I have had many folks ask me how I make my lovely goat cheese. I do not use all those fancy additives, equipment, or anything outside of the ordinary kitchen utensils. I have a very simple recipe that creates a white goat cheese that can be pressed to make a harder cheese that will slice when cold but not as well as a store hard cheese. It can be mixed with cream cheese to make a lovely spread. It can have some of the whey left in to create a softer cheese that will not harden or crumble as easily. Or you can drain all the whey off, cool and let the cheese harden and crumble. Each is just a slight adjustment with nothing fancy required depending on your desired end use of the cheese.
1 gallon of goat milk (I use raw, some like to pasteurize)
1/2-1 cup of white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
herbs to taste
Bring the goat milk slowly to a just starting to roll boil, add in the 1/2-1 cup (you can use less vinegar but I like to use 1 cup for 1 gallon) of vinegar and stir. Turn off the heat as you are stirring the vinegar in and you will see the curds and whey start to separate almost immediately. You must stir as the milk heats up and while separating the curds and whey or the milk can burn and stick to the bottom of the pan. This will affect your cheese taste. The curds will be very small and if you let it set on the stove off the heat for a couple of minutes I have found the curds will start to drop to the bottom with the whey separating more to the top. I use a very finely wire mesh strainer and pour off as much of the whey through the strainer into a bucket or pan as possible without getting much of the curds in. This I do to start with so that the curds don’t get trapped in the mesh immediately and slow down the draining. Once I get most of the whey poured off, I start to pour some of the whey and curds mixture left into the strainer and let the whey continue to drain off. I have a clean dry tub or bowl ready and put the curds that the whey has drained off into the bowl. I continue to do this with new portions until all the whey has been separated and I have just curds left. Then I salt and pepper it to taste. I generally need more salt and pepper than most folks would expect but it is specific to your tastes as well as what you plan on using the cheese for.
Plain: I just use a small amount of salt and pepper and then cool
Rosemary: I use salt and pepper and dried crushed rosemary
Garlic Chive: I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, and fresh chives chopped very fine from garden
Holiday: Substitute apple cider vinegar for the white wine vinegar to give a sweeter taste, add some agave or brown sugar, than spice with salt, cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg. chop some raisins or currants very fine and add. Chop any nuts of your choice finely and add.
Be brave and try spicing it with various things. Add a packet of cream cheese to the mixture while still warm and mix to give an added smooth texture for spreading. cool in the fridge and enjoy.
Don’t forget, your chickens will love you if you give that whey to them for breakfast the next day!