- How long do you ferment your kefir and yogurts?
We use the “authentic cup set” method. After vat pasteurization, the milk is cooled to 110-114 degrees and beneficial bacteria (also called cultures or probiotics) are added and incubated at 110 degrees for 5-8 hours until the cultures grow and the product thickens into yogurt or kefir.
- Are there seasonal variations with goat milk?
During the winter and early spring, goats naturally produce a higher butterfat and solids content in their milk. This results in thicker yogurts and kefirs and softer cheeses.
During the summer and fall seasons, goats milk has less butterfat due to their natural lactation cycle. We see a lighter, more delicate texture in our yogurt and kefir, and harder cheeses.
- What method do you use to pasteurize the milk?
We use the “Vat Pasteurization” method. This requires that the milk be heated to 145 degrees F for a minimum holding of 30 minutes and then immediately chilled. This is the lowest temperature for pasteurization allowable by law. By comparison, HTST or “High Temperature/Short Time” requires that the milk be heated to 162 degrees F for 17 seconds. HTST is the method used most frequently by creameries because of the shorter time. UHT or “Ultra High Temperature” requires heating the milk to 275 degrees F for one second and will render the product virtually sterile for long lasting time on the shelf. We prefer the “Vat Pasteurization” method for our goat milk dairy products and believe it is the best method for preserving the integrity of the milk.
- Do you produce any low-fat, non-fat or raw goat milk products?
One of our core company values is to produce healthful and delicious specialty dairy products. All of our products are made with fresh Grade A goat milk, as nature intended. At this time we do not produce any low-fat or non-fat goat milk products.
Our cultured products are made with pasteurized goat milk. In accordance with federal law, all cultured products produced in the U.S. must be made with pasteurized milk. The exception to this is that cheeses may be made with raw milk if aged 60 days or more.Our goat milk feta is made with raw milk and is aged a minimum of 60 days and can be aged up to one year.
- Do you still sell goat milk?
As of September 14, 2012, we no longer sell our fresh bottled goat milk. Because goat milk production is seasonal, there are times of the year when we have less fresh milk than others. Coupled with the fact that our goat milk yogurt and kefir are very popular, we have decided to discontinue bottling our fresh milk. You may wish to enjoy our delicious Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Kefir in place of the milk; many people use our kefir on their cereal, over fruit, and in their smoothies. Thank you for your continued support!