Giveaway: Yogotherm from Hobby Hill Farm Fresh

November 23, 2015

yogotherm box - Food in Jars

I’ve been making yogurt at home off and on for years. I started doing it because I was trying to reduce the amount of plastic that was coming into my kitchen and all those quart tubs seemed like a good place to start. I kept doing it because I found that it was easy, immensely satisfying, budget friendly, and produced delicious yogurt. I often suggest homemade yogurt to friends and blog readers who are looking for an easy and satisfying homemade dairy project.

yogotherm canister - Food in Jars

For years now, my favorite method for keeping the yogurt warm during the culturing stage was to use a cooler. However, it was also the cooler that often deterred me from making yogurt. In my apartment, the only space large enough for a cooler is up at the top of my hall closet. To pull it out or put it away again involves a step stool and the momentary relocation of the things living in front of it. Sad to say, but dread of playing tetris with my storage area was often

heating milk - Food in Jars

Thankfully, Sharon from Hobby Hill Farm Fresh came to my rescue, with the suggestion of the Yogotherm. It’s a product she uses in many of her classes, and has been the solution to my previous yogurt making resistance. The design is simple. It’s a food-safe plastic tub, nestled into an insulated canister.

You can either pour your heated and inoculated milk into a jar and set it into the Yogotherm, or you can pour it directly into the tub. The canister keeps the milk at the ideal temperature for the culture to take hold and transform the milk into yogurt.

cooling milk - Food in Jars

I’ve been making one quart at a time in my Yogotherm. I slowly warm four cups of organic whole milk to 180 degrees F. Once the milk reaches that temperature, I either set the pot into a sink full of cold water or (if I’ve used a pot that doesn’t handle radical temperature changes well), I pour the warm milk into a stainless steel bowl and let it cool for a moment or two. I’ve found that brisk whisking while the milk is cooling brings the temperature down quickly. Just make sure to watch the temperature so that it doesn’t cool too much.

inoculated milk - Food in Jars

Once the milk is around 120 degrees F, pull it out of the cold water and whisk in the culture. For my first batch, I used the yogurt culture that Sharon sent along with the Yogotherm. For subsequent batches, I’ve saved a few tablespoons of the yogurt from the previous batch to act as the starter for the next.

culturing yogurt - Food in Jars

Then I give the Yogotherm a quick rinse with boiling water to warm and clean it, nestle my jar into the canister (the container is made of food-safe plastic, I just like the ease of being able to pull the jar right out and pop it in the fridge when the yogurt is done), and pop the lid on. Because I like a tangy yogurt, I let it culture for five to eight hours, but for a less tart version, you can stop the culturing as soon as the milk thickens.

This week, Hobby Hill Farm Fresh is offering a special deal on the Yogotherm. It’s on sale for $46.95 (down from $57.95) and will ship with packets of two different yogurt cultures and a jar of their house brand preserves. Additionally, I have one Yogotherm pack (same as what you’d get if you bought it) to give away this week.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me about your gateway DIY project. Yogurt making? Bread baking? Canning? Or something else?
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, November 28, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, November 29, 2015.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only. Void where prohibited.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Sent me the Yogotherm you see here, as well as a few yogurt cultures, for review and photography purposes at no cost to me. No additional compensation was provided. All opinions remain my own. 

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225 thoughts on "Giveaway: Yogotherm from Hobby Hill Farm Fresh"

  • My DIY gateway project is a 5-minute a day bread starter.I’m really excited for this new avenue of regular home baked stellar Breads. And yogurt, well its in the he same genre and I’m excited to be able to work both.

  • I come from a family of crocheters, so that was my first DIY – homemade dishcloths and afghans. But now I can, and try to make as much from scratch as I’m able!

  • The first thing I learned to make in the DIY vein was knitted scarves back in college… Now I don’t do much knitting, but I love to can and sew. As far as yogurt, I learned how to make it in a class this summer, but I don’t have the equipment – this is a great idea!

  • Chuckled at your cooler dilemma. I think that I will try making yogurt again as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey clears the frig. My first DIY project was making doll clothes, then knitting, then baking bread. I’ve been canning & making yogurt off & on for years. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • I’d love to have one of these! I tried yogurt once – in my oven warmer – and it didn’t work. So I’d love to try my hand at it again. I’ve been doing so many things for years I can’t remember my first DIY project. But I love to sew and that’s probably the main thing I do now. Thanks for offering this give-away!

  • I moved to Florida in July and have been slowly getting rid of my grass/weeds in the backyard. It will be raised beds for vegetables, flowers and also areas of fruit trees. I’ve completed 1 raised bed and a firepit area.

  • I do a lot of preserving – jams, jellies, pickles. One of my favorite things to make is herb flavored vinegars. I grow a lot of various herbs. The vinegars are very tasty and make excellent gifts, also. By the way, Marissa, I tried your Kimchi recipe and it is great!!! Will now keep a supply of it on hand all the time.

