I need cheese help!

Discussion in 'Cookin' Corner' started by ZipperDoo, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. ZipperDoo

    ZipperDoo Member

    132
    Apr 18, 2010
    I have had a terrible run of luck trying to make some chevre. Plain, basic, easy-as-pie chevre. I've somehow ruined three batches (good bye, 6 gallons of fresh milk, thank goodness I get it from my own goat and didn't have to BUY it...) that I followed the instructions on to the letter.

    I think it's the recipe...??

    Does anyone have a basic, tasty chevre recipe they would care to share? I'd be much appreciative. Also, if anyone is in my area, I'd pay for a tutorial in cheese-making with a filling dinner and a fire dance (if the weather holds, of course). And of course, good company. :)

    I've tried thus far, the method of heating the milk to 175 Degrees F, then adding buttermilk and lemon juice, letting it sit ten minutes, then putting it in cheesecloth, then letting it drip for ten minutes, then "voila" chevre... BUZZ! It curdled unpleasantly, and tasted like lemon-flavored spoiled milk.

    And twice I've tried this "good" recipe: http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Ch ... Cheese.htm

    And that turned out into this vile slush and I STILL can't get that smell out of my kitchen. Even my eats-everything-that-remotely-looks-like-food cat wouldn't go anywhere near it.

    I have butter muslin for draining, a good pot, vegetable rennet(which is twice the strength of animal rennet as I understand it, so I adjusted the recipe as needed), fresh goat's milk, and cultured buttermilk from the store.

    What on earth am I doing wrong? Is it the recipe, or is it in fact me? Does anyone have a fool proof recipe?

    Thank you everyone!!
     
  2. Realfoodmama

    Realfoodmama New Member

    425
    Apr 12, 2010
    Santa Fe, NM
    Allright, so are you trying to make chevre specifically or just some farmer's cheese?

    Because chevre is a specific culture and usually requires the addition of specific bacteria (you can buy them all over the place on the interwebs).

    I've made "farmer's cheese" successfully which is basically just heating the milk to 180, then adding white vinegar (I think its 1 TBSP per 2 cups milk), scooping the curds and letting them strain over cheesecloth. I've never added buttermilk...I assume that is to add the culture? I can't imagine what else it would be for?

    I love the cheese results from above...I cut it into cubes, dust it with flour and fry it up with butter... it's snack-tastic.
     

  3. ZipperDoo

    ZipperDoo Member

    132
    Apr 18, 2010
    Maybe I'm doing something wrong with that farmer's cheese... It just sours? Not like cheese should... It gets slimy and the only way I can describe it is as if you stuck a bunch of cottage cheese through a blender with a bit of milk.
     
  4. Realfoodmama

    Realfoodmama New Member

    425
    Apr 12, 2010
    Santa Fe, NM
    Yeah that sounds disgusting lol...

    I'd stop adding the buttermilk and just use your goat milk with some white wine vinegar - the kind you clean with. Try heating it up to 185 instead of 175. (I've found that sometimes when the milk is hotter the curds take better).

    Also, don't salt the milk or anything BEFORE adding the vinegar. It seems to interfere with the process.

    As for the slimey, I'm inclined to blame the buttermilk. Too many weird things in store bought cultured buttermilk...maybe they're interacting oddly with the acid.
     
  5. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Zipperdoo the only cheese I've done is this;

    2 gal milk heated to where it gets too hot to stick your finger in.
    Remove from heat
    Add 1 cup white vinegar & stir a little
    It should show signs of curding up right away
    Put lid on & let sit over night
    Next morning after chores or so strain into cheescloth or muslin & let it drain all afternoon at room temp
    salt to your taste

    This cheese isnt very spreadable but oh so good!

    REalfoodmama yours sounds delish!
     
  6. ZipperDoo

    ZipperDoo Member

    132
    Apr 18, 2010
    Thank you both so much. I'll try that!

    I have one gallon of milk in the freezer right now that I'll put in the refrigerator to thaw. I'll have the one gallon of fresh milk topped off tonight, and should have another gallon of fresh by the morning after next, so that will be when I try the cheese process again.

    I do sincerely appreciate it. I'm so excited to have made a cheese all on my own; this little bout with whatever is going wrong is a little discouraging, but darnit, I will produce a cheese!!

    :pray:
     
  7. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Yes you will! And I dont have anybody right now to milk & I miss my cheese!
     
  8. ZipperDoo

    ZipperDoo Member

    132
    Apr 18, 2010
    Aww. Well you're welcome to come milk out Penny for me! Ohhh my poor wrists... LOL

    It's a shame you live so far away, this weekend I'm looking at venturing to Portland and I need someone to watch my goats and I'd love to pay someone in milk. lol
     
  9. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I do all my cheeses using recipes from the book Goats Produce Too. Hoeggers Supply carries the "kit"
    The problem is that you are making the milk too hot for the buttermilk....buttermilk is a " mesophillic" culture and does not like to be heated above 100*

    You say you have vegetable rennet? Liquid?

    Heres the recipe I use with awesome results.

