How to Make Goat Milk Butter Without a Separator

Yes, you can make goat butter without a separator! Here's what to do.

| July/August 1978

Everyone knows you can't get meaningful amounts of cream from goat's milk without a fancy separator . . . certainly not enough cream to yield butter. I "knew" this too, but being a butter lover from way back — and being the owner of two does that give a gallon of milk per day each — I (quite naturally) wanted to take a stab at whipping up some "goat butter." I didn't intend to give up without a fight.

The first thing I did to prepare myself for my "impossible" task was read up on buttermaking in general. Three books that I found especially helpful were: [1] Rodale's Stocking Up, [2] Irma S. Rombauer and Marion R. Becker's The Joy of Cooking and [3] Making Homemade Cheeses and Butter by Phyllis Hobson.

From the information contained in these guides — and through a fair amount of trial and error in the kitchen — I ultimately succeeded in developing a simple, dependable method for making butter from goat's milk, without the aid of a separator. Here's what you do:

Strain one gallon of fresh milk into a clean, shallow, large pan and allow the container to sit — uncovered and undisturbed — in your refrigerator for 24 hours. The next day, take the pan from the fridge and — with a large spoon — carefully skim off the cream that has risen to the top and store it in the refrigerator in a sterile, tightly covered jar. (The skim milk can be used in cooking, in cottage cheese or as a tasty treat for your livestock.)

Note: So far, I've had no problem with "off flavors" in my milk or cream. As long as your utensils and refrigerator are reasonably clean, you shouldn't have any trouble either. Just don't store garlic or onions next to the milk.

Repeat the foregoing procedure on a daily basis until you've accumulated one pint of heavy cream in your jar. This should take about five days if you skim a gallon of milk per day. (Naturally, if you use two gallons of milk and two large pans, you can cut this time in half.) When you've collected a pint of cream, you'll be ready to make butter.

Runnamuck Farm
4/27/2009 9:01:00 AM

Hi, Thank you for this article! I use this same method except I use a Quisinart with the dough blade instead of the mixer. No spatters, and I just turn it on and forget it for 10 - 15 minutes. After using this method a few times I have learned to listen for the change in consistency to determine when the butter is ready: at first it sounds really sloppy, then it sounds muffled as the whipped cream forms, then really sloppy again as the butter separates. I also strain mine and rinse, too, through cheesecloth in a Victoria strainer, before turning it out onto a piece of saran wrap to work the salt in (or not, as the mood strikes) then just roll it up in the saran wrap, twist the ends, then put it in the fridge. Amazingly easy and wonderful homemade butter! ~Paula

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