Rain and Better Chevre


First cheddaring
Image by courgettelawn via Flickr

Last night we got a really good rain, thunder, hail, and lightning storm.  I was thinking, before the storm, that this house doesn’t have many windows.  Well, in the storm, with the lightning, it suddenly seemed like it had way too MANY windows!

The goat kids were chilly this morning.  The kid house stayed dry, but the air was moist and brisk at 7am.  The temp had dropped dramatically from the past few days of 90 plus and sunshine.  It’s only supposed to get up to 65 today.  I really want to get the yard finished mowing, but the ground is so wet I’ll probably have to wait.

I was all ready to head out the door, purse, appointment book, and poop sample for the lab in hand.  Couldn’t find my keys though.  I had a 10am hoof appointment.  I took my phone off the charger and saw that CG had been calling me.  This morning he started up his car and somehow the doors locked with his keys inside so he had to use  mine to open the door.  Seems like he got to work and realized my keys were still in his pocket.  No wonder I couldn’t find them.  He felt really bad, but honestly, now I get to stay home and I really didn’t want to go anywhere anyway!  I had made cheese last night and was impatient to see how it turned out.

I used a culture I got from Danielle and wanted to see if it was better than what I had been using without very good results.  I got some great info from the folks over at Dairygoatinfo and the chevre turned out really well.  My best ever!

I’ve been making chevre for about 2 years now, and it’s always varied so much in consistency, flavor , etc.  In the past I used buttermilk for the culture, but buttermilk changes over time and I could not get the consistent qualities I wanted in my chevre using the buttermilk, although I did like the tang…it might have been a bit too tart for some tastes.

I bought a new culture and tried that…and the chevre was crumbly, dry, very bland, and just unpalatable in my opinion.

I found out that flora danica is supposed to make wonderful chevre, but I need to order that.  However, before we moved, Danielle had given me some packs of culture that just say “chevre’ on them.  I doubted that they were still good as we lacked refrigeration right after our move, so I kept the cultures and everything else that needed refrigeration in coolers with ice we had to buy every single day.  (what a pain).  The bag the cultures were in leaked, but I kept them, and they’ve been in my new freezer for over a month.

I decided to use one last night and it actually still worked!

I was so pleasantly surprised.

I can use the other culture (I have A LOT of it) for making hard cheeses which I want to learn to do next.  I’ve made cheddars and other hard cheeses before, but never got good consistency with them, although they always tasted great.

Don’t even ask me to make mozzerella.  My mozzarella is more like mozzerubber.  I’m sure it would bounce if I dropped it.  It’s also very labor intensive.  Chevre is very “hands off”.  Just add the rennet and the culture,stir together.  Let set for 12 hours or so, then drain off excess whey, pour curd into a cloth lined colander. Tie up ends.  Hang to drain for about 8 hours, give or take, depending on several factors I have not exactly figured out yet, and you have chevre!  Very easy.

Anyway, I wanted my chevre to be rich and creamy with a soft, spreadable consistency that I can use to make desserts like cheesecake with.  Last night’s batch is perfect.  I will make another batch tonight and see if I can replicate my success.

The picture at the right of the page is not one of mine, but I inserted it here to show you what the whey and cheese separating looks like.  They are making cheddar here, probably from cows milk.  Goats milk whey is a little whiter.

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4 thoughts on “Rain and Better Chevre

  1. Glad the cultures are working for you!

    As HB said in response to your post on DGI, we’re now using Flora Danica as our main culture and we’re starting to get more and more consistent, creamy batches as we continue to tweak our method.

    We want to try mozzarella again, but so far haven’t tried. We do have some pretty tasty feta soaking in brine right now. 🙂

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  2. I can’t wait to try the Flora Danica. I sold another kid and we are having more extra milk now! But we are also remodeling the bathroom….that kind of gets in the way of cheese.

    I’ll check HB’s response on DGI.

    I did rescue the really crummy batch of chevre I made last week. I sliced up the wad and laid the pieces in a salt brine. The chewie texture was softened by the brine, and although I hadn’t used any liapase or anything, the brine added enough flavor to make it actually taste good enough to eat. Sooo, now I have a little too much cheese in my fridge. Luckily I have a bigger freezer now…but although it looked HUGE in the store..once we got it home, I can see we’ll need even MORE space now with all the cheese and milk and the garden coming on!

    How did our ancestors ever do it?

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  3. I keep getting different results with my chevre. The first time it came out perfect. the next batch came out more like yogurt and the third batch just seemed off so I fed it to the dogs and chickens. I thought it had something to do with the temperature I heated the milk to before adding the culture at 86 degrees. Any thoughts on this? It seemed like heating it to just 86 gave me a yogurt like cheese, heating it to 160 gave me a bland ricotta like cheese that was too creamy to drain properly. So, somewhere between 86 and 160 there must be some temperature that works.

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    • Hi Andrea,
      I always use fresh milk, warm from milking. I’ve never used heat before making it, so I’m afraid I can’t be of help there. It sounds more like the wrong amount of culture, or the wrong culture used. 86 degrees should be about perfect. What kind of culture are you using?

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