How to Make Goat Milk Cheese

How to make goat milk cheese, including tips on making cheese, supplies, utensils and sources for cheesemaking.
By Janet Knickerbocker
June/July 2002
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Learn how to make homemade goat cheese.

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Learn how to make goat milk cheese, including supplies, utensils and sources for cheesemaking.

Making Homemade Cheeses

French Goat Cheese Recipe

Mild Goat Cheddar Cheese Recipe

My first attempts at cheese making were less than successful, to say the least. The first batch I made was simply terrible. My dear husband tried, bravely, to eat it. I finally threw it out to the chickens, who eyed it suspiciously and left it for dead. I think a poor possum finally finished it off.

We learn through trial and error, and now I turn out a mighty fine goat cheese. Learning how to make goat milk cheese is easy with the right supplies.

Cheesemaking is now routine when the goats are producing milk. I make extra and freeze it for the winter. You can also freeze the milk in plastic gallon jugs. The curd made from the frozen milk isn't as solid, but it's nice to be able to make a fresh cheese when the goats are dry. Thaw and shake well to redistribute the cream. Then make cheese as usual.

Cheesemaking Supplies:

Fresh goat milk
Buttermilk (this acts as the starter culture)
Rennet* (an enzyme that makes the warm milk form curds)
Salt (Sea salt, cheese salt or kosher salt without iodine)

Cheesemaking Utensils:

Cooking pot: 5-quart enamel or stainless steel kettle
Slotted spoon
Large knife or spatula
Cheese molds (for French Goat Cheese)
String (for Mild Cheddar)
Rack for draining
Dairy thermometer (recommended but not required)

*Rennet may be available at natural food stores or supermarkets.

Sources for Cheesemaking Supplies

The following catalogs offer rennet and other cheese making supplies. Caprine and Hoegger also offer other goat-related supplies. All three catalogs are free.

New England Cheese Making Supply
Ashfield, Mass.

Caprine Supply
DeSoto, Kan.

Hoegger Supply Co.
Fayetteville, Ga.

Goat Milk Cheesemaking Tips: 

If you don't have a dairy thermometer, 86 degrees feels lukewarm to the touch, and 102 degrees is very hot but still tolerable.

You can buy cheese molds or make your own from inexpensive, 16-ounce plastic tumblers. Perforate each tumbler by running a hot 10-penny nail through the bottom and up the sides in a random pattern. The more small holes, the better the whey drains. Rinse out cups to wash away any plastic residue before you use them.

Post a comment below.


2/7/2011 1:23:31 PM
When making cheese, you need to use buttermilk from the store, because it contains the live cultures that you need. You can also make more buttermilk with a small amount of store-purchased buttermilk and whatever other milk you want. It's wonderful for making Ranch dressing, the best pancakes you'll ever make, and wonderful cakes, even from a mix, and you can even cut down on the amount of oil used in the cake, so it's not as bad for you!

1/18/2011 11:57:09 PM
Good Question K.M. Hall I would be interested in the answer to that as well.

K.M. Hall
9/26/2010 9:31:06 PM
Question: Your goat cheese recipes call for buttermilk, is this referring the the left over milk from making butter or the thick product bought in the stores? Thank you for the great articles you present.

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