Workings of different types of Small Cream Separators

old poster milk- raw milk
Soviet Poster. Published 1950. “Milkmaids, achieve high yields of milk from each cow feed!”

History of Cream Separators

The earliest methods of cream separation made use of gravity. In one early method, milk was poured into shallow pans (2 to 4 inches deep) known as setting pans. The pans were placed in a cold, clean room for 36 hours allowing the cream to rise to the top. At that point, it was skimmed by hand with a tool called a cream skimmer. This method made it difficult to handle large amounts of milk. As much as 30 percent of the cream was left behind. However, if the milk was not stored properly, the cream would sour

A Swedish engineer, Dr. Carl Gustaf De Laval, began experimenting with a mechanical cream separator in 1859, he used a barrel to spin the milk, then skimmed the cream from the top after the barrel came to a stop. He then built a separator that utilized a number of buckets to separate 35 gallons of milk at a time. In 1878 he launched a continuous cream separator that could process 300 pounds of milk an hour. This was based on the principle of centrifugal force.

The cream separator is a dairy machine used to separate fresh whole milk into cream and skim milk.

Old Cream separation methods-old separators for cream, cream separators
The Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary. Published in Imperial Russia in 1890. Image from the article: “Milk in Agriculture Aspect”

How do cream separators work?

Whole milk is poured into a bowl, through a central tubular shaft. A spindle rotates the bowl at a rate of from 6,000 to 9,000 rpm, and a series of conical disks separates the milk into vertical layers. The heavier skim milk collects on the outer circumference of the rapidly whirling bowl, and the lighter cream tends to remain in the center. The pressure of the incoming whole-milk supply then forces the cream and skim milk out of the machine and into separate collecting vessels. The gravity method ordinarily leaves one fourth of the fat in the milk, while the cream separator leaves only 0.01% to 0.02% of the fat in the skim milk. Since the latter process is much faster than the gravity method, there is less chance for harmful bacterial action.

An electric cream separator works via centrifugal force. The machine spins raw milk in a tub or basin. During this process, the lighter butterfat globules are flung to the outside of the container, where they can be siphoned off. The machine separates the cream much faster than the gravity method, and also separates more cream from the milk. A cream separator won’t separate cream from homogenized milk. Smaller machines designed for home use separate milk and cream a few gallons at a time, but large commercial separators allow for continuous separation of large amounts of milk and cream where skimmed milk flows from one outlet of the machine and cream from another.

What are different methods of cream separators available?

There are many Cream separators in the market. The Cream separators are available in various sizes and these can be customized. These are manufactured using high quality materials like stainless steel, 304 etc. These separators are corrosion resistant and preserve the original properties of the milk. Cream contains most of milk’s energy and in the later 1800s the ever-growing market for more cream kicked off different inventions to separate the cream in larger quantities. Four types of cream separators became available and each type had its own set of uses.

Setting Pans

The original cream separators were shallow pans which held milk from 2 to 4 inches deep. These setting pans, they were left in cool, clean rooms for up to 36 hours when tools like cream skimmers were used to skim off the top.

Deep Setting

The deep setting method required shotgun cans or 20-inch-tall cans with a diameter of about 8 inches, which could contain up to four gallons of milk; These were thrust into tanks of cold water which caused the milk cooled quickly thereby forcing the cream to rise to the top and separate from the whey better. These were sealed lidded cans that kept out water and bacteria.

Water Dilution

This method used water dilution along with gravity. In this method, a 10- to 32-gallon tank was half-filled with milk. Then water was let in the tank through a tube at the bottom of the tank. After one or two hours, the cream was removed from the top. A valve at the bottom of the tank allowed the water and skim milk to go out of the tank. Thin, vertical glass windows revealed the cream line created.

old cream separators-separate cream with cream separator
The Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary. Published in Imperial Russia in 1890. Image from the article: “Milk in Agriculture Aspect”

Centrifugal Separator

Most modern cream separators use centrifugal force to separate the cream from the skim milk quickly by spinning the bowl containing the milk, causing the lighter cream to go into the center of the bowl while the heavier skim milk travels outward. A centrifugal cream separator has a strong, durable motor and a speed controller that gives the user the ability to adjust the thickness of the cream while adjusting the percentage of fat in the cream. An open-and-close valve at the top of the unit controls the flow of the milk into the separator. The tank below the valve holds the milk while it spins. The float under the tank fits on top of the float chamber in which the cream collects. The cream spout below the float chamber is used to send the collected cream out, while the remaining milk goes out a separator milk spout under the cream spout.

Who uses small cream separators?

Smaller versions of separators were called table-top models, for small dairies with only a few cows or goats. Independent Farmers and small dairy outlets find these smaller versions of great use as they are non-messy and effective.

Why are Slavic Beauty small cream separators perfect?

The electric version seemed to have caught up along with small cream separators in the market. Expect the unexpected at Slavic Beauty. Slavic Beauty has earned a fantastic reputation for quality and service for providing effective cream separators. They supply quality and affordable units of electric and manual cream separators. These new units are made in Ukraine and Russia. They are of great quality and price which are tested for quality before sale. They offer more than 12 types of cream separators with variety of hand operated and electric machines of different capacities which are perfect for small farms and dairy operators.

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Cream Separator Electric #17


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