My friend has a nanny goat that she feeds a corn-free grain mix, and It’s been wonderful to have a source for non-bovine dairy products! However, the goat is having a baby, so no more goat milk for us for a little while. Since I’ve been really enjoying making yogurt lately, I started looking for a way to make non-dairy yogurt. I found a company that had a vegan yogurt starter, so naturally, I jumped on it.

We use hemp milk on our cereal and to make non-dairy ice cream, so it seemed only natural to try using that for our yogurt, despite the fact that the vegan yogurt starter said it was designed for rice milk or soy milk. I’d found online reviews where people were trying it with almond milk, so why not try hemp milk? To give the vegan yogurt starter a fair chance, I decided to do side-by-side batches of yogurt with both the vegan starter and the last of my goat’s milk yogurt.

I accidentally over-heated the hemp milk. It probably got to 140 degrees or so. I must have gotten interrupted while the milk was heating. Not that that sort of thing ever happens around here with a one-year-old and a four-year-old underfoot. Oh, well. I normally heat the goat milk to 180 and let it cool from there, so I figured it was no big deal. It looked fine, it smelled fine, so I boldly carried on.

Once the hemp milk cooled to 110, I split the milk into two bowls, adding my homemade goat’s yogurt to one and the powdered vegan yogurt starter to the other. I stirred them up, poured the mixtures into pint-size jelly jars, keeping each batch carefully separated, and put them in the oven to incubate. Now, I’ve never tried incubating yogurt in the oven before. Usually, I put the jars of yogurt with a heating pad into a little insulated bag that I have. But, alas, my batch this time was too large for my regular method, so I stuck them in the oven. It was substantially more challenging than I thought it would be to keep the yogurt at a consistent temperature. They got too hot, too cold, and the oven just pretty much wasn’t my friend that day. Oops.

I let it incubate for a long time – 6 hours or so, just like I normally would. The liquid inside the jars had separated and looked a bit less than yogurt. I kept checking on them, hoping something miraculous would happen. I eventually conceded that nothing amazing was going to happen, and put the “yogurt” in the fridge overnight.

Watch for Part 2 next week to find out if this was Fab or a Flop!

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