Life At Point C

Experiencing Life along the Silk Road

Pasteurizing Milk, How Is That Done?

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pasteurizing milk on the stoveSo we finally have the milk (see Milk…mmmh) but now we need to do the work of pasteurization. I know that in the States there are debates about raw milk vs. pasteurized and the only thing I am going to say about that here is “debate away…but when it comes down to it, you have adequate medical care to take care of the fall out if you are on the raw side of the debate and you need help recovering from your foray into strange bacteria.” This is not a luxury we can afford. Furthermore, I have watched a good personal friend live through Brucellosis and it is a 6 month adventure (from diagnosis!) that I never plan to take. So, we went online and did our research: a home pasteurizer seems to be the answer to our problem. We were able to acquire one from a supplier in the U.S., but on arrival it had some troubles getting started. Side note: there is nothing as frustrating as ordering something online from the U.S., getting it shipped half way around the world and then realizing months after the order date that it doesn’t work correctly.

Anyway, we had to go native. How do you pasteurize milk and then cool it appropriately? People here just scald it, but then you have the scalded milk flavor, and I was already unsure of how much I would like the raw milk, let alone the raw milk scalded flavor. The highest temperature needed for pasteurizing milk is 72 degrees celsius, followed by a quick cooling process to bring the temperature down within a half hour.  That would be grade A milk. Then, I learned a super cool trick that had to be tested with a candy thermometer: if you place a glass lid in the bottom of the pot, it will begin to rattle when the milk reaches 72 degrees celsius. And it worked! Way too cool. I did have to get creative with my cooking thermometer, since if I put the thermometer on the rim of my pot, the bottom of it also touched the side of the pot. After cooling the milk by pouring cold water over jars in the kitchen sink, 2 hours had past and I was just tired. Now that our home pasteurizer works again, it is a simple matter of hooking it up to the faucet, plugging it in and waiting. A much better process, but still, I am happy to know how to pasteurize milk without any gizmo, should the need arise.

the glass lid

P.S.: I love the fresh milk.

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