Oct 30th
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DIY/Recycle DIY - Butter Churn
DIY - Butter Churn PDF Print E-mail
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butter-old-style-283pxThis DIY Churn (butter maker) is from a wonderful Himalayan trekking experience, where the lower hills people (Newar) used it to make tasty creamy organic butter.

So now you've got your cow and the milk is flowing in! 

When you milk a cow and leave the milk to stand, the cream rises to the top. Now we buy milk and cream separately and we store it in the fridge.  Churns were used to turn the cream into butter. Making cream into butter was important as it keeps fresh longer, especially if salt is added. 

If you beat the cream it first turns into whipped cream, then after a while longer it becomes butter. The butter is then ‘patted’ or squeezed into blocks, this gets the buttermilk (whitish liquid) out, which helps the butter to last longer. 

A butter churn is a device used to agitate milk cream until it becomes butter. Churning the cream brings its fat globules together and causes them to clump into lumps of butter, leaving a liquid called butter milk.

The physical phenomenon which occurs is called phase inversion - the inner phase and outer phase of an butter_churner_xs.jpgemulsion exchange places: oil in water emulsion (cream) becomes water in oil emulsion (butter).

Various types of churns were and are being used for making butter at home or on the farm.

Millions of hand-turned glass churn jars were used from the early 1800s through the 1950s or 1960s. Glass butter churns, made in the 1960s, came with electric motors. The evolution of home butter churns continued right up to the point where people started buying butter instead of making it.

Early Glass churns were made in 4 sizes: 1, 2, 3 and 4 quart types. After the mid 1920's the addition of the 6 and 8 quart jar sizes appeared. Horseshoe or Beveled edge jar types were first and then the Bullseye with the square shoulder and the round raised company information on the glass jars. Next came the Slopped shoulder types, the metal tops had a very strait up and down metal grip on the metal crank mechanism, often had a little flower (Daisy) raised on the metal crank side. The slope shoulder churns were supposed to be easier for cleaning and the butter particles did not stick as easily in the upper corners of the jar. After 1936, most of the wooden paddles only had two blades, for it was found that it took the same time for a 4 bladed paddle to churn butter as a two bladed paddle.

Children often helped to make butter.  The younger ones turning the handle on the butter churn while the cream was still very runny.  An older brother or sister would take over as it thickened and the handle became harder to turn.

butter-churner-300px.gifHimalayan Butter Churn

A lot of Himalayan tribes are very paganistic so during the actual churning little rites are performed at various stages. Lumps of charcoal are dropped, sizzling, into saucers of buttermilk. Whilst this is happening the mother is breastfeeding at the same time as cooking the evening meal, over an open, smoky fire (no chimney, so smoke drifts up through thatch).

Kids are running everywhere laughing and playing. Buffalo are chomping and stomping down below under the wooden / mud floor. Chooks are settling to roost in the eaves. A goat and a couple of dogs sure look comfortable, and outside the water-driven grindstones are still rasping away.

Here's how to make the butter:

Using 1.2L of organic double cream, leave out for 1 hour to room temperature.

Pour this into your butter churn.

Pull the handle very slowly to churn the cream to start. This will take time, but is great exercise.

It will start to feel thicker and you will see changes in the cream when it is
getting close to being ready.

Next to separate the buttermilk from the butter, use a cream ladle or a butter
paddle to scoop the floating butter off the top of the buttermilk and place it
in a bowl.

To remove the remaining buttermilk from the butter, use a butter paddle or a
spatular to work the butter back and fourth on the sides of the bowl.

Once you have removed as much of the buttermilk as possible you will then need
to wash the butter. Pouring a small amount of cold water into the bowl continue to work the butter against the side of the bowl and repeat this until the water runs clear. If you don’t get all of the buttermilk out your butter will go rancid so be patient with this stage.

Add some fine celtic salt to taste if you want salted butter or leave it unsalted if you

Place butter into moulds if you want a particular shape or form into a square
and tightly seal with paper or wrap alternative.

Now you are ready to butter your organic bread, biscuits, bake, or whatever.

Personally (Lynette Stein - CEO Ecobites).We grew up with cows and goats, so it was natural for Mum and Grandma to make their own butter.

First heat the milk in a big preserving pan on top of the stove. When a skin forms on top of the milk, remove butter-herb-250px.jpgskin, allow to cool, and it would of been placed in the cool safe ( now we can refrigerate).

Next morning,skim the thick layer of cream that will rise to the top of the milk. This is what we called clotted cream.

It was delicious on a piece of bread and jam or a pudding.

Place the rest in a crockery basin and beat up with a large wooden spoon.

Within 20 minutes you will have butter (and nice taught arms).

Wash several times with cold water, then add a small amount of salt.

Shape into the required size with two wooden butter pats, and the finished product wrap in greaseproof paper.

The buttermilk or whey which seperates from the butter when churning, Grandma fed to the poddy calf along with the rest of the skim milk.

Note ... A cool safe, was a box-like frame covered in hessian with a tin tray top and bottom. The top tray was filled with water into which rags or pieces of flannel had been placed to drip down the sides into the bottom tray. The bottom tray had a small top in it so that it could be emptied when full. It was a primitive mode of refrigeration, that worked.



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