How To Transport And Store Fresh Goat Milk
Some of you may be purchasing your raw milk directly from the farm. Here are some tips about how to transport and store your farm-fresh raw milk.
Chill raw milk within an hour of milking
Raw milk is approximately 99-102 degrees Fahrenheit (F) as it comes from the goat, and needs to be chilled to 40°F as fast as possible, preferably within an hour of milking since bacteria count doubles every 20 minutes at body temperature. Chilling the milk fast ensures a longer shelf life — and it just tastes better (will have less “off flavors”) if it is chilled quickly and stays cool.
How to store raw milk
It’s very important that farm-fresh raw milk be kept below 40 degrees F at all times in the delivery system. Containers that maintain proper temperature are needed all the way to the delivery point. Your milk will stay fresher longer if you never break the cold chain.
Container size and type are important. I use quart size canning jars for our fresh goat milk. The jars cool the milk evenly in the refrigerator. Also I am able to disinfect the jars in boiling water. Make sure your milk containers are clean. All organic dairymen I know are sticklers about squeaky clean containers. Quart, wide-mouth canning jars are optimal for ease of cleaning. Use only tempered glass. A good habit to get into is to rinse emptied containers immediately. Use lukewarm water so as not to “set” the milk protein. Then wash in hot, soapy water. Rinse three times with water first to cut suds and then with warm-hot water to speed drying. Drain on a clean dish towel or rack, let air-dry on the counter and then cap. You can also wash in a dishwasher with a non-toxic product.
Transporting fresh raw milk
For transporting fresh raw milk, a cooler or ice chest is needed in order to keep the milk at a cool 40 degrees F or lower at all times. When handling milk, hand washing is the most effective way to prevent contamination for all parties; just before filling the milk jugs is important. I recommend Thieves foaming handsoap with essential oils for this and all toxin-free skin disinfecting needs.
How to Freeze Fresh Goat Milk
I like to keep a supply of fresh goat milk in my freezer. I label quart size freezer bags with Goat Milk, date, name of goat. I was surprised to see good quality raw whole milk is yellow when frozen. I think this is because we now see the butter suspended clearly in frozen liquid.
Thawing frozen raw milk.
To use frozen goat milk to make smoothies, ice cream, for cooking, making soaps and more. Thaw frozen milk slowly at room temperature.
How long does organic raw milk last?
With care, organic milk that has not been warm since it left the contented pastured goat can be stored 7 to 14 days for drinking as sweet milk, with meals to help digestion or as a healthy satisfying snack. After a couple weeks culturing in cold storage, healthy raw milk develops the subtle tang, then it’s a wonderful flavor for cream soups, white sauces, and custards.
On the slim chance there will be any left before fresh milk arrives, this treasure can become the healthy liquid that gives sourdough pancakes, biscuits, and bread their taste appeal. I never waste sour milk down the drain — I feed it to my pets — I pour it on my compost — I dump it on the earth.
At least, I would, if I had any leftover to go sour.
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