How to Make Homemade Goats' Milk Cheeses
Home cheese making is a great way to have a quality product for less money. It makes a great hobby as well. If you have dairy goats it only makes sense to use up all that excess milk that occurs in the spring and early summer by making cheese. After all, how much ice cream can you eat?
Stay away from chlorinated water (anything out of a tap!). Also stay away from ultra pasteurized milk when you are working with store bought milk of any sort. These things will have an effect the end result and it will not necessarily be good. Follow the directions carefully; reading them through before you start to make sure you understand them.
A note about store bought goats' milk. It is usually awful. Try to find someone who is raising goats locally and buy it fresh. You will be much happier with the end product.
If you are interested in seeing how the milking process works on our little farm then you might like A Typical Morning on the Homestead.
Goats' Milk Feta Cheese
- 1 gallon fresh goat's milk
- 1 Tbl fresh yogurt
- ½ tablet rennet; dissolved in 1/4 cup water
- 1 gallon pot with lid
- 1 long bladed knife
- cheesecloth strainer
- cheese mold
Warm the milk to 80F while stirring. Make sure the bottom does not scorch. Blend in the yogurt and allow the mixture to stand for one hour.
After an hour dissolve the rennet in the water, or use liquid rennet according to directions. Stir into the milk mixture. Allow to stand at room temperature overnight.
The next morning the milk should look solid. Gently cut through the curds with the long knife, making ½ cubes. Stir gently and set aside for twenty minutes.
Put the cheesecloth lined colander over a large bowl and drain the curds and whey into it. Reserve the whey that drains into the bowl. Allow to drain over the sink for two hours.
Spoon into a bowl and add salt, stirring in thoroughly and gently. Break up the curds. Press the cheese firmly into a cheesecloth lined mold. Place a weight over top refrigerate for 24 hours before the next step.
Prepare pickling brine 20 oz of the reserved whey plus 5 Tbl salt. Stir to dissolve.
Cut cheese into one and a half inch cubes, place into wide-mouth jar. Pour the brine over it. Make sure the cheese is completely covered.
Allow to stand in the refrigerator for at least three days.
Rinse the excess salt out before using.
Goats' Milk Ricotta
- 1 gallon goat's milk
- ¼ cup organic apple cider vinegar
- ¼ c organic, unsalted, melted butter
- ½ tsp baking soda
Heat the milk to 195F. Do not allow to boil.
Stir in the vinegar slowly. There should be a separation of the curds and the whey. As soon as there is a clear separation of the whey from the cheese curds stop adding vinegar. If they do not separate at all then increase the temperature of the milk to 205F.
Using a slotted spoon gently ladle the curds into a colander lined with cheesecloth. Allow to drain for a minute or two and then place in a bowl.
Gently stir in the melted butter and baking soda. Mix very well. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Yield: two pounds ricotta cheese
- 1 gallon pasteurized goats' milk
- 1 packet direct set chevre starter.
Heat the milk to 86F. Allow to set covered at room temperature of at least 72 degrees for twelve hours.
Line a colander with cheesecloth. Ladle the curds into the colander.
Tie the corners of the cloth in a knot and suspend over the sink to allow it to drain for twelve hours. The room temperature should not fall below 72 degrees.
Place in a cheesecloth lined mold to shape.
Store covered in the refrigerator.
Variations: Shape finished cheese into a log and roll in cracked black peppercorn
How to Pasteurize Milk at Home
Place into a double boiler and heat to 145F while stirring. Hold the milk at 145F for thirty minutes exactly. Remove the pot form the hot water and plunge the whole pot into ice water. Stir the milk constantly until it reaches 40F. Store in the refrigerator.
Making cheese at home is a great hobby. Once you know the basics you can make many types and variations of cheese for your own use at a fraction of the cost of store bought.
© 2008 Marye Audet