UPDATE (March 21): This definitely did work! It just needed more time. It was moldy after about a week – it ended up being the same color as the bucket in which it resides. I made 9 large panels with it, moved them all multiple times, and force dried them with no cracking. Success!
So the Grand Yogurt Bacteria Experiment failed. Here’s a picture:
When I first opened the bucket, I thought I got a whiff of some nasty, but it dissipated before I could be certain. I don’t really know why this amazing plan didn’t work. It makes perfect sense in my mind! I guess I did only use one starter packet though. That’s how much is required to turn 1 qt of milk into yogurt, so maybe I just didn’t use enough. Or maybe it needs more time. That’s what I’m hoping. I mixed the yogurt bucket in with the tub this evening and I’m hoping that in (a relatively short amount of) time it’ll brew quite nicely.