How to Make Raw Milk Yogurt

by lydia on January 30, 2012

It is becoming more and more well known that yogurt is a healthful food to consume, particularly for it’s probiotic effect. The problem is, commercial yogurt does not truly contain the benefits that make yogurt such a super food. In order to truly reap the excellent nourishment from yogurt, it must be cultured properly. Consuming yogurt made from raw milk obtained from healthy grass fed cows is the best option available. It’s also very simple to do in your own home. If you have access to raw milk, making your own yogurt is a cinch.

Yogurt contains the friendly bacteria lactobacillus acidophilus. It is this very bacteria that will work in your body to fight off bad bacteria. Nowadays, bad bacteria is prevalent in our guts, it is critical to consume as many probiotic foods as possible to keep bad bacteria at bay. Raw milk yogurt also contains more enzymes, another important key to vitality missing in the modern day diet. These enzymes are critical for your overall digestive health, as well as your immune system.  Raw milk also contains lactase, the enzyme that is needed to break down the milk sugar, lactose. Many people are intolerant to lactose, this is often due to having used pasteurized milk that does not have the ability to break down the lactose. Raw milk solves this problem in most people.

Methods to Make Raw Milk Yogurt

First, you need to decide which method you will use. There are three that I will recommend. First, you can use a yogurt maker if you have one. Though it is not necessary to buy one. Secondly, you can use a dehydrator if you have one, again it is not necessary to purchase one just to make yogurt. Thirdly, you can use a stainless steel thermos. This last method is the most affordable.

All three of the above options will use the same heating method for the milk and adding the culture. Each will vary in the final steps of ‘incubating’ the yogurt. For a yogurt maker follow the instructions of the manufacturer. For a dehydrator, simply place the finished yogurt product in your dehydrator at 95 degrees for at least 8 hours to overnight. And lastly, the thermos method, you simply place your final yogurt mixture into a thermos and set on the counter overnight. Super simple!

If you want your yogurt to have an even thick consistency you will need to heat the milk first. Heating the raw milk just to about 110 degrees will help to keep the live enzymes in the milk intact. It is possible to make raw milk yogurt without heating the milk whatsoever, but your results will vary and the consistency could be rather runny or lumpy.

How To

First you will need;

1 quart raw milk

2 tablespoons plus2 teaspoons yogurt with live bacteria


Heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat until it reaches 110 degrees. Pour the milk into your thermos or a quart jar. Add 2 Tbsp. yogurt to the milk and stir. Cap the thermos and leave on the counter overnight or up to 24 hours. Or the quart jar, if using and place in dehydrator at 95 degrees overnight and up to 24 hours. Or, pour the mixture into the cups for your yogurt maker and proceed with the manufacturers instructions. Transfer your vessel to the refrigerator once done! It’s as easy as that!

Remember to keep some of your homemade yogurt to serve as a starter for your next batch!

Have you tried to make raw milk yogurt in your home? If so, what has your experience been like?




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Erin Pietrak January 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

So far, my experience not so good, but I was trying to activate the mother culture first and then make yogurt. This looks so much easier especially if I can just leave it overnight. I’ll give it a try tonight. Thanks, Lydia!

Sarah February 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Are you saying add yogurt to the heated milk or yogurt starter? I have purchased a refrigerated yogurt starter.
Thank you in advance,

Blair March 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm

My yogurt keeps on coming out watery and chunky! Any suggestions for getting a better consistency?

Chfistina April 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Blair, to get a good creamy consistency, ( same as greek-style) I add 1/3 cup organic powdered milk per quart to the milk before heating. To do this i whisk 1/3 cup powdered milk into 2/3 cup raw milk, then add all together……Yummy

Sharon @ Parents of a Dozen July 26, 2012 at 9:10 am

It has been years since I made yogurt. I get milk from a local farmer every two weeks. I will have to try making this again.
I love reading your blog. I just found it a couple of months ago.
I have Nourishing Traditions cook book for over 12 years (?) and wish I followed all the proper ways of shopping and cooking. Reading your blog is inspiring me to do more. It just gets hard to do it all with the lack of time, money, and the quantities I have to cook for.

Kelly August 2, 2012 at 9:56 am

Hi There

I have been making my own yogurt for about 6 months in my 1/2 gallon yogurt maker with great results. Now I have access to raw milk and I would like to use this. No luck… after 10 hours in maker it is still liquid… what am I doing wrong??

lydia August 2, 2012 at 10:07 am

Let it go much longer Kelly! I do mine for 18-24 hours.

Kelly August 2, 2012 at 10:45 am

Thank you soooo much…
Just discovered your site while researching my yogurt problem. I think it is just great!!!!

lydia August 9, 2012 at 6:55 am


You are most welcome!

Nick November 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Just made some with raw milk and very limited materials.

I heated to 110 degrees in the microwave (no stove available), stirred in some active yoghurt I bought at the store and left at room temp for 24 hours in a sealed container mixed with 1 tsp of sugar.

I placed this mix in a container and placed this inside a plastic bin with a hot water bottle and packed with scrunched up newspaper.

I left for 48 hours and it set fine although it\’s really strong.

It\’s now hanging in a tea towel to strain off the excess water to make Greek style yoghurt.

It\’s a very thick, rich and cheesy result.

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