    French Style Chevre
    5 quarts whole goat milk
    1/2 C cultured Buttermilk
    2 Tbsp diluted rennet ( 3 drops rennet into 1/3 c cool water)
    WARM milk to 80* Stir in buttermilk, mix well.
    Add 2 Tablespoons diluted rennet Stir well and cover.
    Let pot sit for 8-12 hours
    Cheese is ready to drain when it looks like thickened yogurt and has whey floating on top.
    Pour into a muslin cheesecloth or as I use ,a white pillow case turned inside out, best to place the cloth into a collander first. Hang to drain for 6-8 hours.
    It will have a slight grainy texture similar to cream cheese, run it through a blender for a creamier texture or add your favorite cobo of seasonings and use as a cracker spread...my fav is garlic. This can also be subbed unseasoned for cream cheese, I've made cheese cake as well as cookies calling for cream cheese.
     
  10. ZipperDoo

    ZipperDoo Member

    132
    Apr 18, 2010
    Thank you Liz, I'll try that as well. With the buttermilk recipe I haven't been getting it all that hot; only to 75-888 or so. :\
     
  11. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    I dont' know how to make cheese(my mom is the cheesemaker) but my mom always used the recipes off of the Fias Co Farm website for chevre, she gets her cultures from the Dairy Connection (www.dairyconnection.com) there are a few soft cheese cultures, each producing different flavors and textures.

    What I do know off the bat from watching my mom make cheese all the time, she uses milk fresh from the goat(after its been strained twice) and she puts in her rennet(liquid vegie) her culture, and this other stuff(I think its called flora danica, I can't say what it does for certain) then she covers the pot and lets it sit for 12 hours, then puts the curds in cheese cloth and lets it drain for another 12 hours. I also know that when you're using packaged cultures, that the amount that is recommended can be used for 3-30 gallons of milk, just a random fact :)
     
  12. ZipperDoo

    ZipperDoo Member

    132
    Apr 18, 2010
    Okay so, determined to make an (edible!) cheese... I went back online and ordered animal rennet and a 5 pack of chevre culture. XD So, hopefully I'll have that by Saturday or Monday, and then I should be in business. Until then... I've got three gallons of milk that I'm going to experiment with on your guys' suggestions. :)

    Today and tomorrow I'll be doing that, so... wish me luck. lol, I'll need it.
     
  13. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    The recipe above is one that doesn't need special cultures and is extremely simple to make....very tasty too :wink:
     
  14. ZipperDoo

    ZipperDoo Member

    132
    Apr 18, 2010
    UPDATE!!

    Okay so. Today's cheese is... different.

    I tried both recipes provided (Liz's and Nancy D's).

    Started both last night before I went to bed. Followed both recipes to the letter.

    Nancy's turned out... weird. It didn't set up right and looked kind of like oatmeal this morning. Still, I hung it up, but it didn't drain right, and had a very off-smell to it, so I chocked it up as a loss.

    Liz's is looking really promising though!! At least thus far it's the best out of everything I've come up with thus far. I had it hang for 7 hours before "checking" on it. I opened it up, and where it touched the muslin was all rubbery, fading to a kind of mush in the middle. So I poured it into a bowl, mixed it all up, and set it back up to hang for an hour or two (which is hat I'm waiting on now still. lol)

    However, I did have my DF try some on a triscuit, and he claims that it has no flavor that he can tell. So, he says it doesn't taste spoiled or anything. Which is good! The last stuff was eyugh.

    Soooo... Once it finishes it's draining, I'll add some garlic and dill and see what it makes of itself. o.o

    I am so cheesetarded. But I will get it. I *will* make a cheese!
     
  15. Realfoodmama

    Realfoodmama New Member

    425
    Apr 12, 2010
    Santa Fe, NM
    :ROFL:
     
  16. ZipperDoo

    ZipperDoo Member

    132
    Apr 18, 2010
    It's EDIBLE~!!!!

    A little rubbery and it doesn't spread at ALL.... But... IT'S EDIBLE~!!!

    [​IMG]

    Today's accomplishments together:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    The bread is gorgeous!

    It might be worth it to try the little chevre packages from New England Cheesemaking supply to get yourself started. (http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/p/140 ... 5pack.html) They have a good mesophilic starter that is very consistent and a bit of rennet and instructions on the package. It is very simple and I have never had a failure with it. The cheese is supposed to have some flavor other than tasting like milk. I started making cheese with the prepared stuff and it is much easier to learn that way, and more consistent.

    Jan
     
  18. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Usually the center stays soft while in the cheesecloth due to the outer "rind" beginning to dry during hanging..... after you add the herbs, try running it through a food processer, it will blend it and smoothe it enough to be able to spread.
    Also, once it sits in the fridge a day or 2 the flavor intensifies. The bread looks yummy!
     
  19. ZipperDoo

    ZipperDoo Member

    132
    Apr 18, 2010
    I'll keep that in mind. :) I have another gallon of milk thawing on the counter, and I'll have a full second gallon fresh in the fridge by tomorrow afternoon (I love milking 3x a day...) so tomorrow I'm going to try the chevre cheese culture I got from the New England Cheesemaking Supply, as well as a gallon of this same recipe but using the animal rennet instead of vegetable rennet.