Been milking my goats for five years now and I always appreciate all the help on the internet.. with goat care, kidding, milking, soap and cheese-making.. I felt like giving back too. Sharing what worked for me!
Today I made roasted garlic, and thyme chevre. I have lots of thyme in the garden and that is my absolute favorite herb with cheese. SOOO EASY!
At the beginning of the season I go online to www.cheesemaking.com and order a bunch of packets of Chevre culture and a pack of new butter muslin.
How I do it..
First collect a gallon of goat milk. My three goats (2 nubians and a nigerian dwarf) all gave birth in March, so right now they are at max production and I have a lot of "extra" milk.. meaning more than my family is drinking. I make sure my cheese milk is no older than 3 days.
1 gallon of fresh unpasteurized goat milk
2 Stainless soup pots
butter muslin cloth
cheap cheese cloth (optional)
candy thermometer or digital thermometer for liquid
salt, herbs, flavors of your choice
1. In a stainless steel soup pot, heat the milk to 86 degrees F. Use a thermometer.. I usually heat it to about 84 and turn off the heat and it rises up to 86. If it is hotter than 86..wait! If the temp is too hot it will kill the culture.
2. add culture by sprinkling it into the milk.. DONT STIR YET! let it sit for 2 whole minutes to dissolve.
3. Stir the culture using a stainless steel spoon. stir gently.
4. Cover the pot and let the milk sit at 72 degrees F for 11 hours. Some packages say 12 hours.. after several batches I got the timing perfect for great creamy cheese and 11 hours seemed to be good timing.
How do you keep the milk at 72 degrees? Here is what I do: Leave the pot on the back of the stove, put the lid on it and wrap a towel around the pot. If it is Summer and the inside of your house is over 70 degrees then put the pot on a dark counter area away from the stove or toaster or any heat source.
I don't check my temp during this resting period.. I just let it sit.
5. in another soup pot, place the collander in the pot (hopefully you have a collander that rests on the sides and doesn't sit on the bottom. If you don't, then just do this in the sink.
6. line the collander with the cheese cloth. I use a large piece of cheaper cheesecloth down first and then a smaller piece of butter muslin on top.. the cheese has to drain through the butter muslin, so you do not loose too much moisture.
7. pour the cheese into the collander to drain initial bulk of moisture.
8. Gather up the sides of the cheesecloth and pull them all together and tie a loose knot. Tie a second knot around your sink faucet or some other area where the cheese can hang to continue draining.
9. Let this cheese hang for 3 hours or until it reaches the desired creaminess. 3 hours is the sweet spot for our family.
10. Wash your hands and mix up your cheese! You can add anything you want to this creamy cheese. Today I made 1/2 with roasted garlic and salt.. the other 1/2 I used salt and fresh thyme from the garden.. Just mix in the flavors and keep tasting as you go until it tastes perfect. I then roll them into logs and store in container in the fridge with a tight lid.