Unfortunately, due to no fault of their own, the creamery at Norwich Farms shut down in Spring 2018. The property and the Creamery were owned by the Vermont Technical College, who chose to sell the property to the Upper Valley Land Trust. The equipment is owned by the college and has been moved back to their main campus in Randolph Center, Vt where they have plans to develop an on-farm creamery at that location.
In addition to being a teaching tool, the LiLi-B is the heart of the production capacity of the on-site Norwich Farm Creamery. Launched in May 2016, this new creamery produces a range of fresh, pasteurized products from the cow milk harvested on the farm. The Norwich Farm Creamery brand specializes in producing the highest quality fresh dairy products for local and regional consumption. Proprietor and cheesemaker Chris Gray says: "The LiLi-B takes the world of micro-dairy to a whole new level. It scales technology previously only used in mega-processing plants, finally making it possible for small, value-added dairy producers to compete in the marketplace. It's ability to gently and rapidly pasteurize milk preserves the inherent quality of farmstead milk and maximizes the ever limited time resources of small farmers. We are excited to be working with this state of the art technology and thrilled that our customers will taste the difference."
About Norwich Farm Creamery:
Norwich Farm Creamery was launched in May 2016 by Vermont cheesemaking veteran Chris Gray. Located on the grounds of Vermont Technical College's (VTC) Norwich Farm in Norwich, VT, this new state of the art creamery serves as a learning center for VTC students and a production facility for NFC. Focusing on fresh, pasteurized products, NFC produces bottled milk, yogurt, kefir, fresh cheeses, butter, and ice cream, from the herd of grass-fed cows located on the 350-acre farmstead.
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Norwich Farms runs the LiLi-B as their main source for pasteurization, they also have 2 bulk tanks - one for raw and one for pasteurized milk, a Bottle Filler Capper, a Vat Pasteurizer for making yogurt and Ricotta, and a Cream Separator and Ice Cream machine. Norwich Farms Creamery uses the LiLi-B to pasteurize plain fluid milk and also to pasteurize chocolate milk as well.
At Norwich Farms Creamery, the milk is gravity fed to the LiLi-B from the raw milk bulk tank. The LiLi-B at Norwich Farms is consistently processing at a rate of 4 gallons per minute. The milk then goes into the second bulk tank after pasteurization to be chilled down to the 45 degrees to be able to bottle it with their Bottle Filler Capper.
On bottling days, Norwich Farms Creamery runs 2 batches through the LiLi-B, one with plain milk and the second with chocolate milk. For a single 50-gallon batch, it takes about an hour to set up, an hour to pasteurize, an hour to chill, an hour to bottle, and then 2 hours to clean everything up and prepare for the second batch. While the LiLi is processing the batch they are able to prepare the bottles and Bottle Filler Capper without having to hover over the LiLi as it is pasteurizing. The CIP system for the LiLi-B takes about 90 minutes from start to finish. For a single 50-gallon batch it takes one person approximately 1 hour to bottle the 50-gallons with the Bottle Filler Capper. Norwich Farms Creamery fills gallon, half-gallon, quarts, and pints. This process includes filling and capping the bottles and feeding the Bottle Filler Capper, plus taking the milk crates to the storage room after they have been filled with bottles.
Norwich Farms Creamery uses their Vat Pasteurizer for their yogurt and Ricotta cheeses. They have only had to use the Vat Pasteurizer for pasteurization purposes once due to complications with the LiLi and they don't see any reason why they would ever use just the Vat Pasteurizer instead of the LiLi for the pasteurization process ever again.
To see more of the operations and events at Norwich Farms Creamery, visit them on Facebook!