My milk has an off flavor

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Momof8kiddoes, May 17, 2005.

  1. Momof8kiddoes

    Momof8kiddoes Well-Known Member

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    My milk has an off flavor...and I think I know what it is, but need to confirm.
    I dont have any lids for my jars right now, so the milk is sitting in the fridge uncovered. Could that do it? I wash the jars in the dishwasher...is that maybe not good enough?
    Mary F.
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Do you have any small yellow flowered plants growing in your pasture? These plants are referred to as either sneeze weed or bitter weed and they can impart a bitter taste to milk. Cows usually do not readily consume this plant. It is a poisonous plant.
     

  3. lizmont2000

    lizmont2000 Active Member

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    Many things can make the flavor "off".
    Plants: bitter weed as already mentioned, chives or wild onions, cleaning techniques and the amount of time from milking to thoroughly chilled. Also, mastitis or infection in the udder.

    My recommendations would be to try:
    Wash your equipment with warm soapy water, spray a mild clorox solution on them, then rinse and air dry.
    Only use stainless steel or glass materials, anything else will hold germs.
    Wash your hands and the udder with warm soapy water before milking.
    Milk out/discard the first 1-2 teat-fulls.
    Chill your milk as quickly as possible. Here in TX we use frozen water bottles in our milk pail to milk onto to chill it as soon as possible---the water bottles get removed first thing when we are finished milking, and they get the clorox treatment. We also discard them after 3 uses.
    Once the milk is strained, pour it into your bottle/jug, put a cover on it and chill it as quickly as possible. We put ours in the deep freeze for 1-2 hrs. A sink full of ice water will work also, we just don't have an ice maker that can keep up with that kind of demand!
    Also you can test for mastitis, or if the milk is off color when milking then milk her out completely but don't keep it. You may need to do this for several days.

    I hope this helps! It is a shame to not have good milk, or to have good milk spill (yes, we do cry over it because of how precious it is!).
    Liz
     
  4. tallpines

    tallpines Well-Known Member

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    If your animal has just recently been turned out to pasture, versus having baled hay-------the milk flavor will be affected.

    Always took a few days for our family to adjust to the change-----or maybe it was the cows that needed a few days to adjust.
     
  5. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I would start by covering my milk in the fridge, nothing absorbs food odor like milk. You don't need much, you should be able to even buy those stretch plastic lids that look like shower caps and be fine. If it's not that, I'd sure look at the other options. If your dishwasher is new and in good working order they should be clean, if you are unsure and you container is glass, you can bake in the overn for 15 minutes, most canning instructions allow for that method of sterilization.
     
  6. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    Our cows' milk started to taste funny to me when they first went out on grass, because they'd pig out on grass instead of their usual feed, then once the newness wore off they'd start to eat more like usual. We also had wild onions but DH usually got to them before the cows did! To pull them up, not eat them :D
     
  7. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mary,
    As WR has said, milk is one of the worst things for absorbing the taint of other foods in the fridge so cover your milk - even if it's just plastic film.

    Cows normally stay away from plants that are strong smelling and strong tasting such as Penny Royal, Buttercup, Wild Onion etc. but if they're pushed for feed they will eat it and the result shows up in the milk taste - nothing like drinking a cup of coffe that tastes of mint because they've eaten Penny Royal ;) . As others have mentioned, going from hard feed to pasture will also make a difference I suppose but can't comment on that as our cows graze pasture 12/12 although they get supplementary feed over the winter months.

    The other thing that is often missed, is that a cow nearing the end of her lactation produces richer, creamier milk which many find unpleasant.

    There are many factors governing the taste of milk and they will be things that you learn as you go on. Just ensure that your milking receptacles are clean and well rinsed with hot water, your milk is covered, and chilled as soon as can be.
    During the summer months I sit my container of house-milk in a bucket of cold water until I'm ready to go back to the house.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  8. Momof8kiddoes

    Momof8kiddoes Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for your replies,
    I will go over my sanitary standards for the milking pail, and find some lids for my jars! She is near the end of her lactation, as someone noted...so that might be it. I honestly tastes like its starting to sour, thats the only way to describe it. I hope I can figure it out before I dry her up,
    Thanks again,
    Mary F.