How To Make A Yakult Style Fermented-Milk Drink

Yakult’s fermented milk is very expensive, but cheap and easy to make. Here’s how to make a Yakult style yoghurt drink at home:

  1. Buy some Yakult (you need to do this to get the yoghurt cultures)
  2. Add full fat milk (I think this has more nutritional value, although Yakult make their yoghurt drink with semi-skimmed milk). You’re going to want about 20% Yakult, 80% milk, any more milk and it will result in a yogurt drink that isn’t properly fermented, too much Yakult and the drink will be too thick
  3. Optionally add some sugar, personally I don’t do this. Instead I add squashed fruit juice after the Yakult has been made
  4. Put the container in boiling water that is up to 2/3 of the size of the container. Put a lid on the water container and wrap in plastic / fleece or some other insultating material
  5. Leave for 8 hours

You have now make Yakult at home! Remember to save 20% of the homemade Yakult for the next batch, so you don’t have to keep buying more Yakult. Personally, at step 5, I like to add fruit for flavour.

Also, I recommend skipping step 2 and making the Yakult without sugar. If you want to sweeten it up, add sugar afterwards. The reason for this is that you don’t get any sugars carried over to the next batch, making sugar additions hard to measure.

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8 thoughts on “How To Make A Yakult Style Fermented-Milk Drink

  1. Do I let the water go cold in the 8 hours or do I keep heating it up?

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    • Good question. If you have a yoghurt maker (which is basically a tuperware container to put the yoghurt in that fits inside a thermos that’s half filled with boiled water), then you won’t need to heat it up. If you have wrapped the Yakult container in lots of plastic bags / fleace, then this should have the same effect – no need to keep heating it.

      However, if you find that after 8 hours, it’s stone cold / lukewarm, then you should have heated it :) There’s no harm in leaving it longer, just reheat it, apply more layers to keep it warm and leave it a few more hours :)

      The first few attempts at making Yakult might not work, keep at it. Once you get this right, you’ll save a lot of money. If you’re worried about the temperature (which is key!), buy a standard yoghurt maker ;)

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      • I’m going to try a small batch now and I’ll keep heating the water because I can’t even find my thermos :( so I wrap the jar it’s in a place that in hot water? Apparently my baby brain is stopping me from understanding these instructions haha. Thanks heaps for such a quick response!!!

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        • No problem. To make Yakult you need two containers, one should fit inside the other with plenty of space. In the smaller container you put some Yakult and milk. Seal the smaller container and put it inside the larger one. Put some boiling water in the larger container to heat the small container (you don’t want the small container to get any water in it). Wrap the large container in insulation (plastic bags, an old coat, whatever) and leave it for 8 hours in a warm place.

          After 8 hours the Yakult live cultures will ferment the rest of the milk and it will all be Yakult. Hope that’s clearer :)

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        • The idea is to keep the yakult-milk at about blood heat for 8 hours. This allows the yakult to develop. There are different ways you could do this and I’m sure you can think of one which works for you.

          Here are some options:

          1. Put your yakult-milk container in a bowl of boiling water, and when the water goes cold, replace it with more hot water, and keep doing that all day. Make sure the milk doesn’t get too hot or too cold – if it’s above or below blood heat, the lactobacillus bacteria won’t be able to do it’s thing.

          2. Heat the milk to blood heat (either use the boiling water method just mentioned or just microwave or heat it on the stove) and then wrap it in a blanket or fleece as the writer describes. Put it between two pillows, under a beanbag – use your imagination!

          3. Once it’s at blood heat, put it in a warm place in your house. Inside the oven with the pilot light on, on the top of the fridge, or in the airing cupboard, for example.

          4. If you have a crockpot or slow cooker which can keep the milk at blood heat (not hotter) for 8 hours you could use that.

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          • Just one thing to point out to the readers (in case it’s mis-read, because there seems to be a lot of confusion about how to make yakult), don’t microwave the yakult, just the milk to get it to temperature ;)

            Thank you Helen, hopefully that clarifies the making Yakult / fermenting milk process. I should have probably done a diagram when I first wrote this article :(

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    • I think it’s just how the Yakult cultures grow – if you give it a good shake / stir when you make it, it won’t do that. Also, you could try not leaving it the full 8 hours when you make it…. or try using semi skimmed milk :P

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