"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


step 1: heat milk to 150 degrees to pasteurize

That's goat yogurt, y'all, and a silly play on "go-gurt" a fake food product that purports to be actual yogurt in a tube and a fun way to get kids to eat yogurt, but which is actually, if you read the label, a mere concoction of sugar, thickeners, artificial flavorings, and some sort of milk-like product. My kids clamor for it, even though I haven't the faintest idea how they have even become aware of it's existence. Probably through other kid's lunches at school.

My "goat-gurt," on the other hand, is nothing but goat's milk and active cultures. I have been milking Flopsy, since she has only one baby left, and I have also been putting the other mama goats up on the stand and giving them their grain, and milking out just a few squirts each - just to get them used to the idea. All in all, I've harvested about a quart of milk a day for the last three days. That would be enough to make a nice batch of cheese - except that I don't have cheese-making supplies. I neglected to order new cultures and rennet before kidding season this year, so I can't make any cheese until I get some more.

My family, I regret to report, is rather squeamish and doesn't enjoy drinking goat milk straight. It tastes perfectly fine - in fact, I doubt anyone who wasn't forewarned would be able to distinguish it from whole cow's milk. It's a little richer and creamier, but there's virtually no "goaty" flavor. I think our reluctance is related to hygiene concerns: no matter how careful I am, there are always I few hairs and flecks in the milk when I bring it in. I strain the milk through a coffee filter, but I saw the hairs and flecks in it and it's hard to forget.

So what to do with the milk? If we aren't going to drink it, and I can't make cheese just yet, then what? I decided to make yogurt. Goat milk yogurt is hard to find, and if you can find it (Trader Joe's) it costs about $5/quart. We use a fair amount of yogurt ourselves, but I also know of at least two people who are interested in buying goat yogurt. I wouldn't charge them $5 a quart - but how about $3?

Whether we end up using it ourselves or selling it or trading it, here's my method for making goat's milk yogurt. Step one is above: pasteurize the milk (after straining) by heating to 150 degrees.
Put a tablespoon commercial yogurt (I like mountain high because it has the highest concentration active cultures) into a quart sized mason jar - or two.

Cool heated milk to between 100 and 120 degrees. I pour the milk into a container which is nestled into a bowl full of ice to cool it as fast as possible.

Add warm milk to jars with culture and stir vigorously for ten or fifteen seconds. Place lids on jars and place in the oven with pilot light lit. Let sit for twelve hours or more, without disturbing. You will have smooth, creamy, thick delicious yogurt.


polly's path said...

I am now milking about a cup a day from our momma goat, and was just trying to figure out what I would like to do with the milk. We make crepes for breakfast almost every morning on the weekend, but during the week the milk goes unused. I think I might just make some yogurt-we use it a lot too in baking and other dishes instead of sour cream. Thanks for the inspiration!
And, don't feel bad-my child is also forever begging for go-gurt, because everyone at school packs it for lunch.

Anonymous said...

We make yogurt, chevre, mozzarella and quaso blanco with our saanen milk. But the bulk of our milk goes for drinking straightup. We have also made a fair amount of ice cream, when the milk stays in the frig long enough for the cream to rise.

Quaso blanco is a fresh farm cheese that you can make without culture or rennet. I think it is 3 table spoons each of vinegar and lemon juice to a quart of milk. Let it curdle and then hang it in cheese cloth. It will be a mild cheese that is nice in sandwiches or on a salad. Salt it to taste.

For yogurt and chevre, we use a styrofoam cooler to incubate. I put water brought to a boil into jars in the outside corners of the cooler. That leaves me space for three quarts of inoculated milk in the middle. I use a towel to buffer the temperature between the water and the milk. It stays warm for the 18 - 24 hours that we incubate. It's not a big deal if it get's set aside for a little longer if we don't get right to it when it is done.

What are the milk handling laws in your state? Here in VT, aside from raw milk we couldn't sell any processed milk product (butter, cheese, ice cream, yogurt or pasturized milk) without a dairy handlers license. And there are strict limits about how and how much raw milk we could sell. The state takes any dairy sales pretty seriously here.

Janece Moment said...

Found you via Deb... I wish I had access to goat milk - I'd be making my own yogurt in a heart beat. As it is, we pay some ridiculous $2.20 a cup at the store for it.

Enjoying your site, will be bookmarking it and checking in. :)

LilacCottageGoats said...

I just got my goats about 6 months ago. And one of them had 2 kids in Dec. Now we are getting about 2 quarts of milk aday. Just enough for drinking and making yogurt and trying a few new cheese. I love working with my own goat milk. I don't ever want to go back to not raising my own goats. Thank for sharing your way of making yogurt.

Jerry said...

Feeder piglets looove extra milk, if you run out of other ideas.

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