A Simple Trick for Great Tasting Goat’s Milk

Learn how to prevent a goat-y flavor in your goat’s milk. When handled properly, your goat milk may end end up tasting just like cow milk.

Pouring a glass of milk in front of a dairy goat.

Goat’s milk gets a bad rap. I’ve heard people describe goat’s milk as “goaty” or just plain gross. But when handled properly, it isn’t that way at all! I’ve become a goat’s milk advocate of sorts, trying to get people to just take a sip. Try it, you’ll like it!

There are several factors that can affect goat’s milk. A healthy goat, a balanced diet, clean utensils and teats, and proper handling of the milk all play important roles in great-tasting milk. However, you can have a healthy goat and be doing everything right but still have milk that has a distinct flavor to it. I think this is why goat’s milk often gets a bad name. There is a very simple fix! The secret?

Proper chilling.

What Gives Goat Milk a Goaty Flavor?

Goat milk contains a lot of enzymes. These enzymes start to multiply as soon as the milk reaches your milk bucket. The enzymes are what give the goat’s milk a strong “goaty” taste. Some people freeze goat’s milk as soon as they bring the milk in and have strained it. This works initially, but a couple of days later your milk may start to have an off taste. You can go one step further which will make all the difference, start chilling the milk as you’re milking!

How to Chill as You Milk

Find a jelly jar that will fit into your milk bucket. I use a 2-quart bucket to milk my Nigerian Dwarf goats, so a small, squat jelly jar fits perfectly. Wash the jar and lid in the dishwasher, you want the jar and lid to be very clean. Fill that jelly jar up with ice, and put the lid on.

Goat's milk gets a bad rap. I've heard people describe goat's milk as “goaty” or just plain gross. But when handled properly, it isn't that way at all!

Place the ice-filled jar into the milk bucket. Go milk! The ice in the milk bucket will start the chilling process immediately.

Freezer Before Refrigerator

After you have strained the milk, place the fresh milk into the freezer for more chilling. Keep in the freezer for 2 hours or freeze the milk. It isn’t necessary to freeze the milk, but I do. If you do freeze milk, make sure you leave plenty of headroom in the jar as milk tends to heave when it freezes. Leaving a 3-inch space at the top of the jar is adequate.

With proper chilling, you will not notice anything but the smooth, sweet taste of milk. Fresh milk will keep for 7 days in the refrigerator and the sweet, good taste will too! People have mistaken our goat’s milk for cow’s milk. They really couldn’t tell the difference!

Now that you have great-tasting goat’s milk, try your hand at making butter (so much better than store-bought) and chèvre (the easiest and most versatile goat cheese to make)

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  1. kristina robbins says:

    Do you know if freezing will hurt the nutrients?

    1. Jessica Knowles says:

      No, freezing milk does not impact the nutrients, vitamins, or enzymes.

  2. Michelle Yeager says:

    I want so badly to love my goats milk! I’m at an extreme disadvantage cuz even cows milk tastes weird to me because I haven’t drank it in so long. My mom was raving about this organic cows milk so I tried it and it was not great. Now I’m milking my sweet little nigerian dwarf every day and trying to find an enjoyable way to ingest her milk! My uber picky husband even likes it and I can barely tolerate it without shuddering at the aftertaste. But I’m not giving up that easy! I’m excited to try this!

  3. I tried it this morning and it worked like a charm thank you so much we couldn’t be happier

  4. When we first started milking we noticed our milk getting that “goaty taste after about 3 days. Trying to find a fast way to cool the milk we decided to buy one of those Ice Cream machines with the drum you can freeze, gets the milk down to about 40 degrees in about 10 min. Last time I checked we still get that “goaty” flavor after about a week, but the milk usually doesn’t last that long.

  5. Kimi Locke says:

    I found t his article interesting and all the reply’s.. I had that problem of goatyness A friend told me about the ice. I started putting some ice and a little water in a 1 gallon pitcher and placing my milk in there as I milked. I have a battery powered milker. and after filtering I have a bowel of ice water that I sit my jars in while I clean up. Has made all the difference with my milk,
    I make my cheese similar to your recipe but add the vinegar after it boils,, I am anxious to try this recipe..
    Thank you

  6. Jack Boersema says:

    Minerals are very important . Cobalt particularly. Togganburg goats metabolize differently and therefore are often the first to be affected

  7. Trish "Kelly's Joy" ADGA member since 2000 says:

    “Off” tasting milk isn’t a normal goat milk thing. The milk should taste great all the time. If it doesn’t there must be a problem. Milking equipment must be absolutely clean. I wash everything in the dishwasher after every use. I store milk in glass jars. 1/2 gallon mason jars are my favorite. The goat’s udder must be washed and dried before every milking. I spray udder wash on the teats, wash with fragrance free baby wipe and dry with a towel. Always cover the milk immediately with a towel or a bucket cover. After milking I spray the teats with Fight Bac. The doe’s diet must be high quality dairy goat grain, clean fresh free choice hay, and fresh water. The barn must be ventilated properly and kept clean. I let the manure build up during the winter to create heat. Clean shavings are added on top occasionally along with all the hay they waste. The goats must be healthy and free of worms and mastitis. A high worm count will cause the milk to taste bad. Clean the whole barn and add new bedding. Worm the entire herd. Dump the milk for 4 days or 8 milkings to be sure the wormer is out of their system. If a doe has mastitis the milk will taste bad. Treat the infected teat and dump the milk until the infection is gone. If you are doing all this good management and the milk still tastes bad you are raising the wrong breed of dairy goats!! I raise Nubian and LaMancha dairy goats and their milk tastes amazing.

