Goat Milk Should NOT Taste "Goaty" - How to keep Goat Milk Tasting Great !
Updated: Nov 7, 2022
Many people insist that their Goat Milk should taste like Cow Milk, It’s important to remember that Goat Milk isn’t Cow Milk, and we Celebrate its Differences!
Real Fresh Raw Goat Milk is Very Similar to the taste of Cow Milk,
but with a Smooth Creamy Refreshingly Wonderful Taste !
Definitely should NOT be "Goaty" tasting. *
Many things can Affect the Taste of Fresh Goat Milk,
here are our Top 5 List of things to watch for :
Age of the Milk
a Goats Diet,
a Goats Health,
Presence of a Buck.
Cleanliness of the Goats Teats / Milking Equipment,
Regardless whether you are milking your own Goats, or if you buy your Goat Milk from a Local Farm, there are ways to address these taste factors that will result in the most flavorful and delicious Goats Milk you have ever tasted!
At Sunshine Farms of Paisley, Fl, we believe we have the Best Tasting Goat Milk around, and would love to share some tips we have found that helps to make goat milk taste great.
Fresh Goat Milk offers some amazing benefits over Cow’s milk: Easier Digestion,
Fresh Milk Ages - Causing Goat Milk to have a "Goaty" Flavor
Fresh Goat Milk contains the Enzyme Caproic Acid which is the enzyme to blame for the common “goaty” flavor characteristic that will strengthen the taste of fresh Goat Milk as it Ages. Along with Caprylic Acid and Capric Acid, these three fatty acids account for 15% of the fat in a Goat’s milk.
Once the Goat Milk has past its expiration date, a whole new process occurs - Souring. The reason expired milk becomes “curdled” is that the bacteria in the milk grow rapidly when it gets old. The bacteria digest the milk sugar (lactose), producing lactic acid as a result. Lactic acid causes the casein to curdle, or separate into lumps, and gives the milk a soured taste and smell.
A Goats Health - Causing Milk to have a "Goaty" Flavor
If your goat’s milk tastes too strong, the first thing to consider is the animal’s health. Infections in the Goats Udder ( Mastitis ) or other low-grade infections can cause a chemical change in the goats milk.
Poor sanitation and trauma to the goats udder are more common in crowded conditions. In home dairies, it’s easier to recognize and promptly treat Mastitis or other infections, making the issue temporary.
Other conditions that can affect milk taste include stress, temperature extremes (very hot or very cold weather), poor diet, parasite load, medication, and poor sanitation. Keeping a goat’s living quarters as clean and sanitary as possible will positively affect her health and the taste and quality of her milk.
An Important Note on Mastitis If your goat’s milk suddenly tastes Salty, you may be witnessing the early stages of Mastitis. If the udder is red, warm, hard, or abnormally swollen, or if you see ropey “squiggles” in the milk, these are signs of an infection in the mammary tissue.
Mastitis is not something you can ignore, hoping it will go away.
Address it and Treat it before it worsens.
Mastitis most often happens with a lactating doe who does not have kids on her since frequent milking (nursing) is the most effective way to nip early Mastitis in the bud.
If the doe has no kids on her, make sure you milk the doe dry at least twice a day,
if not more. A vaccine for Mastitis caused by Staphylococcus Aureus is now available for goats. Other factors that may make milk taste salty include copper deficiency and the drying-up process (when milk sometimes changes as the doe goes dry).
A Goats Diet - Causing Milk to have a "Goaty" Flavor
The taste of a goat’s milk can be directly related to what she eats. Certain seasonal plants can adversely impact the milk flavor. Milk may also have seasonal differences (spring/summer/fall) depending on what forage is available. If your animal’s milk suddenly takes on a less-than-ideal quality, it’s time to scour the pasture and see what’s blooming (ragweed and wormwood seem to be infamous culprits). If your goat has a controlled diet, try some experimentation by increasing or decreasing various components to see if it’s possible to identify what’s affecting the taste of the milk.
The Milk Handling / Cleanliness - Causing Milk to have a "Goaty" Flavor
Handling Raw Milk A common cause of a "Goaty" flavor is how the milk is handled and processed. For example, destabilizing the fats by handling the milk too roughly can cause bitterness. Since Caproic Acid strengthens the "Goaty" flavor of milk as it ages, freshly chilled milk is best for drinking or making dairy products. Chill immediately after filtering; the longer
milk is kept warm, the faster the lactic acid and bacteria will affect the flavor. Sometimes this altered flavor is preferred in various cheeses or fermented beverages, but if you’re after non-flavored milk for fresh drinking, chill (or freeze) the milk as quickly as possible.
Don’t Forget Cleanliness. Along with proper milk handling, don’t forget to keep your tools (buckets, jars, utensils) as sanitary as possible, so you don’t inadvertently transfer bacteria. Wash the animal’s udder and teats before milking, and keep her pen clean.
Unfortunately, milk is an ideal medium for bacterial growth, so take care at all stages to reduce the chances of contamination by outside sources (dirt, etc.) and reduce the growth of bacteria found naturally in milk. Goat milk can taste bad simply because of poor sanitation practices.
OTHER Reasons that Goat Milk can have a "Goaty" Flavor
Is There a Buck Around? The strong, musky odor of bucks — especially during mating season — is well known. Many caprine breeders believe the year-round presence of a buck may impact the taste of a doe’s milk, even if they’re separated. Though not scientifically proven, it’s a factor to consider, especially since it’s been reported anecdotally too often to disregard. If you keep a buck, milk as far away from him as possible, cover the milk container right after milking, and reconsider letting your lactating nannies anywhere near him.
Pasteurization of Milk Most store-bought goat milk is pasteurized, which often increases the goaty taste. Pasteurization’s heating process kills bacteria, enzymes, and nutrients, which alters the flavor Greatly. Additionally, the extra handling time from goat to store may compromise its freshness. Commercial goat dairies may also use medications (including antibiotics and steroids) that can affect the flavor. In short, pasteurized store-bought milk is a different product than fresh raw milk. NO Comparison whatsoever.
Stage of a Goats Lactation A goat does not give identical quality and quantity of milk every day and every year. The number of pregnancies a doe has had and the doe’s stage of lactation will affect quality and quantity. Think of a lactation cycle like a bell curve — butterfat content peaks a couple of weeks after kidding, then starts a prolonged flattening as the kids grow older. As milk production advances after kidding, fat and protein levels decrease with increasing milk yield. When production declines in mid-to-late lactation, fat and protein concentrations increase. All of these factors can have an impact on the milks taste.
Goat Breeds While you can milk every breed of goat, some breeds are preferred as dairy animals — for a good reason. Milk from these breeds has comparatively high butterfat content, which correlates to better flavor. The most popular dairy breeds are Alpine, Saanen, La Mancha, and Nubians. Nubians have the highest butterfat content, followed by La Manchas, Saanens, and Alpines.
Goat Genetics Some individual goats have a Goatier-Flavored milk than others naturally, and this genetic component can get passed to its offspring. Two does in good health and kept in similar conditions can have very different-flavored milk simply because they’re different animals. If your goat’s milk tastes bad, examine some of the above factors and see what works to improve the flavor. If nothing changes, then it may be you have a “Goaty” Goat. Keep her milk for alternate uses, and use another animal’s milk for fresh drinking.
ARE YOU Florida LOCAL ? Our Farm is Located in Central Florida - Sunshine Farms of Paisley, FL LLC -- We would love to offer our Great Tasting Goat Milk to You and Your Family!