Making Yogurt from Raw Milk

JennyT Upstate South Carolina
JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

So I've tried a couple of times to make some yogurt from Raw Milk without heating it so it's not pasteurized. But I've yet to see, and I'll find out tomorrow morning for this latest batch, but it's not working. I'm wondering if I need to separate the cream out first. And if that's the case any idea on how to do that. 😬

I'm trying to make cultured dairy part of our diet(Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon) and I was told that those who are lactose intolerant would benefit and be able to eat it if it was raw milk that was used.

But it's just not working out, any suggestions.☹️ I really like yogurt and am happy with the coconut milk brand that we eat but it's so expensive. And I know that making is would also be much healthier and not to mention much cheaper. I'm just stuck and it's frustrating wasting all this milk.

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Comments

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020

    I am not a yoghurt maker, but I have heard that the bacteria in raw milk can interfere with the yoghurt cultures. I think some people have success with it though. Maybe try kefir instead? I made kefir for years, and it worked just fine with both raw and pasteurized milk. Also, kefir grains multiply so you can reuse them indefinitely. Very economical.

    Just a heads up about the lactose intolerance part- it depends on the person. I use to drink raw milk and raw kefir- they were definitely better than pasteurized milk, but I eventually had to quit. My gut felt much better without any milk, raw or not.

  • twinspringsnc
    twinspringsnc Posts: 21 ✭✭✭

    I make yogurt from my raw milk all the time successfully. I have used multiple methods. My favorite and the easiest is using my crockpot express, which is an jnstant pot equivalent. I warm the milk to 100. I do not pasturize it. You need to warm the milk enough for the cultures to grow. I have no problem with the raw milk interfering with the yogurt cultures. You will initially need to use some starter yogurt. I used the store brand that had live cultures in it. The yogurt setting will keep it warm enough to culture. I like 10 hours but you will have to decide your time. Longer is tangier. Hope that helped.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning Wow, thank you so much for the walk through on your procedure to making yogurt with raw milk. I'm intending to taste my latest attempt tomorrow and it it doesn't work I'll try your method.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @twinspringsnc Thank you for your method of making yogurt. I have an instant pot and will look into that way if my other attempts don't pan out. I have heard of people being successful with using the instant pot method for making yogurt.

  • I've been making yogurt for more than 20 years, and at first I had plenty of failures. Once I found chemistry professor David Fankhauser's method and began using it, I have not had a single batch turn out bad. So it may be that you just need to tighten your methods. Best thing about Fankhauser is that he explains the science behind the process so that you understand it. And he uses common materials like mason jars, a cooler, and a food thermometer. It's also pretty cool that he was one of the original 1960s Freedom Riders fighting for Civil Rights in the USA, but that doesn't affect how the yogurt tastes. If you like his method, check out the rest of his pages. Yogurt is the "gateway" introductory method to other dairy ferments. If you are willing, he will lead you to your next project, a simple farmer cheese, then an American ricotta, and on by further steps all the way to hard cheese making. The cheese is hard, not the learning, because he makes that easy if you follow his instructions. Seriously, it's changed my life in yogurt making. https://fankhauserblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/yogurt-making-illustrated/https://fankhauserblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/yogurt-making-illustrated/

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Dave S., Zone 5B, 1300 ft, 11" rain Thank you. I will definitely look into David Fankhauser. I am curious about cheese too.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin

    I forgot about his pages! I had them bookmarked on an old computer that crashed. It is certainly one of the many treasures lost back then.

    Thank you for posting!

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    @JennyT The S. thermophilus and  Lbulgaricus  the warmer temperatures. Warming the milk to 100 degrees won't denature the proteins in the raw milk. A healthy cow has a bogy temperature of 101.5, although the udder temperature may be lower. Keeping the temp 104F or lower should protect effectively all the proteins (http://www.chemistryexplained.com/Co-Di/Denaturation.html#:~:text=The%20melting%20temperature%20varies%20for,many%20proteins%20and%20denature%20them.&text=Factors%20other%20than%20heat%20can,and%20can%20lead%20to%20denaturation.)

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin

    @tomandcara, so this should possibly keep the casein as it should be, not just protect the enzymes. Interesting.

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I am not sure of the bacterial action on the proteins, including casein. I do know kefir prefers whole milk as it needs the fat for some of the organisms in kefir

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,542 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was just talking about getting raw milk to make yogurt again. Its one of those - in shortage products- in this area.

    Love all the great links and information

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭

    I have made raw milk yogurt many times. The best and easiest way to make it is in the crockpot. Unfortunately I don't know any way to successfully do it without heating the milk to 180 degrees. It's a necessary part of the process that changes it from milk to yogurt at least so far as I know. You can do it on the stove but I'll tell you I have had more problems doing it that way. My last batch wound up more the consistency of cottage cheese. In the crockpot I add about a half gallon of raw milk and turn it on high. It will take several hours but once you can see it's getting hot make sure you are consistent with checking the temperature. You don't want it any hotter. It will be weird if it boils. Once you hit 180 turn the crockpot off. You can just wait until it cools or you can put the pot into a sink of cold water. Be very careful not to miss the window. If you do it won't set up. It needs to be 110 degrees. Take half a cup of yogurt and temper it with the warm milk a little at a time. Once it's mixed thouroughly add it back into the crockpot. Stir it gently in figure 8s to mix well. Once that's finished wrap a towel around the crockpot so that it can set up. Overnight should do. You will wind up with regular style yogurt with a lot of whey. I personally prefer greek yogurt so I strain it through a cheesecloth for awhile. This method has worked very well for me.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin

    @karenjanicki Yes! And, if you strain the yogurt long enough, you can make yogurt cheese. It is wonderful!

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I was wondering how yogurt cheese is made. Is that all is takes to make it?

