Making Butter

Recently I have had several people ask me how to make butter. So, today when I made butter, I chronicled the process with pictures. Hopefully, I will be able to also give detailed instructions about the process.

The following picture shows the cream in the churn. Personally, I do not like my cream to sit out and sour before I make butter, as I like sweet butter. I allow the cream to sit out long enough to take the chill off of it, and this causes the butter to come quicker than churning extremely cold cream. I have an electric butter churn that Mike bought for me at an antique store. However, one can also use a mixer or even put the cream in a jar and shake it. The butter seperates from the milk by agitation.

The next picture shows the butter beginning to seperate. It splashes a lot at this stage, so if you are using a mixer, you would want to cover it with a towel. The churn I have is a three gallon churn and I have filled it half full with cream to churn butter, however any more than half is too much. The cream will actually whip up to twice it's original size before turning into butter.

I use the following as a simple set up to seperate the butter from the milk after it has been churned. The strainer has a close weave, and I put it in the stainless steel bowl so that I can save the milk for cooking, to make cottage cheese, or to feed to the chickens. (Culture can be added to this milk to make cultured buttermilk, as well.)

This next picture is a great example of the butter seperated and sitting on top of the milk. This is what it will look like when the butter is ready.

After straining off the milk, you are left with the butter.

And here is the left-over milk with bits of butter that slipped through the strainer.

It is very important to rinse your butter very well to get out all the milk. If the milk is left in the butter, it will cause it to sour quickly.

After rinsing thoroughly, you salt the butter to taste. I then roll the butter into balls that are approximately 1/4 pound each.
The biggest problems I have encountered in making butter would be not rinsing enough or trying to make the butter when it was too hot in the house. When it is hot, the butter tends to be too soft to handle. When this happens, I place the butter in the strainer in the refrigerator long enough for it to start setting up, but take it out before it gets completely hard, so that I can shape it into balls. When I make the balls, I slightly squeeze to get out as much of the liquid as possible.


Jorg said...

Nope. It still comes out too soft and very, very pale- not the nice yellow you have. The texture isn't right, either. It tastes okay, but I still don't have this right!

tcuppminiatures said...

I would guess maybe you are not agitating it long enough, if it is still too soft. Sometimes, because I make my butter from cream that is cold, it takes a while for the butter to come. Also, the more cream you have to agitate, the longer it will take. Sometimes it is better to do two smaller batches, than one big batch. The yellow is due to the carotene in the green grass. Due to drought, my butter has been very white until recently when we got the three inches of rain and the cows were able to get some green grass again. Also, feeding hay with alfalfa will help it to have more color. Some people put dye in their butter, but I just take it as it comes, as I don't like to add dye.

Mark A. Greene said...

My grandmother made and sold butter when I was a child. I still have all the equipment. We have two electric churns, two manual churns, the butter paddles, and butter molds. It's been so long since I saw it done, that I'm not sure I remember all the steps. She would set the milk out in jars and let it "clabber." Then pour it in the manual churn and churn for about an hour.

Do you have directions somewhere on how to make the old farm style butter? I live on a farm and we have cows, and I miss the flavor of that old style butter.