Homemade Goat Cheese

February 7, 2013

Installment #2 of how to make cheese. Here’s the mozzarella post if you missed it!

More tips on the process from Mr. Matt:

Goat cheese is actually way easier to make than the mozzarella, and it’s probably the recommended type of cheese to try for your first attempt.  You still need a few specialized items but they’re not difficult to find.  Once again, our methods come from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company.  Just buy a goat cheese kit and you’ll have everything you need (assuming you have a pot and a colander in your kitchen!)

Most recipes are written to turn one gallon of goat milk into about 2 pounds of goat cheese.  For these pictures we halved the recipe just because I wanted to experiment with the extra cheese culture.

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You’ll need a non-aluminum pot to heat the milk.  Start by adding about a cup of water to it, and bringing it to a boil for 10 minutes to sanitize the pot.  I also put our stirring spoon in the pot to sanitize.

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After the 10 minute boil, dump out any remaining water, and then pour in the milk.

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Heat to 86* on medium, while stirring constantly to evenly distribute the heat.

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Once it reaches temp, you simply open your packet of chevre culture, pour it in, and stir for a minute to incorporate!

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Cover the pot and place in a warm place for 12-24 hours.  Ideally the culture should stay above 75*.  Usually the coils on top of your fridge will add some heat, or you can put it in a TV cabinet where the heat from the electronics will maintain temp.  Or just stick it in your oven, pour a few cups of boiling water into a bowl, and leave shut.  Don’t forget it’s in there!

After 12-24 hours the curds will have separated from the whey and firmed up a bit.

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Once again, you’ll want to sanitize the equipment you’re about to use in the next step.  Boil a few cups of water in a pot to sanitize a colander, a stretch of cheese cloth (this will come with the goat cheese kit), and a slotted spoon.

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Once everything is sanitized (5-10 minutes of boiling), open up the cheesecloth and drape it over the colander.

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At this point we need to get the curds into the cloth while leaving behind the whey.  If the pot/bowl underneath the colander is big enough you can just pour it all through.  Pour slowly so that most of the whey will go through the cloth before any curd lands in there.  You can also use a slotted spoon to move the curd over, but this will take some time.

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Now tie the corners of the cheese cloth so that it’s a tight ball and hang to let the whey drain out.  The draining will take another 12-24 hours, depending on the consistency you’re going for.  This can be done at room temp, but in our example we hung the bag in the (beer) fridge because we let the initial fermentation go for the full 24 hours.  I figured that was enough time to get some good flavor.

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Draining for 24 hours will produce the typical texture you expect from goat cheese, but if you want something that’s more spreadable, consider hanging for less time.  Don’t immediately throw away the whey – you can also add a little back to make it more spreadable.  The next day you’ve got cheese!

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At this point you’ll want to add salt to taste, and any herbs you want.  You can also make little pucks and roll them in black pepper, or herbs – whatever you want!

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Go crazy with goat cheese all week!

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And speaking of CHEESE, check out my mac and cheese recipe on the Wisconsin Mac + Cheese blog! Remember the shoot? It was a Paella-inspired Mac.

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeri February 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I need to try goat cheese. Looks good.

S/N: I gained 0.1 pounds since Dec. haven’t worked out but trying to eat and take public transportation so I have to walk more. But I did lose 1 inch in my waist.

Feb 22 will make 1 year candy bar and soda free!!! Whoop Hoooo!!

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2 Rana February 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm

OMG! I’ve always wanted to try to make cheese! Thanks for the step by step directions..so helpful!

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3 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) February 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm

YUM! I soooo miss goat cheese! I need to do this for my boys. They would love it and it would be a fun thing to do with the kids!

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4 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats February 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Very cool! I’ve really never thought about making my own cheese but I had no idea how simple it was!

