Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Proper Care of Milk

Goat Milk Needs Special Care

Ice bag for Henry Milker
I can remember as a kid proudly bringing in the half full milk pail to my mom every evening after milking my goats. The milk always had hair in it, most often it would also have floaters, you know, pieces of whatever fell off the body of the goat down into the milk and always, the goat would stick her hoof in the bucket at least once, often, 3 or 4 times. Now I don’t know about you, but we never washed our goat’s hooves before milking.  The hoof is the area where large amounts of pooh collect and just one good kick and dip in the milk bucket would get that goats hoof clean as a whistle. I would bring the milk bucket to mom and apologize about the ‘stuff” in the milk, she would always say, “Mikey, don’t worry about it, it’ll all come out when I strain the milk”.
Mom would get a piece of torn-off old sheet (clean but old) and place it over the mouth of a gallon mason jar. A big special rubber band around the mouth would hold the cloth in place. With a steady hand she would then pour the milk from my milk bucket down into the gallon jar. At the end of the process there would always be pieces of stuff that got strained from the milk. I thought that was just fine and drank goat milked strained through a bed sheet for 10 years. I didn’t kill me but heaven only knows what that milked contained after those floaters soaked in the milk bucket and became a part of the liquid.
 Closed milking systems keep out the stuff
A closed milking system that would protect the fresh clean milk from dirt and hair was not the main reason I invented the Henry Milker but it was certainly the second place reason. After cleaning the udder and teats with a pre-milking wipe, you just hook up the teat cups and watch the milk flow into a fresh clean mason jar, just like mom used to strain the milk into when I was a youngster. With the Henry Milking system you will never have to worry about hooves in the bucket, dirt and hair in the milk and you’ll never again have to strain your milk.
Quick chilling of milk
Goat milk needs to be chilled as soon as possible after leaving the goat’s teat. Goat milk contains active enzymes that will quickly multiply and if allowed to multiply too long will cause a reaction that often gives goat milk that off taste that so often leaves rookie goat milk drinkers unimpressed.You can now milk directly into the Henry Milker with the new carrier packed with ice, instant chilling.

Chilling the milk will slow the enzyme growth process and freezing the milk will completely stop it. As I milk each day with my Henry Milker, I fill one-quart jar, unscrew, place on a regular lid, and sit it in a small ice bag.
Once I have filled each of the quart jars and have finished my milking chores, I place each of the filled, chilled jars directly into the freezer. You want to make sure your jars are “freeze approved” (Henry Milkers come complete with freezer approved jars). I have the best tasting goat milk around because of my closed milking system, special feed rations and instant chill/freeze procedures for milk.


  1. Mike, I totally agree with you -especially the immediate chilling of the milk. When I had my goats, I purchased an old fridge to put in the barn especially for this purpose. My goat milk never had that goaty flavor - I remember tricking a friend of mine who said he'd never be able to drink goat milk because of the goaty flavor. To this day, he still thinks I lied! I tend to think that even large (commercial) goat milk producers don't take this care in their dairy products. Even the best commercial goat products have that goaty flavor - makes you wonder how long it sits!

    1. Christine, I see a took a blog posting on fresh milk to get you to peak your head back out into the goat world briefly. Thank you for your comments, you are indeed the expert when it comes to goats and family! Wish you well.

  2. I bought a 2 gallon plastic pail with lid and a stainless pail to fit into the plastic pail, I put the two in the freezer during the day or in the evening. Next milking I have a pail suronded by ice water, Milk the goat and put into the stainless pail, when I get through with chores and into the house, my Goat Milk is 40-45* Best tasting milk around.

  3. I have much experience with hooves in the bucket, among other floaties. I don't know how I lived without my Henry Milker and am so very thankful for this wonderful tool. However, for peace of mind, I still strain the milk before it heads to the freezer. It seems no matter how well I wash that udder, there is always that 1 little piece of "something" in the milk.