I know what you're talking about. I think with really fresh raw milk it is hard to see the separation line, but the longer it sits, the better you can see it.
When we used to buy the pasteurized kind, the cream was almost a seal you had to break through to get to the milk. The cream is in a much more normal state in the raw milk (and that's why they invented cream separators). If I want to use the cream for something, I just gently gather it off the top with a Japanese soup spoon.
It also depends on the breed of cow. Some have creamier and more yellow in color cream and therefore a noticeable line, and other breeds it's harder to tell.
What breed of cow is the milk coming from? Dexters have naturally semi-homogenized milk, like goats.
Any other type of cow milk should clearly separate after 12-24 hours, EXCEPT...
- if the milk was shaken excessively or jostled during transport
- if some of the cream was already skimmed (more common than you would think - many dairies (even raw) are sneaky and skim some or a majority of the cream and sell it as "whole")
How does the farm bottle the milk? Do you transfer it to different containers when you buy it? That could even be enough to disrupt the cream separation.
After 24-36 hours, the cream should form a distinct layer on top of the (bluish/skim) milk. Whole milk usually has 2-3 inches of cream, a bit less with Holstein milk.
Hope this helps!
Thank you for the interesting replies! As far as breed, here is from their website:
"We milk a selection of Jersey, Holstein, Ayrshire, Swedish Red, Normandy, and crossbreds"
So not sure if that is a factor or not.
I was interested to hear that pasteurization does affect how the cream separates. I frankly found the hard chunks of cream in the nonhomogenized pasteurized milk pretty off-putting (even though I LOVE cream), and it's helpful to hear that this is expected to occur with pasteurized milk and not just a fluke with the quart that I bought. I will be staying away from that stuff from now on and sticking with raw.
I hope the raw dairy isn't removing any cream.. they say "100% Grass fed raw organic cow’s milk, unpasteurized, and unhomogenized with lots of cream on the top - nothing added and nothing taken away".. so it would be pretty disingenuous if they were taking out some of the cream. I think I'll call to ask fwiw.
Hmm. Usually milk separates very distinctly within 24 hours. It takes effort to blend the cream in.
Since they're shipping/driving it all the way across the state, it must get excessively jostled. That's all I can think of!
I'm curious - how much does Pride and Joy sell their milk for, in stores?