Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Trouble in Paradise

We were bound to have troubles along the journey of suburban farming.

We can't keep our milk fresh and sweet for more than 24 hours. Goat milk should stay good for at least a week. We have noticed that after 36 hours it is getting a distinct goaty flavor. It's like drinking chevre cheese. Great flavor for cheese, not great for milk.

We are trying some new milk collection/storage strategies. From what I have found out, it is the enzymes in the milk (which multiply at room temperature) that give the milk that goaty/sour flavor. The goal is to cool the milk as fast as possible to keep the enzymes from multiplying.

So far we have tried putting the milk into the refrigerator, but that doesn't cool it fast enough. We have also tried putting it into the freezer for an hour and then into the refrigerator, but that still seems to allow too much enzyme activity.

There is also the remote possibility that Bella's milk is just that way and that we would find a different goat's milk to be better. Unfortunately, we aren't going to wait the 5 months it will take for Penny to have a baby just to see if we can keep her milk longer.

We are trying new ideas to make having goats work for us.

Our two experiments right now are: #1 to put the jar of milk into a cold water bath immediately upon bringing it in.

And #2, to freeze the milk to completely stop the enzyme activity.

We collected milk on Saturday that we put into the freezer and froze solid. Then put that milk into the refrigerator to defrost. It did not get completely liquid until today. And the flavor is good this afternoon. But in reality it has had very little time in it's liquid state. I will be more encouraged if it is still good in two days.

The milk we collected on Sunday evening was put into an ice water bath for an hour then into the fridge. It also tastes good this afternoon, but not super sweet. I don't have great hopes for it. I will test it again in the morning.

*fingers crossed!

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