Author Topic: How many days on raw milk?  (Read 1206 times)

Offline brewjack

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How many days on raw milk?
« on: March 25, 2012, 08:47:09 PM »
Hey all, 
I've been prowling around this site for about a week now, but this is my first post!

I'm wondering, how many days from milking can cheese still be made?  I assume this is a highly subjective question, and for highest quality, milk should probably be used immediately.  However, I'll be using milk from only one cow (and a couple goats when blending), and I'm curious as to the batch size I'll be able to do.  For instance, can I save milk all week and then make one big batch?  How about two weeks?

I'd like to thank everyone for all the great info on this site, it's remarkable.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: How many days on raw milk?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2012, 09:53:48 PM »
It is common to find recipes that ask for two different milkings but still as soon as posible is best. The being said the longer raw milk sits the more bacteria (the wrong ones) can grow. I have made cheese with 3 day old milk and might push it to a week at the outside in an emergency but 2 weeks is really pushing it.

Offline Cloversmilker

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Re: How many days on raw milk?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2012, 11:12:03 PM »
I think that Margaret Morris recommends using raw milk that is at most 2 days old.  Even if your raw milk is extremely clean, it changes over the course of a few days.  There are enzymes working away.  It's live food after all.   :)

I make cheese with raw milk from my Jersey, Clover.  Usually I combine milk from 2 milkings on the second day for a 4-5 gallon make.  (I milk OAD.)  Four days is about the longest that I save milk for a cheese make.  Very occasionally I'll add a half gallon that is 5 days old to top up the cheese vat.  There's always more milk coming in; no point in saving it too long.   8)

Offline tinysar

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Re: How many days on raw milk?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 04:47:10 AM »
Well, it's certainly not recommended practice, but I've used raw milk that is over a fortnight old (both goat & cow milk, stored at normal fridge temp) successfully in cheesemaking. Probably depends on cheese type - the milk is usually starting to sour a bit by then - I find it's fine for haloumi & lactic types. Maybe someone can suggest which types of cheese it matters most/least for. I'm sure there are many & good reasons why old milk can be bad for cheesemaking, but I've made many successful cheeses this way.

Also, if you're using goat milk - I've been told that it freezes well and can still be used for cheesemaking when defrosted - never tried it myself though.

Offline dthelmers

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Re: How many days on raw milk?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2012, 09:23:54 AM »
This puts me in mind of Lancashire, traditionally made form three days worth of milk. They'd make the curds each day, then mix all three batches of curd to make the cheese. This is probably because just holding the milk would give too much acidification before renneting. Milk that has ripened a lot works kind of differently, and makes a fast ripening cheese, good for quick consumption but not necessarily for aging. You have to watch the acidification during the make if the pH has already dropped that much before rennet. It can gallop along, and you have to catch it to drain before it gets too low, making your cheese dry and crumbly. I've played with this a bit, and if you use older milk a pH meter is your best friend.
Dave in CT

Offline brewjack

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Re: How many days on raw milk?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2012, 10:58:24 PM »
Thanks for the replies,  this is very helpful. 

Offline CdnMorganGal

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Re: How many days on raw milk?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2012, 02:58:41 AM »
cow milk - I try to not go past the 5 day mark - that being said the 5 day old milk is mixed with 4day, 3 day & 2 day old milk.  Once I used 7day old milk but generally my milk starts tasting a bit different after 5 days.

Offline george13

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Re: How many days on raw milk?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2012, 03:57:37 AM »
If you plan on saving milk for a couple of days, sanitation and temperature play a major role in the final outcome.  When my goats first kid, I am forced to stockpile for at least 4 to 5 days.  I make sure their udders are very clean, I sanitize their teets, filter their milk and store at 35F.  Never had a problem, nor off taste.