I'm fairly new to cheesemaking and have made farmer's, ricotta, whey cheese (with less than perfect results), monterey jack (again, still perfecting this one), and feta. I'd like to make a cheddar cheese but only get about 1 quart of milk a day from our goat. Does anyone have a recipe for just one gallon? All the recipes I've found call for two gallons - presumably because that's what a packet of starter will set.
Or, alternatively, can I keep my goat milk for 8-9 days to get the two gallons needed for the recipe?
Although I love Ricki Carroll's starters and infomative website cheesemaking.com I think you should start here with this guy. He has two really good tried and true recipes for turning 1 gallon of milk or 5 gallons of milk into a really nice farmstead cheese. It teaches you about cleanliness, taking notes and repetetive steps to produce the same product over and over. You can cheddar the farmstead cheese he calls cheddar, which really isn't...but it also ages really well. It's the hard cheese I sell to customers and is really versatile, cheap and for me the best easy.
I don't use junket rennet instead use rennet from cheesemaking.com
Then when you get his techniques down, moving to harder recipes is easy because you know the basics...without good basics you simply can't reproduce your products (well soft cheese is easy) each and every time if you want to sell them. Vicki
Thanks - I saw his recipe for basic hard cheese using 1 gallon but wasn't sure about the recipe. I have Ricki Carroll's rennet tablets - do I use the same 1/4 tab in the Fankhauser recipe that uses junket? Also, I don't have buttermilk around and only sometimes have yogurt around. (It usually spoils before we use a batch!) I'll have to get the yogurt and try it with that.
I thought for a decent hard cheese (like a cheddar) I'd need to use a 'real' starter - like a mesophilic.
I'll give this one a shot and see how I do. (Of course, now I have to wait another 4 days for my gallon of milk; I made 30-minute mozz today....and it only to me 1 1/2 hours!)
Elizabeth you can make cheddar with one gallon of milk using the same recipe as two gallons just cut the amount of starter culture, if it is meso II direct set I would use 1/4 teaspoon instead of 1/2 and I wouldn't use more than 1/2 tsp of liquid rennet or 1/4 tablet. Junket, although made from rennet is not the same strengh as the rennet sold for cheesemaking and buttermilk is basically mesophilic culture but you are never as certain of the strengh of the lactic bacteria as you are in direct set. Yoghurt would be a thermophilic culture. The other thing is that if you are using goats' milk you might want to actually 'chedder' for less time otherwise the texture will be quite dry. The only real problem with making small rounds of cheese is the aging. I would think if you are going to age it waxing would be a necessity. Liz
for me, making hard cheese from less than 2.5 gallons seems a waste of time and effort. For all that work and all that waiting I want/'need' to have something to show for my efforts - a decent chunk of cheese that my family doesn't blow through in mere days. So I've learned to make hard cheese only when I have sufficient milk.
Do you have any friends/neighbors who also milk goats? What about milking cows? You can make some nice 'mixed milk' (aka mix cow + goat) cheese using the same recipes. If you had a local source you could always trade a gallon back and forth or just buy or offer some cheese in return. That's how I get enough fresh milk when the 'cheesing' mood strikes.
Ok, so I've made the Fankhauser basic hard cheese. We'll give it a taste in 60 days; perhaps sooner because I'm sure I won't be able to wait!
I'd love to have the milk to make a larger quantity but at least for now this is what I have to work with. To purchase goat's milk around here is $10 / gallon - a little too steep for my experiments!
I'm getting better at cheesemaking; I haven't had to give any to the pigs or chickens for awhile. What I can't do yet is repeat my successes. Even if I try the same cheese recipe, the cheese result is different from my last attempt. But, given that it's still tasty, at least we can eat my mistakes!
I finally got to taste my Fankhouser's basic hard cheese - it's wonderful!! It's just the right amount of creaminess and hardness both, it melts beautifully on a piece of toast, and has just the perfect sharpness.
Ok, it wasn't quite 60 days....but awfully close!
I have several other batches aging that I'm looking forward to. I feel that I'm starting to get the hang of it!
Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions.