The Results: Does Dried Milk Powder Successfully Thicken Yogurt?

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

This is part three 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. If you missed the introduction, check out part one. If you want to read more about the experiment, check out part two.

So, as I described in part two, I set up six incubations:

  • 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

I let them sit at room temperature for 12 hours. At this point the plain cow milk yogurt looked pretty firm and was pulling away from the side of the container in a single mass. It wasn’t as thick as the yogurt I make with half-and-half, but I wasn’t expecting it to be.

So I let it sit for another 6 hours, because it was pretty cool in my kitchen, and viili yogurt does take its own sweet time to set up. No change after 6 hours though, so I gave it another 6, for a total of 24 hours. (This is not an unusual time for viili. I sometimes let my half-and-half yogurt go that long if I want a really thick, tart result.) At the 24-hour point I inspected each jar, and I also tasted it to get an impression of its tartness and texture.

Here are the results…

Plain cow milk

  • 12 hours: thick and custardy.
  • 24 hours: firmer, starting to separate, slightly tart, creamy texture.

 

Cow milk + dried cow milk

  • 12 hours: thick, holding its shape.
  • 24 hours: firmer, starting to separate, slightly tart, a little cheesy in texture.

 

Cow milk + dried goat milk

  • 12 hours: thick, holding its shape; very similar to cow + cow.
  • 24 hours: firmer, starting to separate, slightly tart, a little cheesy in texture.

 

Plain goat milk

  • 12 hours: very slightly thickened, but still runny and pourable.
  • 24 hours: still very runny but thicker, starting to separate; tart, silky texture.

 

Goat milk + dried goat milk

  • 12 hours: runny but with some solids
  • 24 hours: semi-firm, not separated, tart, creamy texture.

 

Goat milk + dried cow milk

  • 12 hours: pretty runny; no solids
  • 24 hours: semi-firm, very separated, cheesy texture, foul taste.

Then just because I had a cup of goat milk left, I set it up with two tablespoons of dried goat milk, and let it sit for 24 hours. For the first 18 it didn’t do much at all, but at the end of 24 hours, it was softly firm, somewhat pourable but still pulling away from the side of the jar in a mass (sort of like cake batter), and with a delicious tart flavor!

So in conclusion, I would say:

  • Adding dried cow or goat milk to cow milk will improve the thickness of the yogurt, and change the texture a little bit.
  • Adding dried goat milk to goat milk will improve the thickness, and change the texture a little bit, but not as much as when you thicken the cow milk.
  • Adding dried cow milk to goat milk is probably not a good idea!

My wild guess on this is that cow milk, having a more robust protein cell and a larger fat cell than the goat milk, holds its character pretty well regardless of what dried milk you add. Goat milk, being a more delicate milk, cannot easily assimilate the dried cow milk, and thus the flavor is compromised.

Now keep in mind this was just a single experiment, not done in a scientific setting. Your mileage may vary! But if you do want to thicken your yogurt, I would say that adding dried milk of the same protein variety is probably a good way to go!

Rosalyn

Rosalyn

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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Comments

  1. sherri says

    Great job, I will have to try the powdered goat with my raw goats milk. I am making clabber milk for the first time and today is day one!=]

  2. Lori says

    Sometimes it’s hard to find dry milk powder that is affordable, will check out dried goats milk, to add since I always add dried milk even in my kefir, since I like thicker products.

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