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Cultured Butter

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#1 phodni

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 07:56 PM

Is there an easy way to make cultured butter, given the ingredients available in US grocery stores? Has anyone tried making desi ghee from homemade cultured butter in the US?

#2 Gautam

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:06 AM

Cultured butter has TWO distinct meanings: one is the European sense of CULTURED BUTTER, where milk or cream is acted upon by PSYCHROPHILIC [cold-loving] microbes preferring low-temperatures, < 50F.

The second is the Indian sense of the word, referring to butter churned from Yoghurt, the latter produced by THERMOPHILIC [heat-loving] microbes thriving around 111-114F.


It will take 14-16 kg milk [ NON-homogenized, 3.5-5% fat] to make 1 kg cultured butter, 82% fat. The simplest way to make Indian style cultured butter is to buy cream-on-top yoghurt like Brown Cow, 32 oz costs $3.50 and extract the cream on top by skimming. Keep collecting the "skins" and let them ferment a tiny bit before churning with iced sal water. Do the math and the costs are prohibitive.


European cultured butter may be produced from high quality organic cream e.g. Jersey Cream that is innoculated with the appropriate cultures and incubated at the appropriate temperatures. A small butter churn or Oster type blender filled with ice +water + sea salt may be used to churn the cultured cream to cultured butter. A simpler and cheaper solution may be to purchase a packet of KERRY GOLD BUTTER, $4/8 oz when the mood to enjoy a nice butter strikes.

#3 phodni

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 08:20 PM

European cultured butter may be produced from high quality organic cream e.g. Jersey Cream that is innoculated with the appropriate cultures and incubated at the appropriate temperatures. A small butter churn or Oster type blender filled with ice +water + sea salt may be used to churn the cultured cream to cultured butter. A simpler and cheaper solution may be to purchase a packet of KERRY GOLD BUTTER, $4/8 oz when the mood to enjoy a nice butter strikes.
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Thx GD -

What about inoculating organic cream with yogurt containing cultures and allowing that to ferment and then churn to produce butter. I understand that the end product would be cultured butter (European) but the other question is that by clarifying this butter will one end up with "desi" ghee and not just ghee? Or does desi ghee necessarily have to be from cream on top yogurt and then churned? I have read the Ghee thread but not sure that I have the answer. Thx much in advance.

#4 Gautam

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 03:15 AM

You saw the differentiation being made on the basis of 2 distinct poles of temperature, one created by organisms obligately thriving below 50F, the other by those obligately thriving above 111F. Microorganisms are very temperature specific in their ecological/physiological requirements. If you innoculate cream with a yooghurt culure and aloow it to ferment at a temperature you do not specify, presumably room temperature, which is neither appropriate for the PSYCHROPHILIC nor the THERMOPHILIC microbes, all you will succeed is create an environment for random wild yeast and bacteria that will have entered your non-aseptic cream via routine handling.

You will find a slimy product developing, similar to a swiss style yoogurt with kefiran type polysaccharides. Their will be many off-odos and bitter tastes because wild yeasts and an array of bacteria will be creating colonies. In a thermophilic situation coccus types of bacteria are favored at the higher temperatures of 114F, and they have specific cell wall components and physiolgical metabolites like diacetly compounds that give you the typical buttery flavors. Those will not be present; rather, fecal smells and bitter will emerge and greenish-blue colonies of a large number of competing bacterial species. That is why we use kefir grains, filmjolk etc. to outcompete these mesophilic critters.

The higher and lower ends also are specifically innoculated with their own cultures to outcompete disagreeable microbes. You can always try the experiments yourself and see. Lactic microbial cultures also experience rapid mutation & degenration owing to bacteriophage, transposons and other viral activities on the bacterial genomes. Much scientific effort is expended on maintaining the integrity of bacterial cultures used for industrial airy processes.

1. To make reasonable desi ghee, you can make cultured butter from cream innoculated with PSYCROPHILIC or LOW TEMPERATURE microbes, convert that into butter, and mature it, then very carefully bake that in an oven.

2. Boil/scald whole unhomogenized milk, cool, remove the "skin" [ fat/kappa proteins] and lightly ferment at 40F with cultures or few days as more skins are collected. Then gently bake, last adding a few sprigs of green leaves of lime. Strain and store. This is another type of ghee, less granular, less complex in taste than desi ghee.

3. Scald whole unhoogenized high fat milk, cool to 116-114F, add yoghurt culture, incubate, churn top layer, bake butter to pure ghee.

#5 Veena

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 01:49 AM

I am in the middle of a long experiment to replicate my mother's ghee-making process
(see here and here). Have been collecting the cream that forms when I boil milk everyday
for our morning coffee. This brand of milk, and I use the 1% lowfat, yields surprisingly
generous amounts of cream. I am collecting it in the freezer, and once I have enough,
I will add yogurt (need to determine a suitable brand as I do not have homemade dahi here),
ferment it overnight, then churn it for the butter. Will report the results here when I am done.

