Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Milk Pail Diaries
Tables, Tasting and Trials

Much to update on the Goat Front. Starting with a huge thank you to reader, CJ, who bartered a wooden handmade brand-new milking stanchion for a weekend pass at Antlerstock. He already has it build and loaded up and will hand it over to me tonight at the Greenhorns Event in Williamstown! How amazing is that?! I'll post a photo of Big Bonita on it tomorrow. I'm beyond pleased about it. The set up I rigged is working, but nowhere near as ideal as a proper milking stand. I sit on the ground on clean hay, but it would be nice to sit on a stool and be certain she wouldn't be stepping off.

Thanks to everyone's advice and tips, I have started to enjoy the milk here as a substitute for all the things I used cow's milk for. In my cereal, by the glass, in my coffee. Either Bonita is special or that chilling/freezing method really works because her milk tastes no different in flavor or texture than 2% Cows Milk. No "goaty" taste at all. It's not as fatty as the whole milk in my fridge, but way more "wholesome" than a skim or fat-reduced milk. I'm really happy about that. Most goat milk I have tried has either been off local food source shelves from neighboring farms, and way too "goaty" for my taste. But I can not tell the difference between this chilled, fresh, Alpine milk and the stuff I've been drinking my whole life.

I brought a glass-bottle pint with vanilla extract and sugar into the office today, for coffee. Everyone at work treating it like the black stain of the Company Fridge. We need some goat milk education around these parts...


Blogger Kris said...

Jenna, I don't know if anyone else mentioned this, but goat milk is naturally homogenized. The fat globules in it are way smaller than in cow's milk so it's way easier to digest. People who cannot drink cow milk can drink goat milk. So people with stomach problems like ulcers can drink it.

Alpine milk is very smooth and good. I have one Nubian who has the best richest thickest milk though. It's so good.

How long ago did she freshen? And are they going to loan you a buck to breed her with? I know at dairies they take the kids away right after they kid. Do you know what she had and how many?

Also wanted to mention that when you get a goat that's already in milk and giving alot, that when you move her to a new place she will go down quite a bit til she gets used to you and her new home. I am so glad you are getting a stanchion. It will be nice to sit on a stool. I use a bucket myself. I have always wanted one of those cool old style 3 legged milking stools. When I go to antique stores I always look. Haven't seen one yet. So for now it's a bucket for me.

My dogs love the goat milk. And all the cats. So when I milk there are 3 dogs and at least 4 cats. The dogs get theirs squirted onto the stanchion. They keep it nice and clean that way. I bet yours will love it too. I'm so glad Bonita is working out for you. Goats are great.

April 12, 2012 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Rane said...

LOL... That black stain is your gain, more for you. <3 And as for the barter you got that is awesome! I just love farm life for that, be it a helping hand on each others harvest and share of what you harvested to raising a barn... to getting a little Goatie and stand the farmers that help each other always have amazing KARMA... Keep on being you, you seam to be on a beautiful roll.
Cant wait to see what you do next.

April 12, 2012 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

I know nothing about goat milk. Do you have to pasturize it like cow's milk? Why or why not?

Also, how long does it last in the fridge?

April 12, 2012 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

I was wondering how the goat milk would taste. That's encouraging to know it tastes like cow's milk. How exciting for CAF.

April 12, 2012 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Sue Steeves said...

Good thing I don't work there or I might have drained the whole thing myself!!!!! It is nice to know that you share so much of your bounty.

April 12, 2012 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger Sue Steeves said...

Good thing I don't work there or I might have drained the whole thing myself!!!!! It is nice to know that you share so much of your bounty.

April 12, 2012 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Really? No goaty taste? That was what I always hated about goat milk.

Sounds amazing then!

April 12, 2012 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger CarolG. said...

Vanilla sugar is easy to make and transport. Just bury a vanilla bean in about a quart of sugar, leave it for about a week and then you have flavored sugar. You can reuse the bean for literally years. I often have two quarts going, one I am actively using and one that is busy absorbing flavor. Sometimes it is nice to be able to add the flavor without the liquid or color.

April 12, 2012 at 5:23 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

I just got my first batch of fresh spring post-kidding goat cheese from our local place, and even though I expected it, I was surprised how much milder the flavor is than the winter cheese. Wonder if that's part of the reason you don't taste Goat. This stuff is made from Nubians, so I'd be interested to know if the breed makes a difference, too. Maybe it's just that good Cold Antler hand-lugged water!

