The journey from milk to ice cream from BYU Creamery


The Creamery creates some pretty sweet treats to keep BYU’s campus cool during the hot summer months, but the “coolest” of them all is their ice cream.

The process for creating the popular snack is one that is bound to get anyone’s mouth watering. The ice cream starts where all their milk-based products start, a dairy located in Elberta, Utah, owned and operated by the Church.

Tim Scott, an employee at the BYU Creamery outlet for 20 years, said the Church used to own many dairies until about five years ago, when they closed them all and created one centralized location.

“[The dairy] milks about 5,000 cows,” Scott said.

The milk is pasteurized once it reaches the Creamery. From there it is sent to another machine to be made into the ice cream mixture. The liquid is then sent to a mixing machine where the different flavors are created.

Jeff Worthen, student employee at the Creamery, has worked there four years. He said the mixers hold 300 gallons each. With all three mixers running, they create 900 gallons of the liquid which makes 1800 gallons of ice cream.

Once the flavor is made, it is sent through a tube to the ice cream freezer where blades cut through the mixture as liquid nitrogen freezes the ice cream. The ice cream only takes a few seconds to freeze. The Creamery ice cream, like most other ice creams, is overrun, which means it is injected with air to increase the volume. This volume increase is less than the “cheap brands,” as Scott refers to them.

Scott said if someone melted down the Creamery’s ice cream, the container would still be half full, but “melt down the cheap brand and (the carton) would only be a quarter full.”

The caramel, chocolate, nuts and candies are mixed with the ice cream after it has been sent through the freezing cylinder. For about 200 gallons of coconut joy, three 50 pound boxes of nuts were used.

The next step is filling the half gallon cartons and the three gallon buckets. According to Scott, on average, they fill about 65 three gallon buckets every day ice cream is produced. For a big load of half gallon cartons, they have a machine that distributes the ice cream. For a “short run” of a flavor it is all pumped into the cartons manually, said Cordell Briggs, Assistant Director of Dining Service, in a video on the Creamery’s website. The three gallon buckets are filled by hand: the ice cream is sent through a tube while a worker rotates the bucket to fit all the ice cream.

After the cartons and buckets have been filled, they are stored in the the walk-in freezers where the temperature is kept at 15-20 below zero. Scott wears a winter coat when he works in the freezers.

The workers get their fair share of taste testing, even those who don’t work with the ice cream. They all know when the ice cream is filling the buckets. At this step the ice cream is cold enough to freeze, but still soft, just like soft-served ice cream. Alyssa Richards, cashier at the Creamery outlet, gets so excited when fresh batches of ice cream are made. She said believes their ice cream is better than those of chain fast food restaurants.

Richards said the most popular flavors are Earnestly Chocolate, Graham Canyon and Mint Brownie. During EFY, the Creamery stays  busy with the line wrapping around the middle aisles.

“EFY kids are crazy for ice cream,” Richards said.

The EFY-goers aren’t the only ones who love the Creamery ice cream. Jannette Perry, a nursing student, loves their Peanut Butter Trails flavor. “Peanut butter is my favorite food on the planet,” she said. “It’s perfectly blended throughout the ice cream.”

Whether your attending EFY, Education Week or taking a break from classes, the Creamery offers 30 ice cream flavors to cool you off.

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