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How To Make Raw Milk Yogurt, Whey & Cream Cheese / “Yogurt Cheese”

Yoghurt 530-0722

Growing up I didn’t even know you could make your own cream cheese, I’d only ever seen the store-bought kind. I never knew making my own raw milk yogurt and raw milk cream cheese could be so simple.nt

In case you’re wondering, I learned all this and more from Sally Fallon’s cookbook:

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

Note: This cream cheese/yogurt cheese is one that I like to use in recipes mostly, although some do use it the same way they use store-bought cream cheese. It has a little different consistency, though, so keep that in mind.

(Scroll down for a simple probiotic cream cheese frosting!)

Instructions for making raw milk yogurt:


That’s it! Now you have yogurt, but it won’t be very thick. I’ve heard it gets thicker using a yogurt maker, but then the enzymes in the raw milk are killed, and even then it’s still not that thick like store-bought. Commercial yogurt must have gelatin or some type of fake ingredients in it to give it the thicker consistency. If you know of a natural way to make raw milk yogurt more thick, please share!

UPDATE: I’ve learned that to make it thicker, just use a different kind of yogurt starter!

cream cheeseYour kids may go for this yogurt, but mine don’t (I buy whole milk yogurt for their lunches or snacks), so I use mine to soak grains, for my superfood smoothies, OR to make…

Yogurt Cheese/Cream cheese and whey:

  • Tie a cheese cloth with the corners so it can hang on a cabinet knob. (You can buy cheesecloth cheap at Meijer or wherever.) Or hang from a chandelier as pictured below, it’s super classy looking for when company pops in. LOL!
  • Place a bowl under the cheese cloth to catch the whey.
  • Pour the yogurt into the middle of the cheese cloth and it will start dripping whey.
  • When it is done dripping (12-24 hours, depends on how dry you want it), I usually try to squeeze a few more drops out.
  • By the way, this is actually a picture of when I made a different kind of cheese, but I wanted you to get the idea of how to tie it up.

What you have left inside the cheesecloth is yogurt cheese, just like cream cheese! Scoop this into a bowl and it will keep for 1 month in the frig. You can add herbs to give it different wonderful flavors.

What you have in the bowl is whey – some drink it plain because it is so good for us, but I use it in recipes found in the below cookbook, in my fermented veggies, in homemade bread, or in Real Food protein shakes.

By the way, you can make yogurt and cream cheese from pasteurized milk (only whole milk!), but obviously it won’t have as many nutrients – still much better for you than store-bought, though!

Simple probiotic cream cheese frosting (recipe from a reader and guest-poster, Barb):

  • 8 ounces cream cheese – room temp.
  • 1-2 Tablespoons raw honey
  • Mix the desired amount of honey into the cream cheese, whip to fluff a bit.

Now, I’m sure there are MANY of you out there who know much more about all this and have done it for years, so feel free to correct me or give us more details if you can provide them!


  1. It’s so funny you would ask if there was any other way to get thick yogurt! I’ve been making crock pot yogurt for a few weeks now. I like it. It’s tasty…but, it’s runny. So, I’ve just been using it like keiffer.

    You’re going to be as excited as I was, when I ran across this link today.

    I found out that different live cultures will produce different textures of yogurt. Cultures for Health is a company that sells these different cultures. I have my eye on the Viili culture that originated in Finland.

    All you do is stir in your “starter yogurt” and let it sit on the counter overnight. EASY! They say it results in a much thicker product. I’m going to order some as soon as I can. I’ll be glad to let you know how it turns out!

    They also sell kombucha tea cultures, sourdough starter and much more.
    Here’s the link to the different yogurt cultures, enjoy!

    • I use dry milk powder in my yogurt and it thickens it up. Just add a couple of tablespoons. But I heat my yogurt – don’t know if that makes a difference.

        • Whole milk powder does have oxidized cholesterol, which is quite scary for a number of reasons. Non-fat milk powder, although not a whole food, contains very little cholesterol because a lot of it is removed when the fat is. I’m not sure what kind Kelly uses, though.

            • When comparing non-fat milk powder to whole milk powder (each being 100 grams), non-fat milk powder only has 2 mg of cholesterol, which isn’t bad when it is being divided out among many different servings (although I still don’t advocate for using it).

              Whole milk powder, on the other hand, has around 94 mg per 100 grams, making it more dangerous because the cholesterol (in all milk powders) is oxidized, and you will be receiving a heck of a lot more oxidized cholesterol.

              Check out these links and compare the two (use the drop down box to compare gram for gram):

              Non-Fat Milk Powder –

              Whole Milk Powder –

              Again, it isn’t a whole food, so I don’t recommend using it, but if in a pinch, I would rather use the non-fat version to avoid a high amount of oxidized cholesterol. It’s not like I would be drinking it and treating it like a whole food–just to use a little here or there as a thickening agent.

              • To make your yogurt thicker heat the milk to 160 to 170 degrees, then let it reduce to about half. Let cool to 100 to 104 degrees F. Add yogurt starter. Put in jar in oven wrapped in a towel with the oven light on for 7-10 hours. Reducing it by half makes the yogurt thicker (I found this out by accident one day when I forgot about the milk on the stove).

      • Hi Kelly,

        I’ve been making yogurt for a couple of years, and my boys always say that it looks like it came from the store. It took a bunch of not so great batches before I had something that everyone enjoyed. Here’s the method I use: I cannot (yet) buy raw milk in NJ, so I use pastured whole milk.

        I heat one-half gallon of milk to 160 degrees; I then remove from the heat, and pour it into a half-gallon pitcher and cool to 100 degrees. I add a scant (more or less) 1/2 cup of yogurt from the last batch and place the pitcher into a cooler for 36 hours.

        Perfect yogurt every time. If you like Greek style, drain off the whey (to use for fermenting).

        Best of Luck,

        Mary Lee

        • Hi Mary Lee,

          We are trying our best to make our Certified Organic Raw Grass-fed Jersey Milk more available to everyone in NJ. We have delivery locations all along the NJ/PA border. Even so, everyone is still banging down the doors for raw milk.

          See all delivery locations:

          Besides the raw milk, we have grass-fed beef, pastured chicken and eggs, woodland pork, kefir and much more. See the food list:

          Good luck! All the best of food and blessings,


          ~5th generation on the farm

            • Hi there, Soccy. Yes, I think I remember meeting you at the Plymouth Meeting drop point. Very interesting.

              You know, it takes both of us to make the sustainable food system work. Us as the sustainable organic farmers and you as a consumer who is making conscious buying decisions as to which food system you want to support.

              So, thank you. You are, without a doubt, the most important player in this game. Never underestimate the tremendous power of your food choices. There is strength in grocery shopping! Working together, we can improve our environment, health, quality of life, the quality of our animal’s lives, and the social fabric of our communities… one bite at a time.

  2. Hello Kelly,
    I have had tremendous success with homemade yogurt congealment! My secret is to add much less yogurt than 1/cup per quart of milk. I have been informed that it crowds the culture. 1 tablespoon of whole yogurt will make very a very thick batch! Believe me, I know less works better from personal experience. However, I do gently heat the milk over the stove first, since the cultures thrive in above body temperature heat. I’ll have to experiment to find out if eliminating that heating over the stove step will give me thin yogurt. I’ll be looking for other comments on the subject!


  3. You guys are great!!! Both of these makes sense.

    Laryssa, YES, please let us know how you like that different starter culture!

    Alisse, can’t wait to hear if this works without heating!

  4. Ok, I’m confused. I had thought that if you strained yogurt, you would get Greek yogurt? I suppose they are similar?

  5. Just and FYI, Villi may be similar to yogurt but it is a completely different culture (like Kefir is different too). Also, be warned and do a bit of research as what I have read say Villi will tend to take over other culture in your house and make them stringy and slimy.

