Not-Yogurt Experiment

      41 Comments on Not-Yogurt Experiment

I’ve been threatening to make a batch of not-yogurt and skip the crushed BioGaia tablet for one of the three cups to see if it made any difference.

Nope, no difference.  I added yogurt from the previous batch and potato starch to the center cup, but no tablet.  The other two cups got the additional tablet.  They’re all equally thick, and they taste exactly the same.

So apparently the bacteria count in the yogurt is high enough that a tablespoon of the stuff is enough to seed the next cup.  Given the happy result, I’ll probably just add the extra tablets every third or fourth batch.

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41 thoughts on “Not-Yogurt Experiment

  1. Bob Niland

    Although the topic arose in comments early last year on Dr. Davis’ blogs, and I did it a couple of times, there’s really no case for adding more tablets when saved yogurt (or whey) is available. The CFU count in the saved material is vastly higher than the tabs. If contamination or die-off is suspected, more tabs won’t/may not fix that.

    My current practice is to pour or skim-off any whey fraction into an ice cube tray, freeze it, bag it, and slowly thaw it for use as starter, 2 cubes/qt. If I run out, I make a dedicated starter batch from tabs. I’m also running to 44-48 hours these days (mainly for scheduling convenience), and getting no whey to speak of.

    In other news, the new Biogaia® Osfortis® capsules can also be used to make a not-a-yogurt that is just Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 6475. Higher starting CFUs, but higher price too, and it’s easy-to-empty capsules. Consistency the same as from ‘6475+DSM 17938, very mild taste, but full spectrum of effects not fully clear to me (as my first batch only went into the fridge yesterday).

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Given how much incubation amplifies the count, I kind of figured the extra tablet per cup wasn’t doing much. Guess I’ll save the rest in case I have a complete batch failure (which happened once when for some reason the cups all ended up with mold in them).

  2. ralph

    I agree that the bacteria in the yogurt would be the same type as those in the tablet, just in way higher concentrations and since the bacteria have multiplied hundreds or thousands of times in the yogurt, that adding the relatively small amount in a tablet would make no difference. We are around our 10th making and have not added any tablets or starch to any since the first batch. Each successive batch seems to just get better.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      It’s good to know I can save the rest of the pills in case I need to start with a new batch.

  3. Mike Cortopassi

    I am 7 days in to the Osfortis/ Osfortis yogurt. As of yet I’ve not experienced anything of note.

    I am at a good weight and in good health, and Keto, so not 100% sure what more I was expecting, but wanted to try, Will continue until the yogurt and pills are gone.

    And, to be honest, whether it is the strain, or the potato starch, the taste is not to my liking compared to my regular Kefir based yogurt that I make.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Sounds like in your case, it would be more like preventative medicine, just keeping the gut healthy. I don’t enjoy the taste enough to eat it straight — it’s pretty tart — but I like it in a yogurt shake.

  4. Firebird7479

    Are your observations based solely on the texture of the yogurt, how you feel or a combination of both?

    I just watched a PBS Beg-a-thon with doctor who was selling stuff on gut health. At no point in that lecture did she mention yogurt, enzymes, prebiotics or probiotics. Everything was fiber, plant-based diet. She used studies that lasted 2 weeks in duration that “proved” that vegan diets improve gut health that has been wrecked by a high fat diet. IDK about you, but if I am backed up, a couple of pieces of bacon does the trick.

    Her scheme: Breakfast like a king (W/one veg); Lunch like a prince (w/2 veg); Dinner like a pauper (w/3 veg).

    She lost me when she talked about getting food from nature instead of the manufacturer and said, “Apple…nature. Applesauce…manufacturer”. In my head, Scooby-Doo went “Huh?”

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I feel better since making the yogurt a regular part of my diet, but of course, I was also taking the CandiBactin, so I can’t say for sure whether it’s the yogurt, the CandiBactin, or a combination of the two.

