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Dec 18, 2011 08:44 AM

Why did my homemade butter come out light blue?

As an experiment, I made butter, from heavy cream, by hand. (Slight period of mental illness.) It turned out a very pale blue, not yellow.

Anyone have any ideas why? Or ever read of this? It tastes and performs OK.

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  1. Butter isn't yellow; it's closer to white than yellow. Some yellow in butter can be attributable to the type of feed used to nourish the cow; beta carotene I believe. But some butter with a deep yellow color is the result of a dye added to enhance it's marketability.

    2 Replies
    1. re: todao

      I was going to ask the same thing goodhealthgourmet asked - what kind of equipment did you use to make the butter?

      I make butter from time to time (no mental illness needed - but I guess I couldn't judge that on myself). I think you had something on your beaters or in your bowl that reacted with the butter turning it blue. I've had this happen with butter before. If I remember correctly I had melted butter with garlic and then let it re-solidify in the fridge and the butter around the garlic bits had turned blue. it isn't pretty but I think that was probably what happened with yours. I wonder if it was some aluminum reaction or something too.

      1. re: thimes

        I used a CLEAN bowl & whisk. The bowl is stamped "stainless steel" on the bottom. Not sure what the whisk was made of, but almost certainly not aluminum.

        I'm not sure now what kind of cream it was--maybe "ultra pasturized"?

    2. Shadows on white are often blue. Could it be this?

      9 Replies
      1. re: CanadaGirl

        No. I looked at in a variety of diff. situations. Definitely a slight bluish tinge.

        1. re: CanadaGirl

          CanadaGirl et al:

          I clarified the butter today, which is what I'd been planning to do all along. The fat phase was yellow, and the water phase was a sort of bluish-gray! I wish I knew what this was all about.

          1. re: Howard_2

            did you use metal beaters or a metal bowl?

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              See my reply above. CLEAN implements; stainless steel bowl.

              1. re: Howard_2

                yeah I hear you - not trying to imply that your kitchen is a pigsty - just trying to brainstorm potential culprits

                1. re: thimes

                  I realize that; no offense taken. And I appreciate your input. If I'd used, say, aluminum, then I'd wonder about that....

                2. re: Howard_2

                  cleanliness aside, there's a chance that the steel-on-steel action nicked some microscopic particles from the surface of the bowl...that would have been enough to cause a reaction. i tend to use a glass bowl when whipping/beating dairy products for that very reason.

              2. re: Howard_2

                I find skim milk a bit blue. But that wouldn't explain the blue heavy cream. It's quite the conundrum!!

                1. re: Howard_2

                  Hmmm that makes me think that added calcium might help cause the blue. Calcium, like sodium, is an alkali earth metal that will bond with practically anything.

                  E.g.: "Egyptian blue is chemically known as calcium copper silicate (CaCuSi4O10 or CaO·CuO·4SiO2)." wikipedia

              3. Never had that happen. I make butter from heavy cream every few weeks, but I do it in a blender.

                1. Traditionally the color of cream varies with the season, due to diet. But this would only be the case now with best quality, grass fed cattle which few people have access.

                  1. sorry I replied above to the wrong level - ooops

                    anyway found this too

                    "Garlic contains sulfur compounds which can react with copper to form copper sulfate, a blue or blue-green compound. The amount of copper needed for this reaction is very small and is frequently found in normal water supplies. Raw garlic contains an enzyme that if not inactivated by heating reacts with sulfur (in the garlic) and copper (from water or utensils) to form blue copper sulfate. "

                    Are you sure everything was clean or did you add anything to the butter?