    Also, if you stain yogurt I thought it was yogurt cheese and that cream cheese is from just plain curds and whey that is strained???

    • Curds and whey is cottage cheese, at least where I’m from. Where you are, what we call cream cheese might be yogurt cheese to you.

  6. I just order some filmjolk starter which is supposed to make a thick, raw milk yogurt on the countertop. I’ll let you know if it works out.

  7. All of the reading and recipes I have seen say that cream cheese, is the product of strained whole cow milk yogurt. Once you strain this yogurt you have a very firm cheese. It is great to add herbs, like Kelly said or to add homemade jams.
    Wouldn’t greek yogurt be made from sheep or goat milk??
    Kelly, I just made yogurt for the first time last week and was so disappointed in the consistency. Thanks for letting me know that it was normal and not a flop.

  8. I make my own yogurt with a Yogourmet electric maker with whole, raw milk. But to make it thicker and more like commercial yogurt, I take 1/2 my batch, drip it, then mix it back into the runny part. This is a little more work but it does end up like commercial yogurt.

  9. I’m definitely going to try the 1 T instead of the 1/2 c. In fact – I’m going to do some up today! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    Re: the terms of cheese types, I think that there are many “names” for similar cheeses. When you make your own cheese, you find that the consistancy is nearly the same. Yogurt Cheese, Cream Cheese, “Queso Fresco”, “Fromage Blanc”, (“Fresh Cheese” in spanish and french”, which are also the same thing as “Ricotta Cheese”). These cheese are all “soft cheeses” vs. “hard cheese” (aged). The soft cheeses all have nearly the same flavor and texture – what varies is whether they were made from fresh milk, or cultured milk (yogurt) – and the texture differences are due to variences in hanging time. So – it’s a “you say tomato, I say .



  10. Okay – my italic didn’t work out…. the last sentence should have read:

    “It’s a ‘you say tomato, I say to-mah-to’ kind of thing.”


  11. I have read that using milk warm from the cow (it is at the correct yogurt temp) and inoculating with your yogurt culture is the way to get thick raw milk yogurt. I know, this doesn’t help if you don’t have a cow right there next to your kitchen.

    I saw an article a few months back the showed traditional peoples in Eastern Europe making yogurt and they did scald the milk first. No, I don’t know where the article is now. Sorry!! If I find it, I will post. But scalding the milk to 180 degrees does make a thicker yogurt.

    L is correct. If you strain this yogurt for a little while, you get Greek-style yogurt. Strain until it is completely whey-free and you have yogurt cheese. A true cream cheese is made with cream only. But they’re all good.

    And only use 2 tablespoons of starter per quart! Whatever works for you!

  12. I have become quite fond of Sonyfield’s whole milk yogurt lately. When the rest of the family is having a bowl of ice cream, I’ll have a bowl of that. So much better tasting than the slimy low and non-fat kinds!

    I used to make my own yogurt, but stopped when we discovered our youngest’s milk allergies. Then, when I was learning about enzymes, I didn’t want to “waste” our raw milk on yogurt because I thought it all had to be heated. Very interested to know how countertop culturing comes out!

    Local Nourishment

    • Stoneyfield Farms whole-milk yogurts have added skim milk powder, which contains oxidized cholesterol that is extremely bad for you. I have yet to find a store-brand whole-milk yogurt that is truly healthy.

      • Are you sure? I recently contacted them asking them this, b/c my mom likes Oikos and I was concerned, and they said that Oikos has no skim milk powder. I don’t think their whole-milk yogurts would then too.

        I buy Fage Total – not organic, but no RBST and NO additives. Greek Gods traditional full-fat plain yogurt also has no added milk powder or additives. I also get goat yogurt by Redwood Farms – the plain kind – and it’s WHOLE milk with nothing else. :)

        • I just looked at the back of a container of Stoneyfield Farms whole-milk yogurt 3 days ago, thinking about buying some for my son who has just recently outgrown a sensitivity to milk protein. It listed skim milk powder clearly on the label.

          • You definitely have to read the labels! I was shocked when I discovered that organic brands like Nancy’s added milk powder to their yogurt. I love Greek Gods–if it wasn’t pasteurized, I’d never bother trying to make my own yogurt.

  13. This is interesting. Before I got married and moved away from home, I often made skim milk yogurt (cholesterol paranoia–if I were doing it today I would use whole). I always used a cultured yogurt like Dannon for my first starter, and from then just took starter from the yogurt I made. It was always nice and thick. I used raw cow’s milk, but did heat it to 180.

    Recently I tried making yogurt from goat’s milk I buy from a local farmer. It is runny and kind of stringy. I’m doing it the same way I always did the cow’s milk yogurt, but for some reason it is not turning out the same, even after 24 hours. I don’t know if I am doing something “wrong” or if goat’s milk just behaves differently and I will have to settle for a different consistency. My kids eat it, but I think it’s kind of nasty. :)


    • I make raw goat milk yogurt as it is preferred by my family. I innoculate a half gallon on raw, room temperature goat milk with 1 cup of goat milk yogurt, blend with a wisk and dispense into quart size ball jars. Lid the jars and place in a warm water bath (between 105 and 120 degrees) and leave overnight, 12 hours. I use an old crock pot set on the lowest setting. Test yours to make sure the water doesn’t get warmer than 110. The yogurt is thick and somewhat “slimy” but very, very mild and wonderful plain, sweetened or with our homemade raw granola.

  14. I’ve made cream cheese before, from heated whole milk (not raw) and the recipe called for tartaric acid (which I understand to be cream of tartar). This did taste like store-bought cream cheese. To me, strained yogurt tastes nothing like cream cheese, at least cream cheese as I know it. The texture is even different. Yogurt cheese IS delicious though. It’s like the Greek yogurt I do want to try the unheated raw milk yogurt; it seems like a lot less work than the old way. Maybe you could just strain it a little to get the nice thick texture we’re used to.


  15. My dh and I prefer the Greek style yogurt. So I make yogurt in the crockpot, then I strain it overnight. What’s left is thick. I mix in a 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream till it’s smooth. This is a nice consistency.

    Lately though, I’ve been just using the yogurt cheese in smoothies, etc. It’s got a great creamy taste.


  16. To make thicker yogurt you just need to let it culture longer. I usually heat the milk up first, but not past the point of killing any enzymes, and put it in a cooler with a heating pad underneath it. I use a 1/4 cup yogurt per quart from seven stars farm yogurt, but I agree with the less culture the better (2TBlsp)–read Wild Fermentation, he says the same thing. I find the seven stars to have a better culture than stoneyfield.

    I’ve done the same with raw goat’s milk, and a 1/4 cup goat milk yogurt from the store and have got the thickest creamiest goat yogurt.

    • Doesn’t culturing it longer make it more tart, though? I’ve also read that if you do it too long it can curdle. That happened to me my first try because I was trying to get it thick.

      • when I have made yogurt from raw milk, I do heat it. when it is culturing, I have it in the oven wrapped in a kitchen towel right next to the oven light. The light is on, the oven is off. I have tasted it periodically while this is happening, and I find it does get more tart as it sets longer. After about five hours, it was not tart at all. Overnight, it started getting a tart flavor. I have never left it more than 24 hours. You do want some tartness otherwise it is kind of bland and will not resemble store yogurt at all. But it is nice that you can let it only get as tart as you want it to.

