Yeah, I still suck at making yogurt. I can't seem to get it right! Last night I heated 2 quarts to 110F, and then split them in half. One quart got the appropriate amount of the freeze-dried culture and went into the oven. I heated up the space to about 110, turned on the light, and turned off the oven itself. Then I set the jar on the rack in the back corner near the light. I've heard that this is a good way of keeping your culture warm and happy. It didn't work. Either 1) the culture is bad or 2) our crappy broken oven isn't sealed or insulated well and it wasn't warm enough in there all night. Or both. Either way, after 9 hours, the milk was still milk - but smelled funny. Lovely.
The second quart went into the yogurt maker and I added live culture organic yogurt from the store. 9 hours later, I had another container of smelly milk. What is going on??
Today I had another discussion with a raw milk yogurt 'expert' at work. I also spoke with H (who is out of town) and we all came to the same conclusion. I get one more shot, and then I need to give up on making yogurt!! For my last attempt, I am going to follow a recipe from "Goats Produce Too" a book written by a woman who raises Alpine dairy goats in Michigan. Her book came highly recommended, and since she also uses raw Alpine milk...her methods should work for me. If not, I'm done. If H wants to give it a try, he's welcome to do so, but I'll be done with it.
Can you imagine my excitement if I am successful after all this? I think I'll scream out loud if I actually see creamy yogurt tomorrow morning! If I fail, I still have plans to make more blackberry jam this weekend - so at least I'll feel like I'm capable of something!
This weekend, we have a couple of small tasks on our plate. First of all, we need to move the chicken coop/tractor. The chickies are doing a number on that grass patch. I think we need to make a point of moving it every week at the very least. We also need to put up the perches and add a door to their opening. I'd also like to get the water proofing done if it stays dry enough.
The other thing we have to do this weekend is harvest apples. We have one tree that is dropping them like mad, so we need to get out the ladders and grab them off the tree as soon as possible. I also want to clean up the hundreds that are already on the ground before the dogs eat too many of them and get sick from the bugs/worms.
We have an appointment to meet with someone about getting an estimate done on replacing our siding. I can't wait! I'm dying to see how much it'll be. I'm fearful of the total cost, but man, what an amazing improvement it'll make on the not only the appearance of the house, but on the longevity of it as well.