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Raw milk yoghurt attempts and failures

Since we got Bella last weekend, we have litres and litres of fresh cow's milk, so I tried to make some yoghurt.  I used my usual method of mixing a spoonful of the previous batch into some fresh milk (except before we got Bella, I used milk powder instead) and put the container in my Easiyo thermos to set.  Most recipes to say to pasturise (heat) the milk before making yoghurt, but I have also read that making the yoghurt from raw (unheated) milk allows more beneficial bacteria to grow, so I wanted to try that instead.

Bella is producing about 6 L of milk a day for us
 and still feeding her calf
Unfortunately the result was very disappointing, the whey separated and the yoghurt was thin and very sour.  It wasn't at all appetising, so I fed it to the dogs, they loved it, and tried again.  Same result.  Time to do some reading.  I read every cheese/yoghurt making book we own (4 now!) and everything I could find on the internet (see this one in particular).


It seems there are many many options and conflicting advice when it comes to making yoghurt!
  • Start with raw milk or pasturised milk
  • Warm milk (30degC) or leave it at room temperature
  • Thermos or heating pad to keep it at incubation temp
  • Inoculation by previous batch of yoghurt or by freeze-dried bacteria
By the end of it, all I knew was that raw milk at room temp, in a thermos of boiling water, using yoghurt didn't work, even though it works for other people, so I was doing SOMETHING wrong, but no idea what.

My goal is to work out how to make nice yoghurt with raw milk, but I suspect that might have been my problem, as you don't know what else is in the milk that's conflicting with the yoghurt bacteria.  Last night I heated the milk to 90degC and then cooled to 40degC.  I added my previous yoghurt (1 teaspoon) and incubated in the thermos.

This morning, to my great relief, I had perfect yoghurt in the jar.  But I'm not impressed about the heat treatment - both the time involved and the fact that heating it is killing all the goodness in the raw milk, I may as well just use milk powder!  At least I still have yoghurt to eat while I figure out my next move and the dogs don't mind eating my failures!

So I will continue in my quest to perfect raw milk yoghurt, any advice would be much appreciated!

eight acres: trying to make raw milk yoghurt
The yoghurt worked, but only with heat treated milk,
I want to make it with raw milk!
For the latest on my yoghurt making techniques, see here.

You might also be interested in my series on getting started with homestead dairy

Comments

  1. Design of Experiments - can't believe I remember terms like that.

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  2. Sounds like you are up for the challenge - I'm afraid I would have given up after the first try. May you find the "perfect" mix soon.

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  3. Hi Liz. Good luck with the yoghurt making.
    I started a conversation up about your fire in the Down to Earth Forum, well the conversation started as I was trying to find your blog and couldn't ... but I was looking for your fire to show another member. Just letting you know. :)

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  4. No worries Tammy, thanks for letting me know as it reminded me that I haven't had a good look at that forum yet (if anyone else is interested, its at http://downtoearthforums.com/forum.php). Cheers, Liz

    ReplyDelete
  5. it was for me - love the fire :)
    CC

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  6. I've only ever heard about yoghurt making as a heating and cooling thing.. mind you, they first came about yoghurt when they were using a sheep's stomach to transport milk and it turned. So I have a feeling you may need to only use yoghurt making bacteria from animal gut (or synthesized) to reproduce this.
    Why don't you have a go at making cheese, the French make it from raw milk all the time.
    xx so interesting!!

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  7. I've got a feeling that the problem is the starter not being strong enough. Have you tried a shop bought freeze dried starter? We just dissolve the granules in the milk as it is brought to the right temperature. Stir for at least 1-3 minutes to ensure the granules dissolve and the batch is well mixed.

    ReplyDelete

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