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Making Butter!


CRUZMISL
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We did this one Thanksgiving after I learned about it in animal science at UC Davis. We did it the FUN FAMILY WAY by putting the cream into a big jar and then we would shake it until we got tired, then pass it to the next family member. It was a good way to break the ice at sometimes tense family gatherings!

It's also fun to do things the old fashioned way and compare the different results in quality. I think this is a great way to get rid of almost spoiled cream and I'm totally going to remember it in the future!

Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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So yesterday I took 4 liters of cream, turned 2 into butter and put tow out to culture overnight. So I put the cultured cream on today and whipped it and whipped it and whipped it and it will not break. It resembles a soft buttercream and has a mild butter flavour, but after 90 minutes I can not even get it to start seperating. Any ever run into this? I used the same equiptment, cream, mixer and speed setting etc? any ideas?

EDIT

I just went back to the kitchen and it has now gone from fluffy to looking exactly like cream? I swear it looks like it did before I even started whipping it and it still never seperated?

Edited by Jeebus (log)

www.azurerestaurant.ca

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So yesterday I took 4 liters of cream, turned 2 into butter and put tow out to culture overnight. So I put the cultured cream on today and whipped it and whipped it and whipped it and it will not break. It resembles a soft buttercream and has a mild butter flavour, but after 90 minutes I can not even get it to start seperating. Any ever run into this? I used  the same equiptment, cream, mixer and speed setting etc? any ideas?

EDIT

I just went back to the kitchen and it has now gone from fluffy to looking exactly like cream? I swear it looks like it did before I even started whipping it and it still never seperated?

Did you chill the cultured cream? From room temp it's unlikely to separate.

edit: what'd you culture the cream with? buttermilk? creme fraiche? packaged culture?

Edited by melkor (log)
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I cultured it with some of the butermilk from yesterday buter. The not chilling it first I guess may be the problem. Will room temp cream not split I take it?

www.azurerestaurant.ca

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I cultured it with some of the butermilk from yesterday buter. The not chilling it first I guess may be the problem. Will room temp cream not split I take it?

Was yesterday's butter made with cultured cream? The stuff that comes out of the cream when you make butter with uncultured cream is technically buttermilk, but it isn't cultured - it's much closer to whey than cultured buttermilk.

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This is a very interesting thread...

I have what is probably a dumb question, so bear with me...

20 or 25 years ago one of my favorite meals was grilled sausages on pasta with brown butter..And actually, my Swiss grandmother made noodles with brown butter that I remember from the 40"s..

These days butter will brown , but its not the same. I assume the "milk solids" are what is browning, and the modern manufacturing methods are removing the "solids"...Will the Home made stuff have the Solid content high enough so that it will brown like the stuff from the old days??? If so, I am in on the project...

Bud

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I ended up rewhipping the cream a second time and what it turned into is basically mild whipped butter. It still never separated even after chilling, so I threw it in the fridge and it sets like butter not like whipped cream. It was milder in flavour but the texture was excellent.

www.azurerestaurant.ca

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This is a very interesting thread...

I have what is  probably a dumb question, so bear with me...

20 or 25 years ago one of my favorite meals was grilled sausages on pasta with brown butter..And actually, my Swiss grandmother made noodles with brown butter that I remember from the 40"s..

These days butter will brown , but its not the same. I assume the "milk solids" are what is browning, and the modern manufacturing methods are removing the "solids"...Will the Home made stuff have the Solid content  high enough so that it will brown like the stuff from the old days??? If so, I am in on the project...

Bud

Even the butter from 10 years ago seemed to brown differently. There seems to be a much higher liquid content in todays butter.

www.azurerestaurant.ca

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This is a very interesting thread...

I have what is  probably a dumb question, so bear with me...

20 or 25 years ago one of my favorite meals was grilled sausages on pasta with brown butter..And actually, my Swiss grandmother made noodles with brown butter that I remember from the 40"s..

These days butter will brown , but its not the same. I assume the "milk solids" are what is browning, and the modern manufacturing methods are removing the "solids"...Will the Home made stuff have the Solid content  high enough so that it will brown like the stuff from the old days??? If so, I am in on the project...

Bud

Even the butter from 10 years ago seemed to brown differently. There seems to be a much higher liquid content in todays butter.

Is it the higher liquid content, or a reduced milk solid content??

I have added buttermilk, cream, and milk , (Individually not all at once)to try and duplicate the old stuff, to no avail....

Bud

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  • 3 years later...

