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Dairy Farming Manual

Volume 1

Technology Unit 10.2
Small Scale Butter Making

page 197

Extension Materials
What should you know about making butter?
What is butter and what types are there? (5-11)

1 You should know:

- what is in butter e.g. butterfat and water

- the different types of butter e.g. salted and non-salted, sweet and cultured butter.

How do you make butter? (12-59)
2 Prepare milk or cream by heat treatment and ripening (for cultured butter).
Churn on a small or a larger scale.
Wash and work the butter.
What can you do with buttermilk?(60-63)

3 You can use it for:

- drinking or making milk products

- animal feed.

What can be wrong with butter? (64-75)

4 If your butter has a bad smell, taste, texture or appearance, check your:

- husbandry

- raw materials 

- method of making butter.

page 199

What is butter?
5 Butter contains about:

- 80 % butterfat (minimum)

- 16 % water (maximum)
- 1-2 % solids-not-fat
- 0.2 % salt.


6 You can make butter from:

- milk or

- cream.

1 l of cream makes about 300-400 g butter. 

7  The steps in making butter are:
MILK    ->            CHURNING MIXTURE     -> BUTTER 
approx.                             min. 3.5 -                        min. 80 - 
4.2 % fat                     approx. 40 % fat           approx. 83 % fat 
page 200

 What types of butter are there
9 You can make butter from:

- fresh cream

- cultured cream.

10 You can make butter:

- without salt

- with salt.

11 For cooking purposes you can make herb butter by adding:

- parsley or

- garlic

page 201

12 How do you make cultured butter?

The following recipe is for cow or goat's milk.

You may need to change it for other types of milk.


13 Heat the milk or cream to 80 C-90 C.


14 Then cool it quickly to 18 C in running water.

Use a thermometer to measure the temperature accurately.

  page 202

15 Ripening

Then ripen.

For each 1 1 of milk or cream:

add 50 cc of (3 desert spoons) of sour butter milk or mesophilic starter;

-stir this into the milk or cream 

16 Cover container and leave for 24 hours at 18 C.
17 You can use raw milk or cream which is sour naturally if it still tastes and smells fresh.

Do not ripen it.

page 203

18 You can also make non-cultured or sweet butter from sweet cream.
If you collect cream for several days, check the acidity before pasteurizing.
The cream should have 0.10-0.15 % lactic acid.
If your cream is very acid, you can reduce the acidity by adding chemicals.
Ask your extension worker for advice.
19 Heat the cream as before to 80-90 C.

Cool the cream to the lowest possible temperature.

 page 204

What do you need to make butter from sour cream or milk?
Raw materials
20 You need:

- milk or cream

- sour buttermilk or starter

- fine salt

- clean water.


21 You need:
- a heater
- a container for the milk or cream
- a thermometer to measure temperature


- a churn

- a sieve or coarse cloth

- a skimmer

- a bowl


- a working table

- wooden spoons

- greaseproof paper for wrapping the butter.

page 205

Small-scale churning
24 You can churn milk or cream:

- by shaking in a sealed bottle

- by rotating in a milk can
but it can be difficult to remove the butter


- by whipping in a bowl:
- bowl with cream or milk
- rotating whippers


- by plunging in a container
- tub or can
- lid with hole
- plunger, moves up and down
- wooden disc with holes.

27 This is a small household glass churn:
- screw lid
- glass container
- rotating whippers.
page 206

28 Rinse the churn with clean water

This prevents sticking.

29 Half fill with sour milk or sour cream.
30 Churn with a regular movement until:

- the pieces of butter are as big as peas

- the buttermilk looks watery.
Do not let the pieces of butter become one large lump.

31 If there are no pieces of butter after 30 minutes:

- change the temperature by adding clean cool or warm water

- churn again.
For cream do not add more than 25 % water.

page 207

 32 Churning may take from 15 to 60 minutes.
33 The time depends upon:
- the time of year
- the type of animal
- the type of feed

- the temperature
- the type of churn
- the fullness of the churn
- the fat content of the milk or cream.

