Potential Causes of and Remedies for Milk Odor

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One of the best things you'll ever drink is goat's milk. It is sweet and light with freshness to boot. Well, at least that is how it should taste although sometimes that is not quite the case. The taste of goat's milk under normal circumstances is quite pleasing to the palate but there are variables that can alter that taste. Knowing what those are is the first step in solving the problem and getting back to enjoying the delightful taste of goat's milk as nature intended.

A common reason why goat's milk may taste off is due to pheromones. When pheromones are present, the taste of milk can become musky which detracts from the normal flavor. Since bucks are known to give off a strong pheromone odor, having a buck in close proximity to does in milk will actually alter the milk's taste. This is because the female's hormones are manipulated and therefore so is the taste of her milk. Luckily this is a problem easily remedied; simply create distance between bucks and does by pasturing them separately away from one another unless breeding is taking place.

If you've ruled out the presence of a buck as the reason your milk tastes off, then it is possible that the problem is in the handling of the milk itself. Sometimes it is something as simple as residue in the milking pail that can alter the taste. Each time you milk, be sure to rinse your bucket thoroughly with water. After that, use soap or the cleaner of your choice to remove any residue, then rinse again. Be sure to do your first rinse with cool water in order to prevent milk remnants from hardening but finish the process with a hot rinse. Running pails through the dishwasher on a weekly basis is a good idea as well.

Potential Causes of and Remedies for Milk Odor - GPS1504 - edible-aspen-166.jpg
Photo: Edible Aspen

Another potential culprit in off tasting milk could be a problem with the filtration process not being quite thorough enough. The filtration process needs to get out all of the hair, dirt, and any other debris and nothing should be left behind. If you feel that your filtration is to blame, go ahead and experiment with different filters until you find one you feel works for you, be it stainless steel strainer or something disposable instead.

The next potential taste altering issue to address is the containers in which you store your milk. Glass is best for this purpose. When washing these, follow the same process for washing pails except that glass jars should be run through the dishwasher after every use.

The final thing to worry about is temperature. Goat's milk should be refrigerated as quickly as possible and the ideal storage temperature is between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. If milk seems to sour in the fridge prematurely, the fridge itself could be to blame as some fridges may not be able to achieve and maintain cold enough temperatures. If you have doubts, hang a thermometer inside for temperature confirmation in the area where you store milk. It may be necessary to purchase a secondary mini-fridge to for milk storage if your main fridge isn't quite getting the job done.

In the event that your milk has been tasting off, try the above suggestions and your problem should be remedied. There may be some process of elimination required to get to the exact solution that works for you, but sooner or later you are sure to get there. The process may take some patience, but that sweet, delicious milk will be worth it.

Have you ever had a problem with strange milk taste? What did you do to remedy it? Tell us about it in the comments.

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5 COMMENTS
Posted: 
September 28, 2015  •  11:19 AM
This is the worse wives tale post ever. Non of the above have anything to do with why milk can taste nasty right as you are milking and thereafter. Give me a break.

The biggest factor in the flavor of milk is the feed and when they eat it. If you follow along the lines of what a cow dairy does, then you will have clean consistent tasking milk. Feed high protein good quality feed. The fat is where the flavors at. An old saying that applies to meat can also be applied to milk. The longer gap of time you can give between when a milking animal eats to when you milk them, the cleaner the milk will taste. An animal that is way off on its mineral levels can also produce a bad tasting milk. Then you might need to evaluate your genetics if you are doing everything else correct. But the info provided in this article is absurd. Of course you want all your stuff as clean as can be but associating the flavor of buck that you can get in your milk to an actual buck is laughable.
 
Posted: 
September 28, 2015  •  07:07 PM
When my copper levels are too low, my milk tastes different. Whether or not that "different" actually tastes bad or not is in the judgment of the taster. Storage of my milk in glass or stainless steel results in a different taste than storage in plastic or aluminum. Chilling immediately results in a different taste than letting it sit on my counter for a bit. Again, this is different, not necessarily bad. Not keeping it clean makes it taste bad (according to my own tastebuds)
 
Posted: 
October 1, 2015  •  11:05 PM
So far as milk taste is concerned, in our case it was breed. The milk from our Saanen tastes awful and the only ones who'll drink it are her kids! The milk from our Nubian does and the one British Alpine tastes great. They all graze and are fed together. We've had Saanens before and the milk from them didn't taste nice either. They were followed by a Toggenburg, great tasting milk again and now we have the Nubians and Alpine. For what it's worth - and nothing against the Saanen breed!
camooweal
 
Posted: 
October 1, 2015  •  11:09 PM
I've had some off tasting milk from a coughing doe who turned out to have a respitory infection kinda like goat bronchitis said the vet. Treated with LA200 and after a week of discarding the milk it was delicious.
 
Posted: 
October 5, 2015  •  03:11 AM
We raise Saanen, lamancha and Nigerian...our milk is clean and sweet...never heard Saanen milk tasting bad based on breed...I agree with TDG that Feed has a lot to do with the taste...after switching to our own mix along with chafe hay..our milk is sweeter then ever...
 
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