Saturday, April 4, 2009

Making goat cheese and instructions/recipe

In the spring and early summer we normally have surplus goat milk. Fudge, soap and yogurt are some ways to use the extra milk. Making cheese is fun to make and it uses a lot of milk. A gallon of milk weighs about 8 pounds and will make about 8 oz. of cheese.

Here we are making mozzarella cheese. The milk is first warmed up to around 85 degrees. In order to make curds, and then cheese, the milk needs to become acidic. This can be achieved by bacteria such as yogurt bacteria (ACIDopholus) or using buttermilk bacteria. Mozzarella is not strong flavored cheese and can be made another way, by adding citric acid powder.
The cheese we are making uses citric acid. The citric acid is not an unusual ingredient to find in foods, the diet coke I'm drinking now contains citric acid.

After the milk is warmed up the citric acid and rennet are added. The rennet can be from a vegetable source or from immature bovine stomach (the traditional way). Rennet causes the milk to separate into the curds and the whey.

One half hour after adding the rennet and citric acid powder there is a large piece of white curd in a pot of mostly clear greenish fluid whey. The curd is cut into cubes with a long knife and heated to between 110 and 120 degrees which further separates the curds and whey.
The curds are strained from the whey.

The curd is salted and heated to 180 degrees (in the microwave or in the heated whey), while hot it is stretched to make it elastic like mozzarella should be. The whey can be heated for more time and a thin curd is produced that become ricotta cheese.

This cheese heated longer than we intended as we were working outside and its consistency is similar to mozzarella and ricotta cheese. The finished product was pressed into an old yogurt container and placed in the fridge.


jugglingpaynes said...

That is really neat! There are a lot of mozzarella lovers in this house. I didn't realize ricotta came from the same place.

How do you stretch the mozzarella? By hand? Is it like stretching taffy?

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing it!

Peace and Laughter,

~*~The Family~*~ said...

You can stretch the cheese with a smooth spoon and a slotted spoon and stretch it like taffy. I haven't had a lot of luck with this but it is good even if it is not stretched.

April said...

We need to try this. It looks yummy and fun.