Friday, October 14, 2016

From Bottle Flipping to Butter Flipping? : Guest Blog Post

Can the bottle flipping trend be useful?
A Science lesson - by: Sarah Loving, Webster Groves, MO - Oct. 5, 2016

    As the mother of 3 adolescent boys ages 9, 11, and 13, the recent bottle flipping trend of summer of 2016, while entertaining, as we move into fall is beginning to get slightly annoying at best.  Last week as I watched my 9 year old and his buddy out on the deck flipping, the 4th grade teacher in me from many years ago, thought surely something productive could come from this non stop flipping. 

The 4th graders had just done a pioneer days type field trip and I too had taught many a unit on this very topic.  I thought if you can churn butter by shaking heavy cream in a jar, than could you do it by bottle flipping?  At least they’d be accomplishing something while they spent 30 minutes of their playdate trying to “top it”!

    So for our friends next visit, I was prepared with my true Science experiment.  I was hopeful.


8 oz. mini plastic water bottle, 1 per student 
Paper cup for pouring out the water and drinking (keep the bottle sanitary)
2-3 oz. of heavy whipping cream per student
A pinch of salt, depending on your personal taste
A 12 inch paper towel per child, softens the flipping sound and helps if the cap leaks for quick wipe ups
Sharpie to label bottle

Crackers, bread, etc. for tasting
Plastic knife
Razor, if wanted, to cut off the top of the bottle but you can reach in with a knife.

It is best to stay indoors for temperature control, you really don’t want warm cream and they are already handling the bottle warming it up. Go outside if it’s late fall/winter.
Pour the water into a cup, drink it.  By not drinking out of our bottles we keep them sanitary for sharing our butter.
Label your bottle with your name and remove the wrapper so you can observe the churning
Lay out your paper towel
Add a pinch of salt or more to taste to the bottom of your empty bottle
Fill the bottle halfway with the cold heavy cream (this takes about 30-35 min. of flipping)  if you go one line lower on the bottle,  you will fill it about a third of the way and you can churn in 25-30 min.
Tightly screw on the top, I told the kids to stop and check the lid every 20 or so flips
Begin flipping.  After about 25 min. The cream will suddenly begin to take shape and separate into yellow fat (butter) and buttermilk.
If you want to make it even more scientific have them record their number of flips, rotations they typically make per flip and note when they begin seeing changes.  In the photos you will see there are a few stages.
As you complete and feel you are finished you can give it a few final shakes before opening the bottle and discarding the liquid buttermilk, leaving you with fresh churned butter.
Taste and see that you can actually do something useful with your bottle flipping skills.
Store in the refrigerator. 

I hope you enjoy sharing and trying this fun lesson with your class!  Who knew?

 Eureka! We found the answer, yes you can make butter by flipping.

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