Freezing Goat Milk

how to freeze goat milk

Freezing Goat Milk

As most goat owners know, goats only milk a few months out of the year. If you are really lucky, and have a good milker, you may be able to get milk for up to ten months. Some goat farmers alternate the breeding times of their goats to make sure they get milk for most of the year, however, if you have just a couple of goats, or limited space, alternating breeding times may not be the answer for you.

Here at Exotic Gardening Farms & Wildlife Habitat, we have three dairy goats, Sugar, Spice – pictured above and Darla. The first year we bought them, they were in milk. We did not buy the babies, so we were able to keep all of the milk. We bought Darla in March, Sugar in May and Spice in June. We milked until late August, then decided to dry them up due to a lack of time to milk. During that time we milked twice a day, every day. We had plenty of milk, butter, buttermilk, cheese, ice cream and other dairy products. However when we quit milking, there was no reserve.

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Then we failed to find a buck to breed the girls with, so we went a year without milk. Then in July 2008 we bought our buck Leonardo, a colored angora which can be seen in the photo above. Our grandaughter Trinity is petting him.

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So, the late spring and early summer of 2009 bought baby goats and milk!

However with the babies we did not get as much milk as we did the first year! We still had plenty though, with a little left over. So, I decided to figure out if there was a way to preserve the milk without it taking on a “goaty” taste.

Several ladies on a list I belong to suggested freezing the milk. Now there is a trick to this. First, as soon as you are done milking, either pasterurize it or if you drink raw milk, go ahead and cool it. The best way is to strain it, then pour the strained milk into several small canning jars. I use pint jars that I fill 1/4 of the way full of milk.

I leave this in the freezer for half an hour, uncovered. I open the freezer door every ten minutes and swirl the milk in the jars. Once cooled, pour the milk into a larger canning jar such as a half gallon jar. Do use a canning jar as they will freeze and thaw just fine. Other types of glass may break.

I then put a plastic lid on the canning jar. You can buy these in the canning section of most stores. They are designed to be used on canning jars.

Once the jar of cooled milk is sealed with a lid, put the jar into a large storage or freezer bag and seal. Be sure to write the contents and date on the jars, bag or both.

Put the bags filled with the canning jars on the bottom of a chest freezer making sure they will not easily tip over.

Now, here is the rest of the trick. Do not thaw the milk at room temperature or in a microwave. When you are ready to use some of the milk, sit the frozen jar in the refrigerator and let it thaw naturally. This may take two to three days depending on how cold your refrigerator is.

Once the milk is thawed, use it as you would fresh milk. I had some on cereal and it tastes just like it came from the goat, the only difference is it was ice cold. Delicious! What a great way to preserve goat milk and have it year round!

how to freeze goat milk

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24 Comments on “Freezing Goat Milk

  1. a little hint – I’ve tried it and it works.
    This past year I bought a little Oberhalsi to go with my French Alpines from a local breeder – she told me to add 1/4 tsp of baking soda to a gallon of goats milk before freezing – and yes, thaw in the refridgerator – excellent!

  2. I bought some goat milk at the store today. The expiration on it is 8/3, and would like to buy it up if I can freeze it. How long is it good in the freezer and how long is it good once it is taken out?

    Thanks, Joy

  3. I freeze my milk raw and I strain it into 1/2 gal. jugs that I put in the freezer immediately. When I take the milk out after 3 or 4 months I have chunks. I have been doing this for about 5 years and did not have this problem in years past.
    I’m wondering if it is my freezer temp.?

  4. I drank mine up in about three days. I’m not sure how long it would keep. Ours never lasts more than three days. I would think it would keep at least six months, but I am not 100% positive about that.

  5. Cheryl – that is so odd. Could it be cream? I really have no idea what would cause that. Mine comes out smooth once all the ice chunks melt.

  6. My Nephew is allergic to Cows milk and so he has to drink Goats milk which is not readily available in our town. is it possible to freeze store bought milk. would it freeze the same way as fresh?

  7. Have you ever pasturized your goat milk, frozen it, and then when thawed had–instead of white milk–a separated milk, with what looks like whey on the top and cream on the bottom. Do you need to reheat this to get it to recombine or do you just shake it up vigorously. My grandmother who is 95 cannot drink cow milk so I’ve been freezing it for her after pasturizing. She can only drink a little a week and I’m trying to put some away for her for later use. But we noticed that it will separate after thawing. Any suggestions?? Also how long will it keep in the freezer?

    Thank you in advance.

  8. @Chris: I have not had that problem yet. I have seen the milk and cream seperate. The cream normally rises to the top of the jar. I scrap it off with a spoon and make butter.
    I would try shaking it or using a blender to blend it just slightly – but not too long or it will start to turn into butter.
    I was told it would keep six months. I froze mine in August and used it up by the first week of January. Also, make sure you are thawing it in the refrigerator, not on the counter top. It takes two to three days to thaw, but let it do so naturally.

  9. Hi. My name’s Diana. We’ve had goats for about 5 or 6 years now and have been freezing our surplus milk in the summer to tide us through the winter months. My milk has been defrosting fine with no problems, until this year…. All of a sudden my milk is defrosting with bits throughout, as if its turned. I’ve shaken the milk and it tastes fine and fresh, I don’t understand why I have suddenly this problem. I have changed freezer, could this be the problem? Thank you.

  10. Why don’t you recommend thawing it on the countertop? I have done it before, making sure to refrigerate it as soon as it’s almost but not quite thawed and it seems fine.

  11. Hi Debbie – I had not tried that – and as I am sure you are aware, there could be safety issues if one is not careful. Do you find that using the countertop method results in an off-flavor?

  12. I just got some raw goats milk froma local farm. They had it frozen. I came home and defrosted it. It’s now separated with thick white curd on the bottom and clear liquid on the top. After shaking the bottle a bit, i pour it through a strainer. White stuff at the bottom sits in the strainer… Everything Smells SOUR and I gag after the sniff. It’s bad raw goats milk, yes??

  13. @Laura Mendrin Nazaroff: I would say more than likely. You could try making butter or cheese – if you have chickens they may drink it or you could pour it on your garden. I thaw mine in the refrigerator and have not had this happen but I use it up in less than 6 months. The heavy whipping cream I froze did seperate but did not smell bad.

  14. I do not have canning jars. Can goats milk be frozen in plastic containers or can any other glass container be used?

  15. I would recommend buying canning jars because they are safe for use in a freezer. If you have other glass jars that are freezer safe, that is fine. I do not recommend plastic – although I know people who have used plastic freezer containers. The reason I am against plastic is I feel the goat milk takes on the taste of plastic or whatever else was previously in the container.

  16. I get frozen raw goatsmilk from a friend in 1/2 gallon packages. Since it only seems to last a week in the refrigerator and I only use about half of it in a week I am wondering if I can refreeze half of it immediately after thawing it out?

  17. Wow. This was very educational. I learned a lot. I never would have understood that there is a science for preserving Goat Milk correctly. This was an eye opener for me. Thank you!

  18. This brought back memories of time spent on our family farm many Moons ag. We had lots of goats and enjoyed feeding them, cleaning their quarters and letting them out to graze. None of our goats were milked; it was a standard practice in that part of the world to raise them and sell some of the stick to other farmers so the babies were kept and fully nursed.
    Anyway, I enjoyed reading your post and looking at the cute photos. I reckon the babies you didn’t take were nursed by other mother goats. 🙂

  19. I try to let mine wean on their mothers but here it is standard practice to take the baby as soon as it’s born and bottle feed it. I just can’t bring myself to do that. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

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