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Pasteurising Milk at Home: The quick & easy way

Updated on February 27, 2013
Milking by hand the traditional way
Milking by hand the traditional way | Source

I remember on a school trip going to a dairy farm where they showed us the process of milking a cow using modern methods, then came the part that as school kids made us giggle amongst ourselves and caused our teacher to frown.

"Now we are going to ask for volunteers to come and squeeze the teat to get the milk out". What followed afterward would now get a school into a lot of trouble and possibly shut the farm down. The milk we had, after a long hard struggle and leaving the poor cow with sore teats, was poured into a glass and passed around so everyone could now partake in having a sip of this pure 100% untreated, warm cow’s milk. It would now be known as the glass of death.

My dad used to be a milkman running around Sheffield in an Express Dairy 3 wheeled electric milk float that contained Gold Top milk bottles. Milk in its purest form. Now you can look high and low in every possible chain of supermarket and you will not find anything like what was once bottled and dropped onto the doorsteps of the English homes at 4 a.m. in the morning.

Was my dad as bad as the drug pushers, offering unpasteurized milk? Let’s consider why milk is pasteurized. Is fresh unpasteurized milk dangerous? Who invented pasteurization And how can you do it at home.

Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur | Source

Who invented pasteurization?

Short answer: LOUIS PASTEUR this process was named after him.

He was a French chemist and microbiologist and worked on the process with Claude Bernard and they did their first test in 1862. Originally the process was worked on to preserve Beer and Wine to stop it spoiling (a very worthy cause). Now it is used to preserve many kinds of liquids like fruit juices, milks etc.

Pasteurization: what is it? Sterilization is the process used to kill any bacteria or microorganisms. Pasteurization is heating the liquid to a determined temperature and then cooled very quickly, thereby killing only unwanted bacteria’s and leaving the good ones.

Why pasteurize milk? Raw milk is not bad for you, so my dad did not do anything bad, neither had my teacher in offering us milk direct from a cow. What does present a danger is the contamination of the milk as it is extracted from the cow. It could be the udders are soiled with faeces that contaminate the milk, the bottles used may be unsterilized or other equipment used once the milk is extracted.

Is it effective? It has been scientifically proven that pasteurization eliminates 90% or more of harmful organisms in milk.

Mo! it bugs me when they stand.
Mo! it bugs me when they stand. | Source

What to pasteurize

  • Milk (any kind)
  • Fruit juices (any kind)
  • Eggs
  • To pasteurize eggs, bring up to 140-150F take off the heat & leave 3 mins before taking eggs out. Especially good if you have a pregnant wife or friend.

Temperature & Times for Pasteurization

  • 63°C (145°F)/30 minutes
  • 72°C(161°F)/15 seconds
  • 100°C (212°F)/0.01 seconds
  • Pasteurised milk should last up to 2 weeks in fridge

Method of pasteurization

  1. Place your liquid into a large stainless steel pan and bring to the desired temperature. (See Temperature guide since there are variations depending on how long you mind being over the pan watching it)
  2. Keep stirring so as not to burn the liquid. (Pasteurization is not boiling you are controlling the temperature)
  3. When desired temperature is reached, remove from the heat and place pan into a bucket of ice or place onto the bottom of your chest freezer sitting the pan on top of a Tea towel and bring temperature down to 40 degrees F
  4. When cooled, decant into sterilised containers, and store in a cold fridge.
Get your fresh milk and place it into a stainless steel pan.
Get your fresh milk and place it into a stainless steel pan. | Source
Heat the milk to desired temperature. once temperature is reached, cool it down as quickly as you can. You could place it in your freezer until milk reaches 3 degrees
Heat the milk to desired temperature. once temperature is reached, cool it down as quickly as you can. You could place it in your freezer until milk reaches 3 degrees | Source
Then you are ready to drink your pasteurized milk.
Then you are ready to drink your pasteurized milk. | Source

Microrganisms from not pasteurizing

  • Salmonella,
  • Listeria,
  • Yersinia,
  • Campylobacter,
  • Staphylococcus,
  • Mycobacterium bovis,
  • Coxiella burnetii, Brucella,
  • E. coli

Udderly ridiculous quotes

"The cow is of the bovine ilk: One end is moo, the other,milk".

Nash Ogden

The friendly cow all red and white, I love with all my heart: She gives me cream with all her might To eat with apple-tart.

Quote by - Robert Louis Stevenson

I never saw a Purple Cow, I never hope to see one; But I can tell you, anyhow, I'd rather see than be one!

Quote by - Frank Gelett Burgess

The Last Word

Raw milk is not bad for you as long as you have confidence that is has been handled properly. If in doubt pasteurize.

How easy is home pasteurization?

5 stars from 3 ratings of Milk Pasteurization


Have you ever tried raw milk?

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    • lemonkerdz profile image

      lemonkerdz 5 years ago from LIMA, PERU

      Thank you vespawoolf for you visit and glad you enjoyed the hub. Many think it is a difficult process to pasteurize liquids but it really isn´t. This is especially a good process to learn if you want to keep certain liquids like juice in bulk, but fresh. It definatley helps to preserve it longer. Thanks for your vote

    • lemonkerdz profile image

      lemonkerdz 5 years ago from LIMA, PERU

      thank you for your visit foody yum yum and thanks for the vote. glad you enjoyed the hub

    • profile image

      Foody yum yum 5 years ago

      I´m not on hub pages yet but i just wanted to say how interesting i thought this article was. i have never thought of pasteurizing milk because i thought it was complicated. i think i´ll give it a go. i also voted for your granola.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is an awesome, informative hub! Living in Peru, we always pasteurize fresh milk as we're unsure of the cleanliness used in processing it. I also appreciate your mention of pasteurizing fresh juices and eggs, as well, especially for those who have compromised immune systems. The quotes made us laugh. : ) Voted up across the board and shared!