Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Easily Make Butter from Raw Milk

I live in Tennessee and I'm a member of a local herd share.

I get wonderful, beautiful, delicious raw milk from my precious farmer and her family.

The wonderful raw milk

What wonderful people!  Fall Creek Farms.

I searched high and low for how to make butter.  Most sites I found the blogger had a fancy kitchen-aid with paddle attachment.

I don't.

Using my hand held beater just made whipped cream.

I knew that had to be a way....

I read that it is the 'concussion' that makes the butter.  

     Concussion, from the Latin concutere ("to shake violently") or concussus ("action of striking together")

Slamming the cream into the sides of the container or using an electric paddle or a churner- is what causes the separation of the butter fat.

Anyway, below is how I make butter.  I sometimes use my butter to make ghee.

I use the butter's 'milk' (the left over 'milk' from the butter making process for my waffles, biscuits, muffins etc.

I use the half and half for pots de creme (recipe later).
My husband uses it the half and half in his coffee.
Sometimes we leave it in the milk.  Shake milk before drinking.

I sometimes make kefir (blog later).  And Paneer (blog later).

I use my leftover whey from the paneer or clabbered milk for my fermented foods and drinks.

An easy way to make butter....

First, I boil all the things I use and let dry.  I usually clean my kitchen counter (the area where I make butter) with my vinegar, lemon, and herb natural cleaner (blog later) but I did refer to it here  Fermented Ginger Ale.

My containers (I forgot some in the pic)

Can you see the darker cream at the top?

If you can't see the cream on the top of the milk... let your milk sit for several hours to a day (in the refrigerator) to let the cream rise to the top.

I get my milk in clear 2 quart jars.  I can easily see the cream at the top.

Items I use
1/4 cup measuring cup
big measuring cup
a larger container with tight lid to shake the cream in
container with lid to hold butter
container with lid to hold 'milk' from butter making
mesh strainer
my husband to shake the cream into butter or I do it.
salt (optional)

After sterilizing everything......

I scoop out the cream using the 1/4 cup measuring cup.
Cream is thick.  Milk is watery looking.  It will take some practice to scoop out just the cream.  

Watch the liquid as you scoop.  You can tell when some milk gets in your scooper... just pour it back into your jar and try again.  If some milk gets into your cream shaker- that's ok- it will just take longer to make the butter.

Put each scoop of cream into the container.

There is usually a small amount of cream left in my milk jar.  See above uses or just shake up milk prior to pouring.

Be careful to get the cream only

After scooping most of the cream out of your milk, put the lid on your 'shaker' container.  Make sure it's on tight.

Now shake.

And shake.
And shake.

It's the shaking that makes the butter.

My husband usually will shake it for me while he watches a football game or a cowboy show or an old movie.
OR... I do it. 

If I do it... I usually make an (low) aerobics routine out of it. lol

It's liquidy.

I step side to side or I'll jump on my rebounder or walk on my treadmill... but usually just step side to side while I watch TV or read my next protect.  This time I was reading how to make lacto fermented mayo from a recipe by Food Renegade.

Food Renegade's blog and lacto-fermented mayo!
I'll post my variation later.  But is was delicious!  

I'm too hyper to sit still do it.  I sit all day at work.  I like the movement.  But my husband sits while doing it.

The cream will go from cream to whipped cream to the butterfat separating into solids.

It's almost whipped cream.  And yes, those are my comfy house shoes  It was a Saturday.

The time it takes depends on the temperature of the room, of the milk, how much milk got into the cream, and other factors that I'm not aware of...

Just keep shaking.  And when you are absolutely convinced that there is NO way this will turn into butter... you are almost there- keep shaking.

THEN..... you should notice a different feel in the container, or in the sound, or something.... it will sound liquidy again.  There will be a ball of beautiful butter fat and the liquid.

Not there yet, but almost.
Back and forth

Now left hand
     (Above is when it gets real hard to shake.  You're really close.  But it will take some more time and muscle.  I slam it right then slam it left.. over and over.  I try shaking a few times.  Then go back to slamming it back and forth until I feel and hear the difference.)

There it is.  There's that butter fat separated from the milk. lol

Pour your butter fat through the mesh strainer into the container that you (will hopefully) store your butter's 'milk'.  Pets love this.  Use it to bake with. You can drink it.  But I don't like the taste.  You can freeze the butter's 'milk', toss it, or whatever.  Use within a few days or freeze.

Take the butter fat from the strainer and put back into the 'shaking' container.  Rinse with filtered water a few times.

Pour the butter fat over the mesh strainer again.  You can use the measuring cup to catch the water.  It will be cloudy looking.  I pour this liquid down the drain.  Some people say repeat the process 4 times.  I usually just do it once or twice.  The washing rinses away the 'cowy' taste.

This is the liquid left over when the butter fat separates.  Great for baking. 
Rinsing butter with filtered water

After your last rinsing, use your spatula to squeeze all of the water out.  Stir your butter around and that will help to release the water. 

You can sprinkle some salt over the butter and stir.  The salt acts as a preservative.

Using your spatula scrap the butter into your butter container.  Cover.  Keep in refrigerator.


Yea!  The one on the left will be ghee.

Ghee blog later....

Shared on ..... The Chicken ChickA Rural JournalTillys NestNourishing SimplicitySunny Simple Life


  1. Looks like so much work Missy -- makes me appreciate our ancestors that much more. I bet your butter tastes divine.

  2. So neat! We've done tiny experiments making butter in baby food jars with cream. Lots of shaking. I just had an ah ha moment reading your blog. Buttermilk! I did not know that's how buttermilk is made. I dunno what I thought, but so cool to finally get it...and I'm from the south. *hangs head in shame*

  3. Kim- Not...buttermilk.. like what you buy in the store... but milk or a liquid that is left over from making butter. It's not the same thing.

    Thanks Nancy.

  4. i'm lazy. i just use my kitchenaid for the shaking part. lol

  5. I don't have one and won't spend the money on it. I have a knock off kitchen aid but not the paddle. So this is just as easy.