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,498 admin

    My problem in NC is that I can only buy ultra-pasteurized... and I can't make yoghurt or cheese out of that. Sometimes I can get down to Florence for a gallon or two, or find a goat dairy around Clemson. If there is ever anything you want to trade for that I can source in NC, let me know.... maybe we could meet somewhere.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin
    edited October 2020

    @JennyT Yes, and a touch of salt to taste.

    I used whole milk yogurt cheese to make cheesecake. I figured that it was smooth enough that it might work. It wasn't smooth in the cheesecake, but the flavor was good after aging it for a few days. Someone suggested blending the cream cheese to make it smoother. Perhaps adding a bit of heavy cream might help, but I don't know.

    I hope to try it again once we have lots of milk again.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭

    I have never made yogurt cheese before. Is it similar to cottage cheese?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin

    No, it is smooth. If you make it, then you can decide what you want to do with it from there.

    You could add sweet or savory spices if you wish or use it as is. It can be served with fruit, on crackers, or just eat it. 😋

  • annflancan
    annflancan Posts: 84 ✭✭✭

    This is very helpful. Thank you very much. Going to give this a try. 🤞

  • happy-trails
    happy-trails Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    JennyT - did you ever find a method that worked well for you? Have you tried Wardeh Harmon's method (Traditional Cooking School)? You don't have to heat the raw milk so high with her recipe, whereas other methods destroy the benefits of raw milk! The way to make it this way is to add your raw milk to half gallon jars with a starter (raw yogurt or powder starter) and whisk in a little grass-fed gelatin, which helps it stay super smooth with a consistency similar to conventional yogurt. It can be left in a warm place for a day or longer (I put all my jars in my dehydrator, no higher than 100 degrees, which keeps all the nutrition intact). Soooo silky, smooth and creamy-delicious!

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,542 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021

    @happy-trails where would you get grass fed gelatin?

    Great info above. I have wanted to make yogurt again ,

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin

    There are no worries about killing raw milk beneficial bacteria off up to and including 110°. I read that 98-110° is acceptable for temp, however yogurt culture grows best at 110° and then needs a warm environment (even towel or wool wrapped) for an allotted time.

    Where the issue of killing beneficial bacteria comes in is with hotter temperatures than 110, and especially if the high temps are held for any amount of time. Many recipes still advocate to pasteurize at high temps first for consistency of product and "safety", but there are many raw milk yogurt recipes available online, thankfully, that are put out by those who wish to have the ultimate benefit of raw milk yogurt.

    When we we told to pasteurize our milk for a time due to a rabies scare (oh that was nasty!), a "soft" pasteurization was 176° held for 20 min. Then we were to run very cold water through the machine for a long time until it was brought down very cold. There are higher temperature pasteurizations done for less time. Fast cooling is also necessary for full pasteurization.

    I think that whether you do a cooler yogurt @ 98°or warmer @ 110°, with no initial pasteurization of the raw milk, you don't need to worry about loss of nutrients & bacteria.

    I cannot eat pasteurized milk yogurt as it ties my stomach up in knots, but can comfortably eat our raw milk yogurt done at a 110 temp.

    Just a little further info if anyone is concerned.

    An interesting note...in Canada, gelatin is not added to store bought yogurts. If the factories want to make them thicker or smoother (remember this is usually thin holstein milk made thinner by extracting all cream), they may add some cream back (or carageenan) but will often also add dried milk powder.

    If you want to have naturally thicker yogurt without adding gelatin or otherwise, just hang it for a little while in cheesecloth until it is your desired consistency & use the whey in soup.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I did try Wardee's method first but the problem I'm having is that there is separation with the raw milk. So the top portion is turning towards yogurt but the rest is not. I also had someone on here graciously send me a starter but again I had the same problem with separation. So I've saved a little of that starter and I intend to give it a go again however we are putting our house up for sale in 6 weeks and are scrambling to get everything done at the moment. So it will have to wait a bit longer. 😕

    But thank you for checking. I saw the starter in the back of the fridge and I thought about making the yogurt just the other day.😊

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin

    @JennyT Do you mean the cream rose to the top? If so, we have that too and that's normal, but that just becomes "sour cream" or a cultured cream (it is thicker than the yogurt below, just as cream & milk usually would be anyway) & the rest still changes into a yogurt. The milk portion isn't as thick and smooth as store bought, but it certainly isn't the same product either.

  • happy-trails
    happy-trails Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    Aw... sorry to hear how challenging it's been trying to make a successful yogurt! Hmm, I wonder if perhaps Wardee has several recipes for yogurt... I'm thinking maybe we tried different recipes because I'm surprised your milk still separated. Incorporating/blending in the gelatin at the beginning is supposed to prevent that annoying separation. You'll definitely master it though, whatever method ends up working for you; you seem determined! =)

    LaurieLovesLearning I'm so glad you mentioned the fact that yogurt culture actually grows BEST at 110 degrees... all this time I've been thinking I'm staying on the "safe" side by staying around 100, so that I could be sure to keep all the benefits intact. I'll be changing the temp next time. I learn so much from TGN every time I'm here! I'm thankful.

  • happy-trails
    happy-trails Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    I get the grass fed & pasture raised gelatin from Great Lakes or Vital Proteins. I believe Thrive Market sells a grass fed gelatin as well. =)

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I have used raw milk for making yogurt. It turns out fine. I do heat it but not always up to the 180F. When I first started making yogurt I did add gelatin, but I haven't for years.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin
    edited February 2021

    @happy-trails just a tidbit...I bring it up to the 110, take it off immediately & whisk in my culture. I am sure that it brings the temp down a bit because I use bought live yogurt to make my culture.

    I was just thinking, maybe next time I should let my culture warm first and see how that might change anything. Hmm.