  • Halloween costumes – I started when I was a late teenager making my own and I have 2 daughters aged 10 and 13 who have only ever had one store bought costume each. This year my husband even constructed a 4′ wide hat to allow my 10 year old to be La Muerte from the book of life movie. We love to make things handmade and from scratch and are passing that down onto our daughters. I think making yogurt would be a fun thing to do with them and reduce the plastic containers too!

  • I’d say my gateway skill was sewing. I sewed my first dress to wear to school when I was in third grade. I canned with my mom and have continued during my life (I’m 54). I make bread and do most of our cooking from scratch. I’m not overly crafty, but I love getting/creating good things for my family at a greatly reduced cost because I do/make it myself.

  • Sewed a down jacket from a kit in the early 70s, then on to yogurt & bread. This method looks so much easier than the multi-jar electric-heated yogurtmaker from those days!

  • Raspberry Jam was my gateway project. I have been wanting to get into cheese and yogurt, but I have been nervous.The yogurt therm seems to make yogurt making much simpler! thanks for the give away!

  • I sewed a basket of fruit from fabric scraps my grandmother gave me when I was five or six. Been doing anything hands-on ever since. Food and fabric seem to be my go-to materials. I’m happiest when I am making something! And I love yogurt, but have never made it myself.

  • Oooh, I need this! My gateway project was making yogurt – years ago. I have started making it again using a cooler – and as you said the cooler gets in the way. (mine sits in the kitchen floor (sigh!) I am also doing some fermenting (kraut and kimchi) these days. And when the figs are in season I make as many jars of fig preserves as I am able.
    Did I mention how much I need this? My space is limited so this could replace the cooler. Here’s hoping I win.

  • I just taught myself to crochet so I could make scarves to leave out for the homeless, and to donate to the Food Bank for giving away to families in need.

  • When I was little I used to build houses out of my parents kitchen stools for my toys, they weren’t permanent fixtures but they were pretty inventive.

  • Gateway DYI, just learning to sew. Starting with pillows for Christmas. Looking to mend and alter all my clothes as I become fit! I recently found an old yogurt maker in my basement that I think was bought by my husband in college. I looked everywhere for the how tos but couldn’t find them. I gave away the maker. I’d love to make my own yogurt for cost and to be assured of its contents.

  • Getting back into canning food. This time in small batches just for the two of us! So much nicer and easier after all those years of bushels of fruit and veggies at the end of each season. That was a lot of work for our family of five!

  • Love this – I’ve made yoghurt wrapped in bath towels, etc over the years. Recently stopped because the process seemed too laden with equipment. This looks great. Would love to get back into the business of making my own yoghurt. I started with knitting kitchen wash cloths – my grandmother taught me. Start at one corner and knit to the other corner. Everyone loved them (I was in the sixth grade) and didn’t seem to notice any mistakes :-). I’m still knitting.

  • Oh yogurt….I would love this because I have tried many methods to get reliable yogurt to thicken. My latest is in a Styrofoam cooler with the little jars in a dish of water on top of a regular heating pad on low. It worked reasonably well but they yogurt was def more thick on the bottom than top.

    I am currently working on perfecting sourdough. That is so picky about temp of rising.

    I don’t really know if I could say what my gateway DIY was because I’ve always done it! Me and my mom would make bread and butter pickles every summer. I started baking very young and my mom used it as a way to teach me fractions.

  • My gateway DIY project was bread baking (although the first time I tried, I killed the yeast and made a brick instead of bread…) – it was a very productive way to procrastinate when I was in college!

  • My gateway with food DIY was bread-baking, which quickly led to canning, then cheese-making, then sausage-making, followed by butter-making. I have tried yogurt, but was not happy with the results. The yogotherm might be just the thing that leads to a successful batch of yogurt. I also suspect it would be useful for making some kinds of cheese. Yum! If I don;t win the yogotherm, it may have to go on my wish list for Christmas or birthday.

  • I just took a fermenting class – my latest DIY! And learned that whey as a by-product of yogurt can be a starter for fermenting too. So I’m already off and running on sauerkraut and soon to be pickles. With this kit I can drain the yogurt (for Greek yogurt) and use the whey for the fermenting. And, of course, I’m continuing my canning & preserving & drying ….the more I do, the more fun I have, the more I learn, the better it is for all of us! Great eating too!

  • The project that really grabbed me and that I keep going with is fermenting vegetables. I mostly make shredded root kimchis that are a variation of the instructions in Sandor Katz’s Wild Fermentation book. So good and healing. The most exciting thing lately is growing the food and then cooking, fermenting, preparing it. From the ground up! Lots of fun.

