Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Making goat butter

With hobby and backyard goat keeping on the rise, I was wondering this morning whether or not you could easily make goat butter with goat milk. Nigerian dwarf goats can deliver up to two quarts of milk a day, so what better use of all that milk (besides making cheese, of course), but to try to make goat butter?

Well, it turns out that goat butter, although different in taste from cow's milk based butter, is totally possible for someone who raises goats. The butter produced is perfectly white (since there is a lower amount of Vitamin A in goat's milk versus cow's) and has a lower melting point given the higher percentage of unsaturated fatty acids.

How does making goat butter differ from making butter from cow's milk? Well, really, all you need differently is a cream separator for larger volumes and, if you don't want to spring the money for this expensive piece of equipment, you can read about how to separate it manually here. If you don't have enough cream initially to make butter, just freeze what you do get off, cream-wise, until you have enough. One quart of cream makes a pound of butter.

So, once you have enough cream stored up, head on over here for instructions on how to turn it into butter - the method is the same. The resulting butter is (from what I've read) creamy, mild, and not "goaty" tasting. Store your butter in the fridge or, for the long-term, freeze it for up to six months.

I'm not sure how possible it is if you are relying on homogenized goats milk from the store, since it would be too difficult to separate the cream, but if you want to try and report back, by all means, go for it!

Any of you out there ever made goat butter?


Anonymous said...

Any goats milk that I've ever bought at the store is naturally homogenized so I don't think it would be any different. It would be pasteurized, though.

e4 said...

Our goat's milk never had any cream separate out of it. (We milked Nubians, for whatever that's worth.) There was never anything to skim off. Maybe the wide pan would make the difference.

Robj98168 said...

You know the funny thing about Goats Milk is I drink the fact i kinda like it...but I cannot stand Goats Cheese. Maybe I am too much a Midwestener at heart, or maybe it is I have Wisconsin Relatives. But *ewwww*

Aimee said...

I milk Nubians too, which supposedly have the highest butterfat content of any breed. And I second e4 - the amount of cream that rises is so tiny as to make difficult to imagine spooning it up. Milking a couple of goats twice a day is already a fairly major task - I wouldn't want to add extra steps unless I had to. And I include homemade goat cheese in the category of "HAVE TO!"

HeatherinSF said...

I love goat butter! I make my own butter now and then, especially during strawberry season because nothing is better on a scone than goat butter and strawberry jam. I don't think I can find goat cream in the stores but I will start asking around! I do make my own goat milk yogurt, which is so delicious. Thank you for the inspiration!!

Kathy Lee said...

I've made butter from cow's cream before by simply shaking up cream in a glass jar - a fun project to do with children. Are you raising Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats? I am planning to get a couple in the next year.

Anonymous said...

I have Nubians as well and the success with getting the cream to separate is almost "zero." I've tried the wide-pan method, let it sit (in the fridge) for several days and still only managed a tablespoon or so of cream. This was while milking 3 goats and getting a couple of gallons of milk per day. The main advantage of goat milk is that is naturally homogenized and it just doesn't want to separate.

Lee in KY

Kate said...

I was given some goat butter once. As you describe, it was very white. I tried it on toast and found it extremely goaty; couldn't eat it that way. But I used it as the basis for a couple of Indian dishes, as though it were ghee. It was fine that way; perhaps the strong spices camouflaged any odd flavor. Now maybe this was a raw milk butter that sat around getting somewhat funky before I got to it. I don't know. It was from a store and packaged with a proper label though, not sold quasi-legally or anything like that.

I would love to have a Nigerian dwarf goat or two one day. But based on my experience, I doubt I would bother making goat butter. I'd just make cheese or drink it fresh. I love all types of goat cheese.

(Ha ha! My verification word is: gotprep.)

Sandy said...

I milk 16+ goats for an Agricultural Education Center (Flint Hill Farm, in PA) and dairy. They are a mixture of breeds: Nubians, Toggenbergs, Alpines and Saanens. I have never seen the milk separate enough to skim off cream. The beauty of goats' milk is that it is naturally homogenized, with the fat evenly distributed throughout, making it easier to digest. I imagine that if any cream does rise, it's miniscule. Having said that, I'd LOVE to try goat butter, as goat milk is my favorite...but a cream separator is impossible right now.

