How does cream go from liquid to whipped to butter AND buttermilk?


How does cream go from liquid to whipped to butter AND buttermilk?

In: 17

Raw milk, straight from the cow, has lots of fats and proteins in it on top of the sugars and water.

Essentially, the biggest difference between all of those things is how much fat is in the compared to water, making all those different products is just a process of either removing fats or removing water to alter the relative contents.

For example, butter is very high fat. Skim milk is next to no fat.

Milk fat traps air when whipped.

The longer you whip it (whip it good), the smaller the bubbles.

The smaller the bubbles, the denser the product.


* larger bubbles = whipped cream; and
* smaller bubbles = butter

Buttermilk was traditionally the liquid left-over from churning cultured cream into butter. Modern butter uses uncultured cream, so buttermilk is cultured separately.


You explained it to yourself without realizing! The whipping or churning separated the liquid from the solids, basically the fats from the sugars.

Milk straight from the source will naturally be semi separated already. The foremilk is sweeter, thinner, containing more lactose and proteins, while the hind milk is higher in fat content. Fats and water/liquid do not like to stay mixed. What you buy at the grocery store has been treated with heat and mixing methods to cause it to stay “homogenized.”

PS Buttermilk doesn’t have butter in it, it’s what’s left of the milk after butter is formed.

I initially replied to someone else’s comment, but I’ve seen a few different comments now that I think miss the point of what butter is, so I’m going to try a top level comment.

Cream and milk consist of tiny blobs of fat, each surrounded by a thin protective cover, all floating around in a watery base. The blobs of fat are prevented from joining up into bigger blobs by the protective covers.

Whipped ream is made by relatively gently mixing lots of air bubbles into this mixture, without breaking the covers on the fat blobs. Now there are air bubbles, tiny fat blobs, and watery stuff. We can ignore how the bubbles stay in the cream – it’s to do with proteins in the watery but, but it’s not important.

Butter is made by shaking and churning the cream much more vigorously, so that the protective covers around the little fat blobs get broken. With nothing separating them, the blobs of fat now all join together to make a big block of fat (with a little bit of the watery stuff dissolved in it). This is the butter. The buttermilk is the liquid left over after all the fat blobs have joined together.

On that note, can milk turn into cream/butter while still in the breasts if vigorously shaken?

For science, of course.