I received this information today from our local goat rancher, Debbie Higgins of Rainhaven Goat Dairy. I purchase her raw goat milk. Tomorrow I get my first half-gallon of it!
If you want to know how to make goat yogurt or goat cheese, or just learn about goat milk in general - read on!
MAKING GOAT YOGURT
Gently heat fresh raw goat milk to 115 F. This is best done either in a double boiler instead of direct heat, to keep the milk from scorching.
While the milk is warming, sanitize another container (such as a thermos). If you use bleach water, be sure to let the container air dry for several minutes to let the chlorine residue evaporate, so it doesn't kill off the yogurt culture bacteria.
Let the goat milk cool down to 105-110 F; pour warm milk into santized container and add culture (freeze dried or a large heaping tablespoon of store bought plain yogurt that label says has live active cultures). Gently mix culture thoroughly into the milk (one way is to cap the container and gently slosh it back and forth for a minute.
Let cultured milk rest without disturbing it for at least 5 hours and keep it at 100-110F. The higher end of this temperature range will more quickly culture the milk into yogurt and generally gives a less tart flavor, although goat milk yogurt will be more tangy than cow milk yogurt. Also, it will be thin like "drinkable" yogurt. It will thicken slightly after a few hours of being refrigerated. After incubating for 5 hours, taste it every hour or two to determine if you want to let it continue to incubate or if it is time to refrigerate it to stop the culturing.
There is a zillion great things to do with plain yogurt; one of the best is to add raw honey, and of course fruit, and you may want to experiement with adding carob or raw chocolate.
If you want to buy freeze-dried yogurt culture, check out:
Please note: even when some recipe instructions tell you to raise the temperature above 115 (such as go to 145 or even boiling), this is NOT necessary and doing so will kill off the good enzymes and bacteria that you want from raw milk!
By the way, a goat's normal body temperature is 105.
* * *
MAKING GOAT CHEESE
If you want to make basic soft goat cheese (chevre), the best place to get cultures for that is the Cheesemaking.com site; she has packets that include the exact amount of culture *and rennet* for one gallon of milk. Making chevre is about as easy as making yogurt; it too requires simply a warm place to sit (generally about 86F and for 12 - 24 hours) and then you gently put the curd into a cheesecloth bag (more like muslin, not the open weave type of cheesecloth) and let it hang to drip the whey off for another 8 hours or so, then voila! Goat cheese! And again, this is a basic ingredient best combined with other ingredients such as herbs, chopped onions, salmon, fruit, on and on.
WHY IS GOAT MILK BETTER THAN COW?
"Why Goat Milk?"
"Lipids and Proteins in Milk, Particularly Goat Milk"
OTHER GOAT MILK IDEAS:
For those of you who include caffeine in your diets... last week I got hooked on this:
Oregon Chai vanilla latte fluid concentrate in a box! Mix 50/50 (or whatever you want) with fresh goat milk, and you can zap it in the microwave or drink it cold. Oregon Chai has black tea, honey, spices and vanilla.
If you include oatmeal in your diet, you can let the oatmeal soak overnight in goat milk, works especially good to use a wide mouth glass canning jar with plastic lid.
If you make live-grain kefir in wide-mouth canning jars, and if you are also into "sprouting", the plastic "colander sieve" type lids for sprouting that screw onto canning jars can work well to strain the kefir from the kefir grains, then just add more fresh raw goat milk to the grains. Google "dom's kefir" and you should come up with a great kefir site.
Debbie, the goat rancher!
Rainhaven Grade A Raw Goat Dairy