Making Butter on the Farm

We try to teach good stewardship of everything we are given in life to our family. Our family milk cow “Dolly” Gives us just one of these teaching moments! Dolly gave us a heifer (girl) calf  last fall and we started milking her at that time, It is a really BIG commitment to be at the barn at 6am and 6 pm EVERY day! So you can see that we do not want to waste any of what Dolly provides for us, Which is about 1.5 gallons of milk twice every day! That is a LOT of milk! We cannot consume that much so we have to find other uses, we have made ice cream, some cheese, milk wine and a family favorite BUTTER. Dolly is a Jersey cow so about 25% of the milk she gives us is heavy cream -perfect for butter making! So with all that background we should get to making some butter. Emmy, Our oldest Child is in charge of the dairy cow at age 15, She is the one who made this butter for us.
The Kitchen-aid mixer on the right is what we use to make our butter in, It is the 8 quart commercial model, on the left is our old 4 quart model after 15 years of service we are sending her to semi-retirement, she will get a little TLC and become our back-up mixer.
Moving on to the next step with a clean mixing bowl and The wire whisk attachment we add no more than 3 quarts of heavy cream to the 8 quart mixing bowl.
During our learning curve with butter making on this scale, we found the you have to have a lid to make butter in a kitchen-aid! We made ours from a piece of corrugated plastic that we picked up at home depot.
The plastic cover helps a lot with the splatter of butter making. The cream is in the bowl with the whisk on and bowl covered, Now we crank it up to 5 or 6 and let it go! Depending on the temperature of the cream, the volume of the cream and the mooood of the cream will tell you how long it will take to become butter. The cream should not be ice cold or it will take longer, But when it starts to look like this…

You have made whipped cream! (if you add confectioners sugar to sweeten it you can put a dollop on your pie!) Whipped cream is the last thing you see before butter comes…
Once the butter arrives we like to drain off the buttermilk, and change to the paddle. This helps to remove more of the buttermilk from butter.
When the butter has given up most of its liquid it is time to separate the buttermilk from the butter, To do this we will need 2 bowls and a piece of butter cloth. (we use a piece of 100% nylon sheer curtain that was cut to size and hemmed, the butter does not stick to it very much IF you Don’t squeeze it!)

Let your butter drain and then it goes into its own bowl, without the butter cloth.
Now the butter needs worked so it will release more buttermilk, We do this with a bamboo rice paddle and/or an antique butter paddle.  Firmly pressing the butter to the sides of the bowl will release the extra liquid, this step really improves the texture of the butter!

 Now that all the buttermilk has been remoooved we add a touch of salt to our butter,
 We add about 1/4 teaspoon to each 1/2 pound of finished butter, this batch was just over a pound and a half so 3/4 of a teaspoon will do just fine!

 We use small freezer bags to store the butter, I will let Emmy show you how it is done!

That is all there is to making your own homemade butter! Now I will answer a few Questions about REAL butter,
  • Yes that is the color of natural butter, no coloring was added at any step
  • Yes that is how thin real buttermilk is- non cultured real buttermilk is naturally low fat
  • The color of the butter will change according to what the cow is eating, the breed of the cow and how long she has been milking.
  • You can make butter in a mason jar with store bought heavy cream, just shake -it up!
  • You do not have to add salt to your butter, that is just our preference.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comments box at the bottom of the page!
and Thank-you Emmy for your butter making pictures!
May GOD bless you All!  

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous on September 13, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Hello – I found your site via a link on The Deliberate Agrarian (Herrick Kimball). My husband works on a dairy farm & we get our milk from there & pasteurize it in a bucket pasteurizer. So we have cream with which to make butter but no success so far. Do you start with your cream at room temperature? Also, how long in the mixer before you have butter? I've enjoyed reading your blog…..hope you continue to post! Theresa in Michigan

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