Unless you heat the milk to a very high temperature (to denature the proteins), heat the milk for an extended time period, or add powdered milk, most homemade yogurt will come out fairly runny. While this is great for smoothies or drinkable yogurt, thicker Greek-style yogurt is preferred in my family for eating with fruit.
To thicken your yogurt, all you really need to do is remove some of the whey (the liquid that separates out). I've used many methods over the years - including cheese cloth and special cone filters. They all worked, but were not the most convenient methods.
I have a new absolutely favorite tool. I purchased this Greek Yogurt strainer* and I LOVE it. (I love it so much that I actually have 4 of them!)
Each strainer can hold one of the Yogourmet* containers that I use. As I mentioned in the previous post, I have two Yogourmets so I make 1 gallon of yogurt at a time. I have four of the strainers because we prefer to leave the yogurt in the strainers for 24-48 hours. This produces a very thick, super yummy yogurt.
To use the strainer, simply pour the finished yogurt into the strainer (be gentle, it does splatter):
Put the lid on and let it sit in the refrigerator for as long as desired.
Then take it out and put the yogurt into a container (or eat directly).
You can see in the below photo how much whey separates initially (strainer on left) vs after 24 hours (strainer on right).
So the question then becomes, if I make so much yogurt, what do I do with all that extra whey? That (of course) is the subject of an upcoming blog post! (Read 21 Uses for Extra Whey)
Have you ever made your own yogurt? Do you strain it?