1. Take fresh, filtered goats milk and pour into large, heavy pot.
2. Heat goats milk SLOWLY to about 190-200 degrees F (DO NOT STIR). May take about an hour.
3. Remove from heat. Pour regular, distilled vinegar into heated milk to make it curdle. (Use ½ cup vinegar per gallon of goats milk).
4. Stir well (if you think the goats milk has burned a little bit on the bottom, do not scrape spoon on bottom of pan).
5. Cover and let sit for a couple minutes, then strain out curds and put into colander to drain. Get as much liquid out as you can (liquid is the ‘whey’ as in whey protein, which it has a lot of).
6. There are two options available at this point to make two different type of cheese.
OPTION 1 - TO MAKE A CRUMBLY CHEESE TO SPRINKLY ON SALADS AND ENTREES:
7. Leave curds in colander and cover. Let sit undisturbed in a cool, dry place for 24 hours.
8. After 24 hours, remove curds from colander and chop into pea sized pieces.
9. Mix in seasoning of choice and sea salt thoroughly (4 tsp. salt per 2 ½ gal milk used)
10. Put seasoned cheese in freezer bags and label with date. Can store in freezer for several months, or in fridge up to 2 weeks.
OPTION 2 - TO MAKE LARGE CHEESE ROUND FOR SLICING:
7. Put hot curds in a bowl and mix in whatever seasonings you wish with a spoon.
8. Spoon warm, seasoned curds into CLEAN, OILED cheese press (so that it is easier for cheese to be removed from press when finished). Press curds down with hands to get it tightly packed, especially around the sides.
9. Put top on cheese press and tighten screw onto frame. Twist handle crank so that it squeezes out excess whey. Rinse press with water to wash away any excess whey.
10. Place cheese press into pan/dish so excess whey has a place to drain out.
11. Cover cheese press with clean cloth or tea towel and put in a cool, dry place for 24 hours.
12. Will need to twist handle crank on press several times so that you will squeeze as much whey out as you can.
13. After 24 hours, remove cheese from press.
14. Elevate cheese round on dish or wooden platform set on clean plate.
14. Cover cheese with lid (leaving a space so that air can circulate around cheese). Put in fridge for 1 week, turning cheese round over several times during the week.
14. Remove cheese from fridge after on week, cut, and package as needed. You can use freezer bags and store in freezer for several months, or in fridge for several weeks. If vacuum packed, cheese can last in fridge for several months until opened.
There are other coagulants other than vinegar that will curdle the cheese, such as rennet. If using rennet, the temperature that you will want to heat the goats milk to is 110 degrees. There are animal and vegetable rennets.
Invest in a good thermometer that can be stuck down into the pot while milk is being heated so you will get a more correct temperature (if you use a food thermometer that you stick in liquid near the top, you may not get a correct temperature). Having the correct temperature is very important for getting the cheese to curdle for the specific coagulant used.
Make sure you operation is CLEAN. If doing this at home, it isn’t necessary to sterilize everything (although it doesn’t hurt). Just make sure everything is washed well in hot, soapy water, and that your hands are kept clean throughout the process.
You can use plastic if necessary (bowls, spoons, colanders), but germs can hide in the small scrapes and cracks that plastic can sometimes get and you will be more prone to having problems. If using plastic is your only option, use bleach to sterilize first.
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