How to Get Great Tasting Goat Milk

3 Things You Must Do to Get Good Tasting Goat Milk Every Time

It’s a common reaction that people scrunch up their faces in disgust whenever I mention drinking goat milk.  This is from folks who have “heard” that goat milk doesn’t taste good.  I have also heard it from not only those who have had the unfortunate experience of grocery store goat milk but also from new goat owners.  It was as if there wasn’t such a a thing as great tasting goat milk. So was it possible?

We had this experience when I first started with our dairy goats.  Sometimes I would hit the jackpot and get a sweet, creamy glass of milk without the taste of goat.  But it would feel like it was more often that it tasted as if I had licked a goat after taking a sip of the milk.  

And so my research began, as well as trying different things.  Ultimately, here’s what there is to understand to get good, creamy, delicious milk:  

Rich, creamy goat milk is possible every single time.
Rich, creamy goat milk is possible every single time.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

1. Chill Out!

The goaty taste comes from the acid in the goat’s milk called caproic acid.  As it warms up, it increases the taste of goat in the milk.  You’ll often hear the advice to get the milk filtered and chilled as quickly as possible.   This is the reason why.  The colder the better.  Standard refrigerators get down to about 45 degrees.  If you can get it a little lower, your milk will keep a bit longer before you detect goaty-ness in your milk.  You may even want to start it in the freezer to get that initial chill and then move it to the refrigerator.  Try both and see what works best for you. 

2. Keep It Clean

Clean is the name of the game when it comes to great-tasting goat milk. And by clean, it means everything it takes getting it from the goat to the glass. 

  • However, if you have to hand milk, you have two options:  Milk it into a pail and then pour it through a milk filter into its storage jar.  In the beginning, I actually took squares of muslin cloth that were bleached and used a canning rim to hold it on top of a mason jar that I was storing the milk in and milked directly into that.  This enabled me to carefully take the cloth off and handle the milk very little.  However, I found that even bleaching the muslin didn’t guarantee that the cloth got clean enough to prevent goaty-tasting milk. I switched to using coffee filters, but they filtered too slowly.  Lastly, I bought the milk filters designed for the job, and guess what… it worked. Some things you just can’t DIY well.  But, it’s something you can experiment with yourself.  
  • If you’d like to try an even more natural method of cleansing your goat, Hannah of The Giving Goat Natural Goat Care & Blog recommends warm water and Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap to clean. She also recommends dipping teats in half vinegar and half water afterward followed by an application on the whole udder of coconut oil infused with lavender or tea tree oil or both! (½ c coconut oil with 20 drops of essential oil). I am going to start trying that myself!

Sanitize your jars and make sure they are dry.  Wash your jars in hot, soapy water.  Some folks will even add a dash of bleach to their wash water.  I have found that hot, soapy water works just as well.  Additionally, dry it thoroughly!  Tap water can carry bacteria and, as mentioned above, will allow your milk to go goaty quickly.  I learned this the hard way, thinking water is clean, it can’t hurt the milk.  Wrong.  I noticed when they are completely dry, milk stays fresher for longer.

3. Keep Your Goat Healthy

I know that we all intend to do the best for our animals.  There’s no way we would dream of neglecting them.  Goats are funny though.  Sometimes they hide issues and it’s usually reached a critical state if they are showing signs of illness. (But that can be discussed in another post). Milk production is not a necessary, life-sustaining function.  So for the goat, what they need in nutrients will go to the more important functions first.   For the purpose of great tasting goat milk, let’s talk about keeping their nutrients balanced.

Your milking goat needs good quality hay, even if they have access to pasture.  The hay should have thick roughage that will keep that rumen working right. 

Your milking goat should have quality grain. It’s tough at the time of writing this article because the price of grains has gone up so much.  Do the best you can with what you have.  Quality in, quality out. Additionally, keep in mind that grain too high in molasses content also causes odd-tasting milk. So, try to avoid “sweet feed” which has a high molasses content. 

Make sure they have the copper they need (if their coat is rough and slightly brown-tinged, it’s a good sign they need copper). 

Make sure they have access to good, loose minerals.

Lastly, make sure they have access to a cobalt lick

Pay attention to their Famacha score and keep their parasites in good balance. 

Seems obvious, but always give them access to clean and plentiful water.  Goats won’t drink as much water if it’s warm in warm weather or cold water in cold weather. Cold water in the heat.  Warm water in the cold. More water in the goat.  Less water in means less milk out. 

In conclusion, I hope these tips will help you get that great tasting goat milk you’ve always wanted from your goats.  Don’t give up, it’s possible! What have your experiences been with goat milk? I’d love to hear!

By the way, something that should go without saying, but maybe you are intimidated by, is getting your goat bred. If you’d like some insight on that, you can learn more in this blog: https://maplewoodhomestead.com/breeding-time-for-goats/

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