If this helps anyone in the future...or just for reading pleasure My Butter Notes:
I made this with my Parm on 1/2/11. I pulled the cream off the top of 3 1/2 gallons of store-bought milk. I'm not sure how much cream I got but I think close to half a gallon (one of the biggest glass mugs we have - 40oz?). I let it sit at room temp in the kitchen aid bowl (which is aluminum and I was worried that might affect things) for 3-4 hours. Then I let it whip. It took about 40 minutes for the butter to break. It filled one little glass dish full. I very lightly salted this butter and it was AMAZING.
I put the butter in the fridge but it was rock hard and almost unusable. It was way harder than store bought butter. However, out on the counter it was quite spreadable.
I made this butter with cream skimmed off the top of the milk I got from our local farmer. I was super excited about this as I expected better results than with the store bought milk. I think I tried to do about 3 quarts this time...I didn't measure. I only let it sit out an hour and then got impatient so I warmed the milk to 68 degrees in a water bath and then turned on the mixer. It ran for almost 2 hours and the butter never broke.
I was so depressed! It tried to whip like cream but it never did anything special. I put the liquid into the fridge and let it sit until the next night. Then I pulled it out of the fridge and it was super obvious that I had put a TON of milk in with my cream. I pulled off the whipped cream and pulled out the liquid cream that was still in my container and left the milk. It still took about 30 min but butter was made and it was super. It filled one little glass dish again...about the exact same yield as the first attempt. I salted this butter as well but slipped and I think it was over-salted. I ended up eating a little and baking with the rest which was perfect and the apple crisp turned out amazing.
Butter #3 : 1/15/11
I cultured 3 quarts of cream with just over 1/8 a tsp of Flora Danica. I left it at 90 degrees for 12 hours. It developed quite the skin of milk over the to because I was providing heat with a heater on low and I think that dried it out. Maybe cheesecloth over the top would be better? I'm not sure if covering it is OK or if the culture needs to breathe. I then put all 3 quarts in the kitchen aid but found it was splashing like crazy. I tried to make it work for about 5 min and then gave up and poured half of the liquid into another bowl. Then I put the kitchen aid on speed 8 and within 5-7 minutes I had butter! I've never had it happen so fast. The cream never whipped, it just broke. The butter was like ricotta and I was worried that it wouldn't solidify nicely. I did the other half of the cream and it also broke in about 5 minutes. Then I washed the butter by hand and it came together quite nicely. I did weigh this batch and I had just over 12 ounces of butter...probably 14 ounces out of my 3 quarts. This is my first time weighing it so I'm not sure how this compares. However, I filled one of the little glass dishes (that I used the first time) and filled our other butter container about half full. So I think I got double the yield? But I'm not sure as I didn't measure well in the first two batches.
This butter had a VERY pleasant smell. I'm not sure I detect much of a taste difference though other than it might seem more whipped and creamier. I didn't salt this batch and I think I like it with just a tiny bit of salt.
I put this butter in the fridge and it hardened to about what store-bought butter would. Out on the counter its soft and usable.