Friday, May 25, 2012

Experimenting With Butter

 Yum, goat butter! My goat this year was to make more butter and use my ghea more fully. If I was going to achieve my butter goal, I needed to figure out a better way than my previous method because of the time involved. Time is something I don't have much of. So I have begun an experiment to learn to make butter faster, with less effort.
 I have the luxury of using a milk separator so I run my milk through and then the cream through once more for heavy cream. I had a gallon of this heavy cream in our daughters freezer since I didn't have time to make butter when I separated. The freezer was leaving and I needed to empty it. With so little room open in our freezers, my choice was mulch pile or make butter. I just couldn't see using that much cream as a micro-organism booster so I deteremined to try making butter in the blender once more since I'm in a real time crunch right now. 

 I have not had success in the past but was shocked to see that the cream made whip cream in 30 seconds, I know I timed it, and butter in just a few more.

What was the different this time? Was it because I froze the cream?  My brain was a whirling with questions so I tried some cream that wasn't frozen. It worked great. What was going on since I had done this a year or two ago with poor results. The cream would reach the whip cream stage after a while, not 30 seconds and just shy of  the butter stage but turned back to whipped milk when it became too warm from the friction of motion.

This frozen cream was older and the cream in the fridge was older too. So was it because the milk had sat in the fridge for over twenty-four hours before separating and then the cream sat for four more days in the fridge before I got around to putting it in the blender? Hmmm, I must experiment further for the answer.

This freezing of the cream affirms what I've read about those who don't have a separator and must skim cream off the top of their milk, freezing this meager offering until they have enough to make butter. I do know that if you leave a lid off your milk it makes thicker cream skim because of dehydration I'd assume. And if you have a wider container, you will have more cream rise to the top. This is a tried and true method. Since goat milk doesn't separate very well naturally, you need all the advantages you can get. 
 As for goat butter versus cow, well, it is of course very white because goats convert carotene more efficiently to Vitamin A. It has a slightly lower melting point and has a softer consistency than cow butter when making it. As for water content difference, I couldn't find the answer on the Internet. Could be there, I'm just not finding it. Why would it matter? Well, the main point of making butter is to start cooking with it instead of using store butter which fluxuates greatly in price.

You are suppose to be able to exchange goat butter for cow butter in recipes equally but the sites are referring to commercial products. I found there was a difference in using store cow butter and homemade goat butter. The main difference is probably me. I have so far made lemon blueberry bread and a butter cookie so I'm no real expert yet but I'll share my results  and what I've learned in another blog post.

My earlier results are in the following post.

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