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My raw milk has an odd taste...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm posting here because my entire family (my parents and my husband) think I'm nuts. I'm hoping that someone else knows what I'm talking about so I don't think I'm crazy.

We've been getting raw milk from the same farmer for awhile now - since last fall? They recently went grain free due to member requests and for budgetary reasons. The time before when we picked up milk it had a very distinct flavor - almost like it was "off" and everyone could taste it. It was the first time they were out on the pasture seeing as we live up north here. I chalked it up to the spring flush (there's a similar change in flavor come fall typically).

Then this last time no one else noticed the flavor, but I can still taste it. It's certainly much milder, but it's there. I had avoided buying the raw butter and raw cream as it's been there all along (in the butterfat?). I can taste it in the cheese too.

Is it just a grassfed thing? Was I spoiled by all those years of drinking milk from grain fed cows? How do you get over it? I noticed it very much when I was pregnant and had to stop drinking milk altogether unless I could sufficiently hide it in a smoothie. Do I just have an overactive sense of taste? It's really bumming me out because I have to talk myself into drinking it and then after the first taste I have to try and drink it as fast as I can.

Growing up in Wisconsin milk is most definitely one of my loves, but now I'm worried. Am I just going to have to give it up and stick with my pale store bought butter? How do I replace what I've been getting from milk, etc? I'm nursing a 4 mo old so I had been drinking quite a bit.
post #2 of 14
I know that we feel the taste of our raw milk changes with the seasons, ie hay in winter, pasture in summer, but it takes me by suprise every year. I am sensitive to the taste change, but my kids are not. Personally, if I felt that any food was past it's prime I probably wouldn't eat it, but I don't suspect thats the case with your milk.
Maybe see what the next batch brings?
post #3 of 14
I grew up drinking raw milk, and I've always found it tastes different than store milk (neither good nor bad)....just have to get used to it I guess!
I would wait and see what it tastes like next time, it does take a while for the flavour to settle (or you to get used to it) when there is a feed change.

I hope something works out for ya!

Melanie
post #4 of 14
I found that with my first few tastings of raw milk that it tasted grassy, or a little musky, and I found it a bit strange. Now though, I don't taste it at all, but the butter and cheese still have a bit of the flavour for me. Perhaps grass-fed just tastes a bit different?
post #5 of 14
QUOTE=CarolynnMarilynn;11260217]I found that with my first few tastings of raw milk that it tasted grassy, or a little musky, and I found it a bit strange. Now though, I don't taste it at all, but the butter and cheese still have a bit of the flavour for me. Perhaps grass-fed just tastes a bit different?[/QUOTE]

:[
I told dh that it tastes like a cow smells (a nice, healthy clean cow), and if that thought doesn't make you smile, then I could see how it would taste bad, ykwim? Like saying puppy breath smells good, but if you aren't a dog person, then that would gross you out.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
You'd think that it wouldn't bother me by now...this is going on our third year of drinking raw milk. I'm going to try it again when we get more milk on Thurs. I guess then if it still tastes "off" to me then I'll have to figure something else out to replace the milk in my diet. bummer.
post #7 of 14
I hate to even raise this... Does your source test the milk ever? We had a problem with our milk last year, and couldn't seem to figure it out. Finally, after a couple of different tests, the vet finally found something random on a test. We sent samples to the university, because it was such a rare thing, and the vet was surprised to see it in our small farm. It may be worth asking the farmer about it if it is that important to you. According to our vet (and the university), the milk was safe to drink, but it did have a rather odd flavor. We could also not use the cream for butter, as the structure of the fat molecule was somehow changed (it was kinda complicated for a mom brain like mine, so sorry for the vagueness!).
post #8 of 14
It happens to us too- I know the cows are fine and no one else notices it but me!

I.....uh.....throw a little cocoa in the milk to hide that taste- it's mostly the aftertaste.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gardenmommy View Post
According to our vet (and the university), the milk was safe to drink, but it did have a rather odd flavor. We could also not use the cream for butter, as the structure of the fat molecule was somehow changed (it was kinda complicated for a mom brain like mine, so sorry for the vagueness!).
Since I've tasted it in the butterfat portions (cream and their butter) all along I'm thinking it's likely not an issue per se. I've tasted it at the last farm we bought from as well with cows that were 100% grassfed. I'm thinking it has something to do with the grassfed part, but thanks for raising the issue.

I guess I'd say that it tastes like emgremore mentioned...

And come to think of it, it's also probably like what blueridgewoman - the aftertaste.
post #10 of 14
Could it be something strong-flavored that the cows were eating? I know if they get into wild onions the flavor changes. I'm sure it's the same with other pungent wild plants.
post #11 of 14
One possibility is that the cow(s) have ketosis.
Ketosis occurs when the diet does not supply enough carbohydrates. The cow's body then begins burning fats already stored in the body for energy. This process is the basis for the Adkins diet: low carb = burn fat for fuel instead.

Cows typically produce larger quantities of milk when placed on fresh pasture. That, combined with the fact that the farmer just stopped feeding grain (carbs), means the cows are probably going through ketosis.

If you are able to go to the farm, smell the cow's breath, or fresh warm milk (which smells stronger than chilled milk). It will smell like acetone (nail polish remover) or mothballs.

If the cows do have ketosis, the farmer needs to immediately start feeding more carbohydrates - grain, molasses in the water, etc. If it gets bad enough, the cows will lose their appetites, and they will go downhill very quickly.

I hope this helps.
post #12 of 14
I have tasted this off taste in my raw milk too. One batch was so strong that we just couldn't drink it.

Sometimes the milk tastes the way a barn smells...like animals and manure, I guess. Sometimes the raw milk tastes sort of like soybeans, almost like unsweetened soy milk.

That one time that we couldn't bear to drink the milk, it tasted like the barn + a strong chemical taste. It was dreadful, but the farmer assured us that nothing was amiss. I think that the noxious milk might have coincided with the move to pasture.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
cheesemaker - fascinating! :0) I've had milk that I thought tasted like moth balls before, not from this farmer, though, and wondered why that would be!
post #14 of 14
We have this problem when the wild garlic blossoms and the milk gets a distinctly odd taste for a couple weeks in the beginning of summer. It passes quickly.
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