|Creamline marked on 1/2 gallon jars of goats milk|
Perhaps folks who say this have goats that give milk with low butterfat? Or perhaps they're referring to the fact that the cream takes longer to separate from goat's than cow's milk? It's true that it does take longer, but I don't think of that as being naturally homogenized. To me, homogenization is permanent. I've never bought homogenized milk that separated back into milk and cream over time.
A lot of what I'm writing here is based mostly on my own experience and observations. What I can tell you is that after about 24 hours, I'm able to use a slotted spoon to scoop off a fairly solid layer of cream...
|Spoon skimming the cream|
I call this my first skimmings. This is the stuff I used to make whipped cream for strawberry short cake last May. Since then, I've been putting it into a quart jar which I keep in the freezer. To that I add the second skimmings, i.e. the more liquidy cream that I skim after the milk has sat a day or two longer. The idea is to save it in the freezer until the jar is full, then defrost it to make butter.
Really, the composition of milk is more than just milk and cream. According to Ricki Carroll's Home Cheese Making, goat's milk is composed of
87.5% water & minerals
12.5% solids, which include:
0.7% albuminous protein
This is about the same butterfat content as cow's milk. Since the total quantity per milking is quite a bit less for a goat than a cow, the amount of cream per milking is quite a bit less as well. Which is why I have to save it up.
For my first butter, I decided to try the shake-the-jar method. I used a half-gallon jar for my quart of heavy cream. It worked, though not without quite a bit of elbow grease. (I'm thinking I might try Food Renegade's blender butter method next time.) I was surprised that I got as much as I did...
|Freshly washed goat butter|
Looks more like vanilla ice cream, doesn't it? That's because goat milk contains no beta-carotene, which gives cow cheese and butter a pale yellow color. My goat butter is a creamy off-white, though it would be possible to color it with something like annatto, a plant extract which is often used to color things like cheese and margarine.
I poured off the buttermilk to use in baking, rinsed, and then kneaded the butter in ice water with a bowl scraper. This worked out as much buttermilk as I could. This will help preserve it longer, because it's the buttermilk that will sour first.
My goal will be to keep us in butter all year long. At least for table use, as I'm not sure if I can get enough for baking. How did it taste? Absolutely divine.
Be sure to check out my updated post: Goat's Milk Butter For Two
Goat Butter © August 2011