How to Get Fresh Cream from Raw Milk

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A few weeks ago, my family made the switch from pasteurized milk to raw milk straight from the farm. It was one of the best decisions we have made. There are so many raw milk benefits that it was a no-brainer for our family. One of those benefits was being able to get fresh cream from raw milk.

Ya’ll. Real. 100% Fresh Cream. Oh, bless my comfort food loving soul, but fresh cream alone makes it worth the $6.00 a gallon we pay. It’s also good for you too because now I can show you how to get fresh cream from from raw milk.

Fresh cream is one of the most decadent things you'll ever taste! It's also easy to get cream from milk. Let me show you the process of skimming cream from raw milk.

There are a couple of things you should understand about getting fresh cream from milk. You absolutely must use raw milk. Pasteurized milk does not contain cream. It is removed from the milk before the pasteurization takes place. You would wait until it is a putrid mess for pasteurized milk to separate into cream. Raw milk it is.That is if you want fresh cream without going to the store.

How to Get Fresh Cream from Raw Milk

 

Raw cream can be used for so many different things. You could make homemade butter, homemade cottage cheese, homemade sour cream, whipped cream, homemade ice cream and a whole slew of other delicious farm fresh recipes.

We use ours mainly for butter or cottage cheese, but experimenting is a good thing. Play around with your cream until you decide on a few items to make from it each week.

 

Fresh cream is one of the most decadent things you'll ever taste! It's also easy to get cream from milk. Let me show you the process of skimming cream from raw milk.

Raw Cream from Raw Milk

 

You don’t need a ton of supplies to get your cream from raw milk. All you really need is a mixing bowl or other container, a small measuring cup or scoop and your milk of course. I use an old dry 2/3 measuring scoop that I keep lying around for things like this, but a deep ladle would be a great option too if it will fit inside of whatever container your milk is in.

As you can see, once I bring our milk home, I transfer it to half gallon mason jars. This is partly because I don’t want it sitting in plastic milk jugs for long, but also because mason jars make it far easier to see the cream line and to reach the raw cream. The 2/3 cup measure fits perfectly into the mason jars.

 

Fresh cream is one of the most decadent things you'll ever taste! It's also easy to get cream from milk. Let me show you the process of skimming cream from raw milk.

 

What is the cream line in raw milk?

 

Before you can begin skimming the fresh cream off your raw milk, you should understand how the process works. As I said earlier, it’s pretty simple.

Raw milk is a mixture of fresh cream and milk. It comes out of the cow like that. Milk is heavier than cream though so as the milk sits, your cream will rise to the top. The time it can take to rise will vary on how fresh your cream is. This particular batch was from cows milked the morning I bought the milk. It rose to the top within a few hours.

To keep your raw cream pure without milk in it, you’ll need to be sure you can see the cream line and that you don’t dip into the milk below it.

It’s usually fairly easy to see. Fresh cream is a brighter white than milk.

 

Fresh cream is one of the most decadent things you'll ever taste! It's also easy to get cream from milk. Let me show you the process of skimming cream from raw milk.

 

Getting to Your Fresh Cream

 

To separate the cream from the milk, use your scoop to dip into the cream. You don’t need to be too careful, however, be sure to take some care when you get down to the bottom of the cream line that you don’t dip into the milk as well.

Yes, it can take a little bit of time to scoop the raw cream out; especially if you have a lot of milk, but trust me when I say it is so very worth the time spent being careful.

 

Fresh cream is one of the most decadent things you'll ever taste! It's also easy to get cream from milk. Let me show you the process of skimming cream from raw milk.

 

How to tell the difference between cream and milk

 

Mmmm…look at that! Do you see how thick and rich that cream looks?

If you’re unsure whether you have cream or milk in your scoop, pour some off into whatever you’re using as a container and take a look. Cream will be thick and coat your scoop like you see in the photo. Milk will simply run out.

 

Fresh cream is one of the most decadent things you'll ever taste! It's also easy to get cream from milk. Let me show you the process of skimming cream from raw milk.

How to Store Fresh Cream

 

Once you have your cream skimmed off, store it in an air tight container in the fridge unless you’re making sour cream with it. I store my cream in quart sized mason jars.

Yes. My fridge is full of mason jars. I’m okay with that.

Use your fresh cream within 1-2 weeks of skimming it unless you’re purposely allowing it to go sour. If you don’t think you’ll use it before it sours, you can freeze both raw milk and fresh cream. In fact, it’s one of my favorite foods you can freeze.

For those wondering, I did roughly 4 gallons of milk with this batch and got 3 quarts fresh cream from it. I could have probably gotten at least another pint off our milk, but I tend to leave a bit of cream in the milk for taste. IF you’ve never used fresh cream or are not used to drinking full fat raw milk, I suggest you try it both with the cream fully removed and with the cream only mostly removed.

 

Other methods of skimming raw milk

 

The way I skim my milk isn’t the only way out there to do it. I’ve seen methods that include everything from poking holes in the milk jug to allow the milk to drain or using a large drink pitcher with spigot to pour off the milk.

I tried the holes thing. It made a huge mess and wasted very expensive milk. 

If none of these methods appeal to you, you could also use a turkey baster to siphon off the cream.

It may take you a few times to figure out a method you are comfortable with and like, but once you do? You’ll wonder why you weren’t using fresh cream before now.

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