Anyone make goat cheese?

gardengrl(Northern Virginia)February 14, 2006

I LOVE goat cheese, and after seeing what they charge for the stuff in the stores here ($6.99 for 4 oz!!!!), it makes me wonder what it would be like to eventually retire, buy some property, acquire a nice herd, and make cheese!

Has anyone here thought of doing this?

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fancifowl(5Pa)

Oh yah, I made a lot of goat cheese and thought of making it as a commercial enterprise on a small scale. There are a lot of regulations, unless you want to bootleg it. I startyed with the soft bag cheeses and molded the worked up to some pressed and aged cheddars and more.
If you are not familiar with dairy goats, or cheese making, it would be a good idea to do some research, obviously ! Handcrafted cheeses take some time and keeping goats for a milk supply takes planning and some animal management skills.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 5:08PM
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oberhasli1

I have been making goat cheese for 10 years and The Cheesemaker's Manual by Margaret Morris is an excellent book to read if you are thinking of making cheeses. Margaret owns Glengarry Cheesemaking and Dairy Supply in Ontario,Canada. Her website is glengarrycheesemaking.on.ca. There is also a cheesemaking supply company in Massachusetts, New England Cheesemaking Supply.

I would read as much as you can about the craft to see if it is for you. I started with the soft cheeses such as chevre and feta and now use my winter milk to make hard textured cheeses (Romano, Parmesan) that need to age 6 months at least.

I sell my cheeses at a farmer's market in the summer. But, regulations differ from state to state, and running a commercial dairy is a pretty big undertaking. I am just small time but considered a larger operation until I saw all of the regulations and cost involved.

Read as much as you can about the subject before you jump in. Cheesemaking is fun, but is time consuming like any hobby. Maybe you could go visit some goat farms near you to see what is entailed in owning and milking goats.

Good luck.

Bonnie

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 12:15PM
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skagit_goat_man_(WA)

You love goat cheese but do you like goats? Have you ever raised them? If it ended up you really don't care for goats then $6.99/4oz may be a good price. If you have to purchase all your feed for a few goats that cost would exceed the cost of buying a pound of cheese a week. We've been making fesh cheese and Feta for a number of years and this year have jumped into brick cheese and brie. Too bad that here in WA. the health regs are so tight that only grade A milk can be use for cheese in a commercial operation. Grade B is perfect for cheese. Tom

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 8:55AM
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highplainswoman(5 AZ)

My goat was producing about a gallon a day and I had to find some use for it. I started by making the instant "cottage cheese". You just heat your gallon of milk to 185 degrees and then pour in a half cup of apple cider vinegar and it turns into curds and whey. You strain off the whey and you have cottage cheese.

Hamby Dairy Supply has a great product: Chevre starter packs. You heat your milk, pour in the little packet and let the milk sit for about 12 hours, pour off the whey, put the cheese into some molds and you have a rich, creamy chesse as easy as that. I got the molds and starter on Ebay.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 12:47AM
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calliope(6)

I've had goats, but never dairy goats, and I've made butters and cheese but only from cow's milk. The cream rises on their milk, so you don't need a seperator, you all who talk about goat cheese, where on earth have your found a cream separator with the capacity for goat milk? I am having trouble even finding them, let alone finding them for under four hundred dollars, not exactly cost effective for a couple of nannies.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:12PM
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highplainswoman(5 AZ)

I don't have a seperator either. By the time my goat milk cools down, I have a couple spoonfuls of cream off the top. I save these every day in a jar in the freezer, when I get enough together I make my butter. The cheese is easy, I just add the culture and rennet. I've made frommage blanc, chevre, feta, farm chedder and of course cottage cheese.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:43PM
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organic_flutterby(5 MO)

I have never made it before but am currently reading everything I can get my hands on about cheese making and will be taking a local class and doing a lot of experimenting. Raising dairy goats is one of my primary interests, I also plan to make goat's milk soap. So, if I can intrude and ask a question what is the best way to age cheese as I am interested in making raw milk cheese? TIA

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 11:21AM
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highplainswoman(5 AZ)

Hi Organic butterfly: I would recommend the starter kits they sell at Hamby Dairy Supply (They're also on Ebay for about $29). They have the molds, starter, booklett, cheescloth, etc. The soft cheeses are much easier, which is why I started there.
Then I got a hard cheese kit and I've had some success with it, not 100%. With the raw milk, if there is any kind of bacteria other than your culture it will start to grow and ruin the whole cheese.
Most important thing is to make sure the cheese has no mold on it when you cover it with the wax.
I live in a dry climate, so I just put up the waxed cheeses in my pantry for a few months.
One of the best cheese I made was an experiment I did. I was out of soft cheese culture and didn't feel like making hard cheese, so I used a mesophilic culture and rennet, drained off the whey and then added sea salt water and it made a great instant Feta. Everyone said it was the best I'd made and it took hardly any time.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 12:57PM
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skagit_goat_man_(WA)

You don't need a cream separator to make most cheeses. You do need something to "cook" it in at fairly low temps. We use a 2 gallon pasteurizer on the colostrom range. This year we've gone to 4 gallon batches and use a stainless brewing pot inside a black waterbath pot. It works well.
Tom

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 9:41AM
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doninalaska

We, too, have been making cheeses for years from goat milk. The vinegar cheese described above is used in place of ricotta at our place and we make cottage cheese using rennet since the curds are softer. We make a lot of "substitute Romano" by pressing the vinegar cheese in a press and drying it hard. We eat a lot of Italian-type food, and the "Ricotta" and "Romano" fit in well. The soft vinegar cheese can be frozen for long-term storage and can also be made into tasty dips using fresh herbs or dip mixes.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 7:01PM
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calliope(6)

Thank you all much. My husband is nixing a dairy cow, was surprised he finally relented to my chicken flocks, but I think I can get away with a few dairy goats, since we've had goats before, LOL.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 8:53PM
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