Goat milk is much more digestible than cow milk and is a better option for 24 hour yogurt if you are sensitive or intolerant to cow’s milk. For this reason yogurt made from goat milk is often a preferred option for people following gut healing diets such as the GAPS diet and SCD.
There are several differences between cow and goat milk but the most significant are the proteins and fats. Most people who are aware of dairy sensitivities are consuming milk from cows that produce the protein A1 casein, which can be inflammatory and hard to digest. Goat milk contains A2 casein and different fats that are easier to break down and digest.
Goat milk is also close in structure to human milk so it is no surprise that we tolerate it well. A2 casein is also found in milk from sheep and camels. In Australia, we are also lucky enough to have A2 cow milk available.
The process for making goat yoghurt is similar to cow milk yogurt except that, because it is more delicate, you must be extra careful when heating the milk. The structure and taste will be affected if the milk is heated above 185° F.
Making perfectly set cow milk yogurt is easy but goat milk yogurt can be a bit trickier. The different composition of fat and protein in goat milk results in a runnier yogurt. If a probiotic rich, fermented food is all you are after, then you will not mind the naturally runny final product, which is a perfect drinking yogurt consistency, and ideal for making gut-healing smoothies. If thick, tub-set yoghurt is what you’re after, some additional thickening options are available.
Heating goat milk denatures the proteins, so, holding the temperature for a longer time, will give you a firmer yogurt. 20 - 30 minutes is recommended. This can be a complicated and stressful task depending on your stove-top. To ensure a safe, continuous, low temperature, I use a wok ring to create a distance between the flame and pot. A double boiler saucepan also works.
Straining the yogurt removes some of the water (whey), leaving the fats and proteins behind. The longer you drain whey, the thicker your yogurt will become. Find out how to do that here. Don't throw away that whey - there are lots of beneficial ways to use whey.
If you desire guaranteed spoonable, set yogurt, adding a thickener is the easiest and best solution. There are several ways to thicken goat milk yogurt. Your dietary preferences will help you choose the most suitable. My preference is always gelatin because it brings with it such valuable health benefits, particularly for gut health. We recommend a premium powdered gelatin.
In all fermentation processes it is important to sterilise your yogurt making glass bowl and utensils beforehand. I admit to being a bit lazy with this step. I wash the bowl in the dishwasher, then before use, I pour additional boiling water into the bowl and them promptly dry it with a clean tea towel. I find this is enough. It’s your call.
1. Measure Quantity
Measure the appropriate quantity of milk to fill your Luvele yoghurt maker glass jar and pour into a large, clean saucepan.
(Optional thickening step No. 1)
For guaranteed tub set yogurt add 1 tablespoon of premium grass fed powdered gelatin to the milk and stir well. Then, continue to stir while heating to ensure the gelatin is thoroughly dissolved and combined.
2. Gently heat the milk.
Heat the milk slowly on a gentle heat to reach 180° F (82° C). Goat milk is delicate and must not boil.
(Optional thickening step No. 2)
If you want to improve the texture and consistency of your homemade goat milk yogurt, you can hold the heat at a constant temperature (between 160º-180°F) for a further 20-30 minutes. After that, cool to culturing temperature and continue as per instructions.
3. Turn the heat off.
4. Cover the milk & let cool to below 110° F (43° C)
It is fine if the milk cools down well below 43°, it just mustn't be too hot when adding live yogurt starter culture. Temperatures above 43° C will kill the good bacteria.
5. Remove the skin off the top of the milk with a spoon.
6. Pour the milk into the yogurt making glass bowl.
7. Add the starter culture and gently whisk it in.
Note: Each starter culture will come with different instructions. Please follow the instructions unique to your starter culture and use the amount specified.
8. The milk is now ready to begin fermentation. Put the lid firmly on the glass yogurt jar and place into your yogurt maker. Pour water slowly into the base. The water must not be filled over the ‘tall line’ indicated on the inside wall of the maker.
9. Begin fermentation . Place the cover lid on top. Use the digital control panel to set the temperature to 38° C, the time to 24 hours and then press ‘confirm’ to begin incubation.
10. After 24 hours the fermentation is complete.
Remove the yogurt maker lid and gently lift out the glass bowl. Straight from the cooker the goat yogurt will be warm and runny. Be gentle with the warm yogurt and don’t stir it or else it won’t set in a perfect white mass.
10. Place the tub in the fridge for at least 6 hours to set. The different composition of fat and protein in goat milk will result in a runnier yogurt.
(Optional thickening step No. 3)
Strain the chilled yogurt through a muslin cloth or nut milk bag to remove the whey. Learn more about this here.