  8. I have one goat, Jess ,that no matter how we treat her milk it is “off”. I think she eats stink weed as a regular part of her diet. I wouldn’t call her milk “goaty” until day 2 after milking. Before that it’s just distinctive. I can pick her milk out of the 7 jars of milk that come in every day, just by sniffing.

    I give her milk to the dogs every day. The others go into cheese making.

    1. Trish "Kelly's Joy" ADGA member since 2000 says:

      Have you checked that goat for mastitis or a high worm count?? Maybe coccidia?

      1. Jessica Lane says:

        I think she is referring to “goaty” when she says “off.” There are certainly things that affect the goatiness of milk that are not health-related. Her recommendation to cool milk quickly remedies most “goaty” issues with the milk’s flavor.

  9. Wild Woods Farm says:

    We have oberhasli’s, I love the taste of their milk. I’ve tried freezing the milk for two hours, but kept getting busy and forgetting them. So now I freeze my jars that I strain the milk into. Seems to chill the milk quickly.

    I love the iced jar idea. I’ll incorporate that, next season. Thank you for the great tip.

    1. Jessica Lane says:

      Freezing the jars is a great idea too. I’ll have to try that.

    2. Judy amsden says:

      I will do milking next freshening with ice jar seams right idea thank you

  10. Thanks for this! I have it saved on my computer in my “about goats” file. We have a few more years in the Army and then are planning on buying some land and getting goats. I was a little concerned about the taste (I’ve never had it, just heard how bad it was!) but I figured I’d get used to it after a while. Glad to know goat milk’s it’s not that bad!!

    1. Trish "Kelly's Joy" ADGA member since 2000 says:

      Goat’s milk tastes fabulous. I’ve had many, many friends try my goat’s milk and love it. They can barely tell the difference between whole cow’s milk and my goat’s milk. Read up on proper herd management and milk handling. I’ll be milking my dairy goats until the day I die. There is no better source for milk in my opinion!

  11. leatrice gulbransen says:

    I really love this site ! Do you have an easy recipe I can follow to learn to make goat milk cheese ? Like cheese making for Kindergarteners ? LOL ! Thanks.

    1. Rebecca Umphress says:

      Easy kindergarten cheese…start with one quart fresh milk in a pan add two tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice bring up temperature of milk very slowly till it separates and let it sit a while… pour into a clean coffee filter and let drain. Mix with a bit of salt and maybe butter if you like creamy cheese and any herbs you like. I love a bit of dill. This is a spreadable ricotta like cheese. Sooo easy!

      1. Jessica Lane says:

        Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Accidentally got cut off.

    To finish the sentence: but “not in my milk” We never owned a buck, but did have them at the farm on loan for breeding.

    1. Oh, I know exactly what you mean! Store bought goat’s milk does taste like a buck. Ick! I always tell people that if they want to try goat’s milk, they need to try fresh milk and not from the store!

  13. Years ago we had Alpines. There was only one doe who, if I milked her in a separate container, I’d notice a smidge of a difference. Mix the milk with the other goats milk and you couldn’t tell.

    Have you ever tasted the “stuff” that comes in cans in the store? People always made a face when I told them I milked goats. “That stuff is awful” they would say. Out of curiosity, one day I bought a can of goat milk at the store. I opened the can, wrinkled my nose, took a big swig and promptly spit it out! I didn’t even try to do anything with it. Gave it to the cats and even they were hesitant in trying it. It smelled and tasted like buck. Don’t get me wrong, I was one of the few who could tolerate “buck smell” quite well – but

  14. Granny Miller says:

    Back when I kept goats, I used a Cuisinart ice maker to quickly cool milk.
    It worked great because the freezer bowl was always frozen.

    That said, in over 25 years of keeping goats off & on, there was only 1 goat that I owned that I couldn’t detect a “goaty” taste to the milk. She was an ordinary nothing special goat with a broken horn.
    I think the ability to taste “goatyness” is an inherited trait that some people have. Like the ability to roll your tongue or detached ear lobes 🙂

    1. Using a Cuisinart ice maker is a good idea! You are probably right that some people have an inherited ability to taste “goatyness”! Or just a mindset that it WILL taste “goaty” no matter what you do. 😉