So I want to start making yogurt--I've made it before on the counter just doing a small batch and wrapping with towels, setting on a hot pad. I feel pretty good about being able to handle the process.
Problem is, I am SPOILED on Greek yogurt, I love love love it so much which is why I keep buying it instead of making my own--I am confused about needing to keep a pure mother culture and how that works out in the long run; really I can't just use a little yogurt from the previous batch if it's raw milk? If the raw milk will eventually overtake the Greek culture, then how many batches will it take for that to happen? It might be worth just buying a new culture if it's like 20 generations of yogurt down the line, ya know?
Also, can I use a mesophilic culture (like Matsoni on the culturesforhealth site) and just strain it to get the Greek thickness? Again, though, the cfh site says to keep a pure mother culture--if that is so, then how did traditional cultures keep their cultures going with raw milk? I am imagining that they could not keep getting new packets of powder, you know?
How hot does the milk have to get in order to avoid the whole keeping back a pure mother culture thing? Is that so hot that it takes away the benefits of raw milk?
I am confused and that's why I'm hesitating on starting to make yogurt again--in the past when I did it, I just used pasturized milk, but I only get raw these days and definitely don't want to change that. Gotta get yogurt going in this house, though! I love it so much and spend way too much at the store, when we have milk right here in the fridge.
Thanks if anyone has feedback, I really appreciate it!
Also, I just thought of this, can you freeze the pure mother culture? 'Coz that might make it more realistic for me to do the pure mother thing, if I could freeze it in ice cubes and then just pop one out and thaw for the next batch of yogurt.
Theorically, you could heat the yogurt to incubation temperature, then culture it, but if you use raw milk, eventually the culture is likely to get contaminated and could make you and your family sick. If you boil (pasteurize) it you will lose some of the benefits of raw milk, but those benefits will be replaced by others.
If I had access to raw milk, I'd drink it raw, but boil it to make yogurt.