Skimming Raw Milk

petra_gwNovember 11, 2010

We've been buying raw milk and I want to skim the cream off the top for other uses. So I was planning to store it in glass jars to make skimming easier.

However, I am wondering how involved this will be re. keeping the jars sterile. I assume they will have to be sterilized just like for canning, and then re-sterilized once a week when we get fresh milk?

I googled, but there isn't much info out there. About the only thing I could find is to keep it in the original plastic container and use a turkey baster to suck the cream off the top. But how do you sterilize a plastic baster before sticking it in the container. :o)

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readinglady

I hate to say it, but I grew up on raw milk and cream and homemade butter and we never sterilized any of the containers. Clean, of course, but not sterile. It was straight from cow to kitchen. I probably built up some pretty good immunities.

But I'm sure sterilizing is a good idea, preferably glass containers and stainless spoons.

We always skimmed with large stainless spoons or ladles. I can't imagine using a turkey baster because the cream can get quite thick. I would think it would be a nightmare to clean.

Carol

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 7:09PM
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lindac

We used raw milk when I was a kid....it will separate just fine in plastic as in glass....you can pour or dip the cream off. No need to sterilize...just clean.
A small ladle will be fine for ladling off the cream.
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 7:11PM
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petra_gw

Thanks, Readinglady and Lindac, sounds like a lot less work if I don't have to sterilize everything. Yes, the turkey baster really didn't sound like something I want to use. The jars should do fine to allow me to skim.
Lindac, I tried to pour the cream off right out of the plastic container because I wanted to whip some, but I must have poured some milk as well because the cream never got thick, even after whipping it for 10 mins.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 7:18PM
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terri_pacnw

This might help you. It's got more information than you want..but you can glean the parts you need.

Here is a link that might be useful: Milk sanitation

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 7:27PM
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terri_pacnw

is great..but like the others..I just clean...in hot soapy water and rinse and air dry or use the dishwasher..

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 7:31PM
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lindac

I don't ever remember "top milk" being rich enough to whip. The milk you have bought has had some of the cream poured off it make it the "standard butterfat content".
The reason the cream rises is because it's not homogenized.
You still need to buy whipping cream, which is centrifuged from the milk.
Linda c

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 8:28PM
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readinglady

We used the cream that rose to the top and I have purchased from a local up-market grocery a non-homogenized milk with top cream that whipped very easily.

But that's a function of how the milk is sold and also the breed of cow as some breeds produce a richer milk.

I should clarify that when we ran a dairy, of course we sterilized. But for home use we didn't.

Carol

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 9:53PM
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KatieC

I skimmed our cream off with a cheap serving spoon, bent at a 90 degree angle.

What kind of cows are they? Some breeds have thinner cream and fewer milk solids. We had a Brown Swiss. Really thick cream...it whipped well and made wonderful butter.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 10:02PM
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terri_pacnw

If you poured off Petra..then you are probably right..you got some milk in it too..so it wouldn't whip..you've going to have to leave a small skim of the "cream" in the milk to have it whip-able.

I've been successfull with both raw and non homogenized. But leaving a bit of the cream in the milk.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 10:18PM
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annie1992

Like readinglady, I grew up on raw milk and remember just shaking the bottle to mix the cream back in. Grandma used to skim it off for her coffee or to put on top of fruit cobblers.

We had Holsteins, the milk was not as rich in buttercream as other breeds like Jersey. I don't remember her ever whipping the cream, we mostly used it for butter. Whipped cream was a luxury but butter was a staple, LOL.

We also just skimmed the top cream off with spoon, and didn't sterilize anything.

Annie

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 10:20PM
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dgkritch

Yep. What all the others said.
We stored in a glass jar, skimmed with whatever shallow ladle or serving spoon was handy.
Whipped the top cream and made butter (oh, how I hated that job).

Mom "discovered" making butter in the stand mixer instead of the churn by accident. Making whipped cream and left it in the mixer a bit too long. Hee hee. We never had to churn after that! But, if you try it, be sure to cover the mixer with a towel or you're gonna have buttermilk all over the kitchen! It gets rather violent when the lump of butter starts flopping around in there!

Skim the thickest part of the cream for butter or whipped.
Skim the thinner cream and just a little milk to use as half and half (coffee, sauces, etc.).
Drink the rest!

Deanna

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 11:54PM
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petra_gw

Thanks so much for all the comments and advice!!
Hmm, the cows are Jersey and Jersey crosses, I don't know if their cream is thick enough to whip? When leaving the container over night and holding it up against the light, approx. the top quarter of the container consists of a yellowish layer, I assume that's cream? Terri, thanks for the link, I think I'll copy you guys and just wash and dry. :o)

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 10:50AM
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terri_pacnw

Petra, Jersey and their cross are pretty good butter fat producers...especially in the spring when the green grass comes back...

Yep you are correct that layer is cream...like I said don't skim all the way to the milk..leave a small bit of cream in it..to assure that you are not getting "wet" milk.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 7:26PM
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