How to Skim Cream from Milk

Q. I have a Jersey cow and I do not pasteurize my milk. What can I do to have a choice of either heavy cream or light cream? The only difference I have noticed is the older the cream, the thicker.

A. Your choice of Jerseys is great for cream since they have the largest fat globules and thus, their cream will rise to the surface nicely.

The difference between older cream and fresh cream for skimming, is the level of bacterial activity. Cream tends to thicken as the natural bacteria develops.

First allow the milk to sit quietly overnight to allow the cream to rise to the top. To skim the cream, use a large, flat spoon about 3-4" in diameter and about 3/4" deep. Gently dip the edge of the spoon into the cream until cream flows in, then empty the cream into a clean container. Continue this process, moving forward across the pot, until most of the cream is removed from the surface. 

If you want a lighter cream, allow some milk to flow into the spoon along with the cream. It's hard to determine the actual fat % of your final cream. After some practice, it will be easier to gauge the amount of cream to ladle off for your specific cheese making needs.

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