  17. I’m always amazed when a post I expect to have very few comments gets cooking after all. Good thing you’ve all answered each other’s questions, because I didn’t have a clue on most of what was asked, and this is all very interesting to me, too. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, everyone, and keep it coming! :)

  18. Do you have a recipe for that crock pot yogurt? I like to strain my yogurt, like the Greeks do. Fage was my favorite yogurt before, but it is not organic or raw.


  19. Hi Helen,

    No recipe, I do the same as explained above, but keep it inside a crock pot with warm water around it…

  20. I just wanted to add that I have been making yogurt in my crock pot for a long time. It is sooooooooo easy. When it is finished, I strain it into a colander that holds a large coffee filter. It always comes out thicker and creamy. I usually strain mine about 12 hours.

  21. I can’t give away the secrets yet, but my Monday post will be on making homemade yogurt — the no dishes, no fuss style. Our family of 3 eats almost a gallon a week! One comment I’ll give for now — I wouldn’t recommend shaking as a way to mix the culture in. They’re alive, you know, and you don’t want to beat the little buggers to death. :) Check Real Food Wednesday for nutritional information/health benefits of yogurt, my link.

    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship

  22. Hmmmm, good point, Katie……..geesh, I was doing a bunch of stuff wrong! Using too much starter and shaking it are probably the biggies. Can’t wait to try it again soon.

  23. I have fil milk yogurt culture and it is runny – not thick at all. HOWEVER my piima culture is thick. I make all my yogurt from raw milk and don’t use an insulator of any kind, just on the counter in a re-used quart yogurt container.

    You can make yogurt thicker by adding pectin when you add your innoculant, that is what the commercial guys do (or cargeenan).

    If you culture your yogurt too long it will separate and become even runnier. You need to catch it before this happens to keep it as thick as possible.

    Ricotta cheese is not the same thing as soft cheese – it is made with the spent whey leftover from making a hard cheese using thermophilic acid. Most soft cheeses are made with a mesophilic acid. I made ricotta a few weeks ago from the whey left from my mozzarella. It was amazingly delicate, creamy and yummy. We put it on a pizza mixed with gorgonzola, carmelized onions & pears. is my yogurt post. FYI I made cream cheese using Sally Fallon’s whey recipe but it was nasty. I threw it out but I love the whey so I’m making more right now since I’ve gone through almost all of it in about 6 weeks.

    Awhile back I made this lemon cheese – very easy, makes overnight and very much like cream cheese but from whole milk. My five year old did most of the work. Here is how we strung up our cheesecloth:, in my whey post.

    Happy yogurting! Or wheying, or cheesing…

    Sustainable Eats

  24. Helen,

    I take 8 cups of milk and put that in the crock pot set on low for 2.5 hours. At the 2.5 hour mark, I turn off (unplug) the crock pot and let it sit undisturbed for 3 hours. At the 3 hour mark, I mix in a half a cup of yogurt from my last batch (or use a 1/2 cup from store bought). I then wrap a bath towel around my closed up crockpot and let that sit for 8 hours. At the 8 hour mark (or 7.5 or 9.5, it’s versatile) I dump it into my pasta strainer covered with a thin thin bar towel. This sits out draining overnight. In the morning, I scrape the yogurt cheese into a bowl and add 1/2-3/4 cup of whole cream…depending on how runny/thick you want it. There you go, Greek style yogurt that is remarkably like Fage.



  25. Thanks so much. I have my crockpot on low and yogurt is in the making. I don’t have the heavy cream in the house, but will pick it up when we go into town tomorrow so I can do that for the next batch.


  26. I have made crockpot yogurt according to the directions above for a long time. If I do the stovetop heating method instead, with the 1 Tbsp of starter, what is the whole process? Kelly, can you get alisse to tell us? :) Thanks.

  27. Stephanie, I’ll try to remember to link here Monday when I post my homemade yogurt – heated on the stovetop, incubated in a cooler, but NO dishes to do, which is the best part. :) I’m a detail gal, so the instructions will be easy to follow, I promise.

    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship

  28. Okay, I made my raw milk yogurt. It came out pretty runny, so I was afraid to strain it. lol I did use the crockpot, followed those instructions exactly. What I did do differently, was instead of wrapping up the container in towels, I put it in my Excalubar dehydrater that has a yogurt setting. It stayed there overnight.

    It came out more like buttermilk. It tasted great, I love buttermilk!

    I did not add the heavy cream, I did not have it. Do you think that by adding the heavy cream it will come out thicker???


  29. I love how you guys are coming together to figure all this out! (Since I’m no help!) I’m making yogurt tonight and have to go over all this again first…

    Helen, it sounds like adding in the whipping cream is something Mother Hen did AFTER straining the whey out, she stirred in the cream with the cheese to make a better consistency.

    This is something I should’ve mentioned in the post, and it’s happened to me before: If you culture your yogurt too long it will separate and become even runnier. You need to catch it before this happens to keep it as thick as possible. Thanks, Annette!

    Katie, looking forward to it.

  30. Just wanted to let you guys know that I had made crockpot yogurt last week. I was disappointed in the consistency. After reading this post, I put my yogurt into glass jars and put the jars into the crockpot with a couple inches of water. I did a water bath on low for about 3 hours. At this point the yogurt was about body temperature (neither hot nor cold when I stuck my finger into a jar). I turned off my crockpot. Covered it with a thick bath towel to keep in the heat. And let it sit on the counter for 4 hours. After 4 hours it was much thicker, almost as thick as the Stoneyfield that I buy.
    Thanks for the all the info!

  31. I made fil mjolk for a while, and it’s pretty tasty — somewhat different from yogurt, so it takes a while to adjust to the different flavor, but it’s mild and pleasing. I got interested in making fil mjolk because I was too lazy to warm milk to a precise temperature for yogurt, and my cold raw milk yogurt attempts had bad results (very, very runny). I read that fil mjolk ferments at room temperature, so it seemed like a good culture for a lazy person like me!

    It took me a while to perfect my technique, however. First of all, my house seemed a little too cold — you do have to find a relatively cozy spot, though not as warm as what yogurt needs. I ended up putting it in my oven, but I can’t remember whether I left the oven light on and whether I left the oven door cracked open. It took about 24 hours to ferment. The second challenge was that I would make a quart at a time, and the first serving was always lovely and thick, but then the rest would start falling apart in the bowl, and I was left with curdy soup. I solved this problem by making individual one-cup servings in little pyrex bowls. Each one was thick and delicious!

    I enjoyed the fil mjolk but after a while I got lazy and let the culture die. If you want to make fil mjolk with raw milk you have to preserve a pure seed culture by culturing the fil mjolk in boiled milk once a week; then you use this to culture your raw milk. After a while it was too much of a hassle for me. But it was fun and tasty, so some of you might enjoy making fil mjolk!

  32. An update…
    Omitting the heating step (and using one tablespoon of starter yogurt) turned out yogurt that is quite thick (in my opinion, anyway). I did place the jar in the oven with the light on, but that was all.

  33. I have a question about making cream cheese and whey from raw milk . . . I read 1-4 days is typical for the two to separate but it seemed to take a little longer for me how long can raw milk sit in a glass container on the counter before it is not advised to eat?

    Thank you.

  34. Hi Stephanie,

    Kelly may come back with some expert answer if I know her but mine has taken up to 4 days before and was totally fine to eat. Just think about how long cheese ages – sometimes for several years and the initial aging and curing can take up to a week at room temperature before the cheese goes into somewhat cooler storage but still well above fridge temps. You could NOT do this with pasteurized milk because all the good bugs, along with any nutrients would be killed in the pasteurization process.

    Sustainable Eats

  35. I don’t have my copy of Nourishing Traditions here with me, maybe someone could look up how long it can sit out, but I think the only thing that would happen is that it would get more sour with time.