  5. Ed Carter

    Picked up a sous vide stick the other day after another batch failure, where I end up with a hockey puck of cottage cheese floating in a jar of liquid. Seems to be a consequence of over heating, but I can’t be certain. I use the oven/light bulb, which has worked well. A chunk of wood propping the door open an inch keeps the temp at a steady 102F. But the oven is near an A/C vent. The temp outside has dropped, and since the A/C doesn’t come on as often, and isn’t blowing across the front of the oven, the temp inside hit 108F during the night. Supposedly not hot enough to kill things off, but I got the same result the first time when I using Dr. Davis’ on-off oven method and accidentally hit 110F.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      The sous vide stick should do the trick. Keeps things at a steady 100 degrees. And of course, you can use it to turn tough meats into tender meats.

      1. Firebird7479

        Does it help with chuck? I haven’t had chuck in ages. Cheap meat but it can be so tough that I have choked a few times.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I don’t remember if we’ve tried chuck, but put it in the sous vide for 10 hours, I promise it will reduce the toughness quite a bit.

          1. Firebird7479

            Thank you.

            I didn’t want to give greater details on that. It’s not a pleasant visual.

      2. Firebird7479

        Mine came in the other day. Made my first batch that night. Came out perfect. Perfect texture throughout. Like everyone else has said, a different taste for sure but I wonder if that’s not the combination of the mint and mandarin flavors in the tablets.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I wouldn’t eat the stuff plain — I don’t like even real yogurt that much. But mixed with a bit of fruit and protein powder, it’s a fine breakfast.

          1. Firebird7479

            I add vanilla stevia and some cinnamon to it, or I will combine it with cottage cheese and and mix in pumpkin and pumpkin spice.

            It’s pretty good with unsweetened applesauce as well.

    2. Bryan Harris

      I am experiencing the hockey puck over liquid as well! In my case, below the liquid is the undigested potato starch, and the hockey puck on top looks like puffy cream with air bubbles in it. I have not figured out what I could be doing wrong, because the first batches came out so good they were as thick as store bought cream cheese.

      On the left notice I’m starting to get the problem. On the right it’s a good consistency.

      And here is the hockey puck of puffy cream. This is after only 12 hours.

      In my case I’m using Sous Vide Supreme from Dr. Eades but lately I have been taking the lid off to avoid drips.

      After reading your comment, I think that not having the lid on is causing the machine to overheat the water somehow. Perhaps it thinks the water is too cold due to the lid being off. I do not know. I do recall that I had the lid on for my very first batches, but the water dripped on top of the coffee filters which made them wet, which was why I started taking the lid off.

      It is very frustrating because the first batches came out great. Now, I’m getting the hockey puck over liquid after only 12 hours of fermentation.

      I’m excited now to start again from scratch with the lid on. Hopefully it will work this time.

  6. Sam

    So your line of thinking is:
    “experimentation proved it had no effect – I’ll do it anyway (though not as often)”.

    This way of thinking reminds me of something – maybe “eating less fat has no effect, we’ll promote it anyway”?

    No offense meant, we all are prone to our own prejudices…

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Not as often probably isn’t necessary either. After reading comments, I’ve decided it’s best to save all the tablets in case I need to start a new batch from scratch.

  7. capri

    Finally tried the Gastrus tablet ‘yogurt’ using a Levele yogurt maker (33 hours at 100 degrees) and it had a quite noticeable mint flavor. I had read that the flavoring did not show up in the ‘yogurt ‘.

    Hopefully that will dilute into a not detectable level using it as a starter tomorrow.
    I’ll do an Osfortis trial as well.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with this as I hadn’t heard about it prior.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Our tablets are labeled as mandarin flavored, but I didn’t taste it in the yogurt. Now that we’re making batches from previous batches, I doubt there’s any mandarin flavor left.

  8. John In Seattle

    My wife has been making the not-yogurt for almost a year now but she has had quite a few batches fail and some “funny” ones that didn’t seem right.
    I finally broke down and bought an American made 2500X microscope and a set of stains so I can look at the little buggers directly.
    It was about $300 and I can definitely see them, they are quite fast and look just like the photos on Dr. Davis’ blogs.
    Also had a look at my pickles and sauerkraut. Different bugs but all very active and seemingly healthy.
    The tan residue on the bottom of the pickle jar seems to be 100% live bacteria, I assume I should be eating it and stop throwing it away.
    The first batch not-yogurt will be ready tonight, Made entirely fresh from 8 BioGaia tablets. I will have a look at it and see who is home in there.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’m not sure I want to see the little bugs scurrying around. I mean, I know they’re beneficial, but I prefer not to see them up close and personal.

