To make fresh goat cheese, start with goat milk which can be bought from the store. Then, after warming the milk, add a cheese culture and mix in rennet. Rennet is what causes the curds to form and separate from the whey. In this recipe, it takes 12 hours for the curd to form a clean break. You can strain the curd into molds to drain or you can put it into a bag of cheesecloth and hang it over the sink.
This cheese is not aged, although it sits out to dry for 48 hours. Chevre has a nice fresh taste and a soft, spreadable texture. You can mix in herbs or simply sprinkle them on the outside of the cheese.
You’ll need some specialized supplies for cheesemaking, which you can find easily online. A local brewery supply store in my area carries cheesemaking equipment as well as the essential ingredients including the cultures and rennet. Rennet in liquid form seems to be preferred to rennet tablets and vegetarian rennet is preferred to animal rennet (from a lamb’s stomach).
Step #1: Next
- Organize all the supplies.
Step #2: Next
- Pour the goat milk into a pot sitting in a sink of hot water.
- Alternatively, you can heat the milk on the stove if you watch it closely.
- Raise the temperature of the milk gradually to 86 degrees F.
Step #3: Next
- Add 1/8 tsp of M4001 culture on the surface of the milk and stir gently.
- Let sit for three minutes.
Step #4: Next
- Dissolve 1/8 teaspoon calcium chloride in a tablespoon of water.
- Add to milk and stir.
Step #5: Next
- Dissolve 1/8 tsp rennet in water.
- Add to milk and stir.
- Cover pan.
- Let stand at room temperature (around 72 degrees F.) for about 12 hours.
Step #6: Next
- The curd will have separated from the whey.
- Ladle the curds into molds on a draining rack with a catch basin.
Step #7: Next
- The curds can be poured into small individual molds, a larger mold or into a cheesecloth bag.
- Drain for 12 hours, pouring off the whey as it collects.
- The curds should continue to drain for an additional 12 hours.
- The volume of curds will decrease by at least one-half.
- Unmold the cheese, which will still be wet but now forms into a shape.
- If using a larger mold or cheesecloth, you can place the cheese in a glass bowl and blend it together with a fork.
- Lightly sprinkle salt on all sides.
- Allow to dry on a cheese mat or rack for another 24 hours.
- Then refrigerate.