  36. I just started making yogurt and follow the scd 24 hour yogurt protocol to minimise the lactose. Using raw milk, heated to 43 degrees celcius and adding a tiny bit of culture powder, then fermented in a yogurt maker at around 43 degrees for 24 hours. It came out as thick as greek yogurt. Absolutely delicious and so good for you. I don’t know if the heating to 43 degrees kills the enzymes in the raw milk, but I get plenty of enzymes from raw milk kefir anyway. For those wanting a thick like commercial yogurt, it’s definitely worth a try. There is heaps of scd info on google, including the best types of starters. Happy yogurting!

  37. Question re: goat yogurt…I bought a goat, but my friend who owns a farm w/ other milk goats is keeping her and milking her for me, does anyone know the going rate for raw goat milk/yogurt…although the goat belongs to me, she is doing ALL the work, so I’m paying her for the yogurt…yes, I realize that you can’t purchase raw milk products but the goat is legally mine…I’m paying her for her work.

    Also, since goat milk does not seperate like cow’s milk, when it comes to making butter (her goats produce high cream/fat milk), do we need a machine to seperate the cream or is there another method to do this?

    Thanks for any tips/answers to my questions! This site has been such a wonderful blessing during this new GOAT phase of life :o)

  38. HI Rachelle,

    In Seattle I pay $7 per 1/2 gallon for raw goats milk. Everything costs way more here though. Organic butter is $6.29 per pound! Enjoy your doe!

    Sustainable Eats

  39. I have made kefir successfully with raw cow’s milk and raw goat’s milk, interchangably. I’m still using those grains (or successors of them anyway) for the same thing. They don’t seem to care which kind of milk I throw them in!

  40. Kelly,
    I’m asking you the same thing I asked Cheeseslave to see if you can give some perspective…I’m overwhelmed! Here’s what I asked:

    Okay. I’m getting quite overwhelmed with this milk thing. I just ordered my first meat from U.S. Wellness Meats, and of course, it was a little more expensive than “regular” meat. Now, I’m about to case out some raw milk. I’m going to try Amos Miller’s farm, who a friend here in Mississippi orders from. And obviously, it’s more expensive than yucky regular milk. Which is great with me…it’s worth it. But on my income of nothing as a SAHM, and my hubby’s income supporting everything else, I’m so afraid I won’t be able to get everything I need!! So I’m going to need to make whey, yogurt, sour cream, cream, kefir, and buttermilk from the milk that I order. How much milk will I need for all that every month, plus whatever we might put in our oatmeal or drink occasionally? I’m not sure how to calculate how much I’ll need to buy to have enough to make the soaked grains, mayonnaise, etc. HELP MEEEEEE!!!


  41. Hi Jennifer,

    It totally depends on how much of everything your family consumes. To give you an idea (and then you could change it after the first week maybe) I buy 7 1/2 gallons of milk each week, more if I’m making cheese. We make buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, lattes and the kids drink milk but we typically don’t. Likewise, the kids don’t eat yogurt or kefir but we do it rounds out. If I make cheese, which is about once or twice a month, I buy an extra 2 gallons for that week and once a month I buy 1/2 gallon of goat’s milk for chevre for salads or quiches, etc. Hope that helps!

    Sustainable Eats

  42. Jennifer,

    Youza, Sus. Eats buys LOTS more than we do! But I don’t regularly make all that stuff, either. We mostly just drink it, then once or twice a month or so I’ll use some to make buttermilk, yogurt/cheese, or whatever. But we only get 2 gallons a week – a big difference, I know. Our picky teen won’t drink any, and I don’t drink as much as I should, so it’s mostly 4 of us who drink that two gallons. My kids drink a lot of water, too. I was buying non-homogenized milk for my day care kids, so I’d use that if we ran out, but now that I don’t have day care kids anymore, I may end up running out of our raw milk more and need to buy another share or half-share.

    My advice to you, though, is this: start small and work up as needed until you find the right amount for your family. For us here in Michigan, you have to pay up front to buy a milk share, so it would be much less hassle to *add* to that as we see we might need more rather than scale back.

    Hope that helps a little!

    Kelly the Kitchen Kop

  43. Here is the URL for a great article by Mother Linda from the WAPF website about making raw milk yogurt, including a discussion of the benefits and downsides of heating to 180 degrees, as well as which methods produce a thinner/thicker final product (sorry I don’t know how to make it a hyperlink, so you’ll have to copy and paste):

  44. Ironically, my mom used to have us make cream cheese because they we could use nonfat yogurt and make fat free cream cheese, which of course they sell now. She used to make her own yogurt whenever we went to mexico, since it had all the bacteria fighting stuff/live cultures. I balkd at paying for the raw milk at the store, but did get whole milk yogurt, fresh ricotta and switched the whole family to whole milk.


  45. I recently did the process in Nourishing Traditions to make whey and cream cheese. I followed the instructions very carefully.. but I think that my whey and cream cheese smell really funny, or unusual… What are they supposed to taste like? Mine smells a little off, but I followed all the instructions so I don’t know how I could have done it wrong, or how the products would be “unusable”… Has anyone experienced the same thing? Or can help?

  46. Meagan, are you sure the milk you started with wasn’t “off”? Also, if it hangs too long it gets fairly sour. Anyone else have ideas?

  47. Hmm, I thought of that as well, but didn’t really think it would be a factor? I used raw whole milk. In the first step when I let it sit out in a jar for 1-4 days to separate, the milk had been in the fridge opened for a few days. It wasn’t like I just came back from the farm and opened it. I know for a fact the milk was NOT sour. Maybe I will try it again when I first pop off the top right after I purchase it from a farm. I did get whey and “cream cheese” out of the process though. Even though they smell funny, do you think I should eat it? Technically it would just be the bacteria doing their think right? Maybe it was starting to ferment?

  48. Meagan,
    As long as it doesn’t smell *too* off, I’d just use it in a recipe that has a lot of other flavors going on!

  49. Several comments ago there was a discussion about making whey from raw milk. I have done this successfully, however, I have one very pointed question. As the milk is sitting on the counter (while I am waiting for the milk to separate) the cream on top begins to yellow and it is my impression that it goes bad (i.e. smells bad, tastes bad, ranscid like what you expect from any fat exposed to air.) The last time, once the milk separated, I just skimmed the bad cream off the top and proceeded to the cheesecloth/drain stage and everything went fine. I had my cream cheese, though stiff, and my whey. I also use Nourishing Traditions and Sally does not address the aspect of the process that I have described. Does anybody share my experience? Is it possible that the cream is not actually bad. Is this yellow-seemingly ranscid cream supposed to be part of the resulting cream cheese? Should I skim the cream off of the fresh milk before I sit it out to separate? I guess this is more than one question!

  50. Steph, someone a lot smarter than I am will need to jump in here, but I think that cream is just “culturing”…? Are you sure it smells “bad”, or is it just souring?


  51. Steph, this is EXACTLY what also happened to me in my above discussion. I didn’t skim off the yellowish cream from the “cream cheese” so it is mixed in with the normal looking white “cream cheese stuff.” I still have the “cream cheese” and “whey” in separate jars in my fridge and I am afraid to use them because they smell so off!

  52. I am so glad someone has had the same experience! Because I skimmed the bad cream off, my cream cheese and whey were fine. If you mixed your bad cream with the cream cheese I would probably throw it out. I would think the whey would be fine, but I might use it only for soaking grains, legumes and such rather than putting it in a shake or smoothy. This time I am going to try skimming the cream off of my raw milk before I set it out to separate. That way the cream is usable. I assume that this will not deter the rest of the process. Then after the milk separates I will go on to the cheesecloth/drain stage and hopefully all will be fine. Thanks for you validation,Meagan. If you have or anyone else has any other insights on this detail of the creamcheese/whey-making process please write! Thanks

  53. I have Sally Fallon’s book. I’ve been making raw yogurt for some time w/great success! But have a HUGE PROBLEM see below?!! It is THICK however! It must be that I don’t use too much starter? It does separate quickly after you spoon it out the first time. I was making just 1 batch w/a crock pot but its cheaper for me to buy the larger raw milk so I make 2 batches now. I used an old electric skillet and fill it w/water.

    we just started noticing this? Yesterday I didn’t think much of it but today it is OBVIOUS something is growing here? ITs just on the cream that’s on the top?? What is this??? ORANGE SPOTS?? I made 2 batches…this is the 2nd…the 1st seemed ok?? The milk was plenty fresh…more than 5 days new…I make sure of it! I used a brand new store bought yogurt batch instead of reusing also?!

    what this is growing on my raw yogurt?? I’ve been making it for many months now and only had black mold grow near the beginning on top of the cream. WHAT IS THIS ORANGE STUFF??
    Anybody know? Is it going to turn into orange cheese????

    Do you guys sterilize your containers before you make it??

    I gave up on making whey and cream cheese. IT STINKS and the cr cheese tastes AWWWWFUL! Don’t know how anyone can eat that stuff? I can’t eat goat cheese either so maybe its just us??

    Hope someone has an answer for me! thanks!

  54. Debbie, I’m with you on the cream cheese. I don’t know why anyone
    calls it cream cheese, because it isn’t true cream cheese. I have
    recipes for cream cheese, and none of them are anything like the one
    where you just drain soured milk. Yes, it’s okay for what it is, if
    you enjoy that sort of curd, but all it is, is curds and whey. Miss
    Muffet I am not! lol!


  55. Naomi and Debbie,

    If you make the “cream cheese” and whey using yogurt, it’s much more like cream cheese consistency. Raw yogurt for me ends up a little chunkier, but store whole milk homemade yogurt, hung in a cloth, yields cream cheese exactly like Philly spread but a little milder in flavor. I think it’s great, and my son loves it on sandwiches with jam or fruit. Hope that helps shed some light!

  56. How to get thicker yogurt:

    Use Sheep milk! it makes the most thickest… yummiest.. yogurt EVER!..
    and tastes 100 times better the cow..

    You can also make kefir yogurt.. its alot thicker.. but its alot tarter.. its also easier to make then regular yogurt.

    step one. get kefir grains.

    step two place kefir grains in milk

    step three let sit out for a day or 2. I normally put about 6-7 spoon fulls of kefir into about 6-7 cups of milk. and let it sit out for a day or 2. if you have less kefir grains it will take longer.. if you have more. you need to cull some of the kefir grains. either by giving it to a friend or throwing it away.. or eating them.

    step four if after a day or 2 the whey isn’t separated.. wait until the whey is separated. you can also shake the kefir after a day. I’ve noticed that sometimes helps the whey to separate faster.. but don’t shake too often cause then the whey will never separate. One shaking is all it needs (it doesn’t have to be shook though)

    step five when the whey is separated. take a colander (small-ish holes)
    place over a bowl and carefully pour the kefir in. if you do this correctly the whey will be the only thing that goes into the bowl. next get another bowl place the colander with the kefir yogurt in it over that bowl and carefully play with the contents until all of the kefir yogurt is in that bowl and the kefir grains are left in the colander.

    step six. take kefir grains and put in fresh milk.. and start all over again :-).. place your freshly made kefir yogurt in a storage container and keep in fridge. keeps quite awhile. but gets tarter as it ages..


    I have no idea whats wrong with your milk.. I’ve never had that happen before!.. how clean is the milk your getting? do they strain it?

    also. if you don’t like goat cheese. you have never tried goat cheese made correctly. with fresh goats milk.

    I used to HATE anything goat. but recently I met someone who does it correctly.

    Goats milk. TASTES like Cows milk IF it is milked correctly.. if the utter is CLEAN and your hands are CLEAN. the milk will taste wonderfully SWEET!.. and if you make the cheese with FRESH milk it will taste JUST like cow cheese. WITHOUT the phlem in the back of your throat.

    I personally don’t know why anyone would make goat cheese that tastes like a buck.. (bucks are very VERY smelly) but I think the fact that they make it and have other people taste it. is part of the reason why people don’t like goat products. which is extremely sad.

    Oh. and BTW.. NEVER buy goat milk from the store. its really yucky.. and doesn’t taste anything like true goat milk.

  57. I got the courage to try it myself today after reading this discussion…can’t wait to see how it turns out! And thank you, Kelly, for the amazing ministry you do with this site. I forget what link from what other blog brought me here, but this is where I found out about Nourishing Traditions, Weston Price, etc., and I know the changes I’m making are going to be so positive for my family’s health. Thank you!

  58. If I’m making cream cheese with pasteurized whole milk yogurt, how long do you think it should take? My past attempts, a la Ms. Fallon, have yielded cheese that looks like the Philly kind but is oh, so sour. Thanks for such an extensive conversation above!

  59. Ben,

    You said: I just started making yogurt and follow the scd 24 hour yogurt protocol to minimise the lactose.

    Do you have a reference for how much lactose is in different dairy products? How do you know that has less lactose? My dd has galactosemia and I haven’t been able to find good info regarding which dairy products have less galactose (but would be happy knowing which have less lactose to start). Fortunately she can eat dairy products, just doesn’t have enough of the enzyme to handle straight milk. I had started adding a small dash of raw whey to her almond milk but then stopped in case it was more, not less, concentrated in the whey. Anyway, if you have a link or info regarding lactose amounts I’d appreciate it!


  60. It sounds like the whole process should work! I am not sure about what happens if the temperature dips lower. I make my yogurt using your same process but incubating it in a yogurt maker which probably keeps it from 95-110 degrees or so. I’ve had good results as long as I don’t put too much/too little starter. It is definitely safe for your little girl! Raw milk is soo good for people of all ages. I would not worry, but make sure the milk is from a farmer you trust and is grassfed and organic. That’s my take… good luck!

  61. Ok so my yogurt didn’t work…I got about a one inch layer of yogurt on top of the liquidy non yogurt stuff. I used only one tablespoon of starter cause there were posts about using too much and the cultures getting crowded. (the recipe called for 3 tablespoons if I remember correctly) I’ll try again and do exactly as the recipe says this time.

  62. Oh, I am sorry! Culturing too long can make it do that too. So it is a good idea to watch it. Also DON’T throw it away! Pour it into a cheesecloth and let it drip – it separates out the liquid (whey) from the solid (yogurt) and you are left with yogurt cheese and whey! Use the whey to soak oats overnight and the yogurt cheese to spread on a bagel or piece of bread for breakfast or a snack. It’s delicious!

  63. Hey, I found a way to thicken the yougurt. After you have heated 1 qt of milk (or fresh warm milk from the cow) and let it cooled. I added 1 Tablespoon of unflavored gelatine to some warm milk (about 100 degrees or the feeling of a feverish child). I let it sit for a while to let the gelatine dissolve (there will be a few small balls don’t worry about these). Then I added my 1/2 cup of yougurt and and some more warm milk. Mix all of the milk with the yougurt and gelatine mixture. Keep at 100 deegrees for 6-10 hours depending on tartness desired.

  64. You can make your yogurt thicker by straining it in the cheesecloth for less time (say 3 hours as opposed to 24). Some of the whey will drain out, making the yogurt thicker and giving you some whey to use in other recipes, but it won’t be as thick as cream cheese. HTHs.

