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OK - one of my goats has just come into milk as a maiden milker. She is only giving a drop at the moment and I am just adding it to the pig food - there isn't enough to be worth all the cleaning and sterilizing. However, she soon will be giving enough and I need to get organised. Come next spring I should have 3 goats in milk.

What are the essentials to have to make the most of my milk. Are there things on the standard lists that are not worth getting. I don't have a fridge anywhere near where I milk. When I had a goat before and was only using the milk for me, I used to strain it into a milk can and put that straight into a bucket of water to cool. Is there any better way of cooling the milk without a fridge?

What's the best/most efficient/easiest thing to make once we get more milk than we need fresh - yoghurt? cheese? I know goats butter is supposed to be harder to make but I did make a bit once? anything else?

Any general suggestions for once I start using this milk please?

hoggie
 

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woolgathering
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I take the milk to the house, strain and refrigerate. I suppose chilling in a bucket or sink full of ice water would be an extra precaution, but i havent needed to.

buttermilk is the easiest thing to make, culture then room temp for 16 hours or so.

cottage cheese and feta are easy to make, yougurt is easy, but has a few steps, esp if you want a thick set.

i have bucket, filters and a walmart strainer. light weight stainless pans for storing milk, a water bath canner for pasturizing and making cheese, and heavy stainless pans for cheesemaking. Jars and lids for yougurt, buttermilk, sour cream ect. large jars or pitchers for longer term storage of fresh milk.
stainless utensils for stirring.

cheesecloth, buttermuslin, floursack towels for straining cheeses ect.

culture source. thermometer, THe complete dairy foods cookbook, by annie proulx
 

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The one thing I found to be least necessary was the stainless milking pail. We milk into mason jars and then strain/dump into pateurizer bucket from there. (We pasteurize for cheesemaking.)

I buy direct set cultures from this place: http://www.cheesemaking.com/
The chevre is ridiculously easy. It's a good place to start.
 

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I would definitely spend the money to get a milk strainer. It's much faster than using a coffee filter or other cheaper option. We have the stainless steel 'mini-strainer' from caprinesupply.com

We chill the milk as we milk by having two buckets, one inside the other. Milk into the inside bucket. The outside bucket has an ice slush in it. It's salt water that we keep in the deep freeze between milkings.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you. I like the idea of the two buckets with the ice between them - my goats are about a mile away from home so I really do need a way of instant chilling the milk. At some point I might get an old fridge to keep there but for now I will try this method.

OK - so I can forget the stainless bucket - I did wonder whether that was just on the lsits because it is expensive. All the lists I have seen have been compiled by the folks selling the things :)

Funny you should say that chevre is easy - my SIL was just saying the other day could I make chevre? I might not tell her and just surprise her one day LOL

What do you use buttermilk for once you have made it? I see it on sale occasionally and have often wondered.

I was told once a long time ago that milk should always be kept in glass? Is there any truth to this?

thanks again

hoggie
 

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I, too, almost balked at the stainless steel buckets due to the price, but I love them now. You *know* they are clean after you wash them, and they look so nice! TSC sometimes has them for a more reasonable price. We got one at Orsheiln (spelling?) in Poplar Bluff, too.

Yes, glass only for storage!
 

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Little secret on the stainless buckets. You can very often find them at farm/feed stores in the pet sections...people who do the B.A.R.F. diets with their animals use them. They will be the same quality for a LOT less money. Or you can go to Wallyworld..they have a nesting stockpot set for around $20 here...3 pots with lids. I use them in my cheese making all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK - to start me off, I got a stainless bowl locally - it's not big enough to do once I start milking in earnest, but it will do for now. Means I can start bringing the milk home and use it for cereal and stuff.

What do you do for udder cleaning - do you pay out for wipes - or do you use cloths and boil them up?

hoggie
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK - thank you - so wipes can be crossed off the shopping list :)

just bought a glass storage jar - the type with the clamp down lid - for bringing the milk home in. Again it isn't big enough to do the job oncec I am milking 3 of them but for now it means we get to bring the milk home without spilling it ;)

hoggie
 

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I use the wipes. Highly recommend them. You know how they say you shouldn't dry dishes with a dish towel, but rather air dry them to avoid smearing old microbes all over them? Kinda the same idea in my mind.

I may be overly-cautious, but I will also say we have never had to post about funny tasting milk. :)
 

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I make wipes using Bounty paper towels and the fiascofarm.com udder wash recipe. Those new plastic Folgers coffee containers are perfect for a 1/2 roll of paper towels. I cut the paper towel roll in half with a bread knife, pull out the cardboard core, slip the half roll in the coffee container and slosh on the udder wash. Let it soak in, slosh some more. Keep the lid on between milkings. Pull your paper towels from the center.
 

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Namaste
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May I give an alternate view on udder cleansing? The last time the NC State head Vet. Instructor, Dr. Anderson was out with his students to the dairy he was trying to convince my employer to take out her water/wash lines and go to dry milking. Many cow dairies do this apparently and they are not seeing any problems - he said. You just brush the udder if necessary, milk and end with a teat dip as usual. Well, we are still washing udders :) so she wasn't convinced but it is another option that you may want to explore. When we are milking in Feb. I would rather not get the udders wet but at least using some Bag Balm at the end keeps chapping at bay - just another step. Oh, after I wash the teats, I dry with a terrycloth face cloth, 1 per goat, cupping the teat so as not to drag stuff down to the orfice, flip the cloth & dry the other. Someone else gets to wash and dry these - I'm just a milkmaid, not the laundress!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Liese - that is the way I was originally taught to milk, and how I milked my first goat for several years. It was only after reading some of the goat forums, I discovered this bbusiness of udder washing. Thought I had maybe been mis-taught but maybe it is just an alternative way of doing it?

hoggie
 

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Our milk goat lies in the dust. I'm washing! :)
 

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hoggie said:
Liese - that is the way I was originally taught to milk, and how I milked my first goat for several years. It was only after reading some of the goat forums, I discovered this bbusiness of udder washing. Thought I had maybe been mis-taught but maybe it is just an alternative way of doing it?

hoggie
I think it was last year on a grazing forum that the debate raged for weeks over this topic! Some of the dairy guys were for it and some were very against; they'd ask "would you put that teat in your mouth?" and similar talk. But there does seem to be information out there that washing can cause more problems then solve - no doubt it depends on how the washing is done. My employer for instances is a MD and she washes as though for surgery - the whole udder. Now me I thinks that's nuts, rinsing the dirt down towards the teat end and orfice :nono: Fortunately she understands we all have different POVs but the other day she was wistful about the college student who had just left...said it had been nice to have someone around who just followed orders and didn't questions things, we had a good laugh.
 
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