  • Growing veggies in a much bigger garden and this year canning!!! I was so amazed when things actually sealed. Then I was trying to can everything in it! Working on liqueurs now for Christmas gifts!

  • Humm gateway diy project. I am not sure I have one. Probably gardening. All my gardening and veggie bed then turn into lovely canning and cooking projects. I love the yearly cycle of it all.

  • Canning was my gateway project! I’m addicted to canning, gardening, fermenting, infusing, and of course, cooking and baking.

  • I started early with knitting and crochet. My gateway project was a decorative crochet bar soap cover that looked like a poodle. ๐Ÿ™‚ I sold them at my aunt’s restaurant when I was in grade school. Great memories, Thanks!

  • A big project( at least to me it seemed) was canning tomatoes which has lead me to try a lot of new ways of preserving food.

  • I’ve always been crafty, whether it’s crafts (knitting, jewelry making, pottery, sewing) or food (baking, canning). I don’t know if I could pinpoint the moment I started making things rather than buying them.

  • Where to begin! I try to do everything myself…my stopping point with yogurt is the real estate a cooler would take up in my house. My ocd tidyness would never allow it! I have been baking bread, making detergent, fermented foods, condiments and jams and jellies; we eat zero packaged/processed food. If I can’t make it we don’t eat it!

  • I do everything myself. Three meals a day. Even pack ready to make meals for my daughter at college. I’m trying to figure out how to can curries so I can send off a batch with her that she can just add meats and vegetables do.

  • I have always canned but I really caught the DIY bug when I started making my own soap…I am now hooked and I try to make everything at least once.

  • It’s hard to say what my gateway DIY was. I’ve been part of a gardening, homecooking, sewing, canning culture since birth. But I think the key was after having my own house, canning my own tomato sauce was the opening of the rest of the flood!

  • Have been baking since chlidhood (no Easy-Bake ovens for us), but my gateway canning was the result of an overzealous pick-your-own apples session. I wound up making/canning 20 quarts of mincemeat from the 1967 version of Joy of Cooking I inhereted from my mother-in-law. Christmas gifts all-around that year. Now I’ve got a pantry full of jams, jellies, and pickes, mostly from your website, your book of the same name, and links from your website. And might I say, your pickled okra is good after 1 year in the jar, but after 2; oh my – sublime.

  • I’ve been canning for years. Then I got into bread making using sourdough starters. In the last few years, I’ve added yogurt making to my DIY projects–mainly for my grandkids. They *ask* for yogurt as a snack!

  • Can’t say there was a “gateway” for me. Being born on a farm in a very rural area of the midwest, DIY was a way of life. That said, I’ve been making yogurt for at least 10 years now, and that’s one thing my mother never did ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Home made yogurt, yum. My youngest grew up eating my homemade yogurt, honey, raisins and pumpkin pie spice. Would love to ditch my half broken 70’s maker. Thanks !

  • Knitting was my gateway project. I made all matter of rectangular shaped objects. Scarf, potholder, blanket but soon moved on to baby hats shaped like animals. So cute.

  • My gateway drug was soapmaking. I was ten. That progressed to bread making (age thirteen), canning (age fourteen), and now, at age nineteen, if I can make it, I probably won’t buy it. I live in the dorms at my college and I’m everyone’s favourite person at dinnertime.

  • Started with soda bread, then made anadema bread, yogurt, a little jam and then all the breads and the occasional jam or marmalade. Yogurt fell off the to do list when I could reliably eat what I made. A smaller amount like this would be more feasible.

  • My family has done DIY projects since I was a little kid, so I don’t remember even starting! The latest thing I have added to my DIY is canning, or maybe it was making my own fruit liqueurs…? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I can – anything and everything. It’s more of an obsession than a hobby at this point! I’d love to try yogurt.

  • My gateway was canning. One little low sugar strawberry jam party (from House Party) thrown by a friend of a friend and I was hooked.

  • I didn’t make my first yeasted bread until I was in college, but now I do it as often as I can! And I’m eager to try making sourdough starter (again, after some fitful attempts when I wasn’t as dedicated to it).

  • My gateway was discovering in college that anything made from scratch was so much tastier than store-bought. I recently had a batch of yogurt fail using the heating pad method, so I’d very much like one of these!

  • My gateway into DIY was winemaking! So fun. From there I went on to canning, a bit of breadmaking, and I’ve also done yogurt. Unfortunately, the heating pad in the cooler has been so inconsistent that I haven’t been able to use it. Thanks for this great giveaway! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I started sewing when I was so small that my mother would put the foot pedal on a stool so that I could reach it. That has led to a lifetime of diy because why not do it yourself? Sewing, knitting, canning, baking, gardening, painting… it is all rewarding.

