Separating milk
Separating milk

Some time ago our good friends and neighbours leant us an old hand cranked milk separator.  We dragged in out once before, cleaned it up and tried to use it but couldn’t quite get the hang of it.

This morning I had more milk than I knew what to do with so I thought I might have another try with the separator.

To get started we ran some hot water through it and found it was pouring out where it shouldn’t until Himself had a “eureka moment”, tightened up one bit and got it working.

The manual
The manual

It’s a heavy piece of kit and had to be clamped to the table so that the handle could be rotated at the correct speed, which I believe was 3 revolutions every two seconds or when the bell on the handle stopped ringing.  There are also many parts that all have to be fitted together in the correct order but luckily it came with an old manual.

His monkey arms were perfect for the job and in total we processed 8 litres of milk after heating it to 30˚C.

When we put the first 2 litres through, the skimmed milk was pouring out of one of the spouts but no cream from the other.  When we opened it up the cream was sitting inside so we spooned it out into the jug.  Two litres obviously wasn’t enough to push it all the way through and only resulted in 100ml of cream.

As we put in larger quantities of milk into the slightly unsteady bowl, it rocked from side to side with the rotation and slopped all over the table.  Nevertheless the cream eventually emerged in drips from the second spout.

All those moving parts
All those moving parts

We ended up with only 1/2 litre of cream from all those litres of milk.  However the skimmed milk was lovely and frothy and the thick cream was absolutely delicious.  My plan was to make butter but I don’t know if I have enough for that.

Sadly, I still have more milk than fridge space, albeit skimmed milk, as the process didn’t actually use up any of it.  Don’t know why I thought it would.

I have waited a long time to get to this stage so I was thrilled with the cream and think I may have to invest in an electric milk separator as Himself is not always available to do my bidding and you really do need two people, one to do the turning and the other to hold it steady and swap jugs as you could end up with milk everywhere.

Now what shall I do with 1/2 litre of the best cream I’ve ever tasted and 8 litres of skimmed milk?

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