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Author Topic: Can A Thunderstorm really Curdle Milk ?  (Read 45730 times)

Offline neilep

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Can A Thunderstorm really Curdle Milk ?
« on: 27/08/2008 01:21:09 »
Dearest All,

How are ewe today ?...I'm OK....I have a blister on my foot though ! [:-'(]


See this thunderstorm ?






nice eh ?...being delivered next Tuesday !

...now..apparently..a thunderstorm can do this to milk !



Curdle it !!


Is this true ?..is it a myth ?..if it is true...how does it do it ?...could it do it whilst still inside the moo moo ?

If ewe can assist me in this quest I'll give ewe a hug and a milky curdle ! *groan*


Hugs and shmishes

Love ewe lots !


Neil
Executive Officer In Charge Of Asking About Curdled Milk

mwah mwah mwah
xxxxxxxxxxxxx




 

Offline Karen W.

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Can A Thunderstorm really Curdle Milk ?
« Reply #1 on: 27/08/2008 01:37:37 »
Here is a bit of info...But seems verdict is still out and there are still questions,, maybe someone has some firmer answers!

https://carnot.physics.buffalo.edu/archives/1999/04_1999/msg00039.html

EM pulses affect milk?!!!

    * From: William Beaty <billb@ESKIMO.COM>
    * Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 10:03:07 -0700

Usually I avoid posting much "weird science" on phys-L, but this bit from
the "Last Word" section of NEW SCIENTIST is hard to resist.  It has an
independant replication! (see below)

The "thunderstorm milk-clotting" explanations don't solve the problem (the
EM explanation fails to take into account that milk is conductive enough
to self-shield against static e-fields.)

Might this phenomenon be caused by hard UV?  If a dish of milk is exposed
to pulses of hard UV, will it curdle?   A small amount of acid can cause
milk to curdle and separate, so if the UV of lightning flashes performs
some chemistry on the milk, this would account for the strange event.

Even stranger thought: does pulsed EM cause milk to curdle?  Maybe not,
since it might cause some significant problems for cattle.  (But then
aren't there some stories about cows which give curdled milk?) I see that
next weekend I need to set up my VDG machine for periodic discharges, and
expose a glass of milk to the e-field transients.  Maybe do this in the
fridge somehow, so room-temperature milk is not an issue.  (My wife
wouldn't appreciate this, but the people at work would probably get a kick
out of it if I set it up in the lunch-room fridge)

((((((((((((((((((((( ( (  (   (    (O)    )   )  ) ) )))))))))))))))))))))
William J. Beaty                                  SCIENCE HOBBYIST website
billb@eskimo.com                                  http://www.amasci.com
EE/programmer/sci-exhibits          science projects, tesla, weird science
Seattle, WA   206-781-3320          freenrg-L taoshum-L vortex-L webhead-L



http://www.last-word.com/lastword/answers/lwa273mysteries.html

q. One evening in the summer of 1994 I retired to bed with a glass of
milk. During the night there was a tremendous thunderstorm with plenty of
lightning and the following morning the remainder of the milk had curdled
into a solid mass.

My elderly relatives who remembered pre-refrigerator days held it as
common knowledge never to leave milk out in a thunderstorm. I had never
heard of this. What process had taken place?

RICHARD PARRY
Colwyn Bay
Clywd

_______________________________________________________

a. As a child in the 1920s I was told that thundery weather would turn
milk sour. My informants were farmers who were familiar with clean,
unpasteurised, raw milk.

Whatever the type of milk, spoilage would be hastened by increased
atmospheric temperature associated with thunder. Most bacteria found in
milk grow well between 22 and 33 0C.

ELLEN GARVIE
Dingwall
Ross-shire


a. The connection between thunderstorms and milk turning sour is not that
of cause and effect. Instead it is a result of several effects of a cause.
A combination of heat and humidity, a common occurrence on a summer night,
causes unstable atmospheric conditions in which thunderstorms form. Hot
humid conditions also trigger the release of microorganisms to initiate
the souring process and the heat warms the milk, aiding their growth. The
result: lightning and sour milk.

