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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Oct 21 2015 :  5:25:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
janet i am trying something that seems to be working. i got one of those large glass drink dispensers that has a spigot on the bottom, a glass dispenser with a stainless spigot. so i let it sit in the refrig for two days to get a clear cream line separation, and then i use the spigot and drain off the skim milk at the bottom leaving the cream (drain off slowly). done twice and worked good. does best with two gallons of milk, as the spigot does leave a bit of milk on the bottom.

i used to just do the mason jar trick and scoop it off the top, just wanted larger amountsof cream .

i got my dispenser off amazon, but it came with a plastic spigot so i also bought a spare stainless spigot and had lover boy change it out.

i am one of those people that can't stand the idea of a mechanical separator, the clean up is too much for me to justify it.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Oct 26 2015 :  4:27:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Love this idea, Cindy. I, too, want cream in larger amounts but am nervous about all the necessary clean up needed for an automatic separator. This idea of a glass drink dispenser is great. Way to problem solve! Thanks for the suggestion.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Oct 27 2015 :  12:47:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
charlene,

this is the dispenser i got and the replacement stainless spigot:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006MPPC3C?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IX87W1Q?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00

i not only like the fact that i drain off the skim milk and then the leftover is cream, but with the super wide lid on top you can actually get a full size ladle in the top to gather a nice amount of cream as opposed to the smaller ladle used for the large mason jars. and the capacity is a generous 2 gallons, so you actually get enough cream to make the process worthwhile. this is my $40 common sense solution to the expensive cream separators.

here's my photo from my refrig this morning. can't really see the full cream line yet, it was 4" on the last batch which was quite lovely ;>


Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Oct 27 2015 12:47:38 PM
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Oct 28 2015 :  09:22:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Cindy. This is now added to my Amazon cart. This is exactly the system for me!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Oct 28 2015 :  5:20:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
and charlene it fits both your and my budget!! i also loved that it was so versatile i just couldn't go wrong, even if it didn't work as a cream separator i would use it for sweet tea all summer every summer.

as i have gotten more milk this week i have used it more this week than any other. it is working well for me, i am very happy. zero time involved, almost zero clean up, and so easy peasy it is amazing.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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chives

313 Posts
Victoria
Shelton WA
usa

Posted - Oct 28 2015 :  6:00:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cindy, that is way cool. Everyone has such good ideas.

A cow is the heart of a farm
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Oct 28 2015 :  8:00:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have to ask ... Cindy, how did you come up with this idea??

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Oct 29 2015 :  08:59:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
charlene - it was by over analyzing it. i am an accountant and tend to think about finding common sense solutions. lover boy wanted that fancy cream separator, i just NEW that would make my life a living hell - spending an hour cleaning all those tiny parts. not me. not ever. and those would definitely bust the budget.

so decided that why can't i just drain off the skim milk and keep the top? keep it simple!

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Oct 30 2015 :  1:35:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Necessity is the mother of inventions! Way to go! And, I'm copying your idea but will always give you full credit! :-) Love this chat room and ability to let others problem solve! haha...

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Nov 28 2015 :  09:10:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
there are two negatives to the gravity feed cream separator, and i'll post them here for the other newbies.

first, it goes against the grain for the device driven men in your life. its too simple, its too cost effective, it requires too little effort. they will argue for a cream separator contraption, they will promise to operate it weekly and perform all cream creation duties including the extensive cleaning required. they will wear you down with their arguments for an official cream separator.

second, time requirements to naturally separate cream can't be rushed. you really need 1-2 days to get that super duper thick cream at the top. sure, you have cream separation within hours and can skim it off - but try to do that too soon and you won't get the thick cream you want to make whipped cream. at 2 days you have such a clean cream line that draining off the skim milk at the bottom with the spigot is fantastic, but doing it too early and it tends to mix a bit at the bottom and you lose a bit of your cream.

due to negative #2 above, there was much frustration on the part of lover boy on thanksgiving and much discussion related to #1 above ensued. fortunately we aren't an arguing couple and it was all in good fun, although i am truly considering buying HIM a cream separator for christmas. and we don't even really do christmas gifts normally!

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Nov 28 2015 1:27:22 PM
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NellieBelle

11156 Posts


Posted - Nov 28 2015 :  11:08:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maybe my refrigerator is set lower temperature wise, but when I milk, I bring it inside, strain it into a bowl and promptly put it in the refrigerator. Then 24 hours later, I remove it, skim the cream off, so thick, that has to be pushed off the skimmer with a spatula. I put it in pint and quart jars. And it whips up beautifully. Yap, must be a man thing. :) I see a cream separator in your future Cindy.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Nov 28 2015 :  11:46:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This made me laugh this morning, Cindy! But be thankful that you have a guy who is actually interested in those things! :-) Everyone has their gifts, though. I'm thankful for my hubby who has been working out in the barn connecting the water pipes, setting up duck pens and chickens coops inside the barn and painting the incubation/soap making room ... the temps here have been in the 20's too!


Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Nov 28 2015 :  1:30:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
janet i may need to consider refrig temp ;>

the funny thing is that you know when men want to do something to help, but it really isn't helping? last few days i was bustling around and having a GREAT time and he noticed how much I had to do and wanted to make things easier for me - so started pushing HARD for a cream separator. to make MY life easier. except to me it makes it more complicated, unpleasant, undesirable. but he just couldn't see it and kept pushing and pushing thinking it was such a great idea. mars versus venus type thing.

i personally love my method, it makes me happy. but if lover boy wants to take over cream production in the family then i am all for getting him the tools HE needs to succeed in his desired way.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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NellieBelle

11156 Posts


Posted - Nov 28 2015 :  3:28:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Whatever it takes to keep harmony right?

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Dec 31 2015 :  11:48:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
so lover boy bought a cream separator. in time for christmas so we could have fresh butter on the table. he got it off amazon, this one http://www.amazon.com/Electric-Centrifugal-Separator-Receivers-CANADA/dp/B00FO5DH92/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1451590768&sr=8-4&keywords=cream+separator
some made in the eastern block device.



as many know from a previous post, the first use didn't go very well. we had to stop and take it apart and put it back together several times, and cream went everywhere when we did that. and then we had to clean up all the pots and utensils used in the process, not to mention the cream separator itself. our cream was way too thick and wouldn't flow and backed up in the device. here are those photos:



we went back to the drawing board with more research and lover boy settled on two changes that did the trick:
- first, set the top bowl speed to "open wide" so that the milk flows as fast as possible in to the separator
- second, open up the interior screw adjustment also to "open wide" so that the cream is as thin as possible (this is four full turns per lover boy)

note that MANY cream separators outright say they won't work with jersey milk, as the cream content is so much greater. so by putting the settings to the thinnest cream possible we were able to get this to work for us, but the cream was still WAY too thick.

here is our second batch of cream, when the machine was successful; yes that jar is full of cream and it is the consistency of frozen ice cream - no drippage:


i found that i had to cut the cream with milk in a 1:1 ratio to actually get it to be "heavy whipping cream", but it did come back to that consistency just beautifully. and when we made butter with half of it we literally only got about a cup of buttermilk off it ;>

we'll be holding round three this weekend, but at the minimum we at least know we can get the cream separated fairly easily once a week and make enough bulk butter at one time to make getting all the machines dirty worth it.

i should mention that we also ran all the milk through the separator TWICE. since the top bowl was open wide it didn't pull all the cream out as it was running fast, so we ran the "waste" milk back through again and pulled even more cream off the top.

we ended up getting a 1/2 gallon of cream from 3.5 gallons of milk - but in reality to be real thick cream consistency it would have been 1 gallon of cream after adding the milk back in to get it correct - and i am pleased with 1 gallon of cream out of 3.5 gallons. so as long as lover boy will continue to clean and operate the machine it will work for us


Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Dec 31 2015 11:53:49 AM
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Dec 31 2015 :  12:00:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good information. Thank you! But I do think we all need a clone of your hubby to operate, adjust, and wash up everything! Sounds like quite the operation and I'll look forward to hearing how round three goes.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Dec 31 2015 :  7:09:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
yes, cloning lover boy to send him around the USA for cream separator operations would be something good for all involved!

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Jan 02 2016 :  10:26:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How did round three go, Cindy?

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Jan 02 2016 :  12:48:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hopefully will know tonight charlene, we have been lazy the last day enjoying the fire inside and not doing much. perhaps we'll get our act together this afternoon ;>

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Jan 02 2016 :  1:58:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Aren't the lazy days so needed every little bit? We've had some lazy days and now I'm just feeling like I might be ready to face the world again.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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maryjane

7024 Posts


Posted - Jan 03 2016 :  12:22:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Everyone has to recharge their well routinely.

Cindy, I've never seen cream so thick. Wow. It's as if it's partially whipped or something. Impressive. Waiting to hear more!!!!! I'd be interested in a cream separator if I knew it would work. Lead the way, Lover Boy.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Jan 03 2016 :  3:19:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And if Lover Boy isn't willing to make a nation-wide tour, perhaps he should make a video and put it up here for all the adjustments he did to the creamer?? hint, hint.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Jan 03 2016 :  4:17:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
cream separator battle three will have to wait until tuesday night, lover boy pulled a muscle in his back and wasn't 100% today so we let him off cream duty ;> nothing bad, just inconvenient. he was still up on the roof and mending a leak today so cream duties seemed to be the least important thing to be done.

it wasn't butter yet, the funny thing is that it came out of the separator RUNNY - it was thick, but it was still liquid that ran out... weirdest thing i have ever seen. once it got cold it stiffened up like that.

