Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hello Blog-Land

It's been busy here. The weather was hot. Then cold. Then really wet. Then warm. Now cold and wet again. I think I may get sick from all this weather change! Thankfully most of the animals have been doing just fine through it.

A huge storm came through late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning. Tons of rain, hail, wind and a few tornadoes - thankfully none too close to us. Within just a couple of hours, the roads were washed out, the creeks were overflowing, the dump cart was FULL of water, the damn at the back of the property was washed out (which has stood there for a few years), the fence was down in the back. Thankfully there was not much lasting damage. We were out of power for a day and out of internet for a few days. Everything is back to functioning normally now.

A few days ago I made my annual trip to Goat Town USA - a small Nubian herd in town - to trim her goat's hooves and give her buck a haircut. Her goats are just so nice. The doe in the photo below is Goat Town USA Hazel, the dam to our yearling Nubian buck Goat Town USA Powerhouse, who is out of Pruittville's Challenger. This photo certainly does not do miss Hazel justice. She's a big girl and she's a beauty.

The bottle kids are all growing up. This is one of my favorite kids this year. Her mom is a 50/50 Nubian/Saanen out of Goldthwaite lines, and this doeling is out of our Pruittville buck.

Silly girl.

Isn't this little kitten just darling?

Time to feed babies!

See ya!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Butter & Feta Cheese Making

Yesterday I pulled the cream separator out and figured I would take photos while doing it all. So here it goes...

First, the milk is warmed to about 100 degrees so the cream separates properly.

6 quarts of hot water are run through the separator to warm it up.

The milk is then poured in and separated. I usually separate 4-10 gallons at a time. This time I did 5.

Cream is on the left, low fat milk is coming out on the right.

The milk is low fat and is somewhat of a yellowish color.

The cream is poured into glass jars and put in the fridge overnight to cool. It is much faster to make butter from cold cream than hot cream.

The low fat milk is then turned into Feta cheese. Since it is already warm, I just add the culture and rennet, let it sit. Cut it. Hang it.

The next morning the cream is poured into the food processor. I have found this to be the quickest and easiest way to make butter.

Within about 1 minute of the processor being on, we have butter.

 The butter is poured into a colander lined with plyban (plastic cheesecloth) to drain the buttermilk out. 

It is then rinsed with cold water to get any remained buttermilk out. I rinse it until the water is fairly clear. This will help your butter last longer.

The butter is then salted and pressed so all the remaining liquid comes out. We got about 1 1/2 lbs of butter out of the cream from 5 gallons of milk.

It is then packaged and either put in the fridge for immediate use or the freezer for use later.

The Feta cheese is still aging on the counter. I made 3 gallons of the low fat milk into cheese. The remaining milk I plan to process today. This particular feta only ages on the counter for about 24 hours and is my absolute favorite.