We're a family on a 1 acre homestead in Central Florida. We're commited to raising our children in the Love of God and raising plants and animals in sustainable agriculture to feed them.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
The second attempt at butter making went much better than the first. This time we realized that having the cream quite cold is imperative. Without that, melted butter looks a whole lot like cream. So, again, Saturday morning, we separated Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning's milkings, 3.5 gallons. We got about 2.5 pints of cream. Separating goes better with the milk warm so after separating we stuck it back in the fridge. We intended to get to making butter later that day, but we had a busy weekend so Monday night I finally had a chance to tackle it.
So the cream got put into the blender. Within minutes it was butter. It took some coaxing as the whipped cream would create a pocket where the blades were turning and you'd have to keep pushing the cream back onto the blades. Then it would get to where it would basically stop mixing (a big blob that doesn't blend) and then it would start mixing again where the big blob is broken up into slightly smaller blobs bobbing around in butter milk. That's where we'd stop blending.
Then we poured off the buttermilk, put the butter into a bowl and began the washing process. Its better to get the butter back into the fridge to chill again before washing. Also wash with ice cold water. So, with cold butter and cold water, pour some water onto the butter and mix it up. The water will get cloudy with buttermilk residue. Pour off the water and wash again, repeating until the water runs fairly clear. Then stick the butter back into the fridge.
Once its cold again, its time to press all that excess water out of the butter. I tried several methods, but the most effective I found was to press the butter blob around on a piece of cheesecloth. The cheesecloth absorbs the water but doesn't stick to the butter. Then salt it and mix it using the same method. The recipe says 1/2 tsp per pound of butter. I mixed it in using the cheesecloth press method again. Then I lined the butter mold with wax paper, pressed the butter into the mold, molded the butter and viola, the finished product.
So, yes, this was a lot of work for half a pound of butter. But I think we'll still be doing it again.