I have two local sources for grass-fed raw cow's cream. One friend has a Guernsey cow, the other friends get Jersey milk from a local Real Food farmer. We don't drink cow's milk, but adore and devour butter (because we're doing GAPS, the gut healing protocol, we only consume our goat milk in the form of naturally fermented yogurt...I love the villi starter from Cultures for Health). I've been making raw butter with the cream for a while now, but it only occurred to me recently to compare my results with the two creams. What I found was interesting, so I thought I'd share.
If you read about the differences between the Guernsey and Jersey breeds, you will see that Jersey's are known for their slightly higher butterfat content. Guernsey milk, however, is higher in beta carotene, evidenced by its brighter golden color. To my palette, which is fairly sensitive, the milks/creams are nearly indistinguishable. I have read (see books below) that all unadulterated, grass-fed milks of cows, goats and sheep will taste pretty much the same (sweet and fresh, yum), and at this time, I concur. Our browse-fed goats' milk tastes just as sweet and creamy as the grass-fed Jersey and Guernsey milks.
[Side trail: The "goaty" flavor people say they don't like about goat milk products is the result of two things. First, keeping a buck on the premises near the milking does taints the milk through the pheromone/hormone activity. Second, goat's milk is naturally homogenized, making it oh-so-creamy, but when kept for more than a couple days, the fat will develop a "goaty" smell/flavor. So, don't keep bucks, and don't keep your goat milk for more than two days before consuming or turning it into yogurt. I have never had goaty milk; even after converting the milk into yogurt, it has not developed a goaty fragrance or taste.]
OK, back to butter. I have done this experiment twice, with very similar results. Drumroll, please......
I used the same amount of cream: 1/2 gallon. I only measured the buttermilk from the initial pour off; I didn't weigh any of the "washing" liquid that removed the rest of the buttermilk from the butter. See photos below for more details. When I made the Jersey cream into butter, I ended up with more butter and less buttermilk than with the G cream. The Guernsey cream produced less butter and more buttermilk than did the J cream. The Guernsey butter is slightly more yellow. I compared the final weights of the butters in bowls weighing the same and taring my scale. The final photo is a comparison of the butters to some Kerrygold pasteurized butter. The color variations are difficult to see in the photos, I apologize. I can assure you that the Guernsey was a bit more yellow, not a lot, and both Jersey and Guernsey butters out-yellowed the Kerrygold.
|Jersey butter and buttermilk|
|Jersey buttermilk at just over 20 oz.|
|Guernsey butter and buttermilk|
|Guernsey buttermilk at just over 24 oz.|
|Weighing Jersey butter: 14.3 oz.|
|Weighing Guernsey butter: 9.10 oz.|
|Color comparison. Top: Jersey, Left: Guernsey, Right: Kerrygold|
So, for what it's worth, there's my little raw butter comparison experiment. Of course, results will vary depending on your cream source and that cow's diet, the time of year, and other factors of which I'm probably ignorant, LOL. In the end, I love all grass-fed raw butter and am thankful for the cream with which I make it. I like testing out my own questions, like, "Does Jersey cream really give more butter than other breeds?" In my analysis, the answer is yes. Perfect "science?" Probably not. Do I care? No. Was it fun? Absolutely! I was able to question and compare, and we enjoyed eating the test subjects! Try for yourself if you can.
For more info on dairy breeds, butter making and homesteading, check out: