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Crying Over Spoiled Milk

November 20, 2010

When I received an email from the Raw Milk Co-op, not only did I find myself crying over spoiled (not spilt) milk, but over delayed milk.

The email:

Hey Everyone,

There was a miscommunication with the farm (my fault) and we were unable to pick up milk today.  Unfortunately, this week’s pickup will be delayed a week.  Sorry for the inconvenience, I will see you next Monday.


At the time, I thought  I could afford to miss a week of milk, given a little experiment I had been carrying out on top of my dresser, namely, deliberate fermentation.

On Sunday, I discovered that the half-inch or so of milk in the carton smelled slightly sour, flooding my head with visions of blueberry-banana pancakes with soured milk in lieu of the traditional buttermilk. Various internet resources informed me that unlike pasteurized milk, raw milk can be drunk sour. Apparently, if you let raw milk sit out for twenty four hours, you can make kefir or yogurt cheese without yogurt cultures or kefir grains.

Being a fermentation fanatic, and seeing as how the milk was already sour, I figured I had nothing to lose. I took the milk out of the fridge and left it there to spoil even further at room temperature.

In less than five hours, the milk had begun to separate into curds and whey, and I was too impatient to wait a full twenty four. It certainly smelled “yeasty,”although not quite like yogurt or kefir.

Before bed, I carefully poured off the whey (which I’m told is chock-full of minerals) and placed one of the “curds” on my tongue…

…And promptly spat it out.

Reader, it was foul– lukewarm, mushy, and rancid, with that funky taste that told me this was clearly not meant for human consumption.

By no means have I given up on using raw milk to experiment with healthy bacteria, but never again will I deliberately drink something past its expiration date.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. fiz permalink
    November 20, 2010 5:13 pm

    Sounds as though a course in chemistry may be in the offing. Better luck next time.

    • gre permalink
      November 21, 2010 1:56 am

      im pretty sure you’re supposed to add the needed bacteria…?

      • octopuscarwash permalink*
        November 21, 2010 6:46 am

        I’m sure you’re right. I thought it was worth a try, though.
        I wonder where I can obtain kefir cultures?

  2. Robert Gordon Vavra permalink
    November 21, 2010 7:35 am

    Sounds like a lesson learned for the next experiment!

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