Separating Cream from Raw Milk

We have been getting farm fresh milk from a local farmer for quite some time, and one of the greatest benefits of getting fresh milk is the amount of cream that I skim off the top. Fresh cream is one of the most tasteful and delightful things about getting milk straight from the farm, and I am going to show you how to easily skim the cream off the top.

How to separate the cream from fresh raw milk | Rocky Hedge Farm

Being a beginner homesteader one of my future goals is to have my own family milk cow. We have been doing quite a bit of research as to what breed of a cow we will eventually add to our homestead, but we aren't quite to that point in our lives to invest in one. Currently, I am very thankful that we have several local farmers that are willing to share their dairy products with us.

Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week. I gather up my jars, empty egg cartons and drive off to the little Amish community to pick up my fresh milk and farm eggs for the week. I enjoy my drive, the visit with the Amish ladies, the smiling children and the joy of picking up some of our groceries from local farmers.

I had been purchasing organic cream from the grocery store but we use quite a bit of cream when we cook in our home, and it was getting rather costly. I can purchase a gallon of milk and use the cream off the top for a much lower price than getting both from the local store.

What is Raw Milk with Cream

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized. When milk is pasteurized it undergoes a process of heating the milk to a high enough temperature that it kills enzymes that are healthy. Milk is then homogenized which is a process of breaking down the fat molecules so that they stay together and don’t separate as cream and it gives the milk a smooth, even consistency.

Raw milk is milk that comes from pastured cows and has not undergone any kind of processing and it contains all of the fats. There is some controversy surrounding raw milk and it is even illegal in some areas. However, I personally can’t drink store bought milk without it making me sick, but I can consume raw farm fresh milk.

Interested in finding your own source of raw milk? You can look here for a location near you.

Organic Dairy. Fresh Raw Cream Homemade Butter and Farm Fresh Eggs | Rocky Hedge Farm

How to Separate Cream from Fresh Milk | Measuring Cup Method

  1. During transport of the milk from the farmer back to your home, the milk can get shook up and mixed with the cream. So, once you get your jars of milk home, put it in the fridge and wait for the cream to rise to the top. This can take about 24 hours. When I pick our milk up, it already shows the cream line but I still allow the milk to sit in the fridge before I start to skim the cream off the top.

  2. I use a measuring cup to remove the cream as it something that I always have within easy reach. A 1/4 cup generally fits the best inside my half gallon jars. Search for the cream line on the jar so that you know about how far down the cream is located.

  3. Gently place the measuring cup into the cream and allow the cream to fill into the measuring cup. Be careful to not go very deep because you don’t want to get down into the milk. I always leave some cream in the top of the jar because it makes the milk taste even more delicious!

  4. Scoop the cream out and place it into a separate jar. Keep repeating until you have the amount that you wish to take off the top.

  5. Place a lid on the cream jar and store it in the fridge.

Storing Raw Milk | Glass Mason Jar Storage

It is very important to handle raw milk safely and if you get it from a local farmer, I think that it is important to know your farmer. You should know that they are handling your raw milk in a safe way and that they are careful to keep their equipment clean and sanitary.

I own two sets of these half gallon mason jars and I have them labeled with our last name. Each week, I take one empty set to the farmers house and leave them, and then I pick up the set that I left there the previous week. After we use a half gallon of milk, the jar is washed and placed back into the box for the next weeks milk pickup time.

Raw milk should always be kept cold and I suggest storing it towards the back of the refrigerator. Our cream is stored in quart size mason jars and also kept towards the back of the refrigerator as well.

Fresh raw milk and how to separate the cream | Rocky Hedge Farm

More Ways to Remove Cream from Milk

Spigot Glass Jar: Using a spigot glass jar allows you to use the milk first and then eventually all that is left is the cream. To use this method pour your milk into the glass jar and then let the cream settle on the top, generally 24 hours will be enough time. Use the spigot to get your milk. I personally have never tried this method because I always need the cream off the top before my family can finish a gallon of milk.

I also have a few concerns about using the spigot method. One of them being that the spigot could get clogged and the other that it would be hard to get it clean enough. When working with raw dairy, it is so important to make sure that everything stays very clean.

Stainless Steel Ladle: This is the same process of using a measuring cup, it just has a longer handle if you need to dip further into the jar.

Separating the cream from milk | Rocky Hedge Farm

How to Use Fresh Raw Cream

So, you have the cream. Now, what do you do with it? There are so many things that you can do with cream! Having it for my morning coffee is such an essential part of my day. I love to use it for homemade ice-cream, homemade butter and heavy whipping cream, these are all recipes that I will be sharing soon.

Recipes on the Blog Using Cream

Coconut Cream Pie

Pouring fresh raw cream from milk | Rocky Hedge Farm