Fresh chevre hanging to drain
Making cheese seems to be dominating my schedule these days. We usually stop milking our doe in Dec. or January when it's really cold out. Having some frozen milk and much frozen cheese helps ease the loss until she kids again later in the spring. What's hanging now is from 4 gallons of milk and won't lose enough liquid to make it smaller but it will make it drier. I put it into individual sandwich size baggies and freeze when it's the consistency I like I drilled a hole in the bottom of the top shelf on this cart and added an eye bolt for when I am draining cheeses.
For anyone thinking about getting a goat for milk, chevre is really easy to make and so much can be done with it. In addition to chevre plain or with flavoring it can also be used in making cream cheese icing, cheesecakes, as a substitue for sour cream (just add a little milk to it and mix) to name but a few. I use the recipe from "Goats Produce Too!"
5 Qts. whole goat milk
1/2 cup cultured buttermilk
2 tbsp dilutd rennet
dilution = 3 drops liquid rennet in 1/3 cup cool water
Warm milk to 80 degrees.
A good thermometer and rennet can be bought at Hoeggers
Stir in buttermilk and mix well. Add 2 tbsp diluted rennet mix. Stir well again. Cover and let set at room temperature for 8 - 12 hours. When the milk looks like thickened yogurt it's ready to drain.
I lable or pour the milk into a colander lined with cheesecloth set inside a larger bowl to catch the whey. I use these alligator clips to hold the cheesecloth in place when I'm first pouring. After I pour it through the colander I tie the corners together and hang it for a day usually.
Separate it into package sizes you want and freeze what your not going to use in the next week. I package unflavored.
Yield 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. 1 lb. of cheese = 2 cups.
I've had much better luck using cultured buttermilk from the store than with starters. I also reculture the buttermilk so I only have to buy on occasion.