Separating cream at home. Here are some options and advice for success.
February 9, 2024
When we separate our A2/A2 cream, we use big equipment. After all, we're doing it in bulk. It's a fairly straightforward process.
On a large scale, the most common method of taking milk and separating it into cream and skim milk is by using a centrifuge. A machine spins the milk very quickly. The lower density cream stays toward the center, and the higher density skim milk goes toward the outside. Then, there are two pipes for each to go through. Voila!
But, what if you want to separate the cream from your milk at home?
Maybe you just want to have some fun in the kitchen. Maybe you want to learn about how to make homemade dairy products at home, like the olden days. Or, maybe you want more self sufficiency (which can sometimes be more affordable, too) and make as much as you can with your own two hands.
An important note is that you can only do this with non-homogenized milk, where the milk fat is unaltered. ALL of our A2/A2 milk is non-homogenized. It's the most natural stuff we can make!
Here are a few methods of separating cream at home:
1- Skimming with a ladle.
Pour your milk into a container with a wide mouth. Cover and put it in the fridge. Let it settle for at least 24 hours (depending on the milk, it may take 1-3 days). You will see a clear cream line appear. What happened is that the low density cream floated to the top, leaving the skim milk at the bottom.
Then, take a ladle or spoon and scoop the cream off the top and transfer it to a separate container.
You need to be very careful with this method. Make sure your ladle scoops cream and only cream. It should not go below that cream line. Also keep in mind that every time your ladle goes in, you are agitating the milk (and therefore diluting the cream). Have a steady hand.
2- Slurping it with a turkey baster.
This is similar to above, but a wide mouth container isn't necessary. You need an opening large enough for your turkey baster.
Let the milk settle in the container until a cream line appears. Then, use your turkey baster to slurp the cream off the top.
Just like above, take care to make sure the baster doesn't go below the cream line. And, maintain tight control to prevent agitation.
3- Draining off the bottom.
Pour your milk into a container with a spout at the bottom (there are some drink dispensers for parties that have this feature). Let it settle in the fridge until the cream line appears. Then, open the spout and let the skim milk drain from the bottom, leaving your amazing cream in the container.
Be careful and watch closely. You want to close the spigot just when the cream line is at the draining level. For this reason, a container with a spigot as low as possible is preferred.
4- Using a countertop cream separator.
This is the fanciest, fastest, and most effective of all the options and requires a kitchen gadget: a countertop cream separator (like this one). These separators work the same way our large-scale (old fashioned) cream separator does... but on a smaller scale.
You turn it on, pour milk in, and then cream comes out of one spout and skim milk from the other.
This is the most efficient way to separate cream. If you use cold milk, you'll get heavy cream. And, if you use warm milk (around 101F like when it leaves the cow) on the fastest setting, you'll get super thick cream. It will be spoonable, not pourable. In Europe, they call this "double".
Once you have your cream and skim milk separated, there are so many yummy things to make!
Your thick and rich cream can be made into whipped cream, scones, ice cream, panna cotta, or eggnog. Or how about cooking some eggs in cream? Yum!
Your skim milk can be transformed into ricotta or mozzarella cheese. It's also a fantastic ingredient for baking, sauces, and smoothies.
Have you separated cream at home? What's your favorite method? What do you do with cream at home?
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