That is a question I get often. We all get side tracked at times and forget to stop the yogurt machine at the right time. Don and I forgot it once for about 36 hours and couldn’t stand the thought of wasting it. It still tasted good and we felt fine after eating it. However, to be safe, I wouldn’t want to risk doing that too often.
Elaine Gottschall, author of BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE, said that fermenting 24-34 hours is okay; but beyond that it becomes ‘iffy’. She said that it takes 24 hours for the bacteria to eat and destroy the lactose/sugar; but after that, they have nothing to survive on and will begin to slowly die off . . . just like they do when deprived of the foods they live on in your gut. The yogurt will still contain calories and fat, but will continue losing bacteria the longer it ferments . . . and, of course, that is the benefit we need most.
My question is . . . is it still yogurt if the bacteria die off??? Hmmmm . . .