With raw milk, you can’t really ever say it’s gone bad. Sure, it’ll get sour and separate into whey and curds after a while, but ultimately this is not “bad.” It’s still a source of nutritious vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

If you meant, “does raw milk get sour,” then yes, raw milk does get sour. 

After each milking we attach a small removable sticker to the outside of the glass bottle. This sticker displays the date of milking, as well as a designation for whether it was an evening or a morning milking. Counting 10 to 14 days after the date on the sticker should give you an approximate “sweet spot” where the milk will be fresh and sweet tasting. After that, you may find the milk may or may not be as good for drinking due to a stronger flavor.

Surprisingly, we often find milk extremely sweet for well over a month after milking. There are different factors that affect the shelf life, but here are three ways you can keep your milk tasting fresher longer.

1. Location in the fridge

You know those veggie bins on the lower part of your refrigerator? Those are placed so as to take advantage of the coldest part of your refrigerator. Cold air is heavier than warm air and falls downward. This means that the coldest (and best) place to store your milk is on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator in the back. And you know where the worst place is? You guessed it. On the door!

Depending on how fast you and your kids go through milk, keeping it on the door may be just fine (and it’s really convenient). But if you’re having issues keeping it fresh between deliveries, try taking the freshest bottles of milk and storing them on that bottom shelf in the back of your refrigerator. That will go a long way in preserving freshness for weeks.

2. Keep the lids tight

I’ve had a few people tell me how they get the milk to last for long time by simply not opening it until they’re ready to use it up within a few days. Why is this? Souring takes place when milk sugar is digested by the enzymes and good bacteria in the raw milk. The more air that is exposed to the milk, the more rapidly the action of breaking down the sugar takes place — causing souring and changes to the milk. 

If you keep the lid on tight and don’t open it up (even to steal some coffee cream), the lower air exposure will help keep the milk fresher longer.

3. Don’t swap containers

As much as you’d like to get a better pouring spout than those 2-quart mason jars, we recommend not swapping out the bottles for your own containers. The reason is that we clean and sanitize our bottles between uses, making the original glass bottle the best container in which to store the milk. If you transfer the milk to your own container without making sure it’s properly cleaned and sanitized, you may experience off flavors and souring sooner.


Have any ideas or tricks you find helpful? Feel free to drop a comment here on the blog!

Bartlett Farms

Author: Bartlett Farms