Dear Hettie,
We can’t drink all our milk before it goes sour. It’s so precious, what can I do to prevent it in the future?
~ Heather

Well, Hettie says, sour milk is not really something to prevent. Rotten milk is and that is really only a problem with bad or pasteurized milk. Really, she assures you, souring is just the first stage in raw milk’s alchemical transformation into one of nature’s perfect foods: cheese. Cheese (as long as it’s made from quality fresh raw milk) has everything you need to survive – including vitamin C.

In fact, cultured (soured) milk is such a nourishing food that we devote a whole class to it in our Folklore Foods Course.

Raw milk naturally turns into clabber (sour milk), then yogurt, and finally cheese….

What happens when milk sours is that its own lactic-acid producing bacteria starts consuming the milk sugar (lactose) and reproducing. This happens pretty slowly in the fridge, but it does still occur. How fast tends to depend on how quickly your milk gets cooled after milking. The quicker the cooling, the slower the souring or “turning” as we say. However, ALL raw milk will sour at room temperature and eventually even in the fridge.

Sour milk is NOT rotten.

Hettie wants to make sure you know that sour milk is a safe, healthy, delicious and useful food. It is an important ingredient in a lot of lazy-lady cooking including fermentation of grains and vegetables.

If you let sour milk keep fermenting or culturing it will eventually separate into solid and liquid….

And just like little Miss Muffet, you will have curds and whey. The curds can be used like cream cheese and the whey for soaking your morning oats.

oh, what’s that Hettie?

oh yes, of course… Hettie wants me to add that you can also use your whey to prepare your fermented duck egg mayonnaise…


Send Hettie your questions…. and she’ll happily answer as many as she can!

Best to you,
Hettie Quackers et al.

Was this article useful to you? What is your favorite thing to make with sour milk? Tell us in the comments. Hettie is dying to know!