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How to Make Butter From Raw Milk Step-by-Step

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This article is part of our Producing Dairy on the Homestead series.

Making butter from raw milk is simple and satisfying, and we’ll show you how to do it at home! Raw milk butter is a great way to use excess raw milk, producing a delicious and wholesome product.

Butter has been a staple in many cultures for centuries and can be traced back to ancient times. In fact, the process of making butter has remained relatively unchanged over the years – the same principles apply!

Look no further if you’re wondering how to make butter with raw milk. We’ll guide you through making butter from raw milk step-by-step – you’ll be making delicious homemade butter in no time.

How to Make Butter With Raw Milk

The basics of making butter are as follows. The cream is separated from the raw milk to make raw milk butter. The cream is then churned until butter solids and fat form. The butter is then cleaned, and excess buttermilk is drained off.

Let’s look at the process step-by-step, starting with a printable PDF. Then, we’ll launch into the details of each step afterward.

homemade butter and raw milk

How to Make Butter With Raw Milk

Making butter from raw milk is simple and satisfying, and we'll show you how to do it at home!

Materials

  • Fresh, raw milk
  • Cold water for rinsing
  • Optional: salt or other flavors
  • Clean, airtight container for storage

Tools

  • Butter churner, jar, blender, or mixer
  • Spoon or measuring cup

Instructions

  1. Collect or buy fresh, raw milk (unpasteurized and non-homogenized).
  2. Separate the cream from the milk by leaving it in the fridge for several hours or overnight. The longer it sits, the thicker the cream.
  3. The cream will rise to the top. Scoop it off with a spoon or a measuring cup.
  4. For cultured butter, you can leave the cream to sit at room temperature for a few hours or overnight to allow for natural fermentation.
  5. After the cream has ripened, it's time to churn. This can be done by shaking the cream in a jar, using a hand-cranked butter churn, in a blender, or a mixer.
  6. During churning, butter solids and fat will separate, and the mixture starts to solidify.
  7. When you see a yellow 'mass' forming, it's time for the next step.
  8. Separate the butter solids from the liquid by kneading and squeezing the butter to remove as much buttermilk as possible.
  9. Wash the butter under a cold tap to remove even more buttermilk. The purer the butter, the longer it will last without spoiling.
  10. Flavor with salt or herbs, and store in a clean, airtight container in the fridge.
  11. The remaining buttermilk can be used in any recipe that uses buttermilk. Yum!

Buy and Prepare the Raw Milk

Raw milk butter making starts with raw milk. If you have dairy cows, you can collect the milk yourself. However, you may be able to purchase raw milk from local farms if you don’t have a cow. Local farmer’s markets, co-ops, and health food stores may also carry raw milk. Raw milk is unpasteurized and unhomogenized, which means it retains all its goodness.

Now it’s time to separate the cream from the milk. This process is easy – leave it in the fridge for several hours or overnight. The cream will rise to the top and can be skimmed off with a spoon or ladle.

For cultured butter, you can leave the cream to sit at room temperature for a few hours or overnight to allow for natural fermentation.

Churn!

After the cream has ripened, it’s time to churn. This can be done by shaking the cream in a jar, using a hand-cranked butter churn, a blender, or a mixer (my preferred method). A blender is the fastest method, but getting the butter solids out from around the knife assembly is almost impossible!

As the cream is churned, butter solids and butterfat will separate. The mixture will start to solidify, forming butter. You’ll clearly see a yellow ‘mass’ forming – a great indicator your butter-making efforts are going well! Once you see the yellow mass, you’re ready for the next step.

By the way, this method is the same for whipped cream. The only difference is that you stop churning a bit earlier before the mixture turns into butter.

Wash the Butter

Once the butter has formed, it’s time to get your hands dirty! Separate the butter solids from the liquids by kneading and squeezing the butter to remove as much buttermilk as possible.

Wash the butter under a cold tap to remove even more buttermilk. The purer the butter, the longer it will last without spoiling.

Add Flavors and Store

Homemade butter with raw milk rolled in balls

You can now add flavors to your homemade raw milk butter!

The simplest flavor is a bit of salt, but the possibilities are endless. Here are some great options:

  • Garlic and chives
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Rosemary
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
  • Mustard and chives
  • Jalapeno and lime

These flavored raw milk butters are a great way to spice up a Sunday lunch!

Another advantage is the beautiful homemade buttermilk (the liquid left over from the churning process). It can be used in any recipe that uses buttermilk.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month or in the freezer for several months.

You’ll have delicious, homemade butter perfect for spreading on homemade bread or adding to any of your favorite recipes.

Lastly, I’d like to share this video with you. If you feel guilty about eating butter – watch this!

396: Butter Is Better

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