April 12, 2012 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

I've always wanted a goat, and reading about how good Bonita's milk is, is just making me want one all the more! Now I'm starting to devise ways to keep a goat on our little 1/2 acre suburban lot. Hmmm...I wonder if the neighbors would notice? :)

April 12, 2012 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Debi, I know of a lot of suburban folks who keep NIgerian Dwarfs, a small Dairy breed in urban, rural, town, and suburb areas as "pets" - One girl I know got them licensed and named them like she would a dog, she just didn't tell her town her "dog" was an 80 pound goat! A chain link dog run and a large dog house is all you need for a pari of these milkers!
check and see if your town allows "pet" goats.

April 12, 2012 at 6:19 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Oh, and I am reading up on "goaty" tasting milk. That off taste isn't supposed to be there. Most milk should taste relatively the same. It's just that milk is a breeding ground for bacteria and if proper chilling, sterilization, feed and other factors aren't adhered to the milk will taste off. But it is SUPPOSED to taste like cows milk!

April 12, 2012 at 6:20 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

Now, I want to try goat's milk. Now I've got to find an Alpine goat.

April 12, 2012 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Yep, myth busting abounds with goat milk! If it tastes "goaty" then something's not right!!! Properly handled goat milk will taste exactly like cow milk in every aspect.

@ Lelainia, no you don't have to pasteurize goat's milk. You don't have to pasteurize cow's milk either, for that matter... Raw goat's milk has a shelf life of 10-15 days if it was handled correctly from the start, and is kept cold in the fridge.

@ Debi, you should look into getting a Nigerian Dwarf! Full grown, they are 30-40 lbs. (I have one that only weighs 25 lbs. and is full grown), and they stand 18-20 inches tall. The Nigerian height standard is 21 inches maximum, so they're tiny little things! :) They're good milkers though...

April 12, 2012 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Marci said...

The quick chilling is a great help. The only time our goat milk ever tasted goaty was when we cooked with it like pudding.

April 12, 2012 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Jenni Whicker said...

What's the chilling/freezing method? I'm starting to read up on goats because that's my next major project. I haven't come across anything like that though... When you have time in your busy schedule, would you please explain?

April 12, 2012 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

i have miniature nubians (a cross between a nigerian dwarf and a full size nubian) These were developed as "home" milkers and you can get mini-alpines, mini-lamanchas, mini-saanens too. She is perfect for our urban neighborhood. Curious what the chilling/freezing method you are referring to?

April 12, 2012 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

Curious what the chilling/freezing method you referred to in this post?
One of my favorite parts about having our goats is helping others learn how loving and intelligent they really are and you can't beat the all the benefits of fresh milk and yogurt and kefir and icecream and cheese and...on and on! We have mini-nubians in an urban setting and it is heavenly. They are a cross between the nigerian dwarf and a full sized can get mini-alpines, mini-lamanchas and mini-saanens They are perfect for kids and smaller farms and even legal in certain cities!

April 12, 2012 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Way to go girl on getting your stanchion. My husband put mine on legs and the goats run up a ramp. He made it just for my height and I stand to milk. Much easier on the back. As far as the taste, we prefer the rich Nubian milk but goat milk should taste like cows milk, only better. You might as well get used to the "goat comments". Almost everybody has some nasty to say until they try it. I have the local 4-H club come in every year just for some positive education. The kids quickly learn how good the milk is and they go crazy over the ice cream. Goats are wonderful!!! We just have to get the word out. :)

April 12, 2012 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger From the Country Farm said...

Kris, I happen to have a three legged milking stool, like the one your looking for. I've left a comment on your blog with a bit of detail, let's email if your serious!

April 12, 2012 at 8:20 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

That's correct - it should NOT taste goaty. I'm pretty sure that store-bought goat milk tastes that way because it's pasteurized. Something about applying heat to it seems to bring out the goat flavor. It can also taste that way because of age and/or improper handling. But very fresh, well-chilled goat milk should taste every bit as good as cow's.

The "black stain" remark cracked me up. People are terrified of goat's milk for reasons I can't begin to grasp.

April 12, 2012 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger From the Country Farm said...

If goat milk or cheese made from goat milk tastes "goaty" it wasn't handled properly, or the does are running with the buck which will make the milk taste like a goat. If it is handled properly, chilled properly form a healthy clean doe you will not taste any difference. Different goats have different tastes based on feed or breed or butterfat. Alpines and Saanens are like Holstein cows they produce A LOT of milk. Nubians are like the Jersey, they produce less typically, but are the highest in butterfat which makes their milk heavier and fattier. Goat milk should taste like goat milk not like a goat and cows milk should taste like cows milk and not like a cow.

