Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Too much milk...cream separator

I've been quietly milking my own family milk cow for a couple of years; I don't talk about it much, but it's a daily part of the routine here.  Before the end of 2015 I'll be milking four cows; two jerseys, a jersey-holstein cross and a holstein.

Milk and cream separator operating from bruce king on Vimeo.

It's been interesting having to figure out how to deal with between 2 and 5 gallons of milk a day; and this little gadjet has helped a lot.  It's a cream separator that allows you to process the fresh milk into skim and cream immediately.

Why?  Well, what I end up valuing the most from the milk is the butter, and butter comes from cream.   So I want to have the cream, which I store until i have a gallon or so, and then make butter from that.   I was refrigerating the fresh milk overnight, letting the cream rise to the top and then skimming it, but 5 gallons of milk is a lot of refrigerator space.  This way I reduce 2.5 gallons of fresh milk into 4 cups of cream, which means that I can put 4-5 days work of cream in a gallon container in the refrigerator.

The skim milk goes to either dairy calves (I'm raising 10 heifers right now) or to piglets, both of which really like it.

To get the seperator to work for me I needed the milk to be about 99 degrees, and I need to start the milk flow before it has come completely up to speed.  that allows a little milk to come out the cream spout and lubricates the spout for the thicker cream that follows.   If the milk is too cold the cream doesn't flow out the spout.

This thing works too well.  the cream that comes out is solid when refrigerated.  The consistency of a heavy cake frosting.  So for butter making purposes after seperation I'll mix an equal amount of skim milk back into the cream.

So for a 2.5 gallon batch of milk I'll get a heaping 2 cups of extremely-heavy-cream, which I'll then cut with 2 cups of skim.  A gallon of cream this mix will produce 2-3lbs of butter, and the rest is buttermilk.

Mostly what I've been making is unsalted raw milk sweet cream butter, which is a very nice thing to have in the kitchen.  It's lovely stuff.

1 comment:

ellie k said...

I love fresh butter and the buttermilk with a little salt added.