Milking: What do you do?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by ByGraceFarms, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. ByGraceFarms

    ByGraceFarms Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Southern OK
    I have a question on how to keep my milk fresh tasting longer. Currently, when I milk, here are my steps...
    1) Wash the udders with a mild baby shampoo
    2) Dry udders with paper towel...then squirt first squirts into paper towel for inspection.
    3) Milk into clean stainless bucket
    4) Drain milk into clean aluminum strainer - which is placed over stainless milk pail, with lid. Place the lid of the pail, over the strainer to try and keep debris out. (I've also waited to do the straining until I get up to the house)
    5) Do the same with remaining 3 does.
    6) Place milk into clean glass jars, then place glass jars into ice cold water, and place that into freezer. Allow to remain in freezer at least an hour.
    7) Wash pails, using a "milk use only" scrub brush, in a mixture of Clorital (Hoegger's dairy soap) and bleach. On Saturday, I use the Dairy Acid.
    8)Allow to air dry upside down. When dry, place them upside down in kitchen...

    My milk only stays fresh tasting for 2 days. Then it starts to get a "flavor." I would like to make some cheeses, but I don't like the other flavor. I've also tried pasturizing the milk, and that tastes bad too!

    How do you all do it, and where are areas that I can improve on. As my milking barn is not very close to the house, and I don't have refridgeration in the barn, It is difficult to get the milk cooler any faster.

  2. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    We store our milk in the frig for the first 12-24 hours without a lid, so that it can breath, then after that, you can place a lid on it. We also have a second frig that we use for just goat milk, eggs and closed items like soda or juice so that there are no "smells" in the frig. I think that older goats milk makes great cheese. My milk stays fresh for almost 2 weeks, although my hubby, who is very picky, only like to drink it about 4-5 days old at the most. He has no problem with the cheese that i make from older milk. I have heard that different goat have different "tastes". We have nubians and an alpine. We actually prefer the nubians milk over the alpine. I have heard that a do that runs with a buck all of the time can "flavor" the milk and make it stronger. Some people disagree with that. We do not have a buck so i cant say for sure.

    I would also make sure that you are getting your teats free of any "soaps" that you are using. And I would make sure that your pails and strainers are rinsed very well too, so that they do not have any residue on them.

    The last thing i can think of is, you might check on what your goat are eating. They could be eating something out in a pasture that is affecting the taste of the milk. I would double check that.

    Well, I hope you find out what the problem is.


  3. Galloping Goats

    Galloping Goats Active Member

    Jun 25, 2004
    The Pacific Northwest
    wow you do a lot more than we do. We use alcohol free baby wipes to wash the udder because they dry quickly and don't leave an harmful residue. When I am done straining the milk into the jar (glass not plastic) I put cold water and about 4 cups of ice in the sink (or in the rinsed out milk bucket) and set the jar of milk with the lid on into it. I give it a shake when I walk by now and then. When it is cold I put it in the fridge and it lasts a week (it's always gone before it can grow old so I'm not sure how long it will last) and tastes great.
  4. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Lynnwood, Washington
    I'll bet you're not getting your milk cold fast enough. I had flavor problems until I started bringing a bucket of icewater, clean jar(s), and strainer right out to the barn with me. Every time I finish milking a doe, her milk is strained, and the jar is placed into icewater up to the neck. If the jar isn't full, I just leave the strainer it in while I milk the next doe. Then pull the jar (with strainer) out of the icewater, strain more milk into the jar until it's full, switch the strainer to an empty jar, put a lid on the full jar, and back into the icewater. Finish straining the milk into the new jar, and that jar goes into the ice water, with the strainer if the jar's not full and there's more milk to come. The jars stay in the icewater about an hour, with me spinning the jars every so often. The cold milk goes into the fridge and keeps for a week, easy.

    I read in "Goats Produce Too" that an icewater bath will cool a quart-size canning jar to 48 degrees in 30 minutes, 42 deg. in 60 min. and 40 deg. in 90 min. This is "Grade B" milk. Placing a quart-size jar in the freezer will cool the milk to 66 deg. in 30 min., 50 deg. in 60 min., and 43 deg. in 90 min. This is "Grade D" milk. You can see what a big difference quick cooling can make in milk quality.

    "Grade A" milk is cooled to 40 deg. in 30 min. or less. Circulating the icewater, such as by spinning the jars, will result in faster cooling. Constantly circulating water can cool milk to the temperature of the water in 30 minutes.
  5. Lisa A

    Lisa A Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2003
    We do similar or less and our goat milk is good from 4 to 7 days or more,
    usually we try to use it as fresh as possible so I don't know the limits, we
    just give the week-old milk to the chickens... I can taste it as soon as it
    gets even a tiny bit goaty and I find it very distracting in my coffee...
    anyway, you seem to be doing the right things.

    What about afterwards in the fridge? Could it be warming up too much by
    the door opening, putting pots of warm stuff in the fridge, etc.? Is your
    fridge cool enough? Maybe a min-max thermometer could help.