April 12, 2012 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I can't wait for the day that I can have my own goat. Unfortunately, my landlord will only allow for chickens right now. Until then, I think I'm going to look into purchasing it from my buyers club, just to see if they're doing it right like you are!

April 12, 2012 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger E said...

You might like one of these:

Lehmans has wooden one legged milking stools too.

A barter item from woodworking neighbor perhaps?

April 12, 2012 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I am so curious about the chilling/freezing you talk about. I am sure I could go back and re-read posts and comments... and I might when I have more time, but I would love to keep a goat (or two) in the next couple years so I am excited to hear about how the milk doesn't taste "goaty". I have often wondered if that was something in people's heads. Like if they were blind folded and asked to taste goat and cow milk could they really tell the difference?

April 12, 2012 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger SWEETHEARTS MOM said...

Keep boy goats off your farm and you should not have the goaty smell/taste;

April 12, 2012 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger Jenny Glen said...

That's interesting that you said it tastes the same as cows milk. I've always hated goat cheese for the same reason you were saying "goaty"

April 12, 2012 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hey Jenna, has Jasper met her yet? Just curious how their initial meeting went! I know you weren't going to put them "together" yet just for safety reasons for now, but I wasn't sure if they'd been sniffing through the top barn door : ) glad your milk is tasting good, also glad you worked something out with CJ. Bartering rocks~

April 12, 2012 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger rachel whetzel said...

@Lauren, the chilling is just a fast way to cool milk quickly. Most people use a bowl of ice water, and set their jar of goat's milk in it AS SOON as they are done milking. Different breeds of goats have different levels of butterfat in them. The higher the butterfat content, the sweeter the milk. I have Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goats, and they have the highest butterfat content of all the milking breeds. This means that pound of milk for pound of milk, my goat's milk will have double the amount of butter or cheese yields as other goats. Plus, they cost less to keep. :)
@Lelainia N. Lloyd you don't HAVE to pasteurize any milk. Cow or goat. Some people say that pasteurization quickens the break down of milk, and sometimes brings out the goaty flavor sooner. I don't pasteurize my goat milk.

April 13, 2012 at 12:52 AM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

Jenna, I work for an artisan cheese maker here in Atlanta, GA -- CalyRoad Creamery. Email me for a great chevre recipe. Also, we make EXCELLENT aged goat cheese with the chevre based.
As far as I know, we have never tried to make mozzarella with goat!!
My email:

April 13, 2012 at 5:52 AM  
Blogger Pit Stop Farm said...

I'm also interested in the chilling/freezing method....

April 13, 2012 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

@E, that one-legged strap-on stool looks hilarious! Even though I can see it would be incredibly useful, all I can picture is what it would look like while you're walking around the yard with the one leg sticking out behind and waggling as you move. I would have to live in a much more secluded location, I think, to use it. Maybe I just haven't been gardening/farming/homesteading long enough yet to stop caring. Thanks for the link!

April 13, 2012 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

If your does are in with a buck, it will not make the milk taste any different. Let me rephrase that, it SHOULD not taste any different. There's something else going on if the milk is tasting goaty.

And I never put the milk in a freezer or even an ice water bath, I just put it right in the fridge and it chills plenty quick enough, even in 1/2 gallon jars.

April 13, 2012 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Taryn Kae Wilson said...

Our goat milk never tasted "goaty". We read that goat's milk has an enzyme in it that gives it a "goaty" taste when it ages, basically- that it needs to be consumed fresh or it will develop "goaty" flavor.

April 13, 2012 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

@Taryn, I've noticed the aging thing for sure. Different people are also more or less sensitive to the "goaty" flavor. I start to notice it after about three or four days. My husband doesn't notice it for about a week. ;)

@Sylvia - try mozz sometime! If you can get it to work, it's really good!

April 13, 2012 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Rachel W - Thank you for the information! I will definitely keep that in mind for my future goat.

April 14, 2012 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

WOW! That last a fairly long time then. I only know about cow's milk in reference to a friend's farm that sells to a commercial dairy here in Canada. The regulations about how it's stored, etc. are pretty specific and I wondered how it worked with goat's milk.

Do you find that you'll go through what Bonita is producing or will you end up having to give some away or sell it?

April 14, 2012 at 7:42 PM  

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