  65. Shaelyn, the cream cheese will be sour. I believe the tartness of it helps it to be more effective in your intestines. You can add honey or stevia or molasses or fruit or sugar or a combo of these ingredients to make it taste sweet.

  66. Okay, I’ve tried making raw milk yogurt a couple times now, using a batch of pasteurized yogurt I had previously made as the culture, and using the yogourmet yogurt maker… and each time the yogurt turns out REALLY watery and curdled and I’ve had to throw it away.

    Has this happened to anyone before? Any suggestions?

  67. Raw milk yogurt is more watery when only heated to 110F (I haven’t done it to 180, then 110 like I have pasteurized). That’s okay :), just strain it a bit in a clean disch cloth or unbleached muslin and save the whey. If it’s curdled then maybe the milk wasn’t fresh? Or maybe left too long?
    Hope some of that helps! I had trouble with raw milk the first few times and even ended up making cheese by accident, lol. Then I started making it the first day that I opened the new jug instead of near the end and apparently being fresher made a difference.

  68. Thanks Beth. And do you use a commercial freeze dried starter or yogurt as a starter? I’m thinking if I use a freeze dried starter, it may solve my problem.

  69. Rebecca,

    I use yogurt as a starter.


    I drink it straight. Raw whey has a precursor to a precursor to glutathione. Much better than the supplement and great for the immune system (especially a sorry one like mine!).


  70. Hey Kelly, I am linking to your whey recipe because I love your ingenuity! LOL Here is a recipe for healthy Rugelach cookies that I made using Chanelles Healthy Crescent Roll Hotdog dough, from the Simply Real Food website, but I needed an explanation of whey, so I linked here as well.

    if you like rugelach, these came out pretty great! :) Happy tuesday! Alex

  71. Just to clarify . . . to make cream cheese, do you drip the yogurt before or after refrigerating it?


  72. My Yogurt flop :(

    I am not very computer savvy so please bear with me. I just stumbled upon your blog trying to make my own yogurt. I am not new to “natural” eating – but learning to cook more within the Nourishing Traditions Standards. Your blog and other that you refer to have been a great source of information THANKS!!!

    Details – Raw whole milk, warmed slightly to 105 on stove, then added about 1-2 Tbs. yogurt and stirred in, then left on the stove as I was then cooking etc. Then put in oven with light on. I checked at 6 hours and I think I missed my opportunity! It was seperated to a mozarella/curd type consistency and a ton of whey. So – I guess it worked, but maybe next time I should start checking it sooner, but I was afraid to disturb it. Is it okay to open the jar and check it out once and a while after about 4 hours?


  73. Cathy,
    I have no idea why I missed your question from JUNE!! I’m sorry! You hang it before refrigerating.

    Kris, yes, it prob just went too long, you can peek at it with no problem. As soon as it “sets” (but not so long that it totally separates), then it’s ready.


  74. Hi – I’m new to the whole foods scene – but enjoying every bite! I’ve been making a yogurt recipe for about 6 months now – and its really, really good (and thick!) I made this recipe from several recipes I found on YouTube and other blogs. I’ve modified it so that it works great. Its for regular milk (not RAW). I think there is different stuff you do to raw milk.

    Tools you

  75. Hi, I’ve been making crockpot yogurt for a long time now. The secret I discovered to thick yogurt is by adding 1 c. powdered milk to the 2 quarts of milk at the beginning.

  76. Oh, and I always use my thermometer. If the milk is hotter than 130 degrees F, it will kill the culture. I always check to make sure the milk is between 120 and 130 degrees before adding the culture. Then I stir in my culture, and cover my crockpot with two thick towels. It sits on my counter for 8 hours. Wha–laa! Delicious thick yogurt!

  77. I have been making yogurt from raw goats milk for about six months now. The first few batches were thinner than commercial yogurt. A month ago, using the same recipe, the consistency was just like commercial yogurt. Then last week, the batch “separated” in the jars. It looks like whey on the top half of the jar. Who can tell me whether or not it is edible as ? – or what may have caused the separation?

    • BJ, that happens to mine when it gets too warm or when I leave it for too long. It’s still edible, but just not the same consistency.

  78. I made whey using nourishing traditions. Now I want to use it, but it really smells pretty bad. Is it supposed to? I used raw milk. It smells really sour and I certain ly wouldn’t want to dry it. Makes me wonder if I really want to make sauerkraut with it. Any help out there?

    • It should smell *pleasantly* sour, not bad. If it truly smells bad and not just sour, I don’t think I’d use it if I were you.

    • Tammy, it is actually not necessary to use whey in your sauerkraut. It will do just fine with just the salt and water and cabbage, just as people have made it for ages. I think the whey just speeds the process a little. I don’t use whey in mine. I don’t care for the milky appearance it gives.

  79. I am so glad I found this page! I started making yogurt again a few weeks ago. I used to make it years ago, but added powered milk to get it thick. Then I quit making it because I learned powered milk is nasty oxy-cholesterol. I started again because I can get milk that is not homogenized (looking for a local dairy to sell me raw).I was getting pretty nice product using a quart yogurt maker and adding starter only to the milk. Cutting back the starter from 1/2 cup to 2TBS gave me a nearly perfect result! Thanks to everyone who has commented here :-)

  80. Thank you for your information! I need answers! I buy a half gallon of raw Jersey milk each week. I pour the cream off and use it for my coffee. I use less than a TB each cup so have lots left at the end of the week. Also I sometimes have the milk left. I have all these little pint jars of souring, at different stages, milk & cream in my frig. I know it is good for me but I do not want to use it without knowing how to process it into something tasty! My Mother use to make cottage cheese on the farm from raw milk. I loved it! I would like to know how to make other types of cheese also & is the soured whey is usable in shakes? I use it now & seems fine! Thank you!

    • Marta, I grew up in a Slavic immigrant (farm) family. Raw milk and true sour cream was ubiquitous in our diet. We had fresh peas (frozen is just as good) put into a cream sauce—light/white roux (use a healthy oil/fat of your choosing) and added true farm (raw) sour cream balanced with raw milk (or optionaly, lightly soured cream – we would allow cream to sour for a very, very long time—it wasn’t spoiled, just STOUT. The longer it sours, the more sour and yellow it gets—AND YES IT WAS REFRIGERATED during thi souring process)so as not to overwhelm the delicate flavor of the peas (your tastes will probably be a bit different than ours). We had garden fresh, in their prime, yellow beans (look like green beans but are yellow) precooked to add into a cream sauce—good rubust brown roux, then add lots of garlic, and then the sour cream (more aged and stoutly soured)–then finally the beans. YUMMY (if you like garlic). We had a white sauce used for potatoes and the awsome (and obscure) baking powder dumplings–again a light/white roux with sour cream (for some, balanced out with some milk) and lots of minced dill. YUMMY Our cheese cake was home made cottage cheese (home made–outdoors), sour cream (light sour) and only a minimal amout of sugar baked in a graham cracker crust. (There was probably egg and maybe a little salt–I would have to dig up the recipe.) We used sour cream for salad dressings–designers choice here, but sometimes just plain. We also used it for dressing potato salad (and yes this is the egg version, with onion &……designers choice again). We used it a lot–for us this was pre-mayonnaise days! A FAVORITE of mine was home made butter—NOT made with sweet cream but with sour cream—much better flavor (I miss it so much) and turns to butter super fast! And this is the only time we had whey–we used it as buttermilk which maybe is what real buttermilk was?! (and you can use whey any way you want to it is healthy but healthier if you don’t cook it —like everything else) Buttermilk is necessary in any recipe that tradionally uses butter milk and many or most of those recipes used sour buttermilk not sweet buttermilk. (The commercial buttermilk sucks.)
      It is all edible-if something goes bad your nose and taste buds will tell you but US culture being Western & contemporary thinks it is all bad–do more research–Eastern, Central Asia foods and recipes. My Mom’s homemade cottage cheese was healthy but dry so she was not happy with it even though we had nearby realtives that seemed to be doing the same thing but turned out creamy—more research for you, I don’t have an answer here. We didn’t make other cheeses either (too busy farming). Hmm, I think we used (delicate) sour cream with cabbage too. And there is always more……..
      Best of luck on your foof adventures

  81. A tip I saw on another website said to use the light in your oven to provide enough ambient heat to culture the yogurt. My place sometimes get a bit drafty, and this was the perfect solution to keeping my soon-to-be-yogurt at 105-110F while the magic happened. For some variety, instead of milk I’ve been using cans of coconut milk as my base. It comes out delicious!

