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Yeasted yogurt

While I was in Europe, S decided to eat up all of the home-propagated yogurt. He bought me a tub of Nancy's yogurt from the grocery co-op to replace the home-propagated stuff.

I think I'd had that previous batch going for over a year, even through some real hairy moments (figuratively, not literally!). At one point in Texas, some bright red/pink bacteria started trying to take over, so I switched from culturing the yogurt in plastic containers to glass jars, basically sterilizing* the jars with the boiling water from the double boiler used to heat the milk before putting the cooled milk/culture into the jars. The one store that sold Nancy's yogurt in Texas had stopped carrying it, so I had strong incentives to keep going. The other major brand of live-culture yogurt in Texas (White Mountain) doesn't taste as good to me. So I was a little bummed, but at least it's easier to get Nancy's here.

This third-generation batch from the recent Nancy's failed interestingly. Apparently when your yogurt culture gets stringy, that means it's been taken over by yeast instead of bacteria. It's probably the result of my bread sourdough starter getting real potent and taking over the world. I'm going to have to buy another tub of Nancy's yogurt and start over again. The stringy substance is edible but not entirely pleasant, and lacks the delicious Nancy's tang. I'm still making my own yogurt here because I want to avoid generating extra plastic waste (plus it's cheaper and I'm a cheapskate).

Herman, my flour-sugar-milk sourdough, was also struggling when I got back from Europe. This morning it was looking bubbly again, so I fed it. We'll see whether the result is more Herman-like or more bread-sourdough-like. I'll be more annoyed/upset about Herman than the yogurt, even though I can probably resupply from my dad or sister once I move west.

In some respects, these takeovers are good signs, because they may indicate that the current sourdough yeast and bacteria are powerful enough to fight back against the apartment's mildew legacy. I stopped being able to smell the mildew several months ago even though I know it was still there (but much weaker than when I moved in). There haven't been any visible mildew patches anywhere, but we're just starting to reach the cold/damp season. I'm glad to be moving out of that apartment before real winter settles in because the furnace has crapped out. The electrical bill really shouldn't go from $300/month to $30/month.

*Microbiologists will note this isn't adequate heat or time to do a proper job.

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