Raw Milk Yogurt

Starting Your Raw Milk Yogurt

  • 1 gallon of raw milk
  • Pan large enough to hold a gallon of raw milk
  • “Room Temperature” six ounces of plain yogurt with active probiotic culture
  • Blender or something to throughly stir probiotic culture into warm raw milk
  • Thermometer for measuring box temperature and raw milk
  • Two, one-half gallon canning jars with lids
  • Cardboard box at least bankers size or bigger, 10 x 12 x 15 Inches. If the box is too big or too small you will not keep an even temperature. At one end of the box you will insert the guts of reading light and a 40 watt light bulb. I use Duck tape on both sides of the box to hold light fixture
  • Fruit Syrup
  • Cheese Cloth
  • String and area to hang string and yogurt in cloth for draining
  • Large bowl to catch liquid draining from yogurt.

Red leafHeat Milk to 110 degrees.  Warning, do not heat the milk too hot or you will kill the culture.  Too cold and the culture will not grow vigorously. Red leafWhen milk reaches 110 degrees remove pan from burner.  Take 2 cups of warm milk and add to blender or bowl.  Throughly mix in “room temperature” active plain yogurt into warm milk and add mixture back into pan.  Mix throughly and pour into 1/2 gallon containers. Prior to starting your yogurt culture, test your yogurt box to see how stable the environment is retaining it’s heat. First place thermometer in the box for 20 minutes adjust heat flow with more or less insulation. Remember to wrap the box in a towel or blanket when testing.  The box temperature  should not exceed  110 degrees and no colder than 80 degrees. The best temperature is around 100 degrees.  Place containers in box and cover with towel. I turn my milk containers once or twice during the 12 hour incubation time. Probiotic culture needs darkness to grow and the towel shields the culture from the light. Place lid on box and wrap towel around box to avoid drafts and retain heat. The best place for your box is in an area that is not too cold or warm and does not have drafts. jarboxtoweljarscoveredbox Yogurt needs to cook for at least 12 hours.  Be aware of the time when you set your culture up, I usually setup before bedtime and the yogurt will be properly cooked by the morning. To test to see if yogurt set correctly, stick a clean spoon in culture and lift up. If you have a clean break, that is if the yogurt separates in a large clean lump it’s ready.  You can set your yogurt aside in refrigerator until your ready to start the next step. If your yogurt does not set properly no worries!  Take the mix and dump it into the cheese cloth-covered bowl, hang until the whey no longer drains into bowl.  You can use cheese in your baked goods.  You can also add a bit of salt or seasoning, chives, onions, garlic, fruit or what ever you can think of to your taste and add this cheese to salads or spread on crackers. yogurtdraininghangingyogurtBowlyogurt In a large bowl that will accommodate a gallon of yogurt place your cheese cloth.  I don’t have exact measurements for cloth, you will have to eyeball the correct size for your needs and cut cloth accordingly.  Pour yogurt on cheese cloth (you can use cotton cloth as well) and wrap the yogurt, tie in a knot and tie with a string to hang above bowl. You will hang yogurt for 15 minutes, this will give you a firm yogurt, if you hang longer your yogurt will become thicker and eventually dry to the consistency of cream cheese and if you hang longer the cheese will crumble. The excess liquid is called whey, you can use this for baking, I don’t eat grains so I feed the whey to my chickens, I don’t like drinking whey, it taste nasty.  This gives my chickens an active probiotic food source along with the other foods they eat.  I don’t feed my chickens store bought feed, but that’s another story. berryjuiceboilingjuicesyrupyogurtsyrupyogurt I can my juice, the picture you see above is a quart of blackberry juice. I made at least 24 quarts of blackberry juice this year, my husband picked all the berries himself, he loves his home canned juice. I add a cup of sugar to the quart of juice and boil down until there is a 1/4 of the quart left in pan.  I let the syrup cool to room temperature and pour at least 1/4 cup or to taste into my plain yogurt, mix very well.  You can store your mix in a container in the refrigerator for 7 days. I like to eat nuts as topping with my yogurt, of course you can add anything you want to this yogurt. The Dutch call this thick pudding like yogurt Fla syrupyogurt