A similar non sequitur was reported after the Second World War when peace
made life more secure and prosperity allowed an interest in fashion. The
result was that the birth rate could be correlated in Europe with the
number of storks' nests and, in Britain, with the height of the hemline
above the ankle.

J WHITE
Reading
Berkshire


a. I read with interest the replies to the query about milk curdling
during thunderstroms. The explanations offered--that the warm, humid
conditions during storms encourage bacterial growth thereby souring the
milk--do not explain the phenomenon that I observed. Intrigued by the
original question, I decided to test it myself and deliberately left a
covered glass of fresh, pasteurised milk taken straight from the fridge on
the back doorstep during a thunderstorm. Within 15 minutes the milk in the
glass had separated into a clear whey-like layer overlaying a layer of
curd. Tasting the remixed milk confirmed that it had not turned sour, only
curdled.

The remaining milk in the bottle from which the glass was filled had been
kept in the fridge and remained unaffected. Why was this?

VAL DAWSON
Amersham
Buckinghamshire


a. It's good to see that New Scientist readers are prepared to experiment
for themselves. Can any reader offer an explanation for this new study?

EDITOR

a. Electrostatic fields within a certain range can break up emulsions by
polarising droplets and causing them to coalesce head to tail. During the
build-up to a lightning discharge, the field strength will presumably pass
through this range and may cause exposed milk to separate into its aqueous
and fatty components. Milk in a metal container would be shielded from the
field and remain emulsified.

P WILSON
Seascale
Cumbria

 

Offline Karen W.

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Can A Thunderstorm really Curdle Milk ?
« Reply #2 on: 27/08/2008 01:41:46 »
Sorry bout your Blisters Kind Sir!.. Give them a proper bath and rest.. and some soothing foot cream....!How did you do that? New Prada's?
 

Offline JnA

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Can A Thunderstorm really Curdle Milk ?
« Reply #3 on: 27/08/2008 05:20:42 »
How's the blister?
 

Offline neilep

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Can A Thunderstorm really Curdle Milk ?
« Reply #4 on: 27/08/2008 13:29:08 »
Sorry bout your Blisters Kind Sir!.. Give them a proper bath and rest.. and some soothing foot cream....!How did you do that? New Prada's?

Thank EWE Karen for the wonderful posts above . Hmm..I am keen to try this expeiment myself, but would like to know if there have ever been any cases of the milk curdling whilst still inside the moo moo !!

Thanks for the compassion re: my blister...it's a lot better today !

Hugs
« Last Edit: 27/08/2008 13:32:20 by neilep »
 

Offline neilep

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Can A Thunderstorm really Curdle Milk ?
« Reply #5 on: 27/08/2008 13:32:07 »
How's the blister?

Thanks JnA

The blister is due to my exerted efforts upon the treadmill and I have found great relief in the 'jelly blister plasters' one can get now. Also, I think my daily routine ( i go on the treadmill 6 times a week) is beginning to heal the skin or toughen it anyway !

You're very kind for asking .

hugs
 

Offline Karen W.

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Can A Thunderstorm really Curdle Milk ?
« Reply #6 on: 28/08/2008 07:52:24 »
Sorry bout your Blisters Kind Sir!.. Give them a proper bath and rest.. and some soothing foot cream....!How did you do that? New Prada's?

Thank EWE Karen for the wonderful posts above . Hmm..I am keen to try this expeiment myself, but would like to know if there have ever been any cases of the milk curdling whilst still inside the moo moo !!

Thanks for the compassion re: my blister...it's a lot better today !

Hugs
Your welcome.. that was interesting and I had never heard of this happening until your question.. I found it interesting but in that section of information from the other web I thought I read something to the effect that it would be a sad thing for the cow if it ever did curdle inside.. I assume that they inferred either the demise of the cow or an extremely painful delivery of curdled milk if not impossible.. as the lightening strike itself may kill the cow or make it impossible to milk!
 

paul.fr

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Can A Thunderstorm really Curdle Milk ?
« Reply #7 on: 03/08/2009 15:33:41 »
July 17, 2009    Thunder and milk
Countering a myth
By Philip Eden



"Didn't you know, milk goes sour when there are thunderstorms around?" I was surprised to hear this old canard during the recent spell of thundery weather. I can't remember having heard it for ten or twenty years, which illustrates how changing lifestyles have seen off some old myths. In this case we no longer associate sour milk with thunder because most of us have fridges. Let me explain why.



