A common question people who raise goats ask is how long does pasteurized goat milk last in the refrigerator or freezer.
Of course, the answer to this question is not quite as simple as throwing a number out there.
Many factors play into the shelf life of refrigerated foods as well as the shelf life of frozen foods.
Below you will find answers to the question how long does pasteurized goat milk last as well as some information on the best practices for pasteurizing goat milk to get the longest possible shelf life.
Pasteurizing Goat Milk At Home
In a nutshell, pasteurized goat milk can last as little as three days and as long as six months, depending on where you store it and how the milk was handled prior to storing it.
To get the longest shelf life out of pasteurized goat milk, it is important to follow a few basic rules.
These rules also apply to raw goat milk or for that matter any other type of milk that you might have on hand.
- Make sure all the supplies from the stainless steel bucket to the glass containers the goat milk goes into are clean and sterilized. Milk can buildup and that causes your new milk to go bad faster. Milk buildup is known as milk stone.
- Always rinse the milk out the containers it comes into contact with using cold water, then wash the containers and rinse them out with hot water.
- Filter the milk as soon as possible to remove dirt, hair, bugs and flecks of dirt that might get into the milk either while you are milking or while you are in route to your kitchen. This will help keep the milk tasting fresh.
- Chill the milk as soon as possible and keep it between 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. A mini fridge is the best place to keep your milk since the normal temperature in a regular refrigerator is 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Store the milk in glass jars.
- Sterilize the jars and any other milking equipment twice a month using two tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide by soaking and then load your equipment, including your milk. bucket, into a dishwasher and run it all through one full cycle.
Be sure to check out my blog post on how to pasteurize goat milk at home for more information including the correct temperature for pasteurizing goat milk.
How Long Does Pasteurized Goat Milk Last In The Refrigerator?
In a regular refrigerator, goat milk typically lasts three to five days, but it can last longer depending on the temperature of your refrigerator and of course how the milk was handled during the pasteurization process.
Many people who raise dairy goats have either a dedicated milk refrigerator that they keep colder or they use a mini-fridge, which can hold up to four gallons of milk depending on the size of mini-fridge you have.
The colder the milk stays, the longer it lasts.
For example, pasteurized goat milk kept between 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit typically lasts as long as two weeks.
However, it is not practical to keep a regular refrigerator this cold because it could make your other food, especially fresh food, too cold.
We always use up any goat milk within a three day time frame because in my experience, with an older refrigerator, the goat milk begins to develop an off-taste about the fourth day.
Any excess milk we won’t use up in that time frame automatically goes into half-gallon Ball jars and into the freezer.
How Long Does Pasteurized Goat Milk Last In The Freezer?
Pasteurized goat milk lasts six months in the freezer, however, this is in a chest freezer.
I have never tried to use an upright freezer, because when I first started freezing goat milk I was advised against it.
The reason I was told this was because of the difference in how the two types of freezers work.
I was told that putting the goat milk in the bottom of a chest freezer kept it frozen solid and prevented warm air from hitting it every time I opened the freezer.
This made sense to me and so it is what I have always done.
Now, if you would like to know learn more about freezing goat milk, then be sure to check out my blog post on how to start freezing goat milk.
I hope this has answered some of your basic questions about how long pasteurized goat milk lasts.
If you have any additional questions or comments, leave them in the comment section below.