Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Goat's Milk Butter

I have been curious about making butter with goat's milk. I've heard it isn't as fast as making butter from cow milk, but I wanted to give it a try.

It was much easier than I thought it would be! Here are photos from my second batch. One of these days I'll get good at taking photos one handed, for now there are still a few fuzzy ones.

It takes a few days for the cream to separate from goat's milk. This milk is about 4 days old. It's hard to see in the photo where the cream is, that's why my finger is there.

At first I tried scooping the cream off the top with a spoon. That didn't work for me. So I tried using a turkey baster! That worked really well. If you use a turkey baster make sure the tip of the baster is right at the top of the cream and don't suck up the cream fast or you will get lots of milk, too.
I put the cream from the top of the milk into a regular quart canning jar and screwed the lid on tight. I shook the jar back and forth--but I didn't shake it hard and fast, I rocked it back and forth gently, but hard enough to get the milk to hit each end.

Make sure that your cream is a little cooler than room temperature before you start shaking it. It turns into butter much more quickly that way. My milk was about 60 F when I started. The temperatures I've read are between 55 F and 66 F.

The first time I tried the butter I gave up after about 20 minutes of shaking. I went out and milked and did some other chores and left the jar on the counter. When I remembered the project sitting on the counter, I checked inside. I was so surprised to see a ball of butter! This time it didn't take nearly as long and I think I'm getting the feel for the change in sound and feel when the cream turns into butter.

I let the butter sit in the buttermilk over night. I didn't have time to wash it and I thought it would be fine to leave it. It was! The next morning I took the butter out of the jar and rinsed it in cold water in the sink. I mushed the butter a little in the water so the milk would separate out of the pockets in the butter.

I rinsed until the water ran clear. It took about 4 times. I learned that I have to be a little gentle with the mushing part, or I end up with more butter on the sides of the measuring cup than I do in a ball.

Final product! Yay! 
I was so surprised! I was really amazed! This tasted like sweet, creamy unsalted butter! It didn't taste goaty flavored, either! It tasted different from the butter we buy at the store, but I think that's because it was so fresh.

The butter is very white. I read that is because goats are more efficient with their use of food and all the carotene has been converted into Vitamin A. A cow isn't as efficient so some of the carotene finds it's way into the cream which is why cow milk is yellow.

I used the milk that I had skimmed the cream from to make some mozzarella. It worked just fine and it doesn't seem any drier than the full fat mozzarella! I'll use the milk leftover from making the butter in bread, just to see how it turns out. I might try to turn the leftover milk from the butter making into buttermilk by adding some cultured buttermilk to it. I wonder if someone let the leftover milk sit out and 'ripen' like making clabbered milk? Hmmm..... more experiments to try!

I probably won't make alot of butter this way. But I probably will make butter this way for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas and parties without little kids.


Linda said...

I was making butter also, but we didn't eat it quick enough ( a few days) and it would really sour with a high tang. So now I have to find ways to make it so it lasts longer...

TJ said...

I wonder if that's why people started putting salt in the butter, to make it last longer?

How's your hubby doing?

Linda said...

I do put salt in it! Perhaps not enough...

Hubby is doing very well. Healing up nicely. Thanks for asking!

Linda said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I really am getting anxious to get those horns banded and done with! At the same time it scares me more than I can say. I keep telling myself - it will be ok (I can do this, I can do this... lol)

TJ said...

Do you give a tetanus antitoxin before you band horns? Just curious, 'cause that's what we do when we are banding lamb tails or bucklings. I'm just assuming that's what you do when you band horns, but I know what happens sometimes when I assume things!

Linda said...

TJ - I have NEVER banded horns before. I was just thinking about that very thing. I don't normally use any immunizations, but I did think about getting some for this purpose.

TJ said...

There is a difference between an antitoxin and the toxoid. The antitoxin is for an injury or illness, and has immediate effect. The toxoid is the vaccination that is longer lasting, and 'encourages' the animal's (or person's) immune system to build up immunity to whatever you are vaccinating for.

The antitoxin is only good for about 3 weeks from what I've read. It does the fighting, not the animal's immune system.

When the vet came out to saw off the horns of our buck, the buck got a tetanus antitoxin to prevent a tetanus infection.

I'm not sure if you knew the difference, so if you did, please excuse me for chiming in :-) When we started with goats I had no idea that there was a difference!

We haven't vaccinated for a few years, either. But we do give the tetanus antitoxin when w're cutting off blood supply to another part of the body.

I'll be watching your blog to see how things work out! And I'll be praying that you can do it! I'm not sure I have enough guts to try it!

Linda said...

Wow! NO I didn't know there was a difference. I can get this at the feed store, or over the counter at the vets?

TJ said...

Sorry I didn't check back on this post! You can usually get both at the feed store. The toxoid is usually mixed with other vaccinations (CD&T is a common one). The antitoxin is usually the only ingredient in the bottle.

The people at the feed store usually know the difference between the two and can help.