One reason that I haven't bothered with it is because our last source for raw milk did not have a lot of cream on it and I wanted all of that fat in the milk for the kids. Well, we changed sources at the end of summer and I noticed that the amount of milk we were going through went way down. We had been going through 2-3 gallons a week and now we weren't even going through a gallon per week. At first I thought maybe it was just the heat but then I realized that they were turning down the milk when I offered. I asked my kids what the problem was and they said it tasted funny. I knew the milk was fine though I can say that I couldn't make a statement on the taste because I don't drink milk. I have never cared for the taste...milk is for coffee, kefir, yogurt, and cheese...in my humble opinion. I have never had an urge to drink a large glass of milk...even as a kid. The only way my parents got milk into me was when it was pink from Nestle Quick. I even have a plastic bunny cup to prove it. It makes my stomach turn to even think about drinking that stuff now. YUCK!
Anyway, I pushed to see what it was that tasted funny and my oldest said, "It is just so thick!" I took notice to the jars and she was right, there is a lot of cream on there!
The first attempt also did not get us through the week but I don't want to pull all of the cream off of my milk so I decided to add a pint of organic cream from the store. It is hard enough in this state to find raw milk...raw cream is almost impossible! At our last source I was able to occasionally ask for it but that quart of cream cost more than an entire gallon of raw milk. OUCH! So for me skimming half the cream off of my milk and mixing it with a pint of organic store bought cream is making us almost a pound of butter each week that costs less than the local butter I was buying. Also, I personally think it tastes better too but maybe I am biased.
My method for butter making...I pull a pint of cream from my milk and allow it to culture at room temperature for about 24 hours. I remove the kefir grains and move the cultured cream to the fridge for a few hours to slow down the culturing. I pour the raw cultured cream and the store bought cream into the bowl of my KitchenAid and begin to whip it until the solids separate. Here are the instructions that I followed for making butter in a stand mixer and I can attest to the silky smooth hands that she mentions that come from using your hands to remove the buttermilk.
Such a little thing, I know...but part of me wants to stand on my front porch and shout, "I am making my own butter!!!"