All this time I’ve spent trying to perfect mozzarella (which turns out about 50% of the time) and I’d never tried the much easier goat cheese!! I bought 1 QT of pasteurized goat milk at Trader Joe’s and finally decided to try making Chevre. Turns out it’s dead easy.
I put a stainless steel saucepan inside a larger pot (resting on a few rocks) filled with water and warmed the milk to 86 F. I had ordered ‘Chevre starter packs’ from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company (no, there is no closer source!). These include malto dextrin, mixed culture, and rennett. I subdivided the package into 4 since I was making 1/4 gallon and sprinkled in the powdered mixture at 86F. I mixed the milk well with a spoon then covered the pot.
The recipe now calls for leaving the milk at room temperature (not less than 72F) for 12-16 hours. My house not being this warm even during the day, I decided to try the simple wool box approach I’d read about in H.C. Flores’ Food Not Lawns. Well, I didn’t have a box, so I wrapped the pots in my grandma’s wool shawl, covered the whole thing with a towel, and went to bed.
Today after ~15h I checked the milk to see if the curd had formed. I tilted the pot a bit so the whey moved aside and revealed a nice curd that pulled away from the pot edge and gave a bit under my finger. Cool.
I cut the curds into 1″ columns then gently poured the whole thing into a colander lined with butter muslin. The butter muslin might have been overkill – cheese cloth may have sufficed. I wrapped the muslin around the handle of a wooden spoon so the curds hung and the whey dripped. After 6 hours I checked again and, drip-free, I had chevre! I put the cheese into a glass container and into the fridge. It even smells like goat cheese!!