Edited by 1love4ever - 3/29/14 at 1:21am
Hmmm, I wouldn't call myself an expert on raw milk, especially raw cows milk but I've been researching it lately. What a lot of people do is take the cream off the top and make it into butter, that's what the families I know who get raw milk do. Here is a link about how to make it: raw butter. I've heard raw milk can last at least a week after milking, probably longer. I wish I had more info for you, hopefully when we start getting our own raw milk in a few weeks I'll know more :)
I usually buy three gallons of raw cows milk a week. Because it takes a good 24 hours of stillness for the cream to totally separate, the first gallon we just open and start drinking. The next day or two, I pour the cream off the second (and later third) gallon into a small jar. DH and I use this in our coffee (yuummmmmmmMEEE!). Usually I only get about 2/3 of the cream off the top (I don't use any special cream separator, so it is not perfect) and obviously the remaining cream we just shake into the milk each time we pour the milk to drink. In my opinion, there is not really enough cream from just one or two gallons of milk to make a decent amount of butter, so that's how I justify our creamy-coffee habit. If there is some cream leftover each week, I use it up in pancakes/baked goods/sauces/eggs, etc. In my experience, if you get your milk the day the cow was milked, then take it right home and refrigerate, it will not start to sour for a good 10-14 days, especially if it remains unopened. Remember, too, that once it starts to sour you can still drink it, although it tastes different and you might not like it. I use my soured milk (if my milk ever lasts this long, lol) for baking pretty much anything that calls for buttermilk, milk, whey or yogurt.