Maybe you just started to raise goats, or maybe you are someone who’s been in the farming business for a while. Either way, you can very well have this question in mind, how long does raw goat milk last in the fridge? It’s an important question to ask as goat milk is an amazing source of protein and it would be awful to let it waste.
The short answer is 7 to 10 days. But for that you’ll need to properly collect and store your goat milk. Any mistake in this case can lead to contamination which can greatly speed up the spoiling of the milk.
In this article, I will talk about the question at hand a bit more broadly. And also suggest a few tips and tricks to maximize the shelf life of your goat milk. I urge you to read the article thoroughly for a better understanding.
How Long Does It Last?
So, if you leave goat milk outside it can go bad in just a few hours under room temperature. Of course, as someone looking to preserve goat milk, you would not want to do that. Raw goat milk taken properly can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. 7 to 10 days is the ideal threshold but they don’t usually go bad before 14 days.
If you would be storing the goat milk raw then you should try to use it up rather soon. Sadly, you can’t hope to preserve raw goat milk for long periods. For that, you would need pasteurizing. Pasteurized milk can last around 2 months easily which is a lot longer than raw milk.
You do not have to fear that you might mistakenly ingest spoiled milk. The milk that goes bad is unmistakable to spot. The smell of milk that has gone bad is very rancid and the taste of spoiled goat milk is very sour. If you spot a bad odor then it is safe to assume that the goat milk is gone for good and needs to be gotten rid of.
How to Store Raw Goat Milk in Fridge So It Lasts Longer?
As I have already said, goat milk usually lasts from about a week to 10 days. But that is when you properly store it. If you just haphazardly throw them in the fridge then they can even spoil much earlier which would be quite unfortunate. There is a proper way to store raw goat milk to preserve its taste and goodness.
People prefer raw goat milk over pasteurized because of its taste. So, the amazing taste of raw goat milk must be preserved when storing it. This process has three parts to keep in mind. Collecting, cooling, and finally, the actual storing.
Collecting the Milk
Collecting your milk is the first step. If this goes wrong then it’s all downhill from there. So, you have to do this correctly. It starts from the udders. You must clean the udders before starting to collect milk. Udders can get dirty easily and you do not want your milk to get contaminated. So, clean the udders before you start to milk them.
After cleaning the udders, you need to collect the milk in a clean pot. A seamless stainless-steel bucket is the best choice for this job. They can be costly sometimes but they are very much worth it. Materials other than stainless steel can be prone to the risk of contamination.
A seamless steel bucket is best. Because if there are seams then those seams can have residue stuck in them. That residue can add to the issue of milk going bad earlier than it should be. The residue will allow bacterial formation which may enter the milk you collect later on.
After you are done collecting you need to clean your equipment too. Unclean equipment can lead to smells and bacteria to develop which will not be pleasant. You need to rinse out the buckets and clean them properly and dry them for use next time.
Cooling the Milk
This might seem like a fairly simple thing but it is essential when storing your goat milk. If the milk is not properly cooled before putting in the fridge the sudden temperature change can damage the milk’s quality. Cooling also prevents bacteria and other microorganisms from forming.
When the milk comes out of the udders of the goat it is fairly heated up. After all, it is from a mammal’s body. If you put that hot milk directly inside the fridge the cooling process will be slower, and give the microorganisms time to form. Microorganisms will spoil the milk rapidly.
What you need to do is let the milk cool down at room temperature. Leave the milk under room temperature for a bit till it reaches around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. After it reaches that temperature the milk should be perfect and ready for storage.
You will need to properly cool the milk if you want its shelf life to be optimal. Uncooled milk stored in the fridge will go bad very quickly and lose its sweet and milky taste very soon after storing. So, it is mandatory that you cool the raw goat milk before storing it.
Storing the Milk
Now comes the final piece of this puzzle, storing it in the fridge. Once you’ve collected and cooled your precious goat milk, it is time to store it properly. For storage, you first need to strain the milk.
Straining is crucial as no matter how much you try some foreign elements will enter the milk and float. That is not ideal for storing and consuming. You need to put the raw goat milk through a strainer to separate the foreign elements.
Glass jars are best for storing milk in the fridge. Plastic is not ideal as it can harm the taste of the milk. Glass jars are ideal. You should store raw goat milk in large glass jars in the back of your fridge where it is cooler.
The cream might separate but that will help the milk stay good longer. When you need to drink the milk, you can simply shake the jar to get it back to your preferred consistency. The separation extends the shelf life of raw goat milk. It is advised that you do not shake the stored jars as that might damage the separation and spoil the milk quicker.
Pasteurize Goat Milk for Storing Longer
Some people prefer the taste of raw milk and have a dislike for pasteurized milk. That is why people tend to look into storing raw goat milk. It is to be noted that if you follow my advice properly you can expect a shelf life of almost 10 days. It is unrealistic to expect raw goat milk to last any longer.
But, if you do not have qualms with the taste and just want a long shelf life instead, consider pasteurizing your goat milk. Pasteurizing can be done at home easily. Also, pasteurized milk can be stored for a considerably longer period of time. Pasteurized goat milk can last up to 60 days in the fridge so it’s great for stocking up on goat milk.
As you have learned by now with the proper methods followed raw goat milk can be stored up to 10 days. But you can extend that time just by pasteurizing it.
I hope I answered your question of how long does raw goat milk last in the fridge and helped you discover some ways to make it last longer. I wish you the best of luck and until next time, farewell.