35 Carefully remove the pieces of butter from the lid and side with clean, cold water.

The water with butter will float on top of the buttermilk.
Do not use too much water.

page 208

 36 Pour off the buttermilk through a coarse sieve.

37 Wash the butter to remove the buttermilk - the more buttermilk you remove, the better your butter.
Either wash the butter in the churn:
- half fill the churn with clean cold water
- churn for at least 10 minutes

- use a skimmer to remove the pieces of butter floating on the water
39 Or wash the butter in a sieve:
- sieve the butter and buttermilk
- put the buttermilk on one side
- turn the butter over while washing with clean cold water.
Do not let the butter become a large lump.
page 209

40 If you wash your butter carefully you can:
- lower the water content
- keep it longer.


41 Do not overwash.

Your butter will have:
- less solids-not-fat
- a poor smell.


42 Salt your butter according to taste:
- lightly work about 10 g of salt into every 1 kg of butter
- leave overnight
- work again the next day.

Working (kneading)

43 Working improves the structure and the quality of your butter.

Rinse the working table with clean water

page 210

44 Work the butter with damp wooden spoons or a damp roller until it has a smooth surface and you can see no more drops of water.
As you work, remove any water.

45 Store butter in a cool place:

- in a pot or
- wrapped in grease proof paper or aluminum foil.

46 Sprinkle a little salt on the surface of butter in a pot:

- this prevents fungus.

47 You can freeze butter but it becomes rancid quickly after defrosting:

- divide the butter into many small parts
- defrost only what you need.

page 211

48 Do not freeze salted butter:

- it easily becomes fatty or oily and smells fishy.

49 If you keep butter for too long, it tastes rancid or develops fungus.
50 You can keep it longer by making ghee.
page 212

Large-scale churning
51 You can work this churn by hand or use an electric motor.

It holds 30-50 l of milk or cream.

52 Half fill the churn with milk or cream.
Churn for 5 minutes (the speed depends on the shape, size and construction of the drum).
Stop the churn and release the gases.
53 Churn again for 35-45 minutes or until the butter pieces are about 2 cm in diameter.

Pour off the buttermilk through the valve into plastic pails.

page 213

54 Add the same amount of water as buttermilk you remove.

Churn at 10-15 rpm for 5 minutes.

Pour off the water.

55 Churn at 10-15 rpm for about 10-20 minutes.

Check the water content and if correct remove the butter from the churn.

page 214

56 You can check the water content of your butter by using a:
- special balance
- beaker for melting butter
- burner.
57 Weigh some butter accurately.
Evaporate the water by heating.

Weigh the butter again.


58 If you know the weight of butter and the weight of water lost, you can find the % of water in the butter.
59 You can then:

- add water if you want a higher moisture content

- churn for longer without adding water if you want a lower moisture content.

page 215

What can you do with buttermilk?

60 Buttermilk is good for:

- drinking
- putting in soups or salads
- making into cheese.

 61 You can use it for animal feed:
- warm it for chickens
- as it is or with feed for calves.
62 You can make Trahana:
- leave buttermilk to become sour and add a little salt
- add flour or semolina, make a stiff dough and shape into balls
- flatten these and dry on a clean cloth, turn over every hour

- rub these through a sieve
- spread the crumbs on a clean cloth to dry
- store them in a closed pot or bottle.
You can keep the crumbs for several months and use them in soup instead of pasta or rice.

page 216

What can be wrong with your butter?

Smell and taste
64 If your butter is sour your starter may have bad bacteria.

Use a new starter and wash and sterilize all equipment.

 65 If your butter has a feed flavour check the quality of your feed especially silage, onions etc.
66 If your butter is green or malty use a new starter.
67 If your butter is oily or tallowy check the quality of the milk and cream you are using to make your butter:
- increase the heat treatment
- make less-cultured butter
- use less salt
- work the butter less.
page 217

68 If there are drops of water on your butter, knead it more.

Your butter should be dry before packing - bacteria multiply quickly in damp butter.

69 If your butter is oily you see droplets of oil when you cut it:
- you churning time is too long.
70 If your butter is soft, check your mixing.
71 If your butter is crumbly or has a high melting point, check:
- your feeding
- your heat treatment
- your churning.
 page 218

72 Make sure:

- you cool your cream enough after pasteurization

- you do not churn your butter at a high temperature.


73 If your butter has streaks, make sure:

- you do not mix butter from different days' production

- you knead the salt into your butter for long enough.

74 If your butter is mouldy, make sure:

- you are wrapping it properly

- all equipment and materials are clean.

75 If your butter has holes, make sure:

- you do not work it for too long or at too high a temperature

- there is no air in your butter.

page 219

page 220

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