Making Goat’s Milk Cheese

Over the past weekend Eliza and I helped take care of our friend Kirsten’s farm.  Part of the duties we had at hand was milking Kirsten’s three female goats.  The major upside of this is that we got to keep the milk.  All told we probably got about 2.5 to 3 gallons of free fresh goat milk over the course of three days.

I think that goat milk is tasty and happily drank some of it, but that still left a lot of milk that we wanted to use before it went bad.  What was the solution?  Make a simple goat cheese of course!

When I say simple I really mean simple, really almost anybody could do this.  First you need fresh goat’s milk (I suppose it doesn’t absolutely need to be fresh, but it is better that way.  It does have to be whole milk).  You bring the temperature up to heat.  Online it suggested a temp of 190° but according to Kirsten, the way she knows it is ready is when thin film has formed and a bit of steam is coming off.  Next you add some vinegar or lemon juice, approximately 2 teaspoons per half gallon of milk.  Stir it up and you should start to see curds forming.  Give it a few minutes with additional stirring, and then you are ready to separate the curds from the whey (note: there will be a lot of whey, this is normal.  Don’t expect to be dealing with a pot full of mostly curds).  Eliza and I simply placed a large nylon bag in a big stock pot and poured the curds and whey through it.  We then took the bag of curds and placed it in a strained that hung over the stock pot to let the remainder of the whey drain off.  The curds need to sit for at least an hour, but you can leave it for as long as two days if you want to (this will make a dryer more crumbly cheese).  Once you have decided that the cuds have drained enough whey you are essentially done; you have goat’s milk cheese!

Now I will say this, this finished cheese is pretty light on the flavor.  Not bland mind you, just not very complex.  It tastes like solid goat’s milk.  It is more or less, in flavor and texture, similar to ricotta cheese.  To add a bit more bang to it you may want to add some herbs and spices (pretty much whatever you desire).  You can also freeze the cheese if you feel like you have too much to consume in a reasonable amount of time.  It is good stuff, simple yet pleasing.  And it feels good to think that you have succeeded in making your own homemade cheese.

Here are some pictures.

Goat's milk

Bring the milk up to temperature

Curds and whey

After adding vinegar or lemon juice, curds and whey will begin to separate.

draining the curds

Let the curd drain in a cloth or bag (using a nylon bag here) for at least an hour. You can let it drain for up to two days if you would like to

Goat's milk cheese

The finished product has a similar flavor and texture to ricotta cheese. Try adding some herbs and spices to get additional flavor.

~ by Nathaniel on July 22, 2010.

3 Responses to “Making Goat’s Milk Cheese”

  1. I love the idea of making cheese, thanks for the post. If Kirsten ever wants to host a tour of her farm, I’d sign up! Any chance you could bring a cheese sample tomorrow nigtht?

    • Thanks. I’ll let you know if Kirsten is ever thinking of showing her farm. I think that bringing some cheese tomorrow will definitely be a possibility.

  2. […] goat cheese.  We used some of the leftover cheese that we made last week.  This leftover goat cheese had been flavored with herbs, lemon juice, and roasted […]

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