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Monday, November 16, 2009

Chevre

The cheesemaking continues. This was my first batch of chevre. It was remarkably easy and seemed very impressive. Mostly it required time and patience.

One of the harder parts was finding the milk. I finally located it at PCC. They even had local, raw goat milk. The only problem is that it's twenty dollars a gallon! I bought a half gallon for this first try and it made around eight ounces of cheese which was plenty. I had never been in contact with goat milk before. It was quite thick and almost had a very slight yellow cast to it. Lovely. I am going to look into visiting this dairy.

The packet of culture/rennet powder was for a gallon of milk, so I had to very carefully try to judge dividing it in half. This is what the milk looks like after gently heating it and adding the culture/rennet powder. At this point you let it sit, covered and undisturbed at 72 degrees for 12 hours.

After it has set up for around 12 hours, it is a single disk, floating on the surface of the whey. Mine was about an inch thick.

This is what the curd looks like when you are ready to drain it. It goes in a butter muslin (not cheesecloth!) lined colander, then you tie it up and hang it to drain. I discarded my whey.

The only mistake I made was draining it too long, so the texture was drier than I would have liked. They recommend draining it for 6-12 hours. I was closer to the 12 hour side and should have checked it at 6 as it was probably ready then. Ah, well...

At this point you want to blend in some cheese salt.  I then rolled a couple sides of my finished cheese in chives and black pepper then drizzled it with olive oil.


You can buy cheesemaking supplies here. It's so easy, give it a try.
I just finished reading Goat Song which was a lovely companion to my first goat cheese adventure. I highly recommend it.

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