I made yogurt yesterday and wanted to pass on something that's working for me.
I've been an on-again, off-again yogurt maker for years, trying directions from some of my favourite frugal people: The Tightwad Gazette, The Common Room, The Hillbilly Housewife. I've had mixed results using different incubation methods including a quickly-turned-off electric oven--we didn't own a heating pad until this year (we found a brand-new one at a yard sale).
But recently I found a way that clicked for me and does produce very eatable yogurt. The Sea-bird Chronicles posted the idea of heating the milk right in the jar, in a big pot of water. No messy pot to clean up, no burnt milk, not as much hovering--when the water starts bubbling, it's time to check the temperature of the milk as well. I used two pint jars instead of one large one because that's what I had--just divided up the extra milk powder and starter (frozen yogurt cubes) between the two jars after the milk cooled a bit. Then I left the jars for six hours on the heating pad, and voilà.
The other different thing I'm doing--for the time being--is using regular 2% milk rather than trying to make yogurt entirely from powdered milk. Maybe I'll try that again once I've had a few more successful from-fresh batches and I know I'm not doing anything else wrong--but the last just-powdered batch I made was runny and sticky. :-& And what we have now is really pretty good. So if it's not broke...