Observations and results
You will have created two new substances—butter and buttermilk! The butter is the result of the globules having broken apart and their fatty contents adhering together. The buttermilk, then, is the liquid that is left over. How are the two substances different? Are they both different from the heavy cream you started out with? How so?
What different things can you do with butter and with buttermilk? Can you think of other mixtures that are emulsions? (Hint: think of other oil and water substances.)
• If you intend to use them later, keep the butter and buttermilk in the refrigerator to prevent them from going bad—that's a whole other transformation, and one with results that are not quite so yummy.
More to explore
"How to Make Butter out of Cream, and Why It Works" from Crazy Aunt Lindsey
"Salad Dressing Science Mixes Up Researchers" from Scientific American
"Ice Cream Science" Scientific American
"Making Butter at Home" from Boston Children's Museum
This activity brought to you in partnership with CrazyAuntLindsey.com