoghurt and stir it in well by hand.. this will get rid of any excess lactose — i feel you will never be sure otherwise if there is lactose left ?

    also if you really like eating the milky stuff ( i do too much !! ) maybe make desserts form lactose free cream , add lactose free “topfen”( german word ) sorry dont know if you guys have it , blend it, add water, vanille flavour from myprotein and ERYCYTHOL the only alkohol sugar sweetener that is absolutely not fermented by gut bacteria and has zero calories. it makes a delicious cream .

    just saying : honey has fructose : it ferments !!

    good luck

    • 157 Paul Stocker November 10, 2016 at 10:08 am


      Sorry for the late reply. I guess I haven’t checked comments for a while.

      My goal for this blog is to give advice that is strictly in line with the SCD as put forth in the Breaking the Vicious Cycle book. Therefore I cannot recommend using lactase enzymes, topfen, or erycythol if you wish to be strict SCD. I don’t think the goal of the SCD is to avoid fermentation at all costs (talking about honey here), but to avoid eating things you are unable to digest.


  73. 158 Chris Shermer October 24, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    i also have a question: does the scd yogurt bacteria produce d-lactate ?? this is a neurotoxic byproduct of certain processes , amongst them are short bowel syndrome or / and fermentation by certain types of lactobacillus ..

    i have cfs and SIBO and neurotoxicity is a worry.. I am a yogurt junkie .. wonderig if may be producing D-lactate ..maybe others consuming large amounts of lactobacillus in yogurt having problems, may be interested in clarifying this..


    i just read another very well done study showing that lactobacillus is not a common “autochtonhous” bacteria of the human gut.(” one that occupies a niche and stays there “) . it is transient only introduced by food …


    it seems there is no real data on what types of bacteria should be in the small intestine and no real data on why bifidobacteria don´t belong there… as bifido is illegal i would really want to know what the science is ..they are a more regular bacteria species in the gut than lactobacillus —
    but most microbiota are true anaerobes anyway and cant be introduced by food or probiotics ! only modified by diet : SCD

    • 159 Paul Stocker November 10, 2016 at 10:14 am


      You bring up good questions, but I am unable to answer what even d-lactate is, much less how much if any is in scd yoghurt.

      I think the research regarding what constitutes a normal gut flora is in the early stages. Results have shown that there are several normal types. Within these different types of normal flora, they have drawn a correlation between lack of flora diversity of and disease – meaning the more diverse your flora, the more likely you possess a healthy gut.

      If I remember correctly Elaine found bifido to be undesirable because it tended to quickly become too large a part of the flora at the cost of diversity.


  74. 160 Natasha November 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Hi can you tell me what brand of dimmer switch you use… I used one with a different yogurt maker I had purchased from Bed Batb and beyond. I think I put the switch all the way up and blee out my yogurt maker and had to return it… Was also wondering if ypu could just let the yogurt sit without a dimmer once it reaches the desired temperature…

  75. 162 Pam Diers Carlson June 11, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    I am new to SCD. I cannot find a dimmer switch anywhere and my Yogourmet is on it’s way. Any suggestions?

  76. 164 Taylor August 10, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Hi Paul,

    Very informative blog you have. I am just starting SCD and was not wanting to purchase another single function kitchen tool. Upon thinking of what I could use that I already have I remembered my sous vide! I did a little googling and it seems people do in fact make yogurt with a sous vide, although not specifically for SCD. I just started mine late last night so I’ve yet to see how it turned out. It seems like it should work because it keeps the temperature very consistent and you can even check on it/control it via an app on your phone to confirm. Do you think this is a good option? I’m trying to think if there are any potential pitfalls I’m overlooking as I am a first time yogurt maker.



    • 165 Paul Stocker August 14, 2017 at 10:50 am


      This sounds like a great idea! Since sous vide is becoming more mainstream and affordable this could be a great option.
      I mean, how many yoghurt makers can also do a nice steak?

      Thanks for pointing it out!

      Also, I’d love to know and share your results so if you think of it, please let me know.


  77. 166 Lisa August 24, 2017 at 12:41 am

    After skimming the posts I have not seen anyone comment about pressure cookers. I have purchased an instant pot with a yogurt setting and am fermenting my second batch at present. First batch tasted great however the skin was left in and the texture was affected. Temps also tested well. Yogourmet always did a good job for me too but I don’t recall ever testing the temps. Thickness and flavor was always good.

  78. 168 Pat Margaret Schmidt August 23, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Are we testing the water around the yogurt container (YoGourmet) or the yogurt itself?

  79. 170 sumita harle December 7, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    is there any yogurt that can be bought and is SCD compliant after the initial phase of diet? There is no way my son can make yogurt from scratch in a college dorm. Any tips will be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.-Sumita

    • 171 Paul Stocker January 11, 2021 at 6:57 am


      As far as I know, there is no SCD-compatible yogurt available for purchase. Making it is the only way. If his dorm has a kitchen and he has a refrigerator in his room he can make SCD yogurt. Yes, it will be a pain in the butt, but unless someone can make it for him, I see no other way.


  1. 1 Specific Carbohydrate Diet Yogurt | HEALTH Trackback on November 12, 2011 at 11:38 pm

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