Butter has been a staple of our lives for thousands of years, from Europe to Asia, South America and Africa. Although very rudimental in the beginning, when nomadic people would fill animal skin sacks with goat’s milk and attach them to a pack animal in which just through the walking process produced. Thankfully, now the process is a little more sterile.
The process begins with cream collection, either from a liquid dairy or separated by the butter manufacturer.
This is generally cow’s cream, but butter has also been known to be made from Buffalo, Camel & Goat (Milk analyzers provided by Profitechs can measure the main components of different animal milk). The cream should be sweet with a pH of 6.6. It should not be rancid, oxidized and be free from all flavors. The cream is then pasteurized at 95 degrees Celsius or higher to destroy enzymes and microorganisms.
Inside the Process of Making Butter
The ripening process sometimes includes the adding of cultures to ferment the milk sugars into lactic acid and achieve desirable flavors for cultured butter. This practice is more common in European butters.
The cream is then held at a cool temperature for around 12 – 15hrs. This is the aging process and gives the butterfat time to crystalize. The process is carried out by a program of controlled cooling to ensure the correct crystal structure. The cream is then pumped into a churn or continuous butter maker for agitation. Once the crystals are at the correct size, the liquid (buttermilk) is drained off and you are left with continuous fat. If any liquid was left in at this stage, the butter would spoil and become rancid.
Then we are off to the salting station where salt is added for flavor and as a preserver. Also working the salt into the product creates better consistency. The butter is then patted into shape and wrapped in waxed paper and off to storage for us all to enjoy.
“Life is too short for fake butter” – Whitehead, K.
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