Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Butter-making question...

The last week now my batches of butter have been a bit not normal.

Judy has had nothing but THICK cream. I'm talking a rubber sheet on her milk at 12 hrs. Nothing of a thinner cream layer at all. She's always been a heavy creamer, ever since she got here, but she usually has a nice layer of thin-ish cream too.

I know I've said this, but what we do here is milk in the morning, it gets strained into our stainless pail, covered and set into the fridge. At the PM milking, we 'de-cream' the AM milk and it goes into a 2 qt canning jar, back into the fridge. Same routine with PM milk, de-cream the next AM. Every 3rd morning I have about 2 quarts plus maybe 2 cups of cream and we make butter.

Lately it's been hitting that 'whipped cream' stage and staying there a lot longer, and when it finally catches/separates, it has been in almost crumbly butter bits.

Is this a normal thing? Thicker cream normal at this stage of her lactation cycle, being on more hay than grass now and such? Not totally separating after even 45 mins in the mixer....I've done slower mixing and faster mixing; same results and not much difference in time.

Amanda noted in her comment that she has about a gallon of cream a week...we have about that as well, but I do butter in about 2-2 1/2qt increments (which gives me 1#, and sometimes 1/2 cup butter) as it seems better suited to my KA mixer. We get about 9-10 qts cream every 7 days basically. Would I do better to just hold the cream all week and make my batches in one day? We're averaging 3# and maybe a cup weekly.

Just sorting out what typical cow, milk and cream norms are. She's pretty much living on hay now until we can fence up that back section of grasses for her, but other than a much thicker cream collection, there isn't any difference in her milk and such. Still getting beautiful rich yellow butter :)


Amy said...

I am sorry but I can offer no advice. I have had the same problem before and never really found out what caused it. It was pretty frustrating. I am curious to find out this answer myself.

Anonymous said...

(Lately it's been hitting that 'whipped cream' stage and staying there a lot longer, and when it finally catches/separates, it has been in almost crumbly butter bits.)

I have had that problem myself before, actually it did that this morning while making butter- staying longer at the whipped cream stage.- It did finally turn to butter although not that much.

It seems that the temperature of the cream can make a difference while making butter. I've noticed that I get more/better butter when I let the cream sit out to almost room temp.

The cream takes longer to get to room temp. lately due to the fact that our outside temps. have gotten a lot cooler (cooler house). It takes about an hour or so for the cream to come to room temp. during the summer months.

When I first starting getting cream to make for butter I made it about twice a week? I now just skim the cream off the milk as you do, am & pm and when I get about 1 1/2 gallon of cream I make butter. I would rather let the cream sit at least 3-4 days for a thicker cream. It seems to make more butter that way.

Lately my fridge has been really full with cream because AnnaBelle has been giving more cream than milk and that with eating more hay than fresh grass. Go figure?

AnnaBelle is still teaching us things after all this time (a little over a year).

Hope this helps!

Amanda <><
Matthew 6:33

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is very unusual. I do think it is affected by temperature of the cream, but we like to make butter from cold cream to make sure we don't get any souring. You may not be getting any light cream because you are only collecting the first 12 hours of cream. We put ours in jars and let it rise for 2 or 3 days and every 3rd day or so we skim it and make butter. I wouldn't recommend waiting all week. You may find it sours in that time. April

Enola Gay said...

I am so excited! I know the answer to this question. I believe there is too much protein in your Judy's diet. Any time our butter gets "hard" and "crumbly", we have found that it is a protein issue. If you are feeding alfalfa hay and grain, you may need to lean out on the grain a bit. We found that we had "spoon cream" almost immediately with a lot of protein in our cows diet. The temperature of the cream has more to do with how quickly the cream turns to butter! I would love to hear how your butter adventures have turned out!


Enola Gay


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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