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Hello fellow Earthlings!
I've recently found a great source of raw milk and cream not too far from my home (yeah!), and I've been making yogurt, among other things. It then occurred to me that in the process of heating the milk to 180 degrees to make the yogurt, I was ... pasteurizing it! Which kind of defeats the purpose of using raw milk in the first place.
So my question is: can I get away with heating milk to a lower temperature and still get yogurt? I heard that the lower the temp, the more liquid the yogurt will be. I will definitely experiment, but if anyone has any insight, I would really appreciate! Thanks, and enjoy the season!

Tags: milk, raw, yogurt

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Raw milk and cream? Geez, around these parts, you and your source would be rounded up as dangerous criminals. Heaven forbid any raw milk should get off the farm. I think we had a guy up here (Ontario) who formed a cooperative to supply raw milk to people, and the government shut him down.

 

I love milk, cream, butter, yogurt, cheese, all things dairy -- and I live in dairy country. I'd love to find a source for raw milk because I've heard that it's way better than pasteurized. But I don't want to get anyone in trouble. Maybe one day I'll luck out.

 

You're lucky to have found a source! Good luck with the experiments in yogurt. We make our own yogurt (from pasteurized milk) and I will note that I think the purpose of heating the milk to a certain temperature is to kill microbes that might inhibit the lactobacillus necessary to get a good yogurt. 

I also use raw milk, so I've experimented with finding the right temp. My yogurt is slightly less firm using a lower temp, but I found a happy medium that I like if I heat it to something around 145 - 150.
Thanks, Donna! I'll give it a try.

Facebook chimes in on this one, too:

Sherry Boswell likes this.
  • Vestpocket Farmer How about kefir instead of yogurt?
    20 hours ago ·
  • Danielle Downs I'm going to test it out with breast milk for my baby. Raw breast milk yogurt cultured at 100 degrees F.
    19 hours ago ·
  • Emily Ward Tankersley I make it all the time at 85 or so. Usually by the time I strain and get my stuff together fresh out of my goaties, it's ready. It is runny, but oh so tasty. I have heard, but not tried, you can put powdered milk in to thicken.
    19 hours ago ·
I suppose it defeats the raw milk but it doesn't defeat making homemade yogurt without all the extra whatsit in it, pasteurized or not :)
I suppose it defeats the raw milk but it doesn't defeat making homemade yogurt without all the extra whatsit in it, pasteurized or not :)

Cows milk makes thicker yogurt than goats milk but we only have goats for milk so I'm happy with the thin stuff .

This is an excerpt of a recipe for raw milk yogurt given to me by a friend and dairy fermentation instructor.  When the recipe refers to "her" I'm talking about my friend.  I use this information to distribute to my students.  Hope it works for you.  I, like you, never liked the idea of heating raw milk to 180.  Doesn't have to.  

 

 "If you want a thicker yoghurt, you can add powdered milk to the liquid milk, increasing the solid non-fat content, and increasing both protein and calcium as well (though she does not mention it in this recipe, 1-2 Tabl. would be fine.  Just make sure to mix it well into the milk.  It can be added at anytime in the process). 

 

Heat the desired quantity of milk to 105 degrees F

 

Add 1 heaping tbsp of commercial yoghurt (she does not reference live active cultures but you know the drill).  Or use a commercial yoghurt starter and then add the appropriate amount of milk.

 

Cap container and place in an ice chest

 

 Fill chest with 110 degree F water to the neck of the containers (can be a lot of water if you are only making one quart.  I sometimes fill it to just have the height and it works out fine.  Do pay attention to the temperature dropping.  Sometimes, if the cooler is ajar or does not keep the water at the right temperature you may need to add more hot water.)

 

Allow to ripen 8 - 12 hours until thick.  Refrigerate

I cracked open a new jar of yogurt this morning for breakfast and thought I'd try to snap a pic of the texture. This was heated to about 150. Can you tell from the photo how much body it has? Totally stands up on its own. Not soft at all. But maybe 150 is a higher temp than you were planning to use.  Does anyone here know how much damage I'm doing to the goodness in the raw milk at that temp? The yogurt comes out great.

Laetitia Grandval Won said:
Thanks, Donna! I'll give it a try.
What about straining it, like they do for Greek yogurt? Then you can save the whey (freeze it in ice cube trays) and add it to smoothies?

Here's a link to making yogurt in the crockpot on low (I've done this with good results).  I'm not entirely sure what the temp is on low but I think you should be safe.  It seems she may also have suggestions for counter top yogurt.

http://www.nourishingdays.com/2009/02/make-yogurt-in-your-crock-pot/

 

 

Here's another link to making yogurt at a low temp on the stove top. 

http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2008/06/make-it-yourself-yogurt...

I had a light-bulb moment after hearing my SIL (a former neo-natel nurse) caution her son-in-law who who was just a few-days-old dad to take care to not over-heat the breast milk in order to protect the natural nutrients.

 

HMMMM!!!!

 

Since then I heat my raw milk to a gentle body-temp degree...85- 90+ degrees.  It takes much longer to set since I usually don't add (or take away!) anything.  The raw milk ferments its own cultures & it is my understanding that the longer the fermentation, the more lactobacillus is formed.  So, I amped up my patience & let it ferment the 20 - 24 or so hours necessary.

 

I sometimes preheat my oven to warm & then turn it off, and generally use the oven light to maintain a warmer environment than my kitchen.  I sometimes wish I had a smaller unit...maybe the size of the old briskers, but until then..

This may defeat the point for you, but I also heat my milk to about 145, but I stir in some powdered milk as well as the culture, and it thickens the yogurt to a consistency my children enjoy more. 

Donna Byron said:
I also use raw milk, so I've experimented with finding the right temp. My yogurt is slightly less firm using a lower temp, but I found a happy medium that I like if I heat it to something around 145 - 150.

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