we'll see how thick it is that day, and i'll see if i can take a video of the adjustments. y'all know how pathetic i am about remembering to take photos and such so i will attempt to ratchet up the reminders.

i can tell you that it obviously isn't so convenient that i am doing it all by myself yet. i still can't bear the thought of the clean up, but in order to get my summer kitchen finished this spring i just might decide to take on cream duties myself in order to keep lover boy outside and making construction headway ;>

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Jan 10 2016 :  5:37:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
well round three was today, and it appears to have gone very well. 5 gallons of milk, resulting in 1.3 gallons of cream... but i will have to update here tomorrow to see how thick the cream is because it is so runny when it comes out of the cream separator that you can't tell how thick it really is.

one thing, it is misleading to say we got 1.3 gallons out of 5 gallons as i personally drink a TON of milk and every day i pour cream off the top into my goblet... so i consume a lot of the cream and rich milk which means i am robbing the separator of some of its goodness. lover boy constantly complains about me taking cream off the top. i milk the cow, so i don't care what anyone in this world says - i'll take as much cream as i want. ha!

first, you heat up the milk to 101 degrees on the stove top. only takes 15 minutes or so. this is 5 gallons heating up in my victorio stainless steel canning kettle.



then you setup the creamer. the very top has a white plastic rotating adjustment that controls the speed at which the milk goes into the creamer. originally we started slow, assuming the creamer would take longer to get our rich cream out. what we found is that the milk then went so slowly through the creamer, that it was too thick and there wasn't enough push to get the cream out... and then it just stayed in the creamer and built up and created a dam. not what you want. so if you rotate the white thing to line up with the notch in the milk holder that is "full open" and milk moves through the creamer fastest. in the photo below the white thing is NOT yet lined up with the notch as we haven't started putting milk in, so you want to keep it all locked in the "off" position.

BEFORE putting milk into the creamer you pour about a half gallon of very WARM water through the creamer. you don't want to have a cold creamer and then put warm milk through it, as that will just cool the milk off too fast and it could jam up the creamer. so you pour water through the machine and it comes out both the cream and milk spouts and warms everything up nicely.



then you start milk into your creamer. the one adjustment we don't show is the internal screw adjustment. it comes factory set at 0, and it takes two half turns to make one full turn. internet instructions will have everyone telling you to set at 1 full turn, 2 full turns, etc. we tried it all and the only thing that worked for us was 4 full turns - that is what opened up the creamer enough for the rich jersey cream to come through. otherwise the creamer just jammed up and it was a nightmare.

and then the milk starts flowing into the creamer, and the cream starts coming out. cream is on the right, skim milk on the left.

you need a large pot to contain the "waste milk". you want something clean and sanitized, so that you can send it through the creamer once more, and also if you want to save the final skim milk to use for something else in your kitchen. honestly, we give the skim milk to the chickens ;>



the cream on the right looks much thinner than it is. but remember it is WARM as it went into the creamer at 101 degrees. the second time we used the creamer we thought it was thin, and weren't happy... until we put it in the refrig overnight and it came out so thick it took an ice cream scooper to get it out of the mason jar. literally. we had to cut that cream 1:1 with milk in order to actually make it thick pourable cream.

and then you get about 1.3 gallons of cream. i don't know if it is pourable or stiff yet, will report on that tomorrow.



we do take the "waste" milk and then pour it through the cream separator again to ensure we didn't miss any cream. we got the gallon of cream the first time through, and the 1/3 gallon the second time through - so there is a lot of cream left. and when all done, pour some warm water through the cream separator to assist with the cleaning process.

so all in all, we are now to the happy point with the cream separator. if you have 5+ gallons of milk to convert to cream each week it would be worth it. for any less, i wouldn't bother and would just do the skimming mason jar technique. one benefit is that this gets you probably TWICE the amount of cream versus hand skimming, so having enough to make butter or something like sour cream is much easier.

our goal is to use the cream separator twice a month, every other week. that is enough for us to have enough cream for butter and such. our plan is to be consistent so we can freeze the butter and always have enough on hand, to save up enough for when the cow is dried up and also those heavy baking holidays.

this could be done by a child of 10+. the first thing they could use extra help with is moving the large pot of milk from the stove to the counter with the separator - but then from that point we just use a large 4 cup pyrex to move warm milk from the heating pot to the separator, and a child standing on a steady stool could do that.

the second thing they could use help with is setting the two adjustments, but once that is done it isn't touched so they don't necessarily need to know about it all.

the final thing they could use help with is the clean up. anything tainted with such luscious butterfat needs to be cleaned thoroughly and with the proper soaps, so some experience in that should be taught.

that's it until round four!

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Jan 10 2016 5:45:36 PM
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Jan 10 2016 :  6:12:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You are working all the kinks out and it is looking great. With more dairy cows on our farm, we may need to budget for one of these separators. I am wondering if I could teach Cecily to operate it as part of her butter business?! That would be so cool!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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