Not being able to buy my beloved President butter anymore, and not finding an acceptable substitute in any of the European/European-style brands, I resigned myself to a journey of discovery in making cultured butter.

My choice of cream is severely limited by my state government. Unless I buy a share of a cow, I can't get raw cream. But I can play with the culturing process. In fact, raw cream may not even be authentic for the butter I'm shooting for. When I looked at the ingredients on the President package, Lactic Starter was listed. From what I've read, raw milk shouldn't require such a thing as the bacteria occurs naturally in the milk before pasteurization. So maybe those Normans are pasteurizing their cream. It would make sense if they want to begin with a known starting point.

Almost every cultured butter method I've found on the web either uses live culture yogurt or buttermilk to start the culturing. I tried the yogurt first. The cream took almost 24 hours at room temp to set and then it when into the refrigerator for 24 hours. The butter making went pretty much as described (using a KitchenAid mixer). Anticipating going through the whipped cream stage, I opted for the whisk attachment rather than the suggested paddle attachment. A little anxiety developed after passing the stiff peak stage as the butter didn't seem to be coming. It took about fifteen minutes until I started feeling small droplets hitting my face. From there things progressed quickly and satisfactorily and I had butter. (I rechecked the web page I used and found the 15 minutes was to be expected)

Did I mention the paddle attachment was recommended? Yeah, well, now I saw why. Cold hard butter was clinging mightily to each of the individual wires of the whisk attachment. Not the worst problem in the world, but on the next attempt with the paddle things were much easier.

I washed the butter in a bowl of ice water. Kneading and discarding/replacing water until the water no longer clouded up. Then I returned it to the mixer to salt.

The result was better than standard butter, but not enough that I'd consider doing it again. And I felt it was going in a yogurt direction, and not the sort of cheesy flavor I was looking for.

So while consuming that batch I did some more research. Yogurt uses a thermophilic culture and buttermilk has a mesophilic culture. But checking cheesemaking.com there are different types of mesophilic starter. I couldn't find an answer to what type was used in American buttermilk. I wanted to be a little more scientific.

I found a local home brewing source that stocked some of cheesemaking.com's products. But they only had the most basic mesophilic starter (C101 - (LL) Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, (LLC) Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris). But at least it was a known quantity. I had also read that you could get more of an effect by letting the cultured cream (quite literally creme fraiche) sit in the refrigerator for more days. So I gave this two days. This resulted in a much better tasting butter. One I would go through the trouble to produce. But I'm not there yet.

My money is on the Flora Danica culture ((LL) Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, (LLC) Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris (LLD), Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis and (LMC) Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris). The biovar diacetylactis is said to produce a buttery flavor. That would seem to be a good thing for butter. It's in other varieties, but this is the only culture that has a flowery name (which to me connotes a celebrated status). I haven't tried it yet, but will be and will report back.

In the mean time the lessons learned are: more days in the fridge in creme fraiche mode seems to translate to more flavor, and - know your culture.

Edited by IndyRob (log)
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If you have an older KitchenAid, you might look for the plastic splatter shield that comes with most newer models--very useful for the moment when the cream breaks and you're on the other side of the kitchen looking the other way, and you hear that sloshing sound.

Occasionally I've made butter with Milk Thistle (a farm near Ghent, New York) organic cream from Jersey cows that's just begun to turn sour--just at the point at which you start to wonder whether it will still be good tomorrow. At $7/pint, it's an absurdly expensive way to make butter, but if I've bought the cream for something else and have half of it leftover, then it's a good way to get something more out of it, and it is fantastic butter.

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I make my butter in a pretty old-school weird way. I don't have a mixer, so I just shake it in a jar and I let the cream sour on its own. It takes more muscle and longer to culture the cream, but I kind of like the cream 'experiment' in the fridge. After I get the butter to form, I rinse it several times and paddle with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes or so. Then I add salt and paddle some more, making sure all the liquid is gone. I also bought a vintage wooden butter mold off of eBay so I make it into fancy rounds, wrap in parchment and freeze it for later use.

With regards to which type of cream works best, in my experience better cream (not ultra-pasteurized) does give a better flavor, but getting a good culture is more important. I have gotten some wonderful flavors out of UP cream too; it is just harder to get a tasty culture going. I've left some UP pints on the counter for 4-5 days and it didn't go sour.

OK, this process may sound a bit gross, but it works for me and I have gotten a really good feel for cream and when it goes sour.

