Are you worried about having bad tasting goat milk? Are you scared of having that “goaty” flavor that so many people complain about? Here are 9 tips to ensure that you have the best tasting goat milk ever!
Best Tasting Goat Milk
Goat milk does not have to taste bad! In fact, in my experience fresh goat milk tastes better than any cow milk bought at the store!
Mastitis in Goats
If you find that your goat milk has an off flavor, the first thing to check is the goat’s health. You need to be sure that your goat doesn’t have mastitis or a deficiency. If you would like to learn more about how to diagnose or care for your goats then be sure to check out the Raising Goats for Beginners Course! It covers both of these issues and will teach you how to handle them. I created this course with two of my fellow goat ladies and it’s my go to guide for anything that my goats are dealing with. If I can’t remember dosages or treatment options off the top of my head, I reference this course!
However, if you are certain that your goat is not dealing with a health problem and you are still experiencing off tasting milk then keep reading!
Goat Milk Colostrum
The next thing to consider if your goat milk is tasting “off” is how long you have been milking your doe.
Once a doe has kidded you need to wait at least a couple of weeks before drinking her milk.
This is because, just like people, the doe will produce colostrum for her babies before her milk comes in. And, while colostrum is extremely nutritious, it doesn’t taste very good! It has a pretty bitter flavor.
Now, even once the milk comes in there can still be colostrum mixed in with it.
In my experience each doe is different. And the amount of time that it takes for the milk to be completely colostrum free is different with each goat. I have one doe that by the time two weeks rolls around her milk tastes perfect. However, I have another doe that tends to produce more colostrum and it takes about a month (or sometimes more) for the colostrum taste to be completely gone.
So this is definitely something you need to consider when trying to determine why your goat milk tastes off. If your doe has recently kidded, maybe just give her some more time and then try again.
Clean Milking Environment
Ok, so if you’re still with me then you feel pretty confident that you aren’t dealing with an illness and your doe is past the colostrum phase of milk.
Or maybe you’re just researching to be sure that you can have great tasting goat milk before bringing your goats home, which is a great idea too! Again, if you’re just starting out then be sure to get the Raising Goats for Beginners Course, it’s a must have for every goat owner!
Ok, the next step to getting the best tasting goat milk is to be sure that your environment that you are going to milk in is clean. This includes the goat! You want to be sure to wipe down your goat’s udder to keep any debris from falling into your milk. You can learn more about this and all of the other supplies that you need to milk your goat in my post about the necessary Goat Milking Supplies.
So clean off your goat and be sure that the surrounding area is clean as well.
Stainless Steel Milk Pail
As I mention when discussing Goat Milking Supplies, milking in stainless steel is crucial. You do not want to milk into a plastic container. Plastic can easily hold bacteria which can then get into the milk. Also plastic is known to hold odors as well, which can mean disaster for the taste of your milk.
So always milk in stainless steel and never let your milk come in contact with plastic!
Separate Bucks and Does
In my post, Should Bucks and Does be Separated I talk about the many pros and cons to keeping your bucks in a separate pen from your does.
One of the pros to keeping them apart is the flavor of your milk. That’s right! By keeping them together you can end up with a very strong flavored milk.
We all know that bucks stink during the rut! I mean, it’s nasty! You do not want that smell getting in your milk. By leaving the bucks with the does they will be getting that nasty stench on your does, which greatly increases the odds of it ending up in the milk!
What Not to Feed Goats
What your goats eat is extremely important. Not only is it important for the health of your goat, but it’s also important for the flavor of your goat milk.
You do not want to let your goat eat strong flavored plants such as garlic or wild onions. These types of plants are definitely going to give your milk a funny taste!
So be sure to remove these if possible from your goat’s field to prevent having funky tasting milk!
Filtering your milk is another important step towards great tasting goat milk.
You can read about exactly what I use to filter and strain my milk in my post Goat Milking Supplies. I also address in that article why I filter my milk during the milking process as well.
Clean milk equals great tasting milk!
How to Store Goat Milk
How you store your goat milk is also a critical factor in goat milk flavor. As I mentioned above, you never want your goat milk to come in contact with plastic!
I only store my milk in glass containers. You can see the jars and jugs that I prefer in my article Goat Milking Supplies.
Glass is the cleanest way to store milk and will ensure that no outside flavors or odors are entering your milk. Plus milk stored in glass will last longer as well!
Goat Milk Temperature
Ok, this last tip is, I think, the most important when it comes to flavor!
Goat milk that is left at room temperature too long will result in an off flavor. You NEED to chill your milk quickly.
Now, there are several ways to do this.
I’ve heard of some keeping their milk bucket inside another pail of ice water to help it chill as it enters the bucket. This seems like a lot of work to me and not something that I do.
I’ve also heard of some putting their milk in an ice bath in the fridge after straining it into their glass jars. This is also a method that I do not use as, again, it’s more work!
The most effective and the easiest method that I have found is to place your jars or jugs of milk into the freezer for a period of time before transferring them to the fridge.
Immediately after miking I put my jars into the freezer for 90 minutes to chill them down quickly. After 90 minutes I transfer them to the fridge. This is the best way that I have found to get the milk cold as quickly as possible!
The only thing you need to watch out for when putting the milk in the freezer is that you don’t forget about it! Don’t ask me how I know this! I may or may not have experienced broken jars due to expanding frozen milk;) But as long as you take them out at the 90 minute mark you won’t have to worry about this.
And they don’t always bust when left in the freezer. It really just depends on how full your jars are and if there is enough room for the milk to expand as it freezes. It’s definitely better to just take it out on time though and not risk it;)
Best Tasting Goat Milk
And that is nine tips for having the best tasting goat milk! Follow each of these steps and you are sure to have delicious tasting milk that everyone will love! Trust me, even the biggest skeptics will become goat milk fans after tasting your goat milk! Honestly, if you don’t tell them it’s from a goat they won’t even know;)