Goat cheese is usually thought of as a mild, soft cheese, but you can make a tasty cheddar with goat cheese as well!
- 2 gallons whole goat milk
- 1 packet direct set mesophilic starter culture
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet diluted in 1/2 cup cool, unchlorinated water
- 2 tablespoons cheese salt
- Heat the milk over low heat to 85°F, stirring continuously.
- Turn off the heat and add the starter by sprinkling it over the surface of the milk and allowing it to rehydrate before stirring it in with your cheese spoon. Stir using up-and-down motions for one minute. Cover the milk and allow to ripen undisturbed for 30 minutes.
- Add the diluted rennet by pouring it through the holes of your cheese spoon and into the milk. Stir in well, using the cheese spoon in up-and-down motions. Cover the milk and allow it to set for 1 hour, maintaining the temperature at 85°F throughout. (You can use a water-bath method to achieve this.)
- Cut the curd into 1/2-inch cubes. Let the curds rest, undisturbed, for 1 minute.
- Begin gradually heating the curds, bringing the temperature up slowly to 98°F, increasing the temperature by only 2 degrees every 5 minutes. Stir frequently and gently to keep the curds from matting. Once you have achieved 98°F, maintain the curds at that temperature for 45 minutes, continuing to stir gently.
- Drain off the whey and stir in the salt. Mix the salt in well, using the cheese spoon or by tossing the curds with your hands.
- Line a 2-pound cheese press with dampened cheesecloth. Quickly begin scooping the warm curds into the press. Press the cheese at 20 pounds of pressure for 15 minutes.
- Remove the cheese from the press, unwrap it, flip it over, and re-dress it in the cheesecloth. Place it back into the press at 30 pounds of pressure for 1 hour.
- Remove, undress, flip, and re-dress the cheese. Press at 50 pounds of pressure for 12 hours.
- Remove the cheese from the press. Peel away the cheesecloth, and rub salt over all the surfaces of the cheese.
- Place on a cheese board. Rub salt on it once daily for 3 days, flipping frequently. When the surface of the cheese is dry, you can wax it.
- Age the cheese at 50° to 55°F for 4 to 12 weeks.
Makes a 2-pound wheel.