The Experiment: Does Dried Milk Powder Successfully Thicken Yogurt?

Note from Shannon: Please welcome Rosalyn, CFH Content Development Manager and Cultured Kitchen-Keeper.

Welcome to part two of my experiment to find out whether you can mix dried cow milk with fresh goat milk to get a thicker yogurt – and vice versa. Be sure to check out part one, if you missed it.

I am fortunate to have a good source of both cow and goat milk. I chose to use pasteurized milk, since that is what is most accessible to most of our customers, and also because I did not want to add in the extra variable of the native bacteria and enzymes in the raw milk. For this experiment, I purchased a quart each of cow and goat milk: locally produced, grass-fed, vat-pasteurized.

The yogurt culture I decided to experiment with was our mesophilic viili culture. This is the one I use the most, and I have a strain that I re-culture about every 5 or 6 days in half-and-half, with great results. To start out with, I used a tablespoon of viili (from cow half-and-half) to make 1 cup of goat milk yogurt. This was so I would have some goat yogurt to use with the goat milk. There was a small component of cow milk in it because of the starter, but I wanted to get as close as possible to a full goat milk culture. It came out pretty thin, by the way: more of a kefir-ish consistency. (But it smelled and tasted great!)

Once I had my goat milk culture and cow milk culture ready to go, I set up the experiment:

  • 1 cup of cow milk + 1 tablespoon of cow yogurt
  • 1 cup of cow milk + 1 tablespoon of cow yogurt + 1 tablespoon of dried cow milk
  • 1 cup of cow milk + 1 tablespoon of cow yogurt + 1 tablespoon of dried goat milk
  • 1 cup of goat milk + 1 tablespoon of goat yogurt
  • 1 cup of goat milk + 1 tablespoon of goat yogurt + 1 tablespoons of dried cow milk
  • 1 cup of goat milk + 1 tablespoon of goat yogurt + 1 tablespoons of dried goat milk

The instructions for the dried milk called for 2 tablespoons in a cup of water. Since I was starting with milk instead of water, I decided to use just 1 tablespoon per cup of milk. To mix up each batch, I put a tablespoon of dried milk in a small glass mason jar, added about 3/4 cup of milk, put the lid on, and shook vigorously. The goat milk powder in the cow milk did not dissolve very well and required some extra whisking. The others incorporated pretty easily. Then I added 1 tablespoon of the yogurt and topped up the jar with more milk.

I mixed up all the batches at the same time, and put a lid on each jar. (I always culture with a lid on, although it is optional.) Then I sat down and watched them culture for 12 hours. Not really! I just put them in the cabinet where I usually culture my yogurt, and made a note to check back in 12 hours.

What would be your guess for how each one set up? See if you’re right in Part Three of the Great Yogurt Experiment!



Rosalyn has homeschooled both of her children, now grown, and continues to teach classes to homeschool groups and do homeschool consulting. She is also a nutritional coach, and enjoys helping people learn about healthy foods and how to prepare them. She is an avid cook and likes to experiment with new ways of putting together whole foods and cultured products. Kombucha is a favorite, in many flavors. Summer finds her kitchen full of fermenting vegetables, and year-round she makes yogurt, milk and water kefir, buttermilk, and sour cream.

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