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How to Make Direct-Set Raw Milk Yogurt

When using raw milk to make yogurt, there are several factors to consider. Once you've decided to use raw milk, however, the easiest culture to use with raw milk is a single-use, or direct-set, starter culture.

Starter Cultures

Direct-set yogurt cultures are one-time-use cultures. Either one of the following can be used as the starter culture:

  • A packet of freeze-dried powder that is stored in the freezer and used to inoculate each batch OR
  • A small amount of yogurt from the store. If using store-bought yogurt as starter, be sure to use an unflavored variety that is labeled "contains live active cultures."  


We currently carry several varieties of freeze-dried direct-set starters: Traditional FlavorMild FlavorKosher Traditional Flavor, and Kosher Mild Flavor


  1. Heat the raw milk to 110°F. Food heated to 110°F is generally still considered raw. 
  2. If using a freeze-dried yogurt culture, add 1 packet* of culture to 1-2 quarts of milk. 
  3. If using store-bought yogurt, add 1 tablespoon of yogurt per cup of raw milk.
  4. Stir gently until starter is fully incorporated. 
  5. Incubate the mixture at 105°-110°F for approximately 7-8 hours until set. 
  6. Place a tight lid on the container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.


*Note: Packaging shown in video differs from current packaging. Follow instructions included with your culture, for best results.



  • Easy to use, packets store in the freezer until you are ready to make yogurt
  • The culture does not require regular care or maintenance
  • Easy to take breaks from making yogurt using this type of culture
  • Generally makes thicker consistency yogurt when compared to perpetuating cultures.



  • Direct-set cultures are single-use cultures, generally not able to be perpetuated or with very limited perpetuation lifespan
  • If using a freeze-dried starter culture each box contains 4 packets of starter
  • If using store-bought yogurt, you will need to buy a new container of yogurt on a regular basis to use as a starter culture.




Jars of yogurt with fresh fruit pieces

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