How to Milk a Cow Part 2

…or to be more specific, “What We Do With Our Milk After it Comes Out of the Cow.”

As soon as we put the cow away we head into the house with the transport bucket full of milk.  We have a small strainer and we put a filter in it.  We store all our milk in half-gallon glass canning jars and use the white screw-top lids on them.

Strainer with the filter in it

*Like my 1970’s counter tops?  Textured and everything.  Someday we will remodel the kitchen and those will be the FIRST to go.  🙂

We pour the milk through the filter, lid it, date it, and put it right into the fridge to cool.  We have a separate refrigerator out in the garage that we bought at a garage sale for $25 that we keep all the milk in.  I’m very glad we have it as it makes it very easy to deal with all the milk without overflowing my inside fridge.

Here is what the filter looks like afterwards:

That is a mixture of hair, dirt, and hay flecks.  YUCK!

The next morning I bring in the milk from the fridge.  By then it has separated and there is a clearly defined line of cream on the top layer.  Because our cow is at the end of the milk cycle she makes more cream (or so I’ve heard).  Usually, in a half-gallon jar, we have 2 1/2 – 3 inches of cream on top.  So we get about a quart of cream for every gallon we milk.

I use a small gravy ladle and skim off the cream to use to make butter, sour cream, whipped cream, and ice cream.  Then I shake up the milk so what little cream I can’t skim mixes in and we use it for whatever we need milk for.

So that is how we handle milking around our farm!

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