If you want to skim the cream from full fat milk this is a rough and ready way to do it. When undertaken commercially, the operation is performed by an expensive centrifuge called a separator, but to skim cream for home use a clear plastic container, fridge and a ladel will do the job just fine. This technique is probably obvious to a lot of people, but as I had absolutely no idea how much cream I would be able to remove from the milk the first time I tried it I thought my write up might help others.
Step 1. Pour your full fat milk into a clear container and place in the fridge.
Step 2. Allow the milk to stand in the fridge for 12 hours if you require single cream and 24-48 hours if you require double cream. The milk-fat rich part of the milk (the cream) being less dense than the skimmed milk will float to the top over time leaving a distinct band over the skimmed milk.
Step 3. Once the milk has stood for the desired length of time use a ladel or deep serving spoon to carefully skim the band of cream from the top of the milk.
Step 4. Pour the cream into a jar or other container for storage or use immediately.
Using this simple method I am able to skim approximately 1 litre of double cream from 10 litres of full fat milk. This leaves 9 litres of skimmed milk that I freeze for everyday use. The exact amount of cream that can be skimmed from the milk will vary depending on the time of year and the species/breed of dairy animals the milk has come from.
I find that this cream is perfect for making cultured butter, 1 litre of cream yields about 380g of butter and 600ml of buttermilk.