How to Make Organic, Raw Goat's Milk Yogurt
Just Plain Good
Making raw yogurt is one of the best things you can do for your and your family's health. Raw milk of any kind has many health benefits, including being easier to digest than processed milk, and raw milk yogurt retains many of these benefits. Daily eating of yogurt has been linked to longevity and a high quality of life and health.
These benefits are easy to get by making your own raw milk yogurt.
What You'll Need to Make Raw Goat's Milk Yogurt
I will be demonstrating the process with goats milk, but any kind of raw milk should work.
The tools and ingredients you'll need are simple and few:
- Yogurt starter, or a good quality, plain yogurt with live cultures - you can buy some from almost any grocery store to get started. Once you've made yogurt, you can save back a little from each batch to use as the starter for the next.
- Glass jar(s) in which to incubate your yogurt
- A saucepan in which to warm the milk
- A thermometer which will read low temperatures accurately. An instant-read thermometer is nice.
- A spoon (optional)
- A heat source which will maintain your yogurt at 110* to 115* F. for several hours (unattended).
Stage One - Warming the Milk, Adding Yogurt Culture
Stage Two - Culturing the Yogurt...Keeping It Warm for 6-8 Hours
What If I Don't Have Raw Milk?
It is still possible to make perfectly acceptable yogurt with most any kind of milk. I've even heard of people using soy milk, though I wouldn't try it myself. Regular milk from a store will work fine, it just won't be raw. The yogurt will still be good for you.
The video below shows how to make yogurt using non-raw milk. Also, you may use this woman's method for any batch of raw milk which is "off" or which you're not sure of for any reason. The difference between her method and mine is in the initial heating temperature - she scalds her milk in order to make sure that no undesirable bacteria survive...giving the yogurt culture absolute reign, with no competition from other types of cultures which may have been present in the milk.
This is a good method...but be aware that it's no longer raw.
FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions about Making Yogurt
At which stage should I add fruit to my yogurt?
Honestly, it doesn't much matter. I suppose the acid or bacterial aspects of various fruits could upset the culture or balance of your yogurt, but many don't. This means you can add fruit to the bottom of your jar(s) before adding the culture and milk, or you may mix it in after the yogurt is cultured, just prior to eating.
My yogurt is stringy and slimy! What happened?
The temperature of your yogurt while incubating was not steady enough. Too cold or too hot can upset the delicate balance of the culture, and ruin the consistency of your yogurt. If you can't stand the consistency of a particular batch, don't despair - just feed it to your pet. Your dog or cat will almost certainly not complain, and yogurt is good for them, too.
My yogurt didn't thicken up...it's all runny? Why?
The cultures in yogurt need lots of room to work. Adding too much yogurt starter to a jar of milk can crowd the cultures and cause them to languish. Adding too little culture might delay thickening, but will not harm the final product.
My yogurt is too sour. How can I make milder yogurt?
Incubating yogurt for more than 6 to 8 hours can cause the cultures to overwork, creating a more sour or tart yogurt. Do not incubate yogurt for less than 6 hours, but experiment with how much longer makes the perfect jar of yogurt for you.
How often do I need to use my yogurt starter to keep it fresh?
Using your starter about once a week is best. I've stretched the time to two or three weeks occasionally, but this can allow the starter to develop undesirable bacteria, which will change the nature of your yogurt, or maybe, not even produce yogurt at all. Unless your starter goes really bad, you should be able to use it to produce some kind of cultured dairy product...it just may not be quite like yogurt. If your starter gets contaminated, start over with a fresh commercial starter or fresh commercial yogurt. Keep your yogurt starter in the refrigerator between uses.