I have started to buy localmilk, it’s on the route of my feed store but it is 25 minutes away so I only go every other week. I am really wanting to start making yogurt. Can you think of any way I could get it to last 2 weeks(or almost 2 weeks)? I was thinking about even freezing it. Also, what is the most foolproof yogurt recipe? I think I like the crockpot method. Thanks!
Hi Taylor, I think you should have no problem getting homemade yogurt to last two weeks in the fridge. Yogurt contains tons of beneficial bacteria which help keep bad bacteria from setting up shop, and with refrigeration, it can easily last two weeks. When you say local milk does that mean it’s raw milk? If it is, it’s likely not going to taste identical the production yogurts found in the grocery stores made in near laboratory controlled conditions with pasteurized milk carefully protected from colonization of nasty bacteria before inoculated with a single or a couple isolated strains of desirable bacteria. I’ve made homemade yogurt before using raw milk, and the neat thing about raw milk is it’s pre-inoculated with mesophilic and thermophilic lactobacilli unique to the cow, the cows environment and her diet, containing a broad range of beneficial probiotics making for a unique and delicious yogurt. Regardless of using raw milk or pasteurized milk that you inoculate with a specific strain of culture, a two week shelf life is not a problem when properly refrigerated.
I’ve never tried freezing yogurt, so I can’t offer anything there. I’ve also never tried the crockpot method, I’ve only used a yogurt maker my wife got me for a birthday gift years ago. As far as recipes go, with raw milk I just pour and go, it already contains the cultures needed to make yogurt. Below is a link to a site that has recipes and sells specific cultures that I tried a couple years back for making different yogurts if you want to start with pasteurized milk and need an inoculant. Good luck!!
Yes it is raw. That is so cool that you don’t have to use a starter! I’m going to try that right now. I have a half gallon in the fridge as we speak. All the info I found online said it would only last two weeks, which seems weird to me. Well I will give it a shot. Thanks!
Cool! Yeah you don't have to use a starter but you most certainly can if you want to experiment, or if you want to for sure knowingly have other desirable cultures in your yogurt such as bifidobacterium or streptococcus for example. If you see anything developing on the surface of your yogurt that appears fuzzy, or has color such as red or yellow or brown or black, toss it. I like fermenting, but I also adhere to the rule of "when it doubt, throw it out", as I'd much rather start over than risk making myself sick. I would like to note I've never gotten sick from my own homemade yogurt or kefir. Please report back and let us know how your first yogurt turned out!
Where I live, people have always made yogurt regularly with the milk from their own cows. Here's the typical method:
Bring fresh raw milk up to a boil while stirring, and turn off. Cool down to warm body temperature, tested with a finger. Add some good yogurt and stir well. Cover the pot and cover snugly with a folded and bunched up blanket or other insulating material, preferably at least 4 inches thick. Leave until set or overnight. This tends to make a very delicious, well-set yogurt.
At our school, whenever we've tried making yogurt without boiling the milk first, either just warming the milk up to yogurt-making temperature, or warming it up to pasteurisation temperature and then cooling it, it was never good. It came out thin or sour or both. Bringing it up to boiling for a second works best for us.
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.
Congratulations Taylor! Finding a source for raw milk is not easy and it's a blessing. I've been buying raw milk for several years and have experimented with a variety of cultured milk products. My yogurt, curds and whey are always good for at least two weeks. The milk itself will also last two weeks for drinking but the flavor changes with age. After a week it gradually starts to sour (flavor but still healthy to drink). My yogurt starts out with kind of a sweet yeasty essence, then gradually gets tangier. I don't like tangy or sour flavors much so I just add a bit of honey or jam as it gets older. One time I left a half pint of milk with a bit of cream in the fridge for at least a month+ ! The cream on top turned darker yellow and dried out a bit, the milk had slightly curdled and it tasted sour - so I just added it to a casserole. It actually enhanced the flavor and I'm still alive :)
Freezing yogurt results in edible yogurt but the texture changes dramatically to a little bit grainy and watery. Commercial frozen yogurt is whipped I believe, to achieve the creamy texture. My farmer's milk production usually slows down in winter so I sometimes can't get as much as I want so I do freeze a few pints of milk in summer when I have excess.
The only guidance I've read about how long you can keep raw milk and cultured milk products in the fridge is that you will just know when it's no longer palatable, haha! It will develop a moldy putrid smell. I suspect the two week rule came from industrial milk which is definitely yucky at that point if not sooner. The enzymes and lactic acid in raw unpasteurized milk is it's own built in mechanism to kill pathogens and bad bacteria.
If you haven't acquired Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon yet I highly recommend it. It's the goto book for natural foods prep, recipes as well as very educational text on nutrition and food history in different cultures. pp 80-88
I also subscribe to Sarah Pope's blog. She's a devotee of Weston Price Foundation (Nourishing Traditions) plus offers research from other current sources and cooking/recipes. Here's a relevant page (she has tons of articles about raw milk)