From everything I've read, you need to make yogurt with your saved starters every week or the cultures will get sour and turn the next batch sour. So I'm reserving 2 cups from this batch (broken up in 1/2 cup amounts) and freezing them so I don't have to stick to the 1 week time frame and not worry about the starter getting too tart. It's an experiment that might bomb :)
When it first came out of the crock pot, the yogurt wasn't very thick. And after putting it in the fridge for several hours it thickened up a little, but not much. Even after a few days, it didn't get thicker than that. Runny yogurt isn't very appetizing to us, so I hung the yogurt, a step I borrowed from some Indian recipes I've read.
See? Here it is, hanging on the sink in my makeshift yogurt hanging bag. I cut a clean pillow case in half and ladled the yogurt into it, tied it at the top and then used a fabric napkin to tie it to the sink. Oh yeah, classy is the only way to go.
I've read that you can hang it for 1 hour, but mine was still really watery, so it ended up hanging for 3 and then, as it's fabulous new creamy self, it was ready to go back in the fridge to await some hungry snacker.
So thick and creamy. Some people may be concerned about the taste of crockpot yogurt. It tastes great! Like normal plain yogurt you buy in the store, just with a more watery texture. I added vanilla extract to the finished batch and serve it with fresh fruit and/or honey. The diluted texture was an issue for me, but now that I know we can hang it, that problem's solved :) Just be sure to set aside your next batch's starter before you sweeten or vanillarize it all.
The downside of hanging yogurt is that you end up with way less yogurt. I started with almost half a gallon and after hanging, collected about a pint. But this newly thickened yogurt is delicious served the normal way or can be used as a marinade, meat tenderizer, or low fat thickener for curries or gravy. For marinades, stir your spices into the yogurt and coat meat or veggies with the mixture. Set in fridge at least 1 hour (or overnight) and cook as usual.
And here are my saved starters in the freezer. We'll see if they still work once yogurt making time comes around again.
UPDATE: Read my review on this successful experiment! Click here for the post :)