Has been driving me crazy. One carton of whole milk will foam beautifully, the next (same brand, same store) all the bubbles immediately coalesce into large bubbles and the foam collapses. I've tried organic milk, pasteurized, ultrapasteurized, different brands, different stores, different expiration date and it's still a crap shoot and I have at least as many cartons that won't foam as those that do foam well. Does anyone know what causes this variability? I don't think it is a difference in fat content because that is held in too narrow a range to make such a dramatic difference. Could it be the variation in pus cells? In my state to be grade A milk it has to have no more than 5 million pus cells per teaspoon (1 million per ml), milk from an uninfected cow (bacterial culture negative) can have as little as 20,000 per ml.
Anyone have any idea what causes this variability? I've finally given up and mix my own whole milk, skim in the pitcher with a shot of half and half, foams well 100% of the time.
I'll take a gander and say that even though a milk states it has a certain level of fat content it will actually vary a bit between production batches.
Here is an additional observation: Why does whipping cream cost less than heavy cream when they both list the same fat content? (at least with brand names).
Marketing ploy if I were to make an assumption.
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laservet Senior Member Joined: 12 Jun 2003 Posts: 241 Location: Williamsburg Expertise: I love coffee
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Posted Sun Jun 15, 2014, 9:14am Subject: Re: Bovine mammary gland secretion variability
Update. The collapsing foam issue has nothing to do with fat content. Rather than using whole milk I've been using skim + half and half and have varied the fat content from none to pure half and half, no collapsing foam problem EXCEPT with two different containers of half and half since I last posted about it. That is a much lower percentage of problem containers than I was experiencing with whole milk, not sure why since I've not had the problem with a single container of skim.
Something is likely affecting surface tension in the "bad" containers of milk. I'm running out of ideas. One I haven't tried yet is to see if food safe lube has an effect. I'll touch a tiny amount in the bottom of my milk pitcher and see if I can replicate the problem. If so, then maybe the first few batches that run through newly lubed machinery may pick up a little lube and have a different surface tension.
Any other ideas? So far I've ruled out brand, happens with all brands available in my area; fat content; expiration date; organic vs regular; pasteurized vs ultrapasteurized. Haven't tried raw milk, not particularly interested in getting sick.
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