Homesteading | Ranch Life | Raw Milk | Recipes

How to Make Raw Milk Yogurt

July 31, 2013

Yogurt is so good for you. However, like most other dairy and health products at groceries stores yogurt has been adulterated to the point that most of the beneficial parts of yogurt is null and void. Pasteurization is the major killer of beneficial bacteria and enzymes which all yogurt sold at the store has been pasteurized to some degree. Plus, then adding tons of sugar or high fructose corn syrup basically defeats the purpose of eating yogurt. Why is that? Well, when you are trying to fight off bad bacteria with good bacteria (such as yogurt) you need to cut out sugar to help fight off the bad bacteria, since bad bacteria thrives on sugar.

So what’s the best way to make yogurt? With raw milk! (I’m sure you already knew the answer to that). Yogurt is so extremely simple to make, it’s amazing that more people don’t do it. Without further delay here’s how you make yogurt out of raw milk.

NOTE: This recipe is for RAW MILK yogurt, not pasteurized yogurt. There is a slightly different process making yogurt out of pasteurized milk, so please do not use this same recipe.

Things you need to make raw milk yogurt:

  • 1 gallon of raw milk
  • 2-4 tablespoons of another yogurt start (can be store bought plain yogurt)
  • Some sort of strainer (cheese cloth, old t shirt)
  • Warm location (about 90 degrees)

The first basic step is getting your milk. Make sure that it was properly milked and cooled (if you are milking a cow yourself). I personally like to skim the cream off the milk before making it into yogurt, that is up to you, but I find that once the yogurt sets up it just strains right through the cloth and gets lost (I guess I could mix it better once it’s set up) but I just like to skim it. Once skimmed (if desired) put the milk in a jar (or jars) or some sort of glass container with a top.

Once skimmed (if desired)
Next you put the milk in a hot bath of water. Our sink water gets so hot that it makes it perfect for a hot bath, but if your sink won’t get above 110 degrees then you need to boil water and submerge the jars into the hot water, you are aiming for 110 degrees.
After some time
After some time (depending on how vigilant you are at watching the temperature) your milk should eventually get to 110 degrees. If it gets too hot, just add some cold water to the bath until it reaches 110.
Adding your starter is the next step.
Adding your starter is the next step. I either use starter from a batch of yogurt that I have made recently or a starter from a store bought plain yogurt. Add 2 tablespoons to each container of milk you are using (if you are using half gallons then 2 tablespoons for each one, if you are using 1 gallon of milk by itself then only use 2 tablespoons of starter). Shake or stir till mixed well.
Leave on a hot summer day to culture.
Next is allowing the milk to culture, you can leave it outside on a hot day that’ll keep the milk around 90 degrees. It takes a minimum of 8 hours to culture.
Or use an oven
Or if you don’t like the idea of leaving the milk out in the sun all day you can use several other warm places. You can use a dehydrator at 90 degrees or put it in your oven with the light on. Believe it or not the oven will keep the milk warm enough to culture just by leaving the light on. I typically like leave it overnight so I don’t end up needing the oven during the day.
After
Once your yogurt is cultured it’ll be a very liquidity substance (there’s lots of whey in homemade yogurt), so this the point where you get to choose how much whey you keep in your yogurt. I find whey adds a very bitter taste to yogurt, so I like to strain it for a long time to remove as much whey as possible. I use an old t-shirt over a bucket with a rubber band to secure it. You can also hang the corners and allow it to drain (it’s just harder to catch the whey if you want it for anything). If you want a slightly strained yogurt then a couple hours will suffice. If you want more of a greek style yogurt, then overnight in the frig will do it for you. The more you drain the whey the shorter the yogurt keeps, so remember that.
Mixing it
After I’ve allowed the yogurt to drain to the desired consistency I like to run it through my blender to make it nice and smooth. If you have made a very thick yogurt this can be tough on your blender and difficult to get it to blend, so you can do it by hand if you want or use another device. I just love the smooth taste of yogurt, whereas the recently strained yogurt is still chunky.
Beautiful
Here’s the finished yogurt after it’s been through the blender. Now grab some fruit or granola and dig in!

Have questions or comments? Leave them below!

 

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