Cheese Making 103

In the last blog, we made cheese! Often our dairy cows give us MUCH more cream than we need for “whole milk”. What to do with all that cream???? Well, I’m thinking butter and sour cream!

The culture we used to make Colby cheese is just as useful in making sour cream! Simply ladle off some of the excess cream into a clean glass jar and follow the instructions below!

Sour Cream:

Use Pint or quart of Cream in glass jar that has a lid.
Add 1/16 or 1/32 tsp of Meso II Culture and stir well throughout.
Place lid on the jar.
Leave on counter at room temperature over night. (Warmer temps work faster, colder temps need longer curing.)
Once the cream has become thick in the jar, place into refrigerator for about 8 hours. You now have the best tasting sour cream!
If you make a larger batch, remove the amount you want to use for sour cream, the rest you can make into butter!
Experiment later with other cultures, as it is the culture that gives the specific flavor to the sour cream and the butter (as well as the cheeses you make… it’s all a personal preference!)
*Remember, there are no preservatives added so it may last only 5-7 days, depending on the temp of your frig.

Butter making is a bit more labor intensive… Once you have the chilled sour cream, you put one cup of the cream into the blender and add a bit of cool water….. blend until the butter fat breaks from the cream. This is a distinct sound, but a difficult one to explain. You will see butter floating on the top of the blender when it breaks. I use a double mesh strainer and pour the contents of the blender through the strainer. I save the byproduct for the chickens. You can then run the strainer under COLD water in the sink for a bit to rinse it off. This blending of the cream is repeated until all of the cream is used.
Now, you have a bowl of milky butter. I put cold water in the blender and repeat the above blending steps until the water loses the milky coloring. The butter should rinse with clear water before you’re ready for the next step. This is done to keep the butter from spoiling in the milk that’s left behind.
Once you’ve rinsed the butter of the milky residue… it’s time to mash… I have the butter in a stainless steel or glass bowl and grab a fork… I mash the butter releasing the trapped water. Pour the water off as you go. If the butter becomes too soft, simply put it in the refrigerator for an hour and then continue. The goal here is to get the water released so your toast isn’t soggy! Once this step is complete, I use mini loaf pans lined with plastic wrap. I make one pound loaves as seen in the picture. The bricks of butter freeze well and depending on how well you were able to rinse out the milk, they will keep in the refrigerator for some time! Please feel free to ask any questions. We are happy to help out fellow homesteader’s!