      1. June

        Well, clearly you never took microbiology in school, where the teacher had someone put their unwashed hand on an agar plate and we got to see all the pretty buggies a few days later growing in the perfect shape of a hand. We also did swabs of the door knobs and desks and the toilet seat. Fun times. You either turn into a complete germaphobe or just shrug and go “Well, I’m not dead yet.”

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Our cups only try to float away if I have too much water in the pot. I pour in water until they juuuust barely start to float.

  9. June

    Two comments: If you add 1/2 cup of frozen berries to your 1/2 cup of yogurt and whiz it up in the Magic Bullet, you get almost frozen yogurt. Really good. Needs maybe a drop or two of Stevia.

    And, you know how they say you can make yogurt out of just cream? No, no you can’t. At least I couldn’t. The butterfat separated out from the milk solids (which didn’t solidify) and the whole batch was just disgusting. Lucikly I had more tablets to start over.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Since the bacteria eat carbohydrates, I don’t see how anyone could believe you can just use cream. That’s the reason we add the potato starch.

      I add berries and protein powder to the yogurt for my morning shake, with a bit of stevia. It does taste like frozen yogurt.

      1. Bob Niland

        Tom Naughton wrote: «Since the bacteria eat carbohydrates, I don’t see how anyone could believe you can just use cream.»

        The cream contains lactose, which is pretty much the favorite chow of L.reuts. You can make a yogurt just using cream, but therein a question arises: what happens after they exhaust the lactose, and how quickly do they get to that point?

        re: «That’s the reason we add the potato starch.»

        Unmodified potato starch is guessed to be about 50:50 available:resistant forms of glucose. Both forms provide substrate for the bugs. The resistant (aka soluble, aka prebiotic) fraction may also provide a time buffer, to give the bugs something to resort to when the lactose and glucose run out.

        Personally, I’ve given up on PS in the not-a-yogurt, as it tends to congeal on the bottom early in the ferment in my process. I find that inulin works perfectly. And the nice thing about inulin (vs. lactose or glucose) is that if any is left over at the end of the ferment, we (generally) don’t care, as it’s just prebiotic fiber.

        I say “generally”, because people can react to inulin (and other prebiotics), if they have any of several adverse gut bacteria, particularly as upper-GI overgrowths.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I do end up with a bit of potato starch at the bottom of each cup. Since it’s a probiotic, I just scrape it out and add it to my yogurt shake.

          I can see where cream might work, but I know someone who tried heavy cream (thus very little lactose) and didn’t get good results.

          1. Bryan Harris

            I tried adding a small carton of heavy cream to the normal recipe. It ended up smelling strange on the top layer after 12 hours of fermenting. Maybe the cream goes to the top layer?

            Once I scraped off the smelly top layer, what was underneath smelled and tasted like the good yogurt taste. I still threw it away after a taste test, but the lower layers tasted and smelled alright.

            I am trying the same thing again just in case I had a bad container of heavy cream. But I think there is something weird going on when I use it. I think the same thing is going to happen again.

            Unless I get a better result I won’t try cream again. The yogurt comes out thick enough just with half and half.

            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              I don’t think heavy cream is a good idea. I’ve heard from a couple of people that the batch didn’t turn out well. If you’re using heavy cream instead of half and half to avoid the carbs, keep in mind the bacteria eat carbs.

  10. Mike

    Tried the yogurt and/or Osfortis capsules for ~ 3 weeks. No notable changes in skin, weight, sleep, appetite, mood, etc. Just my experience I wanted to put out there.

  11. Bryan Lloyd Harris

    Have you ever got any little brown spots in your yogurt? I am thinking I won’t eat that batch, and I may start over.

    Sometimes I get them and sometimes I don’t. Not sure what they are.

    I am also using mason jars with metal lids, so maybe those metal lids are not the best for this because of all the water. It seems the water causes them to rust after a while. And I have also noticed black stuff on the lids, like mold or something.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yes, you can use milk. Upside? I don’t know. I like the the thickness of the stuff I make with half-and-half, but I haven’t tried milk.

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