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.
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
Thanks, Donna! I'll give it a try.
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.
Here's another link to making yogurt at a low temp on the stove top.
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.
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..
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.