What I do is buy different types of cream (to see which I like best), leave them in the fridge until they are about a week or two past the expiration date, then I open the container in the fridge and let them sit for another week. I'll then taste the souring cream every now and then until I feel it has a good sourness. It is actually surprising how many creams still taste good at this point. By opening the container, evaporation also starts of the liquid (but I admit that I do worry a bit about absorbing fridge odors). Oh well... Usually around the time when there is a good cream film on top and it has started to evaporate and separate by itself, I take the cream out and taste it. Sometimes I shake/make it right then and other times I will leave it out over night to sour some more.

Basically, I am constantly dipping my finger in the cream to monitor sourness and smelling it. I personally like my butter right before the point where I would consider tossing it. I would be afraid to use the buttermilk at this point, but the butter has a really nice tang to it.

Sometimes if too much of the liquid has evaporated or it is too warm, the butter beads will have a tough time forming. I shake it until it looks like a clotted cream and simply add in some cold water or even an ice cube. The butter usually beads up shortly afterwards. I don't do this if I am saving the buttermilk though.

For the holidays, I often make my own bread by hand and shake the butter right in front of the guests. They are really impressed, and it tastes sooo good.

Edited by mr drinkie (log)

I like to say things and eat stuff.

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  • 2 years later...

Found 5 500 ml organic cream cartons reduced at the supermarket - expiry date tomorrow. Added a bit of yogurt to culture it and let it sit out for 24 hours. This evening I added it about 1/3 at a time to the thermomix with the whisk in place and mixed until it started to slosh. A few washes with ice water and I was left with 900 grams of butter and about 1300 grams of buttermilk.

IMG_0759.jpg

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 years later...
On October 3, 2010 at 4:40 PM, IndyRob said:

Not being able to buy my beloved President butter anymore, and not finding an acceptable substitute in any of the European/European-style brands, I resigned myself to a journey of discovery in making cultured butter.

My choice of cream is severely limited by my state government. Unless I buy a share of a cow, I can't get raw cream. But I can play with the culturing process. In fact, raw cream may not even be authentic for the butter I'm shooting for. When I looked at the ingredients on the President package, Lactic Starter was listed. From what I've read, raw milk shouldn't require such a thing as the bacteria occurs naturally in the milk before pasteurization. So maybe those Normans are pasteurizing their cream. It would make sense if they want to begin with a known starting point.

Almost every cultured butter method I've found on the web either uses live culture yogurt or buttermilk to start the culturing. I tried the yogurt first. The cream took almost 24 hours at room temp to set and then it when into the refrigerator for 24 hours. The butter making went pretty much as described (using a KitchenAid mixer). Anticipating going through the whipped cream stage, I opted for the whisk attachment rather than the suggested paddle attachment. A little anxiety developed after passing the stiff peak stage as the butter didn't seem to be coming. It took about fifteen minutes until I started feeling small droplets hitting my face. From there things progressed quickly and satisfactorily and I had butter. (I rechecked the web page I used and found the 15 minutes was to be expected)

Did I mention the paddle attachment was recommended? Yeah, well, now I saw why. Cold hard butter was clinging mightily to each of the individual wires of the whisk attachment. Not the worst problem in the world, but on the next attempt with the paddle things were much easier.

I washed the butter in a bowl of ice water. Kneading and discarding/replacing water until the water no longer clouded up. Then I returned it to the mixer to salt.

The result was better than standard butter, but not enough that I'd consider doing it again. And I felt it was going in a yogurt direction, and not the sort of cheesy flavor I was looking for.

So while consuming that batch I did some more research. Yogurt uses a thermophilic culture and buttermilk has a mesophilic culture. But checking cheesemaking.com there are different types of mesophilic starter. I couldn't find an answer to what type was used in American buttermilk. I wanted to be a little more scientific.

I found a local home brewing source that stocked some of cheesemaking.com's products. But they only had the most basic mesophilic starter (C101 - (LL) Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, (LLC) Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris). But at least it was a known quantity. I had also read that you could get more of an effect by letting the cultured cream (quite literally creme fraiche) sit in the refrigerator for more days. So I gave this two days. This resulted in a much better tasting butter. One I would go through the trouble to produce. But I'm not there yet.

My money is on the Flora Danica culture ((LL) Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, (LLC) Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris (LLD), Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis and (LMC) Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris). The biovar diacetylactis is said to produce a buttery flavor. That would seem to be a good thing for butter. It's in other varieties, but this is the only culture that has a flowery name (which to me connotes a celebrated status). I haven't tried it yet, but will be and will report back.

In the mean time the lessons learned are: more days in the fridge in creme fraiche mode seems to translate to more flavor, and - know your culture.

