Debra and I went to lunch at a local place we love, and then stopped at a health food store because I've been wanting to try kombucha. Afterward, we were back in the car sitting and talking, and Deb saw the sign in the store window - Raw Milk. Back into the store we went.
The dairy case was empty but we still wanted information, and when we asked, the girl went to the back and returned with two bottles! The last two.
I wanted to make yogurt with it, and having made it once has of course made me an expert. But the method I used that other time is not what you're supposed to use with raw milk, I discovered. (The internet is wonderful, but you end up with so much information and so many "sure methods" - then you have to take a plunge and decide which way you're going to do it.)
It seems that raw milk tends to make a thinner result than pasteurized. It may be more fussy about incubation temps than pasteurized. And it may take longer than even ten hours to thicken up. I really didn't want runny yogurt, but it seemed that we (Deb was going to make some, too) might have no choice.
Meanwhile, she got the idea to get one of the West ladies' DVDs from the library - the dairy one. They make yogurt, from raw milk, and it's thick! I'm not sure why theirs alone came out thick but they were putting in one cup of yogurt per half gallon of milk, so I wondered if maybe that was it. Anyway, I heated it to 110, mixed some of it with one cup of store-bought, and whisked it all together carefully. I then used the same method as for the regular yogurt, incubating it in the crockpot with warm water.
After six hours I checked it - it was more like buttermilk than anything. Now, the West ladies had used a smallish cooler and they poured boiling water over their jars into the cooler. Theirs was thick in six hours. I turned on the crockpot again, but it was taking too long to heat up - so I boiled some water and poured that in and decided to leave it all night.
It was much thicker in the morning! I really wanted to boil more water and leave it all day while I was at work, but I wasn't sure if I should do that. But I think next time I will. I'm not going to splurge on this stuff regularly, but I mainly wanted to learn.
You know, some people insisted that all you have to do for raw milk yogurt is stir some yogurt into it and leave it out on the counter for forty eight hours. I'm really tempted to try that, too.
The taste? If you've ever tried Fage, that's what this reminds me of. Fage is more like a luxurious pudding, and not tart at all. So, it's okay taste-wise, but I'm in this more for the experience. And the bacteria.