  82. I didn’t read through all the comments, but have the gold mine when it comes to yogurt and just found it! Jill at real food forager looks like the most meticulous of yogurt makers and she has a great recipe and fix for the ‘too warm’ yogurt maker complaint. check out her post! also, adding a well sourced beef gelatin like great lakes can’t be bad as far as i can tell from my real food quest. we find that we get a lot of energy when we add it too yogurt and it is the perfect consistency!

  83. I’ve tried the raw milk yogurt thing and was never satisfied with he consistency. Always runny, even with a room-temp yogurt starter. It is because the raw milk is alive with it’s own good bacteria that fights the yogurt bacteria and does not allow it to set properly. So this is the way I make yogurt now, and it comes out smooth thick and creamy every time. I do use raw milk from “grass-fed” cows to start with, that way I know my milk is clean and good.

    The great news is that you don’t need any special appliances, just an insulated cooler. I’ve tried the yogurt makers and other do-dads and they cause too much heat, making the yogurt separate.

  84. after making whey and yogurt cheese from store-bought, whole milk yogurt, i decided to try making it with some leftover raw milk we had last week. i let it sit for at least 12 hours and went to separate it, but my whey is not clear…it’s actually cloudy, though it’s still the yellowish-green color that i get with the yogurt. do you think this is still okay to use?

  85. I just received the Filmjolk culture that I ordered from Cultures for Health. I was excited because on the web site, it said it can continue to be used indefinitely, so I was looking forward to never having to buy store yogurt again.

    But, on the directions that came with it, it says that if you are using raw milk, you have to make a “mother culture” with half of the powder (which involves heating 1/2 cup of milk to 160 degrees). And then EVERY batch of yogurt has to come from that mother culture. Sooo.. really, it will only last as long as the mother culture does?!

    What do you all do with raw milk yogurt? Do you continue to make new yogurt with the previous batch, which the directions explicitly state NOT to do??


    • Julie from Cultures for Health is working on an article to clarify all this and I’ll either do a post on it or put it in my Monday post as soon as it’s ready. I have been struggling with the same issues because I want to use the better cultures from her, but wasn’t sure how to do it, so I was still mostly using the yogourmet packets. But even with those, I think the raw milk good bacteria probably overtook the healthy yogurt bacteria now that I know more.


      • So, the raw milk issue was addressed in the latest newsletter from Cultures for Health. I think I was having a total blonde moment (I am blonde, so I can say that hehe) when I couldn’t figure out how to keep the culture going! You just have to make a new mother culture with the existing mother culture once/week, so yeah, you can keep the same culture going!

        I made my first batch and it turned out weird.. it had kind of a watery-cottage-cheese like consistency. But it tasted EXACTLY like all the descriptions I read of Filmjolk (a sweet cheesy-like taste less sour than normal yogurt). So, I ate it… and it didn’t kill me. I just replenished my mother-culture and it actually looks more creamy-smooth than the last one, so I am using it to make another batch tonight!

        I have high hopes that this will turn out more like the creamy yogurt I am used to!

  86. Two questions

    1. Can I just use whey from my previos batch of yogurt to mak a new batch of yogurt?

    2. The yogurt I make I have to heat up the milk first. I was wondering if I could use egg yolks in the yogurt base like some ice cream recipes. Have you heard anyone do this before?

    • Amy, I asked my “go-to” person on all this stuff: Julie, from Cultures for Health, and here’s what she said:

      “1. No, unfortunately whey can’t be used to make a new batch of yogurt. To make a new batch you need very healthy bacteria which means using actual yogurt from a previous batch. While the whey does contain some bacteria, there isn’t enough (or a high enough quality) to actually culture a new batch of yogurt.

      2. I haven’t heard of anyone doing that but in theory it might work. The biggest concern is that the eggs are likely going to interfere with the chemical balance of the milk so they may ultimately interfere with the yogurt cultures ability to effectively multiply and culture the milk. If you want to try it, I would recommend not using yogurt you will need to reculture to another batch (so use extra yogurt you won’t need to reculture or a direct-set type culture, etc.). If I had to guess, I’d say it would probably work okay for a single batch but the bacteria probably wouldn’t be healthy enough to perpetuate to a new batch.”

  87. HELP! I did this and what I have is a big bowl of milk still!! And the milk drains right through the cheese cloth!? It didn’t turn to yougurt. Is the milk supposed to stay warm? Its not warm in my house and I didn’t warm it up. What should I do? Is the milk still good?

    • Yes, it definitely needs to be warm so that it will thicken up. If you don’t mind that it may be a little more sour, you could try again to get it warm and leave it overnight…??

      • Okay I warmed it up. How long should it stay warmed up? I will see how it turns out tommorow. I can tell it has thickened a little already. It does smell sour…

        • Thanks so much! It did great~ The whey is straining out right now. But I have one last question! lol! I am a little confused. So yogurt and cream cheese are the same thing?! I am wanting to make cream cheese for some brownies. Thanks in advance!! (-: (-:

  88. I think I just answered my own question! lol So before you strain it….it is yogurt? But after the whey is strained out it is cream cheese?

  89. Hi Kelly!

    So do you honestly think strained yogurt is just like cream cheese? I am perplexed about how many others who also think these are the same thing. I have made cream cheese before, years ago, and it was not a simple matter of straining some yogurt. Yogurt cheese doesn’t come close to being like cream cheese in my opinion. Such a difference in texture. I can, however, understand why people enjoy yogurt cheese so much, and I suppose it could be a substitute for cream cheese in some recipes. But the yogurt cheese I’ve always made is not nearly as creamy nor does it taste the same as cream cheese. In my opinion. Probably because cream cheese is not a cultured product, so it would be sweeter than yogurt cheese. I’m the only person I’ve ever seen questioning this, so maybe I’m the only one who cares! :)

    • I do use it more for recipes, because if spreading it on a bagel it does have a different texture… Maybe I should note this in the post. I think I will. Thanks!

  90. I have had great success every time I have made yogurt with pastuerized whole milk. I finally found some raw milk and made my first batch of yogurt. I only heated it to 115 or so and then prepared it the same way I have prepared my store bought milk. I did leave the yogurt in the maker longer than I do with store bought milk(I normally leave mine for 4 hours and it is perfect. With the raw milk I left it in the yogurt maker for about 8 hours because it was still runny. When I tried it this evening it was kind of a blobby concoction! It was a little runny with blobs and a few curdlles were at the bottom. It tasted just fine. If I read correctly all I have to do is use some of this batch to make a new batch. When this 2nd is complete it should come out creamy and thick. Am I reading this correctly?

    • I’m no expert on this, so hopefully someone else will jump in and answer you! My answer is, “I think so.” Pretty helpful, aren’t I? You can always keep some for the next batch like you mentioned, and then strain the rest for whey and yogurt cheese that you can use in recipes.
      Sorry I’m not a better help!

