Making Yogurt and Culturing Dairy
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How To Make Yogurt

Equipment:
Clean, baked enamel or glass (Pyrex) pot
Large container for keeping the batch warm. A picnic cooler or a large pot wrapped in towels will work.
Glass jars with lids

Ingredients:
Whole milk
Starter, either fresh (unflavored) yogurt or you can use a package of dried yogurt culture

Directions:
Pour 1 quart of milk into pan, cover with lid and slowly heat the liquid until a skin with small bubbles underneath forms on the top. This should take about 20 minutes. Cool it down to a little warmer than body temperature. When it is luke warm, add 1/4 cup of yogurt starter and stir in. Pour the warm liquid into glass jars and screw on lids. Put them into your insulated container to stay warm and then add some boiling hot water to the cooler until the levels of the hot water and the milk inside in the jars are equal. Cover with lots of towels, newspapers or blankets. Let sit undisturbed overnight.

  Crock Pot Method For Making Yogurt  

Put 8 cups whole, non-ultra-pasteurized milk in a slow cooker.
Turn on low for 2 1/2 hours.
Turn off the slow cooker and let it sit for 3 hours.
Take out a cup of the warm milk, mix it with 1/4 cup of whole milk organic yogurt and stir until blended
pour this back into the slow cooker and stir it in.
Wrap the cooker (still OFF) with heavy towels and/or kitchen quilts.
Let sit overnight. Store in refrigerator after it is done.

To thicken yogurt, add more cream to the milk. If it is still too thin after it is made with more cream, filter it through a cotton jelly bag or cloth filter

 Other Forms of Cultured Dairy 

Yogurt is sometimes difficult to culture. You have to heat it up and then let it cool off. If you don't get it exactly right it is easy for it to become "contaminated". Fortunately, this "contaminated" yogurt is just as healthy, if not more so, than perfect yogurt, since it will have  a wider arrary of the culturing bacteria in it. If yogurt is too complicated for  you, or if you just want a healthy cultured dairy product taking as little time as possible to make, there are many other forms of cultured dairy products that you can make that don't require as much time and attention as yogurt.

   Cold Milk Culture  

http://windintheroses.googlepages.com/kefir_whey_separating.jpgYou can make a culturing agent that you can add to cold milk straight out of the fridge without heating. If you have a yogurt that didn't turn into yogurt, perhaps having small air bubbles in it and a sour but pleasant taste, you can use this. Just add it to cold whole milk straight from the fridge, cover it and let it sit at room temperature until it thickens. Eat this cultured dairy as is, or add a little lemon juice and sea or soy sauce for flavor. For a thicker product, let it continue to culture until the whey begins to separate from the curds and then strain it through a cotton jelly bag or cheesecloth filter. 

You can also extract the culture from other forms of cheeses or cultured dairy (milk or cream) products.
If you buy sour cream from the supermarket, read the label carefully. A commercial sour cream that says its ingredients are "cultured pasteurized cream" is OK, but a sour cream that says "pasteurized cultured cream" is not. It needs to have live enzymes or cultures in it. If the label says "live enzymes" it is OK.

Other sources of a cold milk culture are:
real cheese (not pasteurized, processed); grate a spoonful of cheese, soak it in water for a day to extract the culture and add it to your milk.
piece of a mother of vinegar or kombucha matrix
spoonful of sourdough bread tea
store-bought probiotics
kefir or kefir whey
Yogurt. In time, the culture will become "contaminated" with wild yeasts and bacteria. It won't taste like yogurt anymore, but it will be a healthy cultured product.
rennet
• creme fraiche
• fromage frais
• raw milk or cream
• commercial kefir making packets

Any of these cultures that you have available can be added to cold milk and it will make your cold milk probiotic. Save a little of the cultured dairy from each batch to use for the next batch.

 Separating Cream From Milk 

Pour milk into wide-mouthed glass jar, set in refrigerator and let sit undisturbed for 1-2 days, then siphon cream off the top with a turkey baster or soup ladle.