  • I made my own curry powder and it was wonderful. I went to an Indian foods store and got the spices. It really made a difference that they were freshly ground. It would be good with homemade yogurt in a curry dish.

  • Sourdough was my initial DIY food project–not just bread, but also waffles and English muffins and biscuits. I’ve gotten off the sourdough habit for a time, and make my own Greek yogurt weekly, and am learning more fermented food processes. Thank you for this lovely give-away!

  • It all started with canning some applesauce. It was so yummy & simple, now I am addicted to canning everything. I got your two books as a gift & am eagerly awaiting your new book. There is something so satisfying about a shelf full of mason jars.

  • My fit is canning. Tomatoes, salsa,sauce,boozy fruits. You name I will give it a try. Have been interested in trying to make yogurt.

  • Bread baking with my Mom for 4-H was my gateway to DIY food. Bread led to canning. Canning led to cheese and yogurt. It is so satisfying to say “I made this”!

  • I learned to cook and bake from a fairly young age, and have always enjoyed it. I got more serious about homesteading and DIY though once my wife’s aunt showed me how to make jam.

  • I started baking our sandwich bread over 20 years ago and now I bake most of the bread products we consume. I’d love to start making my own yogurt!

  • I’ve been cooking since middle school but started canning wild berry jam in my thirties. My husband makes yogurt and has taken over jam production and just started on sourdough breads this month.

  • I started making preserves last year after a couple of earlier attempts piqued my interest. I love mixing my own jam into plain yogurt and getting any flavor I like ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Neat! Canning jams and tomato sauces were my first try at preserving. Now my priority is to grow more to preserve instead of buying it.

  • I can relate to your storage issues! I’ve been making yogurt for a while now, experimenting with different techniques. I love this thermal container. What a great idea. For heating the milk, I use a batter bowl, which I microwave (never have to worry about burning the milk in the bottom of the pan). I snap the lid on to let it cool, to keep the stray whatevers floating around in the air from settling in the yogurt (like lambic beer). It takes a while to cool since I am reluctant to set the hot glass into water right away. No big deal–I use a timer as a reminder to check on it. Once the spoonful of yogurt goes in, I put the lid on, wrap it in an old piece of quilted fabric, and put it in my oven which has a pilot light. In cooler weather I supplement the low heat with a microwavable trivet. But then I have to transfer the finished yogurt to a smaller container, which is why I’m so impressed with the Yogotherm.

  • My gate had dual doors – my mother both canned and baked bread when I was a child, so I grew up learning from her. I honestly don’t know which came first.

  • Recently I have been trying many new DYI activities. I am starting to make my own clothes. I am also very much getting into more cooking. I have made my own hot sauce from homegrown peppers and I made home made curry powder. I am so loving the making. I have always wanted to make yogurt. This would be a great opportunity.

  • I grew up in a DIY family, Dad could build things and Mom sewed school dresses. I found my DIY passion in the ’70s when quilting had it’s rebirth.

  • Canning pickles which has led me down the rabbit hole to fermenting hot sauce, making yogurt and kombucha and lately bread baking.

  • How cool! I too use a cooler, a full size one, and the dread of bringing it up from the basement and lugging it around has held me back from making yogurt. My gateway to DIY food was canning jam.

  • I come from a long line of talented seamstresses, but that wasn’t much to my liking. My first really rewarding DIY project was getting involved with canning and food preservation! I love it and have also successfully made my own apple cider vinegar. Next up is fermentation like kimchi and making yogurt with our local farms raw milk would be amazing!

  • I have always been DIY on everything due to lack of money, but the arthritis in my hands has slowly chipped away at what I can do nowadays. Mostly my DIY now is canning although I am not nearly as prolific as our resident canner.
    My gateway project was building furniture and I have done a lot of that, then I went to quilting and spent basically a summer cursing the sewing machine, I did a lot of scoll saw work, I’ve built book cases, step stools, hope chests, rocking horse and a rocking elephant.

  • I decided to try making some sourdough bread. I’ve actually ordered a starter after checking unsuccessfully finding one from friends or family that could be shared. I’ve also been somewhat intrigued lately by making my own yogurt.

  • The first DIY I remember was learning to sew, age 2. I made a pillow that I used for years, and still have. I still love to sew, but right now I’m gearing up to make and can turkey soup from all these thanksgiving leftovers.

  • I have been harvesting and preserving from my garden and fruit for years, but I have never made my own yogurt. I would love to and this yogurt maker looks easy to do and very attractive besides.

  • I’ve owned and used a Yogotherm for 20 years and have used it faithfully. Such a simple project and the yogurt is beyond compare. Before the Yogotherm, I’d use a quart canning jar and wrap my heating pad around it set on low. It worked great also, but much more inconvenient.

  • In our house it was homemade kimchi, though my first attempts went better than my latest ones. A downward learning curve seems unfair!