  91. I have made yogurt off and on for almost 40 years. Back in the seventies we used raw milk. I would skim off the heavy cream and make butter in my blender with it, saving the separated whey to use in other cooking or to drink. Then I would take some of the milk—about 2 quarts—heat it for several minutes to scald it. I was told to do this because milk left intact without heating will clabber which is when it forms a solid curd that, when sliced into (it is very soft) separates into curds floating in the whey. I once tried making cheese with it and it molded in the “aging” process. We gave the non-yucky parts to our chickens who magically turned them into eggs for us! My instructions said to let the scalded milk cool so that when you stuck your very clean finger into it you could count to five before you had to pull it out! Then, I would take a small amount of yogurt—seems it was 1Tablespoon per quart and I would mix it in with my hand or a large utensil of some sort, dissolving the yogurt from a previous batch or a store-bought yogurt, into the milk. I would pour it into a gallon jar and put the lid on, wrap it in a towel and put the jar into a goose-down sleeping bag or jacket in a closet overnight. In the morning, we had sweet, just slightly tart, very firm yogurt. Later I’d use an old electric frying pan filled partially with water and put my cultured milk into a casserole dish, put the lid on and the pan lid also, turn it on low—it’d be warm when I put the yogurt in. And it would be done really fast but wasn’t quite tart enough so I’d leave it a bit longer. It also was very thick.I’ve also used the yogurt makers but they make so little that my family would have them gone very quickly. I was told to heat the milk so that the normal bacteria in milk would not take over and either clabber the milk (which is fine but you don’t want to make yogurt with it—it is the first step in cheese or cottage cheese making) which gives a diff smell than yogurt, but not unpleasant in any way, or spoil the milk as some bacteria multiplied if left out too long. Sour cream is just that, soured cream. Cream cheese is just cream which I believe is soured and then hung in a cheese cloth to drain the whey. Yogurt cream cheese which looks similar to regular cr. cheese but doesn’t taste close to it is yogurt hung in a cheese cloth to release the whey. Real buttermilk is the combo of whey and bits of milk fat which remain after butter is made and paddles—-it bears absolutely no resemblance to cultured buttermilk as it is very, very watery and has not that “buttermilk” flavor we’ve become used to that is sold in stores which has a sour cream-like flavor. It was also common knowledge/beliefs at that time that only yogurt made from whole fat milk had the health benefits of yogurt and that the low-fat, no-fat concoctions were worthless for health purposes. The groups of people who were found in other countries whose mainstay was yogurt and who were incredibly healthy ate whole fat yogurt—-this study kind of started the yogurt craze which is still going on today tho’ most products called yogurt are just sugared-colored-up imitations of the real thing. And just because a label says that cultures have been added does not mean they are alive when you buy it. Test a yogurt and if it will not make yogurt as the culture, then it probably was never yogurt in the first place. I have had orange spots appear on store-bought mozarella cheese before after I’ve had it awhile or if for some reason it gets damp—don’t know what it is but am just saying it since I read it in an earlier comment. I cut it off, but am not sure if I should toss the whole cheese or not. I’d like to learn to make raw yogurt but I do wonder if it is not actually yogurt but some other product with yogurt bacteria and other bacteria in it. I’ve tried other people’s raw milk yogurt and it looks and smells like clabbered milk—-which is not bad for you but it is NOT yogurt. Sometimes if you put your starter in and the milk is not just the right temp it either kills the bacteria that thickens/makes the yogurt if it is too warm and if too cool it may not be warm enough to incubate the good bacteria so that it grows. Sometimes it is not, or is no longer, a live culture. I’ve used commercial plain yogurts that worked for years all of a sudden stop working too. Hope this helps—I don’t know alot about it but just thought I’d share…….

  92. I’m new to raw milk and cheese making. I just found a dairy about an hour away that sells raw milk. I’m very excited about learning to make my own butter, cheese, yogert and keefer. what I need to know is what tempreture is the too hot point that will kill off the good stuff in the milk? Most recipes call for heating the milk to some degree, but saying “warm” could mean a lot of different temps. What are the minimum and maximum temps for optimum culture growing and keeping the good stuff alive. I don’t want to kill it after I drove so far to get it. Also, can anyone tell me a simple way to make my own butter? Thanks very much.

    • To answer your question on temps, I can’t remember right now, but if you get your cultures from that link above, Julie will send all that information along with the cultures.


  93. To answer “cheeseaholic” —-this is what I used to do to make butter and it’s very easy. I’d just put the cream I skimmed off the top of our raw milk being careful not to dip too deeply getting too much milk in the cream. Put it in a blender and put it on a higher speed. When the sound of your blender changes all of a sudden and makes splashing sounds, you’ll see that it has separated into a very thin liquid, which is the whey, and a very thick yellow substance, which is the butter. I turn off the blender and pour it through a sieve or a colander. I refrigerate the whey to use later. I use a broad wooden or metal spoon and form the butter into a ball—or use your clean hands. I run this under very cold water and “paddle” it with the wooden spoon. Which is just pressing against the butter ball while turning it into different positions under the cold running water releasing more whey. After the water runs clear and I am getting no more whey out, I add a little sea salt and form it into whatever shape I like or just put it in a bowl and pat it down and refrigerate it. If you don’t add salt it does tend to taste like cream. But it is not necessary to add salt. Hope that helps.

  94. The yogurt I used as a starter contains S. Thermophilus, which I’ve read contributes to a thicker yogurt. Not sure if all store brands contain this bacteria… so I thought I would share that info.

    I guess I have beginner’s luck. As I ventured into homemade cultured foods, the amount of information was overwhelming. Lots of rules – and everyone’s recipe was different. So I decided to ignore most of them and just use instinct (and quality ingredients). So far, I’m having the most luck by not measuring anything but temperature. For yogurt, I started with fresh raw milk. Fresh meaning same day it came from the cow. I slowly warmed about a cup of milk in a make-shift double boiler to 110 degrees F (using an Insta-Therm thermometer). Then I added a dollop or two of Strauss organic whole milk plain yogurt – probably about a 1.5 T. Stirred it around and transferred it to a mason jar; and put it in a cooler with hot tap water (next to my sourdough starter for company). After 5-6 hours, I changed out the cold water for hot again. Total incubation time was 12-13 hours at temps from 90-110. Then straight into the refrigerator. Next morning, it was so thick I thought I messed up. But I stirred it around and it quickly became thinner – much like European style store-bought yogurt (pourable). Then the taste test. Yum! Much like the starter it grew from, just slightly tangier. Absolutely delicious.

    (Strauss Family Creamery is a commercial organic dairy farm in Northern California – so if you happen to be on the West Coast, I recommend you give it a taste.)

  95. Hi,

    I read on Indian blogs that they put a slit green chillie or a dry red chillie in the milk to get thick yogurt. they say it does not add any chillie taste to the milk. Once the culture is added, put a chillie pod in the milk pot. Also they say non glazed clay/earthen pots, glass bowls or ceramic bowls are good to produce thick curd than plastic containers/

  96. My experience making yogurt has taught me that the amount of butterfat in the milk is huge. When I use whole milk from Holstein cows (raw and heated to about 175 first) I get a much thinner and tart yogurt. When I make it from whole milk from Jerseys, whose milk has a higher butterfat content, the yogurt is thick, creamy, slightly sweet, and delicious). I do not skim the cream from my Jersey milk anymore, but when I did, I got runnier yogurt. I have now learned that you can boost the butterfat by adding cream to leaner milk to get a thicker yogurt.

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