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Old 02-23-2011, 05:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone have any tips?

We've been making it for the past few weeks, and the consistency is never the same...VERY runny and although it still tastes good, it's sometimes super cheesy on the bottom. We use very fresh milk, usually only a day or so old.

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Old 02-23-2011, 01:21 PM
 
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What are you using for a culture?  What temperature do you heat the milk to, and how do you keep it warm?

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Old 02-23-2011, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've been using Seven Stars organic/biodynamic yoghurt as a culture, And have been using a 2 quart incubator because nothing in our kitchen retains a consistant warmth. (everything is just Cold this time of year...) We were heating the milk to 160 like it said in the directions that came with the machine, then cooling it to 110. That REALLY didn't work, so I talked to a friend who said not to heat it at all. But taking it out of the fridge it is 36 degrees, so I tried just heating it to barely 110...

but still... I looked at NT, and the Wild fermenation book, but can't figure what to do with this predicament. Any ideas?

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Old 02-23-2011, 04:21 PM
 
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I would try a different culture.  Even though good store-bought yogurt brands are great themselves, I've never had good luck making my own yogurt with them.  It's always too runny, too sour, etc.  I buy the 'sweet' yogurt culture from here: http://www.cheesemaking.com/cheeseculturesandmoldpowders.html

Don't listen to them when it says to use the whole packet for 1 or 2 qts!  You only need a bit.

 

I use a similar yogurt maker, but mine runs a little too hot, especially right on the bottom where the tub is in contact with the warmer.  That's what gives you the 'cheesy' cooked texture at the bottom.

Here's what I do: warm a quart of milk to 90* (I have a cow, so it comes into the kitchen at that temp), then pour it into a quart mason jar.  Add a sprinkle of yogurt culture (no more than 1/8 tsp), screw on the lid, and give it a good shake. 

Place an extra lid in the bottom of your yogurt warmer.  This will keep the jar from directly touching the hot spot, and results in a more even temperature. 

Put your jar in, and cover it with the dome lid.  I usually let mine go for 12 hours, but with another cow's milk it required 24 hours to set. 

 

I hope this makes sense!

Kelsey

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Old 02-23-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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I always find that when I make raw milk yogurt (and only heat it to 110 to keep it raw) the final product is thin. I've started straining the whey & using it to soak my oatmeal overnight so the yogurt is thicker but I don't waste the healthy stuff. 


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Old 02-26-2011, 03:07 AM
 
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For raw yogurt I recommend the mesophilic (cultures between 70-78 Fahrenheit rather than 110) yogurt starter found here


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Old 02-26-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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I am so interested in the lower-temp culture.  I bet is is just like making buttermilk, which I love to do because it is so much easier than yogurt.  It's a simple warm room temp culture--buttermilk I do around 24 hours.  I wonder if this is related to buttermilk somehow?  It says it is thick and mild so that sounds nice.


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Old 02-27-2011, 10:27 PM
 
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A friend that I trust recommended that culture to me, and it is in the mail to me as we speak! I'll report back on the texture and taste when it gets here and I make some yogurt :)


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Old 03-07-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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Any word on this new culture?

I'm really interested to hear, because it's time for me to start making yogurt again (my cow just freshened).  Unfortunately my two yogurt makers gave out on me last year (after 7 years), and the price has gone from $15 to $50 or more!  So I would like to be able to make yogurt w/o buying another yogurt maker.

 

Thank you!

Kelsey

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Old 03-07-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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I've used CFH's fil mjolk (room temp yogurt) culture and I love it! It's less tangy than regular yogurt. I do strain some of the whey out to thicken it a bit more, and  have noticed that when I do that, we eat smaller portions because the yogurt is more filling (higher in fat % the more whey you take out). Adding some cream to the milk also helps thicken it, too.

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Old 03-08-2011, 06:47 PM
 
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Heating raw milk to higher than 110-112°F seems like defeating the purpose of using raw milk in the first place. If you are using fresh clean milk from a healthy source, there should be no reason to "kill off" any bad bacteria which would be the whole reason to heat the milk to 160, or at least that is my understanding.

I started out using a commercial live-culture plain yogurt as my starter, and since then I just use 2 Tbsp. of my previous batch to make 1 quart of yogurt.

I heat the milk to 110-112, then stir in my starter, and pour into a pre-warmed wide mouth stainless steel thermos and put the lid on. Wait 12-24 hours (depending on how cultured you want your yogurt. I am told that the longer you culture it, the less lactose. I do not know this for a fact.)

If you don't care for your yogurt that thin, use one of those reusable fine mesh metal coffee filters to strain off the whey. I also save the whey for soaking beans, oatmeal, making saurkraut, etc.

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Old 03-08-2011, 07:52 PM
 
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Heating the milk modifies the structure of the protein so the yogurt sets up thicker.  Though it certainly defeats the purpose of healthful raw milk.  I guess if you want really want thick yogurt...

If you can find the right culture for your milk, you should be able to achieve thick yogurt without cooking it.  Each cow's milk I've used did best with a different culture and culturing time.  A little experimentation is worth it. 

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Old 03-08-2011, 09:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirthIsAwesome View Post

For raw yogurt I recommend the mesophilic (cultures between 70-78 Fahrenheit rather than 110) yogurt starter found here

I use this also, as does my mom. She's an expert at it now and her yogurt tastes great. She always strains off half the whey to get thicker yogurt.  Don't stir it after it's cultured before chilling. You need to make a pure starter each week since the raw milk will eventually take over the culture. This is a room temp culture, but my mom puts it in her oven with the light on for consistency since house gets cool at night (I do too).  Also, she has found that she needs to heat the milk for the starter higher than the instructions say (you only heat the milk for the starter, not the milk for making an actual batch of yogurt).  We heat it to just simmering and the starter cultures better as does yogurt. Also, we both put in at least 2x the amount of starter called for when making a batch of yogurt.


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