Butter is made by separating the fat molecules from the liquid in cream. When you shake cream for a period of time, the fat molecules clump together into a solid called butter. The liquid that is separated from the fat is called buttermilk.
What You Need:
- A glass jar with a lid
- Heavy whipping cream
- Marbles (optional)
What You Do:
- Fill the jar halfway with cream.
- Add marbles if you’d like to speed up the process.
- Put the lid on and double check that it’s super tight.
- Shake the jar for about 15 minutes.
- About 2 minutes in, the cream turns into whipped cream. Try a bit and continue shaking. At the end you’ll have a solid mass of butter and liquid buttermilk.
- Rinse the butter in cold water after it’s formed.
- Spread on a slice of bread or a muffin and enjoy!
Words to Use:
- Liquid: A substance that is not a solid or gas.
- Solid: Hard or firm.
- Molecules: The smallest unit into which any substance can be divided without losing its own chemical nature.
- Persistence: Determination to do something even though it is difficult.
What to Talk About:
- Observe the liquid state at the beginning and solid state at the end.
- Did it start to feel different the longer you shook the jar? Why do you think so?
- Listen. How does the shaking jar sound at the beginning? Is it different towards the end?
- Try the buttermilk. Does it taste different than regular milk? How come?
Change It Up:
- Adding glass marbles to the jar speeds up the process. If you use marbles, make sure your glass jar is thick enough (ex: mason jar) so the marbles don’t break the glass.
- Collaborate with friends. Pass the jar around to share the work.
- Season your butter with some salt, honey, or herbs when it’s formed.
- Critical Thinking
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
NC Standard Course of Study
- Science: K.P.2.1, EX.1.P.2.1, 2.P.2.1, EX.2.P.2.1, 3.P.2.2, 4.P.3.1, 5.P.2.3