Daily Archives: October 22, 2008

High-tech yogurt

I am lucky enough to have access to local milk, but if you don’t, store-bought will work just fine for this recipe.

Ingredients:

One gallon of milk

1/2 cup live yogurt culture

1 cup skim milk powder (optional)

‘High-tech’ equipment needs:

Stainless steel pot (large enough to hold 1 gallon of milk)

Thermometer

4 clean quart jars for storage

Electric heating pad

2 bath towels

Directions:

Pasteurized milk ready for yogurt making.

Pasteurized milk ready for yogurt making.

Place cold milk in pot and, if using, stir in dry milk powder. Carefully heat milk to 195-200 F degrees. Do not boil! Stir gently and hold at temperature for 10 minutes.

Milk cooling in ice water bath.

Milk cooling in ice water bath.

Place the pot in cold water to cool milk rapidly. Once it is at 116 F degrees, remove pot from cold water.

Have four clean quart jars ready. Equally distribute the yogurt starter among the four jars. Gently pour about 1/2 cup of warm milk into each jar, stir well to blend the starter with the new milk. Pour remaining milk into the quart jars, leave 1/4 inch head space (the yogurt will not grow in volume).

Quart jars on towel on top of heating pad.

Quart jars on towel on top of heating pad.

Place the four jars on top of a heating pad set on low.

Prepared milk in quart jars wrapped in towel and set on low on heating pad.

Prepared milk in quart jars wrapped in towel and set on low on heating pad.

Wrap the jars well with two towels and forget about them until the morning.

The finished product!

The finished product!

In the morning, unwrap the jars from the towel and place yogurt in refridgerator. If the yogurt is not thick enough for your liking, decant the yogurt into a jelly bag or tightly woven sieve. Place it over a container that will catch the whey, and refridgerate. Let it drain for a half an hour up to several hours until desired thickness is achieved. If using the skim milk powder, you will automatically attain a thicker product.

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Filed under Fermented foods, How to..., Milk preservation techniques, Preserving the harvest

Raw milk pasteurizing

Once a week I pay $6 (the equivalent of 18 eggs or an equal amount in a variety of my fresh produce) as my ‘share’ for access to a cow from whom I get 1 gallon of milk. When I get the milk back to the kitchen, I skim the raw cream off, refrigerate it and put the milk in a pasteurizer. I keep the fresh cream for our coffee (and if you have never had fresh, raw cream in your coffee you are missing out!) and pasteurize the fresh milk so I can make it into yogurt or fresh ricotta cheese.

Here is fresh milk I am about to pasteurized by hand on the stove.
Here is fresh milk I am about to pasteurize by hand on the stove.

To pasteurize, you can either buy a home pasteurizing machine, which I have now done, or do it on the stove. To do this safely on the stove, bring the milk to 145 F degrees and hold it there at temperature for 30 minutes, then cool it quickly.  Before I bought my pasteurizer, I did it this way.

Once this process is complete, remove the pot from the stove and immediately transfer it to a sink full of cold water with ice cubes, and stir the milk until the temperature comes down significantly (when it stops dropping). Once cooled, put it in a clean container and store in the fridge as you would any milk you buy from the store.

Pasteurizer filled with milk and ready for processing.
Pasteurizer filled with milk and ready for processing.

If you use a home pasteurizer, follow the directions for use. With mine, I first pour the milk into the container that fits inside the pasteurizer, then place the container inside the pasteurizer and fill the machine with water. I then place the lid on top, plug it in, and walk away until it is done. That easy. My machine has a buzzer to let me know when it is done. NOTE: the first few times of use, you should check the temperature of the milk once the cycle is complete, just to check that the machine is calibrated correctly.

Once it has finished the pasteurization through temperature process, you then sluice the container with cold, running water until the milk is cool, much the same as the above process. Then transfer it to a clean container and store in fridge until you want to use it.

NOTE: other sources say you can bring the milk to 165 F degrees for just a few seconds and then cool it immediately for safe pasteurizing.

See the following links for further information about pasteurizing milk safely:

University of Guelf Dairy Science

Health & Beyond (see table 2)

See the following Blog to read the issues around access to raw milk in Canada:

The Bovine

Go to Hoegger Goat Supply for home pasteurizing machines:

Hoegger Goat Supply

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Filed under Food Security, Food Sovereignty, How to..., personal food sovereignty, Politics of Food, Preserving the harvest