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I made butter!

I was a bit scared of butter, after raw milk yoghurt was so much harder than I expected.  But we were lucky to have a demonstration at the Marburg Show recently.  A couple of elderly gentlemen who used to work at the Beaudesert butter factory had a bucket of fresh milk and were showing people how to separate the cream and make butter.  We spent about half an hour asking many many questions, they were very kind and helpful, so I felt confident that we knew what do to (so much better to see a demo than read a book!).

eight acres: making butter
This is the mess I made.
First I tried the cream (at room temperature, a few days old, not fresh) in the food processor, but it was too fast and sharp and cut the butter to pieces.  So the cream went back into the jar and I shook it a few times and there was butter!  I poured off the butter milk, poured in fresh chilled water, rinsed a few times and then worked a little salt into the butter (to keep it longer) with a paddle.  It was so easy, what a relief, and it tasted lovely!  You only get a little bit at a time, but it doesn't last long anyway, so I don't mind shaking up a jar of cream every few days to make us some butter (a different story if I want to bake a cake though, I might need to plan ahead in that case!).

eight acres: making butter
And this is the butter!
The next time, I didn't use the food processor at all and just shook the cream in a jar, it takes about 10 minutes of shaking, and best if the jar is about half full.  Then you just continue as above, to wash the butter in chilled water (cold from the tap here in summer will melt the butter!).  Its also important to add salt, as this helps the butter to last longer.

Now if you're still wondering how to actually make butter (instead of just excited to see that I made butter), please check out this link, which shows the process step by step.

Do you make butter?  Any tips?

You might also be interested in my series on getting started with homestead dairy


  1. Well done. When I was a child we used to get fresh milk from one of the dairy farms. It was my job to use the butter churn Mum had and turn all that lovely cream into butter. I can still remember the taste. So much better than the bought stuff...and well worth all the arm muscles I built up turning the churns handle.

  2. Congrats. It looks great and I bet tastes fabulous. The colour is so intense.

  3. Well done! I remember mum making butter when we lived on the farm and milked cows. Cant quite remember the taste though...

    I miss that yummy creamy milk!

  4. Oh, freshly churned butter is one of my many weaknesses! It is an easy process and simply so delish!

  5. A long time ago, when I was a child, I proudly took part in making butter! It was so much fun. Your looks delicious.

  6. So if the butter only lasts a few days can you freeze some? What's the difference between this and shop butter? (apart from it being raw). Shop butter lasts an age in the fridge.

    I'm so so pleased you're posting all of this stuff, fascinating! How are you managing with so much milk everyday, how much do you get?

    If you have an excess you might like to think about freezing in ice cube bags and making soap..?

  7. Thanks for all the comments everyone!

    To answer some of the questions above:

    The butter doesn't last as long because I don't do as good a job of removing all the buttermilk liquid as an industrial butter factory. The liquid is what makes the fat go rancid, that's why I also have to add a bit of salt to it.

    I have heard that butter can be frozen, so I shall try that when we have excess.

    We get about 12 L of milk a day and give 4 L to the calf. With the rest we drink it, give some to the dogs, make yoghurt and cream cheese, and save up 10 L to make some hard cheeses in the weekend (they take longer) and we give some to our neighbours. We seem to get through it all somehow!

    I have seen a book on making soap from milk, so I'm going to get that. I'd rather make cheese at the moment, but you're right, frozen milk will be good for soap, so I can put some away and get back to it eventually. I've never made soap before (just read a bit on the net), so that will be interesting!

    Lastly, making butter is great for your arm muscles! Especially my jar shaking method!

    Cheers, Liz

  8. So cool Liz! Also, I see in your picture above that you have the same water filter jug we just got. I've found it great! The taste of our water is so much crisper now.

  9. Homemade butter freezes very well and so we don't use salt but do add a date to the container. Cultured butter is interesting although a bit more work to get the flavour just right. With cultured butter we use Cheeselinks B starter. Not trying to advertise Cheeselinks its just that it's easy to guarantee a result by using a bought starter. Also, we use a food processor on a slow to medium setting for butter making with no problems. The cream is usually refrigerator temperature except for the cultured butter which has been sitting at room temperature.


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