So I've just found out that there are about 3 raw milk dairies around me that offer cow-shares since its (inanely) illegal to consume raw milk that you don't own.
WOW RAW MILK! I've never been a really big straight up milk drinker but I do like yogurt, and I'd like to go back to consuming it after my 30-day strict paleo adherance is over.
How would you suggest one begins in yogurt making? I know you can go the quick and easy route and get a yogurt maker (yay unitasker) or I've seen numerous methods involving your own containers and heating pads.
Which do you think is easier in the long run?
Is this even a good idea with lacto-paleo?
TL;DR: Should I make my own raw milk yogurt and how should I go about doing so?
UPDATE: I just found http://nourishedkitchen.com/raw-milk-yogurt/ <- this tutorial and it says I can just heat the milk slightly, pour it into a jar and put it in warm water IN MY CROCK POT?! Damn, that's the easiest. Please enlighten me if any of you have accomplished this and how it worked.
I make homemade raw yogurt pretty regularly using this cooler method. It has worked well consistently. A few things I've learned over time:
-Smaller jars makes thicker yogurt than bigger jars.
-Milk that is a few days old works way better than straight-out-da-cow.
-Adding more starting culture than recommended results in runnier yogurt.
-If you like thicker yogurt you can let the whey drain out through cheesecloth for a few hours. Save the whey to drink or to use to lacto-ferment veggies.
-The yogurt gets tangier tasting the longer it is in the fridge, but I've never had any go sour--seriously, I found a several month old half-eaten jar I forgot about in the back of the fridge once and it was super tasty.
-Getting an edible product is dummy-proof, but there are so many variables (temperature, the fat content of the milk/breed of the cow, time of year, etc.) that you can't expect to replicate the exact same product (or your favorite store bought yogurt) every time. Texture and taste will change over time.
Good luck! I was pretty discouraged the first time I made yogurt since it came out really clumpy, but I've refined my technique over time.
One thing to add to the other good answers: If you're working with raw milk, it will have active cultures of its own that may interfere or combine with the yogurt cultures in unexpected ways. In my experience, this leads to greater variation in thickness and lumpiness. If you're okay with that, just heat it up to yogurt-making temps (about 100-110) and get the benefits of all those cultures.
But if you want a smoother product like the yogurt in the store, or if you want to duplicate your starter yogurt as closely as possible, you can pasteurize your milk first to kill the cultures that come with it. You can pasteurize at a milder temperature at home than the processors use (I think 140 degrees for 30 minutes will do it, but double check). Just make sure you cool it back down to about 110 degrees before adding the yogurt starter, or you'll kill its cultures too.
Something else to think about is making kefir. If you can get ahold of kefir grains from someone, you just put the grains and milk in a jar and leave it on the counter for a day or two. It's more drinkable than spoonable but it's an easy, excellent cultured product with more diverse strains of bacteria and yeasts.
I've been curious about this because I was to specifically make yogurt that tastes like a particular brand. I want it to taste like Erivan (my all time favorite yogurt, really sour, which I cant buy where I live now- booo). I was wondering if I used that basic method you describe and put in a tub of Erivan if the bacteria and flavor would "catch" to the rest of the milk and the yogurts would taste similar. Would I then have a sort of "mother yogurt" I could re-use to make similar stuff. I have a secret source of raw grass fed milk and I miss my yogurt. Anyone know?
There is a way to do this and I know it involves using a scoop of live culture yogurt in whole, raw milk and putting it in a container on the counter for a few days. I've never done it myself, but my sister has - and one night it exploded. So, be careful.
Raw milk is a complete LIVING FOOD - if you strength train and will make you bigger. I drink raw milk in my training binges a few times a years. I do enjoy good raw milk cheeses as some limited diary is my 20 percent Raw milk works for me.
For the last six months my husband has been making yoghurt with Cream! It is incredibily delicious. We buy organic cream without carrageenan and use a starter called Yogourmet from Quebec that we order from www.yogourmet.com It tastes great plain, but I eat it with berries most often.
When I had dairy (before I learned I was allergic to casein), I used to get various yogurt cultures from "Nick's Natural Nook" (on ebay). These cultures are ancient strains and don't require a yogurt maker so you can just male yogurt on your counter (I especially liked the matsoni and the filmjolk). They also have kefir grains.