How long does homemade yogurt last? Much longer than you think!

by Cath

You have made your homemade yogurt, but how long will it last in your fridge?

The quick easy answer is: your homemade yogurt will last about 2 weeks, assuming that you’re using fresh ingredients when making your yogurt.

You can stop reading if you want to, if not, I’ll talk about a few things that I think it might be good for you to know, what has been my experience following my homemade yogurt recipe for years.

Usually, I eat my yogurt pretty quickly, it rarely lasts for more than one week. I make a batch usually on Sunday and then I finish it around Friday or Saturday.

However, I already ate homemade yogurt that was 3 weeks old and it was fine. Not that I’m telling you to do it, but I just want to put this out there anyway. This confidence definitely comes from my own experience of making yogurt which in time you’ll have and learn to trust your instincts in this matter.

Changes in flavor as time passes

hand holding spoon with yogurt
As time passes, your yogurt will taste sourer however it doesn’t necessarily mean it has gone bad.

When you’re first fermenting your milk to make homemade yogurt in your yogurt maker or whatever incubator that you use to make it, you’re creating the perfect environment for lactic acid fermentation, lactic acid forms and that is what causes that yogurt flavor, more sour and less sweet than milk.

Once you put your yogurt in the fridge, it’s no longer the ideal environment for fermentation to occur, but it doesn’t kill any of the good bacteria, so fermentation still occurs but at a slower pace.

Can you understand now why it tastes sourer after a week in the fridge? Lactic acid continues to increase which in turn makes your yogurt sourer.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to avoid this, if you don’t like your yogurt so sour, my suggestion would be to use it in salad dressings, pancakes, overnight oats with yogurt with plenty of sweet stuff on it, or any other type of recipe that uses yogurt.

Yogurt is an excellent replacement for buttermilk in baking goods as well.

If you have never made yogurt before and are scared reading this, don’t worry right away. I’d advise you to try it out before deciding that your yogurt is too sour to eat after one week.

I’d also want to add that regardless of what I write here, be aware of any different colors in your yogurt or weird taste or smell. Even if a small amount of time has passed but any of this seems true, don’t eat it. Let’s not turn reducing food waste into a way to make your stomach sick.

With this out of the way, there are a few factors that might decrease the expiration date of your homemade yogurt.

In fact, a lot of them can contribute to your homemade yogurt going bad as well so you’ll see that I repeat some of those ideas here as well.

Storage

Storing your yogurt correctly will definitely help in making last those 2 weeks – or even more.
I store my yogurt on the highest shelf of my fridge – that’s where it’s the coldest in every fridge and it’s usually recommended to keep yogurts there.

Both commercial and homemade yogurt.

Since I have a smaller fridge and my larger container doesn’t fit in the highest shelf, whenever I use my Easiyo yogurt maker to make a big batch, I just put it on the second shelf below the highest shelf.

I try to avoid putting it on the door of the fridge as it’s usually a place where the temperature changes more often.

I also don’t leave my yogurt laying around on the countertop, I take it out, scoop out my yogurt, and put it back in the fridge.

Speaking of scooping my yogurt…

Scooping homemade yogurt

If you make a big batch of yogurt instead of separate individual jars, use a clean spoon and don’t eat it straight from the jar.
If you do that, you’ll just be introducing bacteria to the yogurt and it’ll last less time.
I generally use the same spoon to eat the yogurt in the bowl so doing something like this doesn’t always mean that you have more dishes to wash.

OK – I’m lying here because the bowl needs to be washed as well! You got me – I still think that the pros outweigh the cons.

Fruit

strawberry diving into milk - how long does homemade yogurt last
Adding any type of fruit or fresh ingredient to your yogurt will rapidly increase the likelihood of it lasting less time plus it usually messes up the fermentation process.

My general advice is to add your fruit when you’re ready to eat and not before that.

If you do add cooked fruit and some kind of jam, generally it’s okay and it’ll last those 2 weeks but be more cautious in general and experiment with different jams, they have different kinds of ingredients that might react differently to the yogurt as well.

How long does homemade yogurt last?

To summarize, 2 weeks is usually good although expect your yogurt to be slightly sourer as time progresses. Be sure to store your yogurt in the highest shelf of your fridge if possible as this will keep the yogurt nice and cool and keep your yogurt fresher for a longer time.

Furthermore, don’t add any other ingredients like fruit if you want to make it last longer, add your fruit when consuming your yogurt, that way you won’t be messing up a batch.

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