    The other thing is could debris be getting into the milk while milking the later
    does; goats are dusty critters. We bring the milk up to the house to strain
    and chill (but we just have two does). When we first started, we would chill
    the milk without straining, and strain much later, and we ended up with very
    goaty milk, I was about to give up on goats.
  6. TimandPatti

    TimandPatti Texas

    May 28, 2003
    Hmmmm our milk taste great for 5-7 days. I also give the old milk to the chickens. I pasturize it, after running cold water through pasturizer it is cool enough to place in half gallon jars, place in freezer for an hour then put in fridge.
  7. Gailann Schrader

    Gailann Schrader Green Woman

    May 10, 2002
    Indiana - North Central
    You aren't close to a buck are you? If the buck is close, the goat women like to smell like him! Go figure. ALSO, are you feeding alfalfa or something else when you put them on the milk stand? DON'T feed anything strong smelling within an hour of milking - pine needles included. Sooooo, withhold hay during that time if you can. Do you have anything else near your milking stand? Gasoline, etc.? You really shouldn't have ANYTHING tainting the milk the way you are handling it... I agree to let the milk "breathe" to off-gas and let it cool quicker. Some goats have a stronger taste to their milk too... Good Luck!
  8. boren

    boren Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2004
    I'm working on exactly the same problem. :confused:

    The milk tastes great fresh but as it sits in the fridge it slowly picks up a very weak goat after taste. For the first 2 days you have to really look for it, but by about 3-4 days it's fairly pronounced. It's not sour milk, I've had bad goat milk and it almost made me sell our goats. :eek: Heh.

    My milking follows yours pretty much, except I only have 1 goat.

    1. I wash the udder with udder wash.
    2. milk into a clean stainless steal pail
    3. use teat dip
    4. weight the milk
    5. put the pail into a bucked full of ice cubes+water.
    6. come in, filter the milk into a 9x12 pan in the freezer.
    7. within 45 minutes the edges of the pan have frozen milk ringing it. Temp is 32-33 degrees.
    8. Transfer in into 1/2 gallon mason jars in the fridge at 35 degrees.
    9. Everything is washed with dairy cleaners and dairy strength bleach.

    I've noticed the flavor is more pronounced when the doe's diet is changing, which makes me think maybe it's the doe. I don't have any to compare to till fall.

    I'm also worried that maybe some bleach residue is getting left behind and changing the flavor. I'm going to try not spraying down the bowls in bleach next week. I'm also going to try straining the milk in the barn, but it's dusty out there.

    I'm currently testing temp. I used to have the milk towards the top of the fridge, fridge temp is being monitored closely, and keeping the milk at the bottom where it stays closer to 35 all the time.

    Let me know if you find anything.
  9. But I don't do the half of this and we don't have a problem....
    I just:

    Wash udder with hot water and clean cloth, no soap or anything else.

    Squirt first couple squirts into a pan for the kittens

    Milk--cover clean, not sterile, pan when finished, set aside for a couple seconds while I wash down and cover the milking stand.

    carry covered pan into house, strain through cloth and place capped jar into bowl of ice water on the counter for a while til cold, then put in fridge.

    It always tastes just fine?
  10. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2003
    Ouachitas, AR
    Ours tastes great and we seem to have done all the no-no's. :) Our buck is still in with our doe. She eats browse including honeysuckle. Our milking procedure is:
    1. We have a plastic bucket we wash out every day right after milking with just dish soap and hot water. We put a muslin cloth over it pinned with clothespins during milking.
    2. We wash our does udder with warm water.
    3. We filter the milk through a reusable coffee filter basket (the kind you use in place of paper filters).
    4. We refridgerate the milk.
    That's it and our milk tastes just like store bought half and half. It doesn't last very long, we drink it so fast, so I'm not sure how many days it's good for. We've had it 4-5 days though and it was fine.

  11. Jamie

    Jamie Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    It really is a process of elimination. The area where the goats are milked should be free of any strong smells, and always leave the lid off while cooling the milk. The goat's water supply can also be suspect, if they are drinking from a pond or water trough where the water isn't changed daily. If the milk develops a slight "salty" flavor, check for mastitis. It might be a good idea to anyway. I am also a big believer in stainless steel everything, anything that the milk touches. We also have a seperate frig just for milk, cheese and eggs. We took the bottom shelf glass that covered the crisper drawers off, and fill the crispers with water and ice chunks (we freeze 2 liter coke bottles of water and then an ice pick to make it into nice chunks) and sit the glass jars into the ice water to cool. This has really helped us to keep our milk fresher tasting, longer. I have milk in the frig that's almost 2 weeks old, and still tastes great, and I'm very sensitive to "off" tasting milk. Good luck with your milk!
  12. dlindley

    dlindley New Member

    Dec 18, 2002
    Finger Lakes Region, NY
    You've gotten great answers so far. The one thing we do that I haven't seen mentioned yet is briskly brushing each doe before leading her into the milking room. Even a short brushing gets off an amazing amount of hair, dust and other icky stuff that otherwise could easily find its way into the milk pail.
  13. Heavy molassased feeds, a doe needing to be wormed, minerals imbalance, mineral defficiency. Also milk each doe seperatly and keep her milk seperate in the fridge, see if it is truly all the does with bad milk or just one. All the does than you likely have a nutritional problem going on. Staph can also cause keeping quality problems, especially if you have uneven udders that go along with it. Toggs where bred to have a stronger tasting milk for the cheese in the region they came from.

    Like above I use wetones, milk, teatdip with 1 gallon of clorox to 1/4 cup water (kept in a spray bottle) milk comes in the house to be strained. During the heat of summer I put 22 ounce frozen soda bottles down into the container, to be milked over. To cool the milk faster. I also don't milk all 8 gals and then go to the house, but go to the house after every 4 goats, so the milk is not sitting in our heat until I finish chores.

    Shaving the udder and belly also makes for much cleaner milk. Straining into real milk filters or butter muslin. Hope some of these help.