Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Goat Milk Cheese

I mentioned here that I've been interested in reading "goat blogs" and after going from link to link ( do you ever do that?) I ran across this little farm in Canada and the post below on making goat cheese caught my eye.

The owner of Joybilee Farms in Canada writes:

Now that the garden has been blasted with frost, I have time to make cheese. Our pure bredSaanan milk goats give us two gallons of milk every morning. We milk only in the mornings and let theSaanans feed their babies (plus any other goats that find the udder) during the day.

We are milking 4 goats. I make cheese 3 times a week, on alternate days. 2 gallons (8 litres) of milk makes about 1 lb. (500 to 700 grams) of hard cheese. We go through a lb. of cheese each week so that leaves two lbs. each week, for putting by for the winter. We milk only in the mornings and let the Saanans feed their babies (plus any other goats that find the udder) during the day.

Robin made a cheese press so that I could create hard cheeses like cheddar, brick, and Monterrey jack cheese. Here's what it looks like:

The container is a plastic food safe jar, top cut off, that I punched with a heated knitting needle to create drainage holes. I line it with a curity gauze diaper (purchased just for cheese making). Place the drained curds in and press with an oak follower, turned by Robin on his lathe, from recycled pallet wood. The stand is a piece of plywood, sized to fit into a kitchen sink. The holders are a recycled broom handle.

The weights are created from new, clean, building bricks. Each brick weighs 5lbs. and 4 are needed to press a hard cheese.

My cheese recipe book is
The Cheesemaker'sManual by Margaret P. Morris
This manual combines both the scientific and practical aspects of small scale cheesemaking. For both the home and on-farm cheesemaker!

Over 50 different recipes for fresh, soft, hard and washed rind cheeses. I like the fact that it does present scientific explanations and not just recipes. That makes it possible to do your own trouble shooting.

Another book I use is Mary Toth's, "
Goats Produce, Too" which has recipes and is much more basic, but a good starting point.

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