Tips for Goat Cheese Making at Home

Goat cheese making is easy, and the rewards are great. If you can get milk at a discount, you can save yourself some money by making your own cheese. Plus, you know what is in the cheese, and you don't have to worry about hidden preservatives or chemicals.

Goat cheese (or chèvre, which is French for "goat") is spreadable, making it popular for cheese and crackers or other hors d'oeuvres. It also has the tart flavor of goat's milk. Some say that it is an acquired taste, but, if you were raised on goat's milk, you will love chèvre. If you happen to own milk-producing goats, goat cheese making is even easier.

Another benefit of goat cheese is that goat's milk is leaner than cow's milk; therefore, the goat cheese is also leaner. This is a great cheese to use when dieting and trying to stay away from fatty cheeses.

Goat cheese can be made at different temperatures. For larger curds, heat the goat's milk to a higher temperature (195 to 198 degrees Fahrenheit). For best results, use raw goat's milk in this recipe.

Homemade Goat Cheese Recipe

Ingredients You Will Need:
1 gallon raw goat's milk
Juice of 4 medium lemons
Salt

Cheese Making Supplies:
Cooking thermometer
Cheesecloth
Colander
Stainless steel pot
Or, a cheese making kit

Heat the milk on medium heat in the stainless steel pot. Do not use aluminum. Heat the milk to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. For larger curds, heat to 195 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the milk from the heat, and stir in the lemon juice. Stir until milk curdles. Add 1 tablespoon salt (kosher salt works best, but any salt will do).

Pour the milk mixture through a cheesecloth-lined colander. Wrap the curds in the cheesecloth, and let them drain into the colander for six to eight hours: The longer it drains, the drier the curds will be. Experiment with this process until you get the texture you want. Put the curds in a bowl, and stir them up. Form into a log or roll. The goat cheese is ready to serve.

For a nice dill cheese, add ½ cup chopped fresh dillweed 5 minutes before removing the milk from the heat.

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