 

Bumping. Up this thread.  I have read the 3 pages of this thread and have located a supplier for various cultures so I am wonder IndyRob if you can recommend the lactic occurs lactic subspecies.lactis bio are diacetylactis culture?

thanks

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Actually, I started my post saying that I couldn't get President butter anymore (which Trader Joe's had stopped carrying).  But as it turns out, I can now get it at my local Meijer (and I've seen it elsewhere).  So it appears that the world is catching up with me.  So I haven't been motivated to do further research.

 

I'm not sure how much difference is related to the cow breed/feed/culture, but I'm sure that that there are some rewards to be found somewhere down those paths.

 

I've recently been making a sort of soft-serve chocolate ice cream by simply dumping a pint of cream and Eagle Brand Chocolate Flavored Sweetened Condensed Milk in a mixer and giving the spurs.  I've often been tempted to to take it to the butter stage to see what would happen.  Surely, it would be awful.  But what if it wasn't?

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1 hour ago, IndyRob said:

Actually, I started my post saying that I couldn't get President butter anymore (which Trader Joe's had stopped carrying).  But as it turns out, I can now get it at my local Meijer (and I've seen it elsewhere).  So it appears that the world is catching up with me.  So I haven't been motivated to do further research.

 

I'm not sure how much difference is related to the cow breed/feed/culture, but I'm sure that that there are some rewards to be found somewhere down those paths.

 

I've recently been making a sort of soft-serve chocolate ice cream by simply dumping a pint of cream and Eagle Brand Chocolate Flavored Sweetened Condensed Milk in a mixer and giving the spurs.  I've often been tempted to to take it to the butter stage to see what would happen.  Surely, it would be awful.  But what if it wasn't?

 

Might be ok. Might be like ganache. But, with modern commercial ice cream (except, in some cases Haagen-Daz) containing so many fillers and binders and very little cream, I suspect that your investment would yield a very small return -maybe 2-3 tablespoons. I suspect that making butter ganache from the get-go would be more efficient.

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21 minutes ago, Lisa Shock said:

 

Might be ok. Might be like ganache....

I think perhaps, you give me too much credit.  When I think 'Maybe I'll just let it go to the butter stage', I'm thinking.....well, man-like.....This could be funny....

 

But dammit, now I feel like I have to do it.....

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My butter is made.  Wow.  Nutty, creamy with a nice acid note.

Two litres of organic cream, 36%MF plus 0.4 grams of butter culture imported from France with all those mesophilic bacteria which produce the flavour molecules.  This is a tiny amount of culture, about one third of a 1/4 teaspoon.   A 39.1 gram bag of the stuff cost me $29.95 including postage which works out to $0.30 for my two litres of cream.

I bought a nice 4 litre glass jar with one of those clamp down lids with a rubber seal.  I cleaned it well and sterilized it.  

Cream & culture mixed in the jar and incubated at 75F for 12 hours.  I put the jar in my sous vide rig (I have a Polyscience with the big tank). I think next time I may go the full 18 to get max flavour molecules.

Put in the fridge overnight.

Taken out.  Brought to 60F.  This takes about 90 minutes.  Or you can put it in a sink full of hot water and stir with a thermometer monitoring the temp.

Churned in the Kitchen Aid with the paddle on #6.  Splatter guard on if you have one.  Took all of 3 minutes or so for the whole thing to separate and spray me with glorious buttermilk!

Drained off the lovely buttermilk.

Washed and kneaded the butter with several changes of 6 cups of ice water until the water was clear.  This takes the residual buttermilk out so the butter keeps better, avoiding rancid notes.

Kneaded the butter to extract any residual water.

Added 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and kneaded that into the butter.

Put into molds/containers and then the fridge.

The churning and washing took about 45 minutes altogether including clean up.

Total yield from 2 litres of milk was 2 lbs butter and l litre of buttermilk.  Total cost $20 not including electricity.

NOTE:  Make sure you have everything you will need before starting, including measuring out the salt and having plenty of ice water at the ready/spatulas,  etc.  

This avoids buttery drawer and cupboard pulls. O.o

Pictures:  The jar full of thickened cream after incubation; The churned butter and drained off buttermilk; Washing the butter; finished product; packaged product.

DSC01635.jpgDSC01638.jpgDSC01639.jpgDSC01640.jpgDSC01641.jpg

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It isn't hard to make.  Just sourcing the culture would the work but in th US I doubt you would have trouble finding a source.

 

it is so good I am thinking of drizzling some melted butter on my oven baked Fritts.

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