Homestead Hack: Separating Cream From Fresh Milk

by Tammy Taylor~

As many of you know, recently I had to bring a mama cow into the barn and milk out one of her quads since her newborn calf neglected it long enough for it to get very large.  I didn’t want to risk her getting mastitis and the longer the calf neglected it the larger it became.  Although our cows are not a dairy breed, she gave me about a half gallon of fresh milk from just that one quad!  I’d never milked a cow before & I was pretty excited to get that fresh milk, so I sat out to put it all to good use.  I decided to make homemade yogurt with it, but I turned to my Facebook Followers to find out how they easily skimmed the cream from the milk.

I was looking for an easy way to separate cream from fresh milk. A spoon was too time consuming, a gravy separator was better, but check this Homestead Hack! #TaylorMadeHomestead

You see, I knew the cream would float to the top but I’d tried skimming it with a spoon – what a pain!  Then I tried pouring the milk into a gravy separator and although that worked better, I could only skim a small amount at a time due to the size of the skimmer.  But then one of my readers offered up the PERFECT solution!  Using her advice I purchased a glass sun-tea jar with a spigot from a thrift store.   I brought it home, washed it up and then poured the fresh milk into the sun tea jar and sat it on the top shelf of our refrigerator overnight.

The next morning the cream had risen beautifully to the top.  I placed the jar on an elevated counter top and placed my pan beneath it.  A simple squeeze of the spigot poured the milk from the bottom first, leaving the cream floating on top.  BRILLIANT!

I was looking for an easy way to separate cream from fresh milk. A spoon was too time consuming, a gravy separator was better, but check this Homestead Hack! #TaylorMadeHomestead

I made that fresh milk into my own homemade yogurt, it was delicious!  I also used the cream to make my own butter, and the resulting buttermilk was used for my homemade KitchenAid Sandwich Bread – nothing was wasted!

~TMH~

C’mon by & sit a spell!  Come hang out at our ~TMH~ Facebook Page – it’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea – lots of good folks sharing!  You can also follow along on Pinterest, Twitter or GooglePlus. If you’d like to receive an email each time a new blog post goes live it’s EASY to Subscribe to our blog!

 

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24 thoughts on “Homestead Hack: Separating Cream From Fresh Milk

  1. Vanessa

    What a great idea. I am thinking about getting fresh cow’s milk and can’t wait to try this. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it link party. You always have the best post.

    Reply
  2. Marilyn Lesniak

    Sharing this city forgotten hack is wonderful! Thank you for sharing your wonderful post at #OverTheMoon. I look forward to what you will share next week! Do something special. Give yourself a standing ovation today! We hope you’ll come back again next Sunday when we open our doors at 6:00 PM EST. “Like” someone in person today!

    Reply
  3. Helen at the Lazy Gastronome

    We had goats when I was a child – I loved that fresh milk in the morning. Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner link up and don’t forget to leave a comment at the party – Next week’s features that also leave a comment get pinned, yummed and tweeted!

    Reply
  4. Staci @ A Chick And Her Garden

    I love this! Thank you for sharing it on Sustainable Sunday’s! I can’t wait for fresh milk to use this!

    Reply
  5. autumn

    It never ceases to amaze me how the easiest methods are often the best! Who would have thought? I’m definitely taking note of this tip. Thanks ever so much for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Oh my it worked so much better for me than any of the other ways I tried the cream separating, Jennifer. ~TMH~

      Reply
  6. Danielle @DIYDanielle

    That’s so neat! I was wondering how cream was made from milk recently. 🙂 I buy from the store so it’s probably not possible to do the same thing due to the pasteurization, but I still like to understand how it’s all made! Thanks for linking up to #SustainableSundays!

    Reply
  7. Mandy

    We’ll be buying a family cow this Fall. I can barely contain myself… A question for you: Is the milk you pull from the bottom like this “watery” like skim from the store or is it still creamy enough? I’m a 2% milk-lover, and I’d rather not lose it all to the butter and cream monkeys in our household. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Mandy the milk wasn’t fat-free or ‘skim’ by any stretch of the imagination, I think perhaps you need special equipment for that? I was very pleased with the milk, the cream and the buttermilk I was able to glean from this one quad. You’re gonna have so much fun having your own milk cow!! ~TMH~

      Reply
  8. Stephanie

    Genius!! I have not begun the dairy journey yet but will definitely be making note of this for future reference!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      OMGosh Stephanie – what a difference this made!! Start now by obtaining that glass tea jar, it’ll be a game changer! ~TMH~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I’ve really got some smart FB followers Jessica – they’ve all been such a blessing to me sharing their helpful advice! ~TMH~

      Reply
  9. Sarah Jean

    My dream is to live on a homestead, but unfortunately, I live in Washington, D.C.! I need to convince my husband to move out. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      LOL Sarah, I hear ya. But when we lived in ‘the big city’ I found that you can homestead where you are. Maybe not milking-a-cow kinda homesteading, but homesteading nonetheless. I planted an ever-expanding garden, learned to can, dehydrate produce, make yogurt, cook from scratch and make my own cleaning supplies among other self-sufficient things. I’ve always heard ‘Bloom Where You’re Planted’ and a truer sentiment has never been spoken! ~TMH~

      Reply
  10. Ellen C.

    This is a brilliant idea! Not that I am going to milk a cow anytime soon or ever ( I do envy you though) but I was wondering how well this would work for large amounts of homemade stock. I try to spoon off the solidified fat at the top but inevitably small bits break off and remain. Maybe you already have a hack for that?

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I’m thinking it may work for broth too Ellen, although I’d worry about fat clogging the little spigot part. Even if the fat was solidified and floating on top of the broth there would be small particles of solidified fat in the broth. But I may give this a go and see how it works (Ironically I’m making homemade broth today!) ~TMH~

      Reply
  11. ColleenB.~Texas

    Bringing back memories you mentioning milking cows. I remember growing up, I milked cows, sitting on my 3 legged wooden stool, just milking away and shooting some milk over to the cats that where sitting near by. :} I think the cats got more milk than I got in the bucket until my dad caught me doing that and that was the end of the cats getting any. I never was a milk drinker but enjoyed milking the cows.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Love it Colleen! What an iconic mental image of simpler days… I’d never milked a cow until recently since our cattle are beef breed and not dairy but it was fascinating to me to learn to do it and also to put all that fresh milk to good use. ~TMH~

      Reply

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