Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cheese, cheese and more cheese!

Since we began milking the goats last year, I have been making chevre pretty regularly. I mastered that process pretty quickly, so I decided to get more creative and try some cheddar this year. Also, this year we have at least twice the milk. We are milking both Lucille and Rosie. Lucille is a great milker. Rosie is less cooperative but seems to have more milk.

Chevre is very easy to make. I warm it up in a cooler filled with hot tap water, add starter and rennet and let it sit overnight. Then ladle the curd into cheesecloth and hang to drain for another 6 or 7 hours.

Cheddar requires more time (most of a morning and afternoon) more work (heating, cutting, and salting the curd) and a cheese press. The Husband bought me a beautiful cherry wood press from Homesteader's Supply for my birthday in May.

Starting with the first cheddar on May 31, I have made 1 wheel of cheddar per week for a total of 8. It is supposed to be better if aged for at least 60 days—the taste is sharper, and we both like sharp cheddar. But that means I won't know until the end of July whether or not my cheddar is eddarble. (hehe)

If it were up to me alone, I would have sneaked a taste right away, but the man insists on patience, which is something he normally has in short supply. (hehehe)

Conveniently, Brian and Eve are scheduled to come up next Friday, so we can test our first cheddar on them! At least they all look edible.

First small photo is the curd after cutting it in the pot. Whey is the liquid you can see that has already drained from the curd. Second: fresh wheel of cheese from this morning. Third: cheese press (maple version).

Once I find out if my cheddar is any good, I will try some different cheese recipes. For now I will just keep my fingers crossed that I haven't been wasting my time AND all that goat's milk!

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