Author Topic: Yogurt, Sheep Milk - Separation > Starter Culture Recommendations  (Read 702 times)

Offline Suzyhomemaker

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I keep trying to get the kinks worked out on making yogurt with sheep's milk.
It has failed almost every time I make it. ( ends up with extreme separation in the jars )
I've made it only once that came out even close to edible and then it was still a bit grainy.
I've tried with pasteurizing first, not pasteurizing...using powdered cultures using a sample of yogurt with live culture ...
I've been making yogurt with goat's milk for quite some time and have never had such issues.
As I understand the sheep milk doesn't require as much culture...nor does it tolerate as much heat during culturing...last batch I cultured at just over 100 and less than 105 ( no digital thermometer )
Does anyone have any advice to offer?


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Yogurt, Sheep Milk - Separation > Starter Culture Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 05:42:54 PM »
Wish I could help but I know nothing about sheeps milk. Sorry!

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Yogurt, Sheep Milk - Separation > Starter Culture Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 06:43:45 PM »
You need to pick a strain of S salivarius thermophilus with better texturizing properties, and watch the pH. If you want it to be all natural, that's the only way. If you can add additives to help keep the water in, there are good industrial solutions for it.

Try a full, classic make (heat to 180-185, denature, cool, etc) and see how it goes with a strain that will yield a thick set.
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Offline Suzyhomemaker

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Re: Yogurt, Sheep Milk - Separation > Starter Culture Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2012, 09:53:32 PM »
Would you be so kind as to recommend a specific blend for culture?
And also what would my target Ph be?
Thanks in advance.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Yogurt, Sheep Milk - Separation > Starter Culture Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2012, 12:05:32 AM »
Who is your preferred supplier?
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Offline Suzyhomemaker

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Re: Yogurt, Sheep Milk - Separation > Starter Culture Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 06:53:46 AM »
I think I've ordered form most everyone :)
Dairy connection or The Cheesemaker are the top 2 I suppose...I can get New England Cheesemaking from a local store also.
I just took the simple route and bought this culture there..

http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/p/163-Yogurt-DS-sweet-5-packets.html

And that's what I've been using with no success.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Yogurt, Sheep Milk - Separation > Starter Culture Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 01:07:55 PM »
Try something like yo-mix 495. I think danlac has it, or someone can special order for you. That doesn't have probiotics, so if you want those, need to add in other strains or add some commercial type yogurt to introduce them.
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Frotte La Tomme

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Re: Yogurt, Sheep Milk - Separation > Starter Culture Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2012, 02:41:32 PM »
would you describe what you are looking for in a your finished product?  Sheep's milk is much easier to work that goat, due to higher calcium bondage.  I use a 0.8 percent ratio using store bought yogurt as a mother.  Pasteurize, mother in at 115, pour, stabilize and chill.  Seems straight forward to me.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Yogurt, Sheep Milk - Separation > Starter Culture Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2012, 04:49:17 PM »
Frotte, that's a great all-around process, but if there is post-coagulation shearing of the bound micelles, and if the pH drops too much, say, past 4.6, then there will be whey-off. That's where strain selection and temp control are very important because some strains have properties to mitigate both situations.
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Frotte La Tomme

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Re: Yogurt, Sheep Milk - Separation > Starter Culture Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 01:37:35 AM »
I see...  if you use industrial yogurt the strains are pretty much guaranteed.   Temperature is the determining factor, i think the 100 mark is too low for the bacteria. 


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Yogurt, Sheep Milk - Separation > Starter Culture Recommendations
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 07:20:57 AM »
Guaranteed to do what? There's a large variety in the textural and functional properties of Strep strains used. Without starches and hydrocolloids, like industrial formulations use, many strains will not have good shearing resistance, and will still whey off. And some industrial strains culture identically at 98-100F as they do at 108-110F. The Strep strains are really diverse and picking appropriate ones can very well mean the difference between a yogurt that separates and one that does not. The mix I listed, the 495, is often used for very thick, greek-type yogurts, so would be a decent place to start.  Not trying to be argumentative here, just that I have seen it be more complex than temp.
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Offline Suzyhomemaker

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Re: Yogurt, Sheep Milk - Separation > Starter Culture Recommendations
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 07:48:29 AM »
Thank you so much for your input...I'll order up some of that specific culture and see how it goes.
To be clear I'm looking for a ph of 4.5 - 4.6? I do like the all natural :)
What I'm looking for Frotte , is a decently thick yogurt that does not have a grainy texture.
My husband had read somewhere that in making with sheeps milk that one doesn't need quite as much culture added and it was best cultured at a slightly lower temperature than other milks...I do goat's milk at around 115 - 118.
How much of this culture should I use in making a 2 gallon batch?
I use a Weck style canner to keep my temperatures constant...makes around 2 gallons at a time culturing in quart sized mason jars.
Just not getting any great quantities of sheep milk now so it's very dear, really hurts to have a batch fail.

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Yogurt, Sheep Milk - Separation > Starter Culture Recommendations
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2012, 08:11:01 PM »
My two cents, for what it's worth...
I make sheep or cow milk yogurt every week or so, with a culture that I've had going for 3+ years. I started with commercial yoghurt, Straus Family Farms.  I heat to 175F, cool to 110-115F, add 1T yogurt/quart of milk. If using sheep's milk, I add 1/5 drop of rennet. (I switch back and forth between milk types, doesn't seem to make a difference.)
Then I set the jars on a heating pad set to low, insulated with towels, and the jars wrapped in towels for +/- 8 hours.
I get a little whey separation and very creamy texture. I just whisk the whey back in when using.
Good luck.