Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Straining milk

It occurred to me that most of my readers have no idea what I do with milk I've gotten from the cow, to make sure it's clean and pure.

Even though I wash Bonnie's udder thoroughly, and she stands quietly and doesn't stir up any dust, she is an animal, after all. An animal with hair. So although I never see any hair in my bucket of milk, it's always a possibility. I got that plastic Kendall milk filter box at a farm sale, many years ago.

Here you see a milk filter; it's much thicker than a coffee filter... about the thickness of the cotton pad on a band-aid.

I secure the filter in place inside the strainer with this round piece of metal with holes, which fits quite snugly.

Then I put an even snugger metal ring on top of that, to hold the edges of the filter tightly against the sides of the strainer.

I've owned this milk strainer since 1969; my parents used it before they gave it to me. That metal thing between the strainer and the jar that I use to funnel the milk into the jar also came from my parents; I don't know what its original use was, but it works great for this job.

I usually bring in about a gallon of milk taken from the two teats on Bonnie's right side. Her calf, Sir Loin, gets the other two teats. (I've taken to calling him "Little Sir".)

Here you see the milk being strained through the filter and going into the jar.

There goes the last of it. Considering the thickness of the filter, it strains pretty fast, probably twenty or thirty seconds. Milk taken straight from the cow always has that foam on top when you first bring it in.


bettyl said...

The things you can learn on the internet!

Pat said...

Yes, very interesting. Thanks, Pat/Texas

small farm girl said...

I'm glad I follow your blog. I knew nothing about straining the milk. I am planning on getting a milk cow soon. It would have been bad to find a hair in it. eeeewwww

madcobug said...

I remember doing all that work when milking. There are a lot of steps to do in milking and finishing it up.If you are like I was once I washed her sack I then took a dry cloth and dried her off especially in the winter then when finished I applied a thick coat of vaseline as the cold weather made the teats crack open. Helen

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Believe it or not your method is much more modern than the one my grandmother used when I was a child. I rememberber her pouring the milk through beached cheesecloth to strain it. I can't believe I even remember that. It was so very long ago more than 50 some years now.

Faye said...

Oh, I can just smell that fresh milk with the foam. It was wonderful being able to see all these things growing up. It's even more wonderful being able to relive them through your blog. I don't remember Grandmother straining the milk but it seems that I might have seen the "cheesecloth" method at some point.

Anonymous said...

I remember the milk filtering, the separating and finally the pasteurizing.
Mom almost brought the milk to a boil at 210* for ten minutes on her kitchen range. At 212>212+* the milk could scorch. When that happen the hogs got it. Therefore I remember mom religiously standing over that pot watching her hand held thermometer turning a burner up and down.
Shortly after or about the time we left the farm, automatic for home use milk pasteurizers came out on the market.

Anonymous said...

We have a 2 yr. old Jersey cross about to calve any day now. I haven't had a milk cow in my life for 20 some years so this will be a re-learning time for me - very excited! Oh-I always said the foam on the milk meant I was a very fast milker :)
Marcia in Wyoming

Hollie said...

I remember my Mom straining it through an ole flour sack when I was little. thanks for sharing :)

Pat said...

I remember my Mom straining milk, making butter and cottage cheese. She used to sell the creme. She would put it in a medal creme can, and the company who bought it left her a check in the new creme can he left. I also remember her making soap, but I have forgotten how she did it. Your Blog brings back so many memories for me. Thanks for the memories. I hope you and Cliff have a great evening.

Mrs. L said...

When I saw the headline "Straining Milk" I thought something was wrong with the cow. That she strained herself during the milking process. Hey, I'm from the suburbs.