  Clabbered Raw Milk or Cream 

Find out if raw milk is legal in your state (in the U.S.) and where to get it by going to realmilk.com

Raw milk or cream can be clabbered by just leaving it out on the counter without adding any other culturing agent to it and eventually it will clabber.

If you cannot get raw milk, you can "re-raw" pasteurized whole milk by culturing it with a cold culture as described above.

   Kefir   
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To make kefir, you will first have to obtain some kefir grains, either from a friend who has extra or from a commercial source.

 

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Put kefir grains in clean glass jar.



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Cover the kefir grains with milk or cream, usually about a pint of milk or cream to a spoonful of kefir grains is used.



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Cover the jar and set out on counter top or out of the way at room temperature.


   


When milk and whey begin to separate in the jar, the kefir is ready to eat.

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This kefir is overdone but it is still be edible.To drink it as a beverage, just stir it back up. It may taste a little too sour, but it is still good.
   

To make kefir thicker

Kefir is a thin, drinkable milk product. If you want to make it thicker, let it sit out an additional 24 hours after you strain the grains out. You should then have a layer of whey at the bottom of the jar below the kefir. Siphon this off with a length of plastic tubing such as an aquarium airline tubing.


  Raw Milk -- the best way to eat fresh grass

Raw milk can be left on the shelf at room temperature and will clabber, forming a yogurt-like creamy consistency. This clabber can be added to pasteurized milk, also cold or at room temperature, and it, too, will clabber, restoring the micro-organisms that were destroyed by pasteurizing. You could do the same with ultra-pasteurized milk, but the extremely high temperatures in the UHT milk alters the proteins in it and make them unhealthy, so I do not recommend using UHT milk for anything. But if you did, it would be better after you added the raw milk clabber and let it culture, though still not better enough to be worth eating it. Clabbered raw milk is an excellent food.


Raw milk clabber can also be added to heavy cream (double cream) to culture the cream to use in making ice cream (see ice cream). Raw milk is not always the easiest thing to come by in the US. In Connecticut, for example, it is legal to sell it in health food stores, but you have to know where to buy it. In Florida, it is illegal to sell it for human consumption at all, but it is often sold as a "cosmetic", although this may change as public opinion is beginning to shift back to nourishing food.

See realmilk.org to find out where to get raw milk in your area.
Finding non-ultra pasteurized cream in Connecticut

  How To Make Butter 

To remove cream from raw milk, let it sit refrigerated in a glass jar for awhile until a noticeable cream line forms, and then pull it up with a turkey baster if you don't have a dedicated cream-separator with a spigot.

Use very cold heavy cream (not whipping cream). Use either raw cream or store-bought heavy cream which you have cultured.

Put it into a ceramic or glass mixing bowl that has been frozen.
Put a dish/tea clean cotton towel over both the bowl and mixer to prevent splattering.
Turn mixer on low and then slowly turn it up to high.
Continue to beat on high until it has turned to butter, usually about 10 minutes.
Strain out the liquid buttermilk and save for baking.
Store butter in refrigerator.

Blender and ice method for making butter
Put cream into blender, cover. Put on low and blend until thickened around the blades. Keep motor running and pour ice water through opening in top. Put on medium high and blend 1 to 2 minutes longer until butter forms. Turn into a strainer to drain. Pack butter into mold or squares and chill.
Book Suggestions

The Untold Story of Milk  by Ron Shmid. This book has the complete story of milk production and sales in the US, along with the reasons why it is better to drink it raw.
Keeping A Family Cow   by Joann S. Grohman
Goats Produce Too! The Udder Real Thing Volume II Cheese Making & more by Mary Jane Toth. It includes pasteurization in its recipes, but you don't have to pasteurize, except for the mozzarella and yogurt. Mozzarella has to be heated to 100F make it stretchy. All the others can be made with raw milk and skip the pasteurization.


My e-Books
   

  



Site-Related Products Available For Sale Online
Kefir Grains
Rennet
Jelly Bag

Yogurt Cheese Strainer
Slow Cooker

Butter Bell


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