It was a deeply-held notion until at least the 1960s, notwithstanding a widely publicised laboratory experiment which had been conducted way back in 1913 by Professor D.G. Duffield and Mr J.A. Murray. Maintaining an ambient temperature of 20C, two flasks of milk were connected to a discharge tube through which an electrical current was passed for an hour, simulating repeated lightning discharges, and the air thus affected was bubbled through the milk containers. The artificial lightning was repeated at regular intervals thereafter, for up to nine hours after the beginning of the test. Several slightly differing tests were carried out, with variations in the intensity and frequency of the discharge, and variations in the speed of air passing through the milk. A 'control' flask of milk was kept at an identical temperature in order to provide a sample of the fluid not affected by the electrical discharges.



The results showed that, in all the test variations, the level of acidity - the sourness - rose less quickly in the 'electrified' milk samples compared with the 'control' sample. In other words milk actually sours less quickly in thundery weather, according to the Duffield and Murray experiment.



Milk goes sour due to bacteria - bacilli acidi lactici - which produce lactic acid. These bacteria are fairly inactive at low temperatures, which is why we keep milk in the fridge and it remains drinkable for several days even after opening. Once the temperature climbs above 7C, however, the bacteria multiply with increasing rapidity until at 50C conditions become too hot for them to survive. The myths concerning souring in thundery weather probably arose because most thundery activity in Britain occurs during hot and humid summer weather with only a limited cooling off at night. During such episodes the temperature increases sharply inside houses, even in the coolest rooms such as pantries and larders, to levels probably not matched at any other time of the year. Thus in pre-refrigerator days the milk would go off within 12 hours of it being opened.



It should also be borne in mind that during the earlier decades of the twentieth century it could take three or four days for milk to get from the farm to the urban doorstep, adding to the problem. The introduction of pasteurisation in the early 1900s added 12 to 24 hours to the life of milk and resulted in a marked drop in infant mortality rates in the hot summer of 1906 compared with the heatwaves of 1900 and 1901.



By Philip Eden
 
 

Offline Coquinaria

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Can A Thunderstorm really Curdle Milk ?
« Reply #8 on: 19/01/2010 08:31:08 »
I know this topic is not exactly 'hot' anymore, but I still want to contribute to this discussion. All you've talked about is milk, but the phenomenon of food reacting to thunderstorms is not limited to that fluid. Try making mayonnaise, bread dough or stock: a waste of effort.

Explanations I've heard (but no one could mention reliable sources) vary from thunderstorms (the air itself turns 'sour' - low PH) and anaerobe bacteria to women having their period.

That it happens, is not a matter of discussion, it does. It's not a fable from the distant past. So, suggestions anyone?
 

Offline etonmessup

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Can A Thunderstorm really Curdle Milk ?
« Reply #9 on: 05/06/2010 23:38:20 »
Hello Fellow Scientists and amateur milk empiricists,

On this thundery night in Nottingham, we were whipping cream to prepare an Eton Mess for our guests.  The cream was just forming soft peaks as required when within a few seconds, the cream separated into fat and water (curdled).  A knowledgeable guest shrieked "Oh my goodness, she was right!" - a Eureka moment!  The shrieking old wife, racked with guilt professed to having previously ridiculed her friend for suggesting that a thunderstorm could curdle milk.  Clearly (see attached photo), we now have proof.

Can anyone please explain why this has happened because we have no pudding and need to fill the evening.

Many thanks,

Etonmessup

 

Offline colinjcurry

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Re: Can A Thunderstorm really Curdle Milk ?
« Reply #10 on: 05/07/2012 17:19:24 »
I know this thread is old, but saw that this question was not answered.

What you've managed to do is make butter - the fat molecules have come out of suspension and formed an emulsion with water. The cream has not curdled - this would involve denaturing proteins. Whip cream long enough and you'll get butter, thunderstorm or no.
 

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Re: Can A Thunderstorm really Curdle Milk ?
« Reply #10 on: 05/07/2012 17:19:24 »

 

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