I was introduced to yogurt by the Armenian community in Boston 50 years ago. It is made by using a double boiler to sterilize the milk, allowed to cool with a sterile cloth over the pot, after which the culture is added and allowed to colonize, with the cloth over it, and then put in the fridge. When it goes bad, they go to a friend with a good culture and start over. I've had the same apparent results with the store variety, although it's not clear how you can identify the bacteria that are active. They all look and taste the same to me even though there are apparently a number of different bacteria. http://chetday.com/howtomakeyogurt.htm pretty well describes the process, although the Armeniians seemed to be more casual.