January 25, 2015

Crossed Off My Wish List - Cream Separator!

Manual cream separator
I honestly never thought I'd have one of these. I've looked at them from time to time, but the typical price range for a manual cream separator is $600 to $1600. Recently, I found some on eBay in the $150 to $250 range, but these are made of aluminum and plastic and I doubt their durability.

Then the cream separator featured in this blog, Riddle Family Farm came available. Debby asked if I was interested and how could I not say yes!

It is a Kamdhenu, made in India and is extremely heavy, and heavy duty. The hopper (milk tank) will hold a gallon and a half of milk. The manual is written in (I assume) Hindi with an English translation. An additional detailed xeroxed handout in English came with it, which should help. I need to read through these carefully and oil properly before I give it a try.

Giving it a try will likely have to wait until spring. I'm only getting about a quart of milk a day now and most of that is going to feed my milk kefir grains and the pigs.

Once I think I halfway know what I'm doing I'll do another blog post about it. Until then, I'm just happy to have it.


Dani said...

Nice one :)

Caroline J. Baines said...

Wonderful! What brand is it?

Frank and Fern said...

Unfortunately, we really didn't like the milk at all after we ran it through a separator, probably just like this one. The instructions recommended to heat the milk a bit for maximum extraction, which we also felt limited the shelf life. We tried it once and were so disappointed with the quality of the milk, that was it. I hope you have a better experience, Leigh. We'll just keep skimming the cream with a gravy ladle, which works well for us.


Leigh said...

Dani, thanks!

Caroline, it's a Kamdhenu. In fact after your question I added that to the blog post. The original owner purchased it from Hoegger, although they sell a different brand now.

Fern, this one is like that, recommending heating the milk to about 100° as well as preheating the separator itself. I'll be curious to see if we get the same outcome. We don't drink milk, however, mostly it's used for kefir, cheese, and feeding the pigs. I use whole milk for the kefir and most cheeses, but skim it for my mozzarella. I'm thinking to save time and energy, I may combine the cream separating with mozzarella making. We'll see what happens after kidding and the milk comes back in. :)

Mama Pea said...

Our separator (not currently in use :o() is an old, old one hubby's family got back in the 50s when they first got a cow. We used it for our goat milk all the time and loved it. As you know, the cream from goat milk does not separate (while standing in a container in the refridge) as readily as cow's milk, but with our separator I felt I got the maximum amount of cream from the goat milk. I wanted the max so I had enough for making butter . . . and whipping cream for other uses! We always let our milk sit out on the counter for an hour before running it through the separator, but did not heat it. We never detected any change in the flavor of the skimmed milk . . . or cream.

Congratulations and it's wonderful you were able to get this one without having to take out a loan! :o)

Mama Mess said...

I had a separator from Hoegger for several years and I loved it! I bought it new and never had a moments trouble with it, but when we made the move from IL to KY I sold it at an auction for about a $300 loss! However, it worked perfectly and did it's job very well. Once you figured it out, it wasn't difficult to clean or put back together. When our girls are in milk, we make homemade ice cream about every two weeks. The ice cream requires a quart of heavy cream so when we had a separator we could make the ice cream completely from goat products. Now I have to buy the cream from the store which makes me sad! LOL! I think you'll enjoy your separator and if you don't want to drink, or make cheese from the skimmed milk, your piggies and chickens will LOVE it. That's what we did with it!

Mark said...

Nice find! I remember growing up in the 60s that it was common in our area to see a big ol' cast iron, hand-crank cream separator in the front yard of farm houses being used as a decorative flower planter. If I remember correctly most had something like a 5 gallon capacity and it took a couple strong guys to move them around. By then the formerly ubiquitous 'family cow' had been retired, and butter, cheese and milk were commodities conveniently purchased at the grocery when you "ran into town". In those days folks would tell you that could have their old separator for free as you long you did all the hauling. How I wish now my parents had taken up one of those offers!

Enjoy your separator. It's another wonderful step on the path.

Bag End Gardener said...

It's a beautiful looking bit of kit, even if you can't use it until summer :}

Sarah said...

Yah! So excited for you!!! Hopefully it works like a dream!!! :)

Kev Alviti said...

Very nice. I love all this hand powered stuff. Wish I could find a second hand shop with it all in (and then find a new room in my house to fit it in!)

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, I'll be curious about how well it separates. I find that for hand skimming, I need to let the goat milk sit in the fridge for 4 or 5 days to get the most cream. This one has an adjustment for the amount of cream desired, It will be fun to experiment.

the Goodwife, figuring it out will be the trick! I am not in the least bit mechanical (whereas Dan just takes a glance and has it all figured out, LOL).

Mark, funny how now, there's a group of folks who would love to get their hands on all the old manual tools that previous generations couldn't wait to get rid of! How times change!

Jayne, I do like looking at it. :)

Sarah, thanks!

Kev, yeah, it's the room in the house that's just as much of a challenge as finding the stuff in the first place! No wonder farm houses used to be so big back in the day.

Benita said...

Oh congratulations! It's so nice when the right tool becomes available for the right price. When you get enough milk, I'd love to see a demonstration on how it works.

Nina said...

Gotta love new toys. I hope it works to your satisfaction. It sure would help the process be more efficient!

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

I grew up on a farm and I think my Mom and Dad had a cream separator!! Nancy

Unknown said...

Hi, if you need any help with the (hindi) manuals i will be glad to help.

Leigh said...

Benita, thank you! it is an exciting addition to the homestead. My Kinder Quarterly newsletter arrived yesterday and had an article on separating cream with a separator. What really caught my attention was the statement that they found their Kinder milk to still be creamy tasting after the separation process. :)

Nina, thanks! I'm sure the learning curve won't go without glitches, but once I get that and get a routine going, I'm looking forward to a better supply of cream.

Nancy, no wonder you have such a green thumb!

Digvijay, thank you! That is an extremely kind offer and you may hear from me in the future. Hard to tell if the English translation is a good one until I get into trying to follow the steps. :)

Sandy Livesay said...


Congratulations!!! Now this is a great find, and it's heavy duty.

I can't wait to read your post on it in the future.