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.



Kristin said...

I would love your feta recipe if you would be so kind as to post it. I have 2/3 does milking now and the other 3 will drop those kids in the next 2-3 weeks. Then I'll be able to break out the cream separator I got for Christmas!

Lauren Smilie said...

Thanks for the tutorial! Where did you get your separator and how much did you pay for it? What brand/ kind of separator is it? I would like to get one so I can have/get cream without having to wait a week for it to rise to the top. My family has a small herd (three nigerian dwarf does and one buck). Some friends recently blessed us with a 3/4 lamancha and 1/4 nubian doeling, so hopefully we will be getting a lot more milk sometime next summer/fall to make cheese (and ice cream!- with the cream, instead of whole milk. I did find an ice cream recipe that used whole milk, which turned out better than I expected, though it wasn't as creamy as I like ice cream to be) with. How did you get the milk to curdle? I hope you don't mind all the questions. This is only our second year of freshenings (and our does, too!), so I'm very excited to learn what I can about making dairy products (it can be a bit overwhelming, though, but making something successfully will make up for it :) ) Blessings! ~Lauren :)

Good Goats said...

Kristin - no problem. My recipe is posted here: http://goodgoats.blogspot.com/2013/02/easy-cheese-recipes.html

Lauren - I honestly don't remember where we got our cream separator, which is driving me a little crazy since I've had more than one person ask! It was from some random website. We bought it a few years ago and paid about $400. It is an electric separator. The hand crank ones are much cheaper but the electric is so much nicer. You'll be amazed at how much cream you get from your milk, and how much butter comes from that cream. It's really amazing.

The milk is curdled for making cheese using rennet. You can see my recipes at the link above.

Also, I buy all my cheesemaking products and ingredients from Leeners (http://www.leeners.com).

And no problem on all the questions - ask away. Making dairy products seems more overwhelming than it really is :).

Kristin said...

@ Lauren- My cream separator came from Ukraine. It looks just like Suriyah's but it's the hand crank model. I haven't had a chance to use it yet since I've only had one goat milking. I think it was about $120.

Thanks for the link, Suriyah!

Lauren Smilie said...

Thank you for the replies Suriyah and Ms. Kristin! I wish I'd looked at your cheese link earlier. I just made some soft /farmer's cheese last night. I thought it was supposed to curdle immediately and I used double the amount of vinegar, as well! Oops! I got about 5 oz of cheese out of a half gallon of milk, which was a bit disappointing. I've made it before; it's just I'm a wee bit rusty and not that experienced to begin with! Oh, well. What's the average yield you get when you make this cheese? I will definitely keep that link on hand. :) Blessings, Lauren :)

Good Goats said...

Hmm, I haven't made the vinegar/soft cheese in awhile, but I think I'd get about a pound of cheese out of a gallon with that recipe.

My favorites to make are the Feta and cream cheese - they are very easy but so good.