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5 Allison @ Life's a Bowl February 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm

This is so cool! I’d love to make my own cheese someday, but for the time being I’ll leave it up to TJ’s ;) Goat cheese has become one of my favorite cheeses lately. Have you tried the goat yogurt? I’m a bit more hesitant to try it…

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6 Sara @ fitcupcaker February 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm

no way…goat cheese is one of my favorites!! YUM!

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7 Shel@PeachyPalate February 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Wow! I’m vegan so it’s not something I’d be looking to make but I’d say it’s incredibly rewarding; kind of like making your own bread I guess or growing your own vegetables!

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8 Christie Ellis {Pepper Lynn} February 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Love this, Kath! The only cheese I have experience making is ricotta, and while the goat cheese seems a bit more involved than that, it definitely still looks doable!

I have a question regarding the sanitizing – is there a specific reason that is done, or is it just an extra precaution?

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9 Matt February 9, 2013 at 8:43 am

Well the whole point of pretty much any fermented food is first you create an ideal place for microorganisms to grow, and then you add the specific microorganisms you WANT to grow to create the food you like. Unfermented beer = sugary, proteinous, nutrient rich liquid and we add yeast to make sure it becomes “beer” as we know it. Warm milk = sugary, proteinous, nutrient rich liquid, and to becomes cheese it needs certain organisms to become the dominant life. Sanitization just cuts down the possibility of unwanted organisms taking over.

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10 Christie Ellis {Pepper Lynn} February 11, 2013 at 2:21 am

Word. Thanks, Matt!

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11 lynn @ the actor's diet February 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm

you guys make bread and cheese and have a baby. i will never be this grown up!

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12 Kristen @ Change of Pace February 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm

So beautiful and delicious. I would love to have your homemade pizza crust with homemade mozzarella! :)

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13 Tatomme February 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Mmmm….Wow! You make this look so easy…I need to try it now!!!

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14 Tatomme February 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Mmmmm….Wow! You make this look so easy…I need to try it now!!!

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15 a farmer in the dell February 7, 2013 at 5:48 pm

thanks for the tutorial! I am trying to convince my husband that we need our own goats! :)

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16 Emily February 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm

We would make this a lot living in Korea where cheese was so expensive and hard to come by. Setting up a rig was the most difficult part to making it in my experience. We would tie a hair pony tail holder around the top of the cloth and then wrap it tightly around a faucet. That also allowed it to drip into the sink.

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17 Emily @ Life on Food February 7, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Cheese making is so much fun. I used to work in a place that made cheese. I helped out but never attempted it at home. Now I can only think about goat milk.

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18 Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) February 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm

I’m pinning this!! What a fun idea. And I LOVE goat cheese!

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19 Anna @ On Anna's Plate February 7, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Can I just say how impressed I am that y’all are finding the time to MAKE YOUR OWN CHEESE with a baby in the house? For reals.

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20 Jodie February 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm

I love the fact you guys go to so much effort getting creative in the kitchen making cheeses etc… It a little too much effort for me but I enjoy watching & learning the processes :-)

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21 Alyssa February 7, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I really must make some of this glorious cheese!

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22 Miranda February 7, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Love it! You make it look easy, but way to complicated for me. When I had a little baby I was lucky to get to the market. Keep up the fun posts.

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23 Miranda February 7, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Oops, way too complicated for me. Such a nerd, can’t leave that typo in there.

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24 Sandra February 7, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Did you milk the goat first!!!

Ha ha, way too much effort for me I’m afraid but looks very tasty.

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25 the 3volution of j3nn February 8, 2013 at 2:26 am

One more reason we need a goat!

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26 Emanuelle February 8, 2013 at 5:37 am

WOW! Oh my gosh! This is so impressive! It looks so fresh and delicious. I am definitely going to try this!!!

