Off-Taste in Your Raw Milk? Fix it Here.

Free training so you can be confident your raw milk is priced for profit:

Ever take a big drink of milk and then – bleh!!*#@ it tastes like a cow? Or super bitter? Or like well-aged parmesan cheese (not in my milk, please!)??

One of the most common calls for help I get from raw milk producers is because their customers are complaining about off-tasting raw milk, they’re giving refunds right and left, and they can’t figure out the problem.

First though – I have something BRAND new to help raw milk producers.

I’ve mapped out exactly how I price my raw milk and given you the spreadsheets free so you can make sure your price is where it needs to be.

Tune in to the 3 part series on pricing for profit right here:

#009 How to Price Your Farm Products for Profit (Part 1)

Much of the time, when a farmer is struggling to fix an off-taste in their milk, they realize they aren’t charging enough to cover the costs of various testing or procedures that would make it more consistent.

Listening to the above pricing series (part 2 & part 3 on this site, too) will teach you exactly what you need to be charging to make a profit as well as how to increase your prices without any customers leaving.

Now – if you drink milk long enough I’m certain you (like I definitely have) will taste almost all these flavors at least once.  It happens.  That’s the beauty of live animals and unprocessed milk.

Lucky for you (and me), these unpleasant tastes are easily fixed, it just takes some stealth detective work and sometimes just a good scrubbing of your equipment.

Watch the video here, then scroll down to read about the off tastes and remedies:

Here are a few off-flavors and their remedies:

Acid:  Basic taste sensation. Sour, tart, may cause tingling sensation on tongue. “Cultured milk” or “sour” odor may be present.

Cause – Growth of lactic acid producing organisms such as Lactococcus lactis, due to poor refrigeration, especially when temperatures exceed 70°F (21°C). “Malty” milks may be acid also.

Barny/Cowy: Unpleasant odor and taste of a poorly maintained barn or unpleasant feed. May be perceived as “unclean.” “Cowy” or “cow’s-breath” may present a similar defect but generally with an unpleasant medicinal or chemical (i.e., acetone) aftertaste.

Cause – Udders not clean/dry;  absorbed, transmitted odor/flavor due to cow inhaling barn odors associated with poor ventilation and unclean barn conditions/dirty bedding. Similar defect may be due to ketosis in cows, but with more of a medicinal or chemical after taste.

Bitter: Basic taste sensation. Pure bitter has no odor. Taste sensation is detected on the tongue after expectoration (delayed) and tends to persist.

Cause – enzymatic breakdown (microbial or milk enzymes) of milk proteins to short bitter peptides due to bacteria in the milk – (clean your equipment and dry your udders thoroughly)  Certain weeds ingested by cows may also cause bitterness although this is rare.

Fruity/Fermented:  Odor and flavor is usually pronounced, similar (not exact) to pineapple, apple or strawberry. Fermented fruit (fruity); may have more of a sauerkraut or vinegar-like odor or flavor (fermented).

Cause – growth of psychrotrophic spoilage bacteria, especially certain psychrotrophic Pseudomonas species or some of the spore-forming organisms (e.g., Bacillus, Paenibacillus). (Better cleaning practices on cow and equipment.)

Malty: Malt-like aroma or taste (like malted milk or Grape-Nuts®). May be similar to feed or cooked odors, but is considered a severe defect as microbial spoilage. Milk often is acid as well.

Cause – Growth of Lactococcus lactis var. maltigenes (or possibly other organisms) due to poor refrigeration. May be followed by “acid” or “unclean” flavors.

Salty: basic taste sensation. No odor. Generally easily detected.

Cause – associated with late lactation or mastitic cows.  If you think mastitis is the culprit, test the milk and identify the type so you can treat it.

Luckily these off-flavors are within your control

Did you see the trend above?  The main causes of off-tasting milk are improper chilling procedures and dirty cows/equipment.  That’s great news because these things are so easy to fix!

Be encouraged – every producer at some point produces off-tasting milk.  What’s important is that you identify it immediately (through testing) and remedy it.

Thank you, as usual, for listening, reading, watching and sharing 🙂

Ready for more?

Be sure to join our private Facebook Group – The Profitable Mindset where now 6,000 farmers are helping each other become profitable through sharing ideas, strategies, knowledge, and connections. click here to get in now.

Now it’s your turn! Have you had off-tastes in your milk?  If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!


Did you like this episode?

If you got value out of this episode, I’d be really grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Those reviews help other people find my podcast and they’re also fun for me to go in and read.

Just click the link above to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. Thank you!

You might also like:

Hi, I'm Charlotte Smith!

I’ve made it my career to give farmers the mindset and the marketing strategy they need to have a farm and life they love.

Click below to find out why:

Want to get more customers to your farm? Click below to sign up and get your FREE checklist.

Subscribe to the Profitable Mindset podcast to learn how you can build a profitable farm without the overwhelm.

Sign up for updates and get
your FREE checklist:

How to Get More Customers to Your Farm

*We do not sell or spam your email. You can unsubscribe anytime.