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So I know that milk should be chilled as fast as possible, but how fast is fast? What I'm trying to decide is where to set up my milking parlor. My two options are in my barn which is about 100 feet from the nearest refrigerator or in my garage where I have a fridge and I could basically milk and immediately put it in the fridge. I know that plenty of people don't have a fridge in their milking parlor, but I'm just wondering since have the option, would it be ideal to be able to put the milk right into the fridge or is it not that big of a deal?
 

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A fridge actually takes a long time to cool milk to a safe temp (35-37ºF). An ice bath chills faster- take milk and strain into clean containers, put in ice and water and chill, then refrigerate.

My milk shipping license says for milk safety, my bulk tank has to have milk down to 38º F within 30 min. and then 34-35ºF in under an hour after being milked from the goat. Any longer and rapid bacterial growth occurs.
 

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Yup..ice bath is fastest. Be sure to strain in smaller jars like a quart jar. Too large takes too long to cool.
 

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I have a tub of water that I keep in the bottom of the fridge, and I put the jars in there to cool, along with some ice packs. It works the best if the water is up to the lid of the jar. The best ice packs I've found so far are those disposable plastic water bottles, frozen. I'll put 6 or so of them in there with the milk. I also like to keep a thermometer in the fridge, so I can monitor the temp.
I currently milk each goat separately, though I only have one goat in milk at the moment. When I was milking two, I would milk the first one, strain the milk and get it cooling in the ice bath, then go back and milk the second one. When I have a larger herd, I may look into getting some sort of a milk tote. But I really think the milk is going to be better if it's chilled more quickly, and I like being able to monitor each doe's milk quality and production separately.
 

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When we first started milking, we put the milk in the freezer for 30 minutes, right after straining, and then into the fridge. We did that for about a year. We found that when life got busy the milk was forgotten, and we accidentally froze more milk than we wanted to.
To avoid freezing milk, we shortened the freezer time to 15 minutes. We didn’t notice a difference in taste or quality.
Then we read on TGS some people just put it in the fridge. So we tried that and found there was no difference.
We like that it seperates after about 3 days.
 

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How long can one keep fresh goat milk in the fridge before it starts tasting off.
Depends on the temperature in your fridge, and how clean your goat's milk was to start with, and how quickly it was chilled. It should keep at least a week. Mine generally keeps about 10 days or so.
I HATE a goaty taste in my milk, so when it begins to get goaty, I don't drink it any more. I'll cook with it or give it to my chickens. But just because it's goaty, doesn't mean that it's bad to drink.
Sometimes, I've been able to keep it non-goaty for 14 days, but that is tricky to do. I have to keep it really cold.
 

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Thanks! Those are good answers. If mine gets goaty I will give it to the cats or the pigs. They won't care lol. Good to know that it can freeze for up to a year. We have a big xtra upright freezer. I will have to get it better organized to make some room for milk.
Do you guys just freeze in Ziplocks or Mason jars or what? Do Ziplocks have issues with leaking when thawing them out?
 

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Thanks! Those are good answers. If mine gets goaty I will give it to the cats or the pigs. They won't care lol. Good to know that it can freeze for up to a year. We have a big xtra upright freezer. I will have to get it better organized to make some room for milk.
Do you guys just freeze in Ziplocks or Mason jars or what? Do Ziplocks have issues with leaking when thawing them out?
I have frozen in Ziploc freezer bags, and I would think you would probably want to thaw them in a bowl or something, in case they leaked. If you freeze in a mason jar, be careful to leave plenty of headspace in the jar, so the milk can expand as it freezes. I also don't know that all mason jars are safe for freezing. Because they're glass, there's a risk they might break. I know some people do freeze in jars, but I have never done it intentionally. I have had milk freeze in the jars back when I still chilled my milk in the freezer, and I never broke a jar that way, but I think the bags are better, and if you freeze them flat, you can store them in your freezer really easily.
 

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I use mason jars, and mark them with the does name on blue painters tape and date.
I’ve had trouble with leaky ziplocks and plastic can absorb odors from other things in the freezer.
I’ll fill a pint size jar to about an inch from the top and have never had a problem. When it’s over a year old, I’ll defrost it in the refrigerator and then shake it up really well and pour the milk into silicone ice cube trays and refreeze it for making soap, lotion and balms. Don’t use plastic ice cube trays the crack after repeated twisting.
Colostrum though, goes straight into my silicone trays because each cube is just about an ounce and easy to pull out what’s needed to warm up. I remove it from the trays when it’s frozen and double bag it in sandwhich, then quart sized bags with the does name in it. One bag will be day 1, the next bag day 2, finally day 3. This way if I have to pull a kid I can return it to mum and the kid will smell “right” to the doe.
 
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