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27 Lisa @bitesforbabies February 8, 2013 at 6:42 am

This DOES look time consuming, however, I’ve made my fair share of homemade pasta, bread, etc. so I think I could handle this one! I would just need to make sure that maybe the kids are with the grandparents all day to tackle this recipe. Kudos to you for making this at home…nothing beats FRESH homemade food ;-)

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28 Maria Tadic February 8, 2013 at 8:46 am

I’m so excited you post all these cheese making recipes! I love spending weekend time making more stuff from scratch and this seems like a fun one to try! I know for some cheese making procedures you need like…no super pasteurized milk. Is that true for this goat cheese?

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29 Matt February 9, 2013 at 8:45 am

Right, any milk will work except for Ultra-pasteurized.

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30 Jess. February 8, 2013 at 9:01 am

Can’t wait to try this!

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31 Hillary B February 8, 2013 at 9:03 am

https://www.livingsocial.com/products/us/13392-mozzarella-cheese-kit-by-roaring-brook-dairy

For those interested, there is a living social deal on a mozzarella cheese kit today (looks open for 14 more days so no rush)! Good chance to test it out-I really want to try this now!!

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32 Katherine February 8, 2013 at 9:05 am
33 Katie @ SkinnyMinnieMoves February 8, 2013 at 9:26 am

OH MY GOSH! Have to do this! I’ve been eating clean for 5 weeks, and I’m slowly introducing cheeses and things backs into my diet. Would you mind if later on I featured this and linked my blog to it? Thanks Kath!

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34 KathEats February 8, 2013 at 9:43 am

Nope!

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35 Katie @ SkinnyMinnieMoves February 9, 2013 at 10:40 am

Thanks! You’re the best :)

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36 Hope February 8, 2013 at 9:35 am

Is the cheese that you make yourself better than store bought cheese?

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37 KathEats February 8, 2013 at 9:44 am

It’s comparable… But cheaper!

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38 Hope February 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Thanks! Cheaper is always a good thing.

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39 Elise @ Expeditions of Elise February 8, 2013 at 9:45 am

Oh my gosh so fun! I can’t wait to try this.

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40 Amy R February 8, 2013 at 10:03 am

I am loving these posts!! I have been in the beginning stages of making more food from scratch (bread, yogurt, chicken stock, the basics for now.) But these posts inspire me and give me even more ideas!! I can’t wait to try it.

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41 Rachel February 8, 2013 at 10:21 am

Save the whey for fermentations!
How long does the goat cheese keep refrigerated?

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42 KathEats February 8, 2013 at 10:42 am

Unsure of the shelf life, but I’d give it a week tops

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43 Nancy February 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Could you just use the same sanitizer we use when making beer to sanitize all the equipment?

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44 Matt February 9, 2013 at 8:46 am

I love Starsan because it’s no-rinse for beer making, but it’s very acidic – I wonder if even the thin residue after rinsing with it would still be enough to alter the milk’s pH.

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45 RunEatRepeat February 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm

I don’t make cheese, only cheezy jokes…
That was one.

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46 Sunnie@moderngirlnutrition February 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm

What a fun experience! I bet it tastes amazing, too:)

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47 Ana February 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Thank you so much for sharing Kath! I was waiting for your recipe and now cant wait to make my own goat cheese!!
Ana

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48 Christina @ The Beautiful Balance February 8, 2013 at 11:47 pm

You make this look SO easy. I am so tempted to try this so I need to work out time in my schedule. Thanks for posting :)

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49 Fiona Jesse Giffords February 9, 2013 at 12:53 am

Instead of chevre culture, you can also try lemon juice. I am also preparing cheese at home of cow milk adding 2 to 4 table spoon of lemon juice to it. Just try once.

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50 Avery @ Southern Belle Living Well February 9, 2013 at 1:00 am

Oh gosh, this is definitely a weekend project, it may take me a few tries to get it right!

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51 Matt February 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm

It’s super easy!

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52 DK February 9, 2013 at 9:01 am

And chickens love the leftover whey!

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53 Diana March 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm

You should try using the whey next time you bake bread! Whenever I make mozzarella cheese I use it in my english muffin recipe or pizza dough instead of water, it gives it a great flavor! :)

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