Veena

#6 phodni

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 04:13 AM

Are these ppl doing it wrong?

http://www.positron.org/food/butter/
http://www.travelers...me-culture.html
http://www.playingwi...red-butter.html

Seems to be a standard process. GD, would love to hear your thoughts...
Veena - looking forward to the results of your experiments

#7 Gautam

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 07:47 PM

"The idea here is not to make a strongly cheesy butter, but a complex and delicious product which will churn easily and give a high butter yield. To this end, use a blend of mesophilic lactic cultures like the standards s.lactis and s.cremoris, with l.b.diaetylactis and m.s.cremoris if you want to go a bit further. I find the 'creme fraiche' direct culture pack from cheesemaking.com does a very nice job. I've also used their 'Buttermilk' and 'Mesophilic' packets with good results. I think I slightly prefer the creme fraiche and buttermilk blends.""

http://www.positron.org/food/butter/

Note the terms MESOPHILIC & CREME FRAICHE with respect to the culture, as also the " diacetyl" that I have repeatedly emphasized upthread & elsewhere, produce by the Streptococcus diacetylactic, cremoris etc. Coccus bacteria of these types [good guys] generally are adapted to a thermophilic ecology to eliminate the virulent ecotypes. You can appreciate the logic behind this evolutionary food safety factor when you consder that yoghurt is generally safe to consume in an environment such as India where typhoid, cholera, and many dangerous microbes abound.

Mesophilic means midtemperature, i.e. between 50-111 F, the sweet spot or danger zone that is loved by lots of microbes in addition to those that are specialists for milk digestion. This means that these milk specialists now are in full competition with tons of their microbial cousins who may have other tricks for outcompeting them in the lactic medium, including toxins, that are harmful to us.

That further implies a level of hygiene and care when working with mesophilic cultures & conditions. As I also have mentioned earlier, and you must carefully read my posts so as NOT TO MISS MY PRECISE NOTES, mesophilic cultures such as filmjolk, kefir grains etc. [get from GEM cultures] tend to produce polysccharides apparent as mucilaginous materials such as kefirans that reduce the churning efficiency or butter recovery efficiency compared to thermophilic or psychrophilic cultures.

So, no these people are NOT WRONG. BUT, when you try to churn creme fraice to butter, or Swiss Style yoghurt to butter, compared to Orthodox Cultured Cream to Butter or Orthodox Yoghurt to Butter, the RECOVERY PERCENTAGES & EFFORT CERTAINLY VARIES.

The traditional Indians were past masters at butter and yoghurt crafts. They did, and do, distinguish various types of butter because these serve various needs for worship & ritual. One is sweet cream butter, termed ANAYAASA, meaning LESS EFFORT. In contrast to this, is the NAVANEETA, that which is churned from the set yoghurt. This tells you the quantum of effort & bandobast required. The former, Anayaasa, is offered with rock candy and green coconut water as Sheetala Bhog, which is a type of intermediary food offering just before LUNCH, or just after noon siesta, to the Deity, as a cooling refreshment to tide them over untilthe next substantial meal! 5 meals are offered during the day, 2 of which are these refreshing snacks, mainly sherbet types, once between breakfast & lunch, the second between lunch & dinner. The Anayaasa is offered both times, being a LIGHTER, easily digested form of butter [supposedly, not being fermented etc.!!!!!]. Rock Candy or Mishri [purely a Bengal invention in spite of its name] is another hyper-refined re-crystallized sugar purged of all dust & impurities.

You may experiment with the various temperature profiles and arrive at your own conclusions. All are fun projects but all quite demanding of your time, patience and pocketbook. Unless you are greatly seized by a desire to create your own butter/ghee, CABOT (Vermont) cultured butter, $14/lb, or KERRY GOLD UNSALTED (Ireland) $8/lb are most worthy of attention.

#8 ravum

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 02:06 PM

Gautam,

Your post on cultured butter and ghee on eg is what hooked me on to making butter and ghee.
didnt know about the difference between european cultured butter and ours - the cultured butter in france tasted different from the one i make at home, i attributed that to the milk itself, didnt know it is not so simple

The modus operandi is to collect and refrigerate cream from milk and dahi. When ready to churn into butter, set the cream at room temperature for 24 hrs.

The butter is churned in minutes, washed with water 3 to 4 times till the water runs clear.

buttermilk to drink and butter to turn into ghee.

have noticed that the ghee is more fragrant and tastier the longer the cream mix is left to ferment.
used to just let it ferment for 8 hrs before and it wasnt as good as this.