Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Tonight I tried to make some butter from some raw cows milk. I followed the instructions here, and let the cream I skimmed off a gallon of milk sit for about 24 hours to "culture." It didn't really smell "slightly sour" yet, but as I had already gone twice the prescribed time, I decided to move on anyway. I divided the cream between two quart jars, and shook them for about 20 minutes each, as described, and although solid clumps formed in each jar, there was no yellow tint.

So I transferred the contents of each jar into a mixing bowl, and used an electric mixer, per the instructions here, but it made no real difference, except to move the stuff around, so I finished off the batch by straining the butter milk from the solids, rinsing the butter under cool water, and adding a little salt.

The final result looks like this:

butter

In the silver bowl is the finished "butter", in the bowl to the right, the strained off buttermilk, and I'm holding a stick of store-bought butter (Ingredients: Cream, Natural Colors) for color comparison.

This "butter" tastes okay, but doesn't have much of a buttery flavor. It is is also the whitest "butter" I have ever seen. But is it really butter, or did I make something else? To get "normal" yellow butter that tastes butterier, what should I do differently?

share|improve this question
    
Just curious, what is the room temperature of where you were "culturing" the skimmed cream? That will affect the culturing process of the cream. –  Jay Mar 5 '12 at 4:03
    
@Jay: The house thermostat is set to 68°F (20°C), and I set the culturing cream on top of my refrigerator where it's a little bit warmer. So maybe 72-75°F (22-24°C)? –  Flimzy Mar 5 '12 at 4:07
2  
Notice your ingredient list for your store-bought butter has "natural colors" in it. That means added coloring, it otherwise would not be so yellow. The color, I believe, depends on the cow's diet (but, commercially, they just add color to make it look "right"). –  derobert Mar 5 '12 at 6:47
1  
It is normal for handmade butter to be white; my great-grandfather's butter was always white. But it was harder than your picture, its texture was more similar to lard. I think you didn't separate well enough, and left more water in than usual. –  rumtscho Mar 5 '12 at 12:04
    
@derobert: Right, that's why I included the ingredient list... because I knew that might be the only reason my butter was a different color. –  Flimzy Mar 5 '12 at 19:34

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It's not hard: First milk cow :-), then let the milk settle in the fridge for a day or two. Skim the cream off the top

Use a food processor, or hand shake in a cocktail mixer or similar sized jar (only about a 100 ml at a time)

First you get whipped cream (2 to 5 minutes), then another minute of shaking and suddenly butter appears

It should separate very cleanly, with watery whey (save for soft cheese making), and lots of rough yellowish fat globules. If it still looks smooth it needs more shaking

enter image description here

If you want to keep the butter for any length of time you will need to wash it a few times with clean water, and squeeze the water out of it after each wash

The colour you get depends on what your cows have been eating. It can be quite white

There is no need for heating, or any other additives

share|improve this answer
1  
It sounds like I did everything exactly right then... I just got white butter. If that's just the result of the cow's diet, then I won't worry about it. Thanks for the info! –  Flimzy Mar 5 '12 at 4:36
    
How safe is that without heating / pasteurization? –  BaffledCook Mar 6 '12 at 12:45
    
@baffledCook if you are culturing the butter, it is as safe as making your own yogurt. –  rumtscho Mar 7 '12 at 16:54

Your butter is probably white because the cow was feed on corn, grass fed cows produce yellow butter. It's also probably why it doesn't taste of very much as the quality of butter is very closely tied to the cow's diet.

share|improve this answer
    
The farmer says they feed their cows mostly grass (and I saw them grazing), and "some grain" during the winter. So they may eat some corn, but not purely corn. Thanks for the info, though... –  Flimzy Mar 9 '12 at 6:04
    
Might be down to the type of grass then, here in Ireland the grass we have is rich in betacarotene which means all our butter is bright yellow. –  Stefano Mar 11 '12 at 23:29

First ...Yellow Butter you get in stores is that colour because they add yellow to it.

Second ...butter intensity that you normally associate with it is really the salt they add to it. Buy yourself some unsalted butter and do a taste test to see the difference.

Pure cow milk fat is mild in flavour and colour varies; both items are factors of what feed the animal was eating before being milked.

To make butter follow TFD's post. That's it in a nutshell.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.