shaking for butter questions

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shaking for butter questions

Postby anniebaobao » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:05 pm

I have a second-grade daughter. We are doing the shaking for butter project for her science fair. http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p050.shtml.
The objective is to know how temperature affects butter making and if using a souring agent, such as yogurt, helps or hinders.
We found out that temperature did affect butter making. It take only a few minutes to shake to butter using warm heavy cream, but much longer for cold heavy cream. But I don’t know why this happen and how to explain to my daughter. Also we found out that adding yogurt to cream actually slowed the butter making, I don't know if this is what supposed to be and why?I googled these questions and still don’t know the answer. Thanks so much for your help!
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Re: shaking for butter questions

Postby Craig_Bridge » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:43 am

"WHY QUESTIONS" are hard to investigate scientifically. You could make formulate a hypothisis for the "why" in terms of "It is caused by x". If you can then come up with an experiment to test the hypothisis, and then end up with knowing: It is x, It is NOT x, or the experiment didn't tell us if it was x or NOT. Sometimes you can't even come up with a way to test the hypothesis.

Your experiment that proved that it is easier to churn warm butter than cold butter. Be thankful you got a conclusive result!

You might try measuring the viscosity of the heavy cream. If there is a significant difference in the viscosity of the cream at the different temperatures, then there maybe a simple case of taking more energy to perform the mixing/churning operation. There could also be a chemical reaction rate that is temperature sensitive. The actual answer might not be as simple as a single factor.

When you added yogurt to the mix, you might have caused more than one change. If you add a VERY small amount of yogurt, you probably won't upset the viscosity of the cream, but you might have upset the salt concentration. If you added a large amount of yogurt with respect to the mass of the heavy cream, you definitely would upset the vixcosity of the mixture which could easily affect the energy required to churn the butter. You might want to try an experiment to see if the amount of yogurt added affects your results.

These kinds of chemistry experiments where there are both physical state and chemical reactions occuring are complex in terms of attempting to fully understand them. That is what makes them intersting learning experiences. Part of these kinds of experiences is learning that once you learn something, you usually have more questions.
-Craig
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Re: shaking for butter questions

Postby Jhenna » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:29 pm

Craig_Bridge wrote:"WHY QUESTIONS" are hard to investigate scientifically. You could make formulate a hypothisis for the "why" in terms of "It is caused by x". http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f-breast actives cream... If you can then come up with an experiment to test the hypothisis, and then end up with knowing: It is x, It is NOT x, or the experiment didn't tell us if it was x or NOT. Sometimes you can't even come up with a way to test the hypothesis.

Your experiment that proved that it is easier to churn warm butter than cold butter. Be thankful you got a conclusive result!

You might try measuring the viscosity of the heavy cream. If there is a significant difference in the viscosity of the cream at the different temperatures, then there maybe a simple case of taking more energy to perform the mixing/churning operation. There could also be a chemical reaction rate that is temperature sensitive. The actual answer might not be as simple as a single factor.

When you added yogurt to the mix, you might have caused more than one change. If you add a VERY small amount of yogurt, you probably won't upset the viscosity of the cream, but you might have upset the salt concentration. If you added a large amount of yogurt with respect to the mass of the heavy cream, you definitely would upset the vixcosity of the mixture which could easily affect the energy required to churn the butter. You might want to try an experiment to see if the amount of yogurt added affects your results.

These kinds of chemistry experiments where there are both physical state and chemical reactions occuring are complex in terms of attempting to fully understand them. That is what makes them intersting learning experiences. Part of these kinds of experiences is learning that once you learn something, you usually have more questions.


I had the same problem, Thanks craig for your informative answer.
Last edited by kgudger on Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Spam link removed
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