September 23, 2009

How To Make Goat Cheese

When Nellie lost her baby we decided to go ahead and milk her to see if we liked goat milk, goat cheese, etc. and if it was worth the time and effort of all that was involved.

We've been milking Nellie for a couple of weeks now and plan to continue. We are getting 2 quarts a day, not bad for a pygmy. My husband, who is very lactose intolerant can once again drink milk! We pasteurize it before drinking, some people don't but we prefer to.

Besides drinking the milk, we've also been making cheese and it's delicious! We had only made cheese seasoned with kosher salt and pepper before today so I decided to venture out a bit and add some basil. I am hoping I like it since I just used 2 quarts of milk to make it.

After doing some internet research, here is the method we use. It's really easy and can be made with bought goats milk if you do not have access to fresh goat's milk.

Get your ingredients together.
1/2 gallon goat's milk
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (lemon juice will work just as well)
Kosher salt
Any other herbs you prefer

Measure out your ingredients so you have them ready.

Set your colander with cheese cloth over a large bowl to catch your whey when straining the cheese curds. I use 2 layers of cheese cloth at a time.

Put your goat milk on the stove over med/high heat in a large pot. Make sure to stir continuously so the milk does not stick in the bottom of the pan. This gives the cheese a scorched taste.

Stir until the milk begins to boil. Keep stirring so it doesn't froth up and spill over. Let it boil for a few seconds, turn heat off, remove from burner and slowly add vinegar while stirring. Within a few seconds you will see this...

This is the separation of whey and curds. Continue stirring for about 30 seconds and then pour into your strainer. There's your cheese!

and what you have left in the bowl underneath is the whey. I have been discarding this but recently read that it can be used in sourdough bread starter and other recipes. I'll have to look into this a bit more!

Twist the top of your cheese cloth tightly to squeeze out the remaining whey. I like to press the bag against the side of my colander with a large spoon to help squeeze out the leftover whey. If you like a dry cheese you can hang the cheesecloth this way and let it drip overnight. You will have a drier, more crumbly cheese like feta or Parmesan.

Pour your curds into a bowl and add your seasonings. I am in love with just the salt and pepper version, I am hoping I like the basil too!

Mix your cheese well and press into a mold or bowl. I am using these small, cheap loaf pans to press mine into.

Store your cheese in the refrigerator for at least 2 days before tasting. Letting it sit out and reach room temp right before serving will bring out the most flavor but I prefer mine cold.

Go get some goats milk and try it! There are lots of recipes online that use goat's cheese. I'm excited about trying a few of them.

Next goat adventure....I might try making soap!


Stone Bridge Farm said...

Very cool! We bought Nubians this year and we plan to breed this November or December. I am wanting to make cheese and soap as soon as I can.

Does this make a crumbly cheese...or does it form a solid?

Marissa said...

Looks good! We visit a local fair here in Maine every year (and every year I try to buy, steal, or sneak home a goat. I am, as yet, unsuccessful.) Every year we buy goat cheese, fudge, and soap. And every year, I tell hubby, ' see, I could be making this all the time!'. He is, as yet, unmoved.
Still trying!!

Sunny said...

We raised dairy goats for many years (Saanens mostly)and have made similar cheese as well as other semi-hard cheeses. My favorite additions are chives and garlic powder. It is fantastic!One of my fave books is "Goats Produce Too, II" by Mary Jane Toth. Wonderful recipes!

Sunny said...

PS I miss my goats and all the wonderful stuff you can make with their milk :/

Callie said...

Great photos and instructions. Wish I had seen this when I had my goats.

Elle Bee said...

Oh wow! That is so cool! Wish I had some goats (or cows) so I could make fresh cheese.

Glenda said...

Sure wish i could taste this. Don't just toss the whey, your chickens will love it and it's good for them too!

Anonymous said...

awesome detail

Jamie Allen said...

you need to check out Crystal has a lot of different uses for her whey. she even makes homemade saurkrout and fermented salsa. tons of great recipes on her site.

Carol-Anne said...

I've made soap with goat's milk. It was really nice soap but very stinky when making it. I should see if I still have the recipe and post it on my blog. I love using goat cheese in my spinach salad which I have almost every day.

April-j said...

I have a pygmy goat who lost her babies on Jan 4th. I've been milking her twice per day. How long did it take to get to 2 quarts per day?

KentuckyFarmGirl said...

April, I'm sorry you lost your babies. It took about a week to get her supply up. She's a good sized pygmy so that might make a difference. I was also feeding her good grain, good alfalfa hay and making sure to completely milk her out each time.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

I have been searching for instructions on how to make goat cheese and yours are great. You have pics and everything. Hubby was raised on it and we are about to get our goat for the home. She will already be producing. Our goat is a very large goat, I am thinking nubian, and produces a gallon a day. So we need lots of ideas for her milk. We love cheese and we have chickens for the whey.

KentuckyFarmGirl said...

Theresa, we just got a new doe this morning and she's producing almost a gallon a day according to her previous owners. We'll have to get together and find even more uses for the milk!

I have made cheese and yogurt before and I have a book on making soap that I've been reading from front to back and again!

I'll be doing a blog post about her tomorrow. She's still getting settled in today.

Okay about the chickens for the whey?? Is it good for them? I need more info!

Joanna said...

Hi I was just looking up instructions for making cheese from the goat's milk. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am just starting my goat farm and had no idea making cheese was this simple! I am even more excited about my goat adventure (as if that was even possible)!! Thank you!

Launi said...

Oh, my goodness. You are positively inspiring me to make cheese. I've always wanted to and now--ooooh, I think you're making me brave. Thanks-thanks.
Now then...where to buy a goat...


Hilary said...

Thank you for posting. I followed your directions and it turned out I just have to wait two days to try it. I am very excited.

Anonymous said...

thanks for your good page.
merry Christmas.
god bless you and your family

LL said...

In my family we use the leftover whey as a natural after shower moisturizer (in the shower itself). It makes your skin so soft and smooth.

We sometimes use it instead of water for making bread doughs, pasta sauces.

Anonymous said...

Just made this and am SO excited!!! I tried your salt and pepper version (haven't tasted it yet) but also wish I had broken it into smaller servings with a variety of flavourings. Sometimes the sweet ones are really good (like honey and fig). Anyways. Thanks!!

Jennifer said...

I was lookin through the blogs I follow to see who would have some goat cheese recipes (& other stuff) & new you would :) I've got about 7 quarts in the fridge... need to make some cheese today.

Anonymous said...

there are recipes for goats milk ice cream and its sheeps milk ice cream its real smooth and thick. I do mine plain on toast with beets from garden and salad. good morning breakfast..

Anonymous said...

Will this work with pasteurized goat's milk, too? Thanks!

De Ingbretson said...

I made this a few days ago, my son and I just tasted it, it was great. I did add some different spices to it. It is a firm cheese with lots of flavor. This is the first time making cheese ever not bad at all very easy to make and your instructions and photos are great. I did not have cheese cloth so used a new(hand washed) knee high nylon to strain the cheese. If you have a recipe for a soft goats cheese consistency like cream cheese would love to try that. I buy one at the local farmers market but very costly. Thanks for shareing


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