Anna Marie said...

Ok, I do have Nigerians- 4 does right now, 3 of which are pregnant. And Aimee, according to the ADGA's breed averages, Nigerians have the highest butter fat, at 6.6%, while Nubians have 4.8%. They also have a higher protein percentage at 4.3% versus 3.7%.

I can attest that the goat cream does rise to the top, but very, very little of it. On a quart jar, I had less than 1/4 inch.

Also, I must say that I detest goat milk from the store; it doesn't taste nearly as good as the stuff that comes out of my Nala's udder. You have to treat the milk properly to get it to taste good. Keep it clean, and get it chilled as soon after it comes out of the udder as possible- some people use a container of ice in the milk pail. Also, it should be consumed with in a week- our milk only lasted about a day so far, because we like it so much.

Tree Huggin Momma said...

I wonder if I could have a goat or two on my city lot, I will have to look into the city ordinances more. Goats and Chickens (I can have 5 - 15 depending on if I can get the neighbors to go in on it with me) will have to wait until I can get the gardens producing enough for me and for the livestock (otherwise it isn't worth it, so it looks to be a 5 year goal.
I love goat cheese, and goat milk, I see the butter and the yoghurt and I haven't tried them yet, but when I have the extra pennies I might just.

healinggreen said...

Hmm... this time I must say it sounds like you neee to do some more reading up! Everything I have found on the subject by people who have been keeping goats for decades says that what you are suggesting is simply not worth the trouble. Goat's milk is naturally homogenized, it's not "made" that way for the stores, so it simply does not seperate without a lot of extra work/time: Most homesteading goat owners I know of simply forgo butter in their menus.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Well, I found a number of blogs who claimed that they make goat butter and successfully at that.

Yes, goats milk is naturally homogenized, but I don't know what other processing they do to it in the stores that would render it even more difficult to separate the cream. Some methods of pasteurization comes to mind.

Anyway, it can be done. People have done and do it, even without a cream separator or with an old style one.

jewishfarmer said...

Milking four Nigerian Dwarves here, and we do get a cream rise (they have a lot more butterfat than Nubians, which is probably why), but you are talking about a teaspoonful per quart, after you've let the milk sit for several days. Yes, technically you can do it, and I've done it - twice in going on two years of goat milking. Every single other goat owner that I know, however, says "this is a royal PITA" and doesn't bother.

A cream separator, btw, is expensive and has four thousands tiny little parts, every one of which has to be cleaned and sterilized before each use. Honestly, I don't quite see the point - you can make everything but butter easily with goat's milk - ice cream, yogurt, cheese, etc... Why worry about butter? I can trade enough goat's milk to make a year's worth of cow butter easily enough. And if I really had to make goat butter, my freezer probably wouldn't work anyway ;-).

I will say that people's assumptions about goat's milk are not accurate. The store stuff doesn't taste like sweet, fresh goat's milk. I just had a big group of people at my place and every one of them went "Wow!" when they tasted the goat's milk - no goaty taste, and very, very rich and sweet. It might be tough to get anyone to leave it alone long enough to make butter ;-).


Amy said...

Glad I found this post! I just found out this past week that the city allows us to keep 2 goats in our city yard. They *recommend* the miniture breeds, lol. So...maybe I'll be a goat Mama before we know it!

tansy said...

i have a cream separator but haven't tried it out yet...i have tried making butter from the cream before but like the others have stated, you get very little bang for the buck. i milk lamanchas which is the other heavy cream content goat and can't get it to separate enough before it goes sour.

but, having said that, the few times i did, i really liked it!

nowadays, i buy cream from a local farmer and make my own butter from it. i can get a gallon for $12 which makes about 6# of butter and 1/2 gallon of buttermilk. cheaper than trying to buy organic at the store or even conventional for that matter!