Cricket Song Farm

Cricket Song Farm

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Making your own POWDERED or DRIED milk

When I obtained my first Nubian Dairy Goats way back in the mid 80's, I began in earnest to learn all I could about ways to use the milk. Of course we drank it raw, I added it to the homemade soap I always had on hand, used it in all my cooking (didn't like it in a milk based soup however).  Made cheeses of all kinds and even experimented making powdered milk until I got it just right.  This was handy to have on hand during the few cold winter months I didn't have fresh milk.

  In the late 90's I submitted several of my favorite recipes using goat's milk to Mary Jane Toth, who was writing a cook book, the recipe for powdered milk was one of them. She accepted all the recipes and they were published in her book, "Caprine Cooking. "

Most everyone who has goats is aware of the book published by Story Publishing about raising goats. " Storey's Guide to RAISING DAIRY GOATS".    In the New Edition of the best-selling classic (pg.225), a reference is made to my recipe for dried milk taken from the Caprine Cooking cookbook . The authors' elude to the fact that they assume that the recipe works.  Well, I would like to assure everyone that it does work.  I showed my husband the reference to myself and the recipe and he just gave a snort and said  "Of course it works, you made it all the time!"

my husband with his favorite goat Diamond posing after they won
 Grand Champion and Best of Breed in an ADGA show

This is how I make Powdered or Dried milk:
Place 1 or 2 gallons of milk in a large double boiler.  Keeping the milk hot, but not boiling, the moisture (water) in the milk will eventually evaporate (in the form of steam).  This can take quite a while.  Keep an eye on the water in the bottom pan, you will need to add more water.  When the milk is the consistency of really thick cream, pour it into a large baking sheet and place in a low heated oven (about 250*) with the door left ajar.    When all moisture is removed the milk will be in a solid sheet.  Flip this out into a kitchen dish towel and then process in a food processor to make a powder.  Just pulse enough to break it up the large chunks.  Or simply crush it into a powder inside the dish towel.
Store in a tightly sealed glass jar. To use: soak 1 part milk solids with 4 parts water. Shake well to blend.

Here are a few suggestions.  I would use this within a few months if stored on a shelf.  For longer storage, up to 6 months, I would place the dried milk in a heavy freezer bag and store in the freezer.  I found that it tended to go a bit rancid (because of the protein solids) if left on the shelf to long.  If you have a cream separator I would suggest removing the cream from the goat's milk.  If using cows milk just let it set until the cream rises to the top and remove it.  I think this would keep it from going rancid.  I have not tried this however, but it seems logical.

I always free-fed my goats.  This allows them to produce greater quantities of milk, keeps them quiet, and I even have less hay waste by feeding whole bales outside the fence.

How to ensure the best milk production from your goats.  Keep them happy, always  rub behind their ears telling them how much you appreciate the delicious milk they give you.  Feed them the best quality, leafy hay you can find.  A goat can only produce according how they are fed....ample good feed, ample milk.  Also genetics play a part, but if you do not feed your goats a healthy ration, they will not have the ability to produce to their capacity. I feed them a corn and barley mix (without molasses) at milking time.  The above mentioned book has good information for grain rationing.  Always have a salt and mineral block available.

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