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How to Freeze Raw Jersey Cow Milk

Raw Jersey cow milk is a treat any time. You can drink a big glass of it to wash down a meal, or turn it into butter, ice cream, or yogurt.

If you’re lucky enough to have Jersey milk cows on your homestead like we do, gaining access to raw milk is more convenient. Depending on the number of dairy cattle you have, you may produce more raw milk than you can consume.

When that happens, you have options. You can offer raw milk to others in your community, or you can freeze raw Jersey cow milk for later use.

If you decide to freeze it, this blog includes information to help you. In it we answer the following questions:

Can you freeze raw Jersey cow milk?

Yes, you can freeze raw Jersey cow milk just like any other milk. It doesn’t matter if it came from your cows or someone else’s dairy cow. It’s safe to freeze if you follow the proper steps for preparing it before placing it in the freezer. We’ll discuss how to do that the right way later in this blog.

Before you get started, it’s important to remember that raw Jersey cow milk has a different composition than the milk you buy from your local grocery store. If you’ve never frozen raw milk before, it can be confusing to see its unique texture once thawed out. It doesn’t mean it’s gone bad.

Why should you freeze raw Jersey cow milk?

Freezing raw Jersey cow milk is the best way to preserve it for later use. Fresh raw milk only keeps for a few days in the refrigerator. If you’ve gone to the trouble of milking the cows on your homestead, you don’t want to waste the milk they produce.

On our homestead, we usually manage to use all the fresh raw milk our Jerseys produce. We keep some for drinking and then make tasty cheeses, butter, and homemade ice creams from the rest.

Keep out what you know you’ll consume and consider freezing the rest of it.

Reasons to freeze raw Jersey cow milk

Besides preserving the extra milk that you can’t consume right away, there are other reasons to freeze some of your supply.

  • Health benefits. Freezing your raw Jersey cow milk doesn’t destroy any of the nutrients found in it. You can preserve all the health benefits that come with A2 raw milk by freezing and enjoying it later.
  • Seasonal availability. On our homestead, we have easy access to raw milk from our Jerseys daily. However, that’s not the case for everyone. If you’re buying raw milk from a local farmer or farmer’s market, it may not be available all year long. Buying in bulk and freezing it can ensure you have access to raw milk year-round.
A woman holds a plastic container filled with raw milk in front of her fridge. Plastic containers are safe for freezing raw Jersey cow milk
Using plastic containers for freezing is OK. Just leave room at the top for expansion so the container doesn’t crack.

How do you prepare raw milk for freezing?

Freezing raw Jersey cow milk is an effective way to extend its shelf life so you’re not wasting your supply. However, there are some things you must keep in mind when freezing the milk to make sure it’s safe for drinking later.

Never pasteurize your raw milk before freezing it. Doing so destroys the health benefits of drinking raw milk. Instead, follow these steps to safely freeze your extra raw milk.

  1. Use clean, sterile containers
    One of the most important steps in the process is using clean, sterile containers for storage. If you don’t follow this step, bacteria can grow on your frozen raw milk, contaminating it and making it unsafe to consume later. You can use glass jars, plastic containers, or freezer bags.

    Before using any of these methods, verify your selected container is specifically designed for freezer use. The last thing you want is “freezer-burned” raw milk or glass jars that crack and break in the freezer, ruining the contents inside.

  2. Leave some room at the top
    Once you decide on a storage method, the next crucial step is to leave some room at the top when filling it. We recommend between 1 and 1-1/2 inches of headspace in the container.

    Raw milk expands as it freezes. If you don’t leave enough space in your freezer-safe container to accommodate expansion, it could crack or burst, wasting your raw milk, and making quite a mess in your freezer.

  3. Label the containers
    Don’t forget to label your containers before putting them in the freezer. You can only safely freeze raw Jersey cow milk for 6 to 12 months before you must thaw and consume it. Dating helps you know which containers to thaw and use before they go bad.
A plastic freezer bag of frozen raw milk thaws out in a bowl of cold water. If you freeze raw Jersey cow milk, this is the safest way to thaw it quickly.
Using the cold water in a bowl method is the safest way to quickly thaw frozen raw Jersey cow milk.

What’s the best way to thaw raw milk?

When you’re ready to enjoy some of that raw Jersey cow milk you froze, you must follow guidelines for thawing it out safely. Otherwise, you can end up with bacteria growth that makes you – and anyone else who consumes it – sick.

Homesteaders have different ways of thawing their raw milk. Sometimes it comes down to personal preference. However, you should never take frozen milk and try to thaw it out at room temperature. That’s the quickest way to encourage bacteria growth.

The best way to thaw it out is to put it in the refrigerator. It can take several hours to completely thaw depending on the amount of milk in the container.

If you’re in a hurry and can’t wait, you can place the freezer container in a bowl of cold water. Water transfers heat faster than air, which is why this method works well. Change the cold water every 30 minutes to keep it cold (this prevents bacteria growth).

Get the most out of your raw Jersey cow milk

Freezing your raw Jersey cow milk is a smart way to extend its shelf life and ensure you always have a supply on hand. Remember to follow our steps above to safely freeze and thaw your raw milk. If you have a preferred method for freezing or thawing, we’d love to hear about it in the comments section!

Is Freezing Raw Milk a Safe Way to Preserve It and Prevent Any Potential Health Risks?

Freezing raw milk is a safe way to preserve it and prevent any potential dangers of raw milk consumption. By freezing raw milk, you can extend its shelf life and avoid the risk of harmful bacteria that can be present in unpasteurized milk, thus ensuring a safer product for consumption.

Sources

  1. Fresh or Frozen: The Facts About Freezing Milk. milkgenomics.org. Accessed February 24, 2023.
  2. Pasteurization. sciencedirect.com. Accessed February 24, 2023.
  3. The Big Thaw – Safe Defrosting Methods. fsis.usda.gov. Accessed February 24, 2023.

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Kelsey
Hi there! I’m Kelsey! I am a wife, a mother and homesteader. I’m also a Certified Natural Health Practitioner so health is very important to me. I love to help people with their health journey. A HUGE part of that process is through high quality milk. I am a massive proponent of rich, high quality milk from Jersey Cows.

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