How to Make Sheep’s Milk Yogurt

Back when we were milking the sheep we used the fresh milk for drinking and on cereal, and we also made butter with it.  Both were delicious!  We were surprised because it was our first time ever milking sheep.

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The milk was surprisingly sweet, especially from our Lincoln Longwool, Stella.  We found that we liked sheep’s milk better than goat’s milk, and even a little bit better than cow’s milk.  I wanted to try making yogurt with it, but didn’t have the time, so we froze some so I could try it later.

This week I decided it was high time to get to that and so I took it out of the freezer, thawed it, and made it into yogurt.

I decided to use the same recipe that I use for cow’s milk.  We like our yogurt thick and custard-style, so we add some gelatin to it to achieve that texture.  It is optional and if you like it thinner then you just skip that step.

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Gather your supplies.  You will need:

  • A pot big enough for the amount of milk you have
  • Sheep’s milk
  • Unflavored gelatin (optional)
  • Plain yogurt with live cultures (can be from your last homemade batch, doesn’t have to be store-bought)
  • Thermometer
  • Spoon & whisk
  • Jars for the yogurt
  • Boiling water (I use an electric kettle)
  • A small cooler

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First, pour your milk into the pot and whisk in your gelatin if you are using it.  Then, start it heating gently over medium or medium/low heat, stirring occasionally.  While you are waiting for it to heat, preheat your cooler by pouring about 1/2 gallon of boiling water into it.  Set your jars in there to preheat too.  I do not submerge my jars in the water, my cooler is small enough that if I put 6 pints in there they hold each other up on top of the water.  Close the cooler.

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Heat to 180F degrees and then remove from the heat and let sit and cool to 110-115F degrees.  I stir it occasionally while it is cooling because a crust forms on the top if I don’t.  And if I am in a hurry for it to cool, I set the pot in a dish of ice water and stir the milk gently, refilling the ice water as needed to keep it cooling.

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Once the milk is at 110-115F, stir in your live yogurt.  Then pour into warmed jars and put lids on loosely.

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Pour the preheating water out of the cooler and put the warm, filled jars of milk into the cooler.  Then pour boiling water into the cooler until it is about half to 3/4 of the way up the side of the jars.

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Close the cooler and wrap it in towels.  Keep it in a warm spot, undisturbed for 6 hours.

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After 6 hours, remove one of the jars and check the consistency and flavor.  Because it is still warm, it will not be as thick as the final product will be after it is cooled.  If you want it to be stronger flavored, put it back in the warmth for another few hours.

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Now it is done!  Tighten the lids and put it in the refrigerator to cool.

We enjoy it with our favorite fruit/s, granola, or oatmeal.  We also like to sometimes add vanilla extract and a little sugar for flavoring.

7 thoughts on “How to Make Sheep’s Milk Yogurt

  1. Yum! I love yogurt, and I had no idea you could make it out of sheep’s milk! Though I don’t have sheep and probably never will, I am glad I read your post as I learned something new today. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a neat method for yogurt making, I’m going to have to try it since I’ve had some issues with temperature control in the past. Is this made with raw sheep milk, or was it pasteurized? I know there’s different methods depending. We just brought home our first dairy sheep and she lambs next month, so I’m busy collecting recipes to try. I’ll be browsing your blog for more sheep milk recipes. ☺️

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  3. Thank you for sharing. This post still comes up for a search on making sheep milk yogurt. It is very easy.

    Sheep’s milk is so much healthier than other kinds of milk, and I am extremely lactose intolerant (even whey isolate makes my lungs swell up so I can’t breathe well x_x ) but tried sheep milk bulgarian feta with enzymes and I could actually eat it! It also made me feel so calm… it also helped my brain so much, it is pure brain food! If I had to take a test or something, I would want sheep milk before it. … It is the golden superfood no one knows about but everyone should. research everything in it, it’s really great! all the short chain fatty acids help gut health so much, which is what creates the calm feeling (recently the military has been exploring the connection between gut health and ptsd, and mood in general, and describes the guts as a “second brain” or sometimes gut brain which has a significant impact on mental health, mood, and a variety of disorders, which can be caused by an imbalance of gut bacterias). I have tried prebiotics all kinds of things that seemed to aggravate my guts, but the sheep’s milk was so wonderful!
    I know it is a british tradition that milk before bed helps kids sleep. I think that must have been whole sheep’s milk. It is very calming.
    It also has the most medium chain fatty acids of any milk. I can’t really have isolated coconut mcts, but having mcts in a balanced form of the sheep’s milk was ok. (It’s good for weight loss. I actually had too much and ended up losing too much weight, that’s not my goal because i’m kind of unhealthy skinny from being sick lol. so i had to slow down on how much i can eat to keep my weight level. x_x but it is very healthful!)

    I hope to try raw milk some day, I read an article on the Irish Times about a woman who had two little babies with eczema, and an older child with acne, and a travelling salesman heard about it when he was at her house, so went a county over and brought her a goat to make fresh goat milk because the bacteria in it helps skin conditions so much (oh, what a place ireland must be that they have goat-gifting travelling salesman). Anyway, she gave them just a little and yes, it did clear up their eczema! And her son’s acne, also. The good bacteria in the raw milk eats and kills the gut’s bad bacteria which causes those skin conditions. (And aforementioned psychological disorders.)

    Sheep’s milk would be even better. It is one of the best milks available to us (I mean, idk, maybe like whale’s milk is better or something, but that’s unobtainable, haha! I doubt it is better, tho~ i think sheep’s is the best).

    Thanks again for sharing, your family is so fortunate to have access to just healthful and theraputic foods! I hope you and your family are strong and healthy always! God bless!

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  4. I got fresh sheeps milk but didn’t make it into yogurt until 4 days later. The yogurt seems really slimy this time. Never seen it like this before. Did I wait too long to make it?

    Liked by 1 person

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