I’m new to cheese making and wanted to experiment making cheese from my Nigerian Dwarf goat milk. Their milk is renowned for cheese making as well as drinking, and generally results in a high cheese yield. I have 5 milking girls so I had plenty of milk to begin my cheese making adventures.
I find that cheese making is part science and part art. Techniques vary from recipe to recipe, creating variations in the final product. I’m doing pretty well on the science part, but the art part may take a while.
Feta is a salty Greek cheese made from sheep or goat milk. It does not require pressing or aging in a cheese cave–perfect for a beginner. I find I like it marinated in extra-virgin olive oil with a garlic clove and a sprig of rosemary and basil. This can be kept unrefrigerated as long as the cheese remains covered.
The recipe is a fairly basic Feta recipe modified for the ingredients I have.
How to make Marinated Feta Goat Cheese: Printable
- 1 gallon of whole goat milk
- 1/8 teaspoon DVI (direct vat innoculant) mesophilic culture (I used Choozit MM100 from the Dairy Connection)
- 1/8 teaspoon lipase powder dissolved in ¼ cup cool water (I used the lipase powder from Hoegger Supply and I’m not sure how strong or mild it is.) Lipase gives added flavor to the cheese.
- 1/2 teaspoon double-strength liquid rennet mixed with 1/4 cup cool water
Non-Iodized salt – for salting the cheese and brining I use canning salt
There are various recipes for creating the brine. I tried a strong brine (14 oz. salt to 1 gallon of water) and found it too salty. I prefer my brine more in the 1/2 cup salt per 1/2 gallon of water range.
Boil the salt and water and let cool before adding the cheese.
Warm goat milk to 86 degrees F. I do it directly over the heat. Add the culture. Stir well. Add the dissolved lipase powder; stir well, cover, and let ripen for about one hour.
Add the liquid rennet mixed with water and stir into milk for 30 seconds to a minute. Allow the milk to coagulate for 30 to 40 minutes or until you get a clean break. Cut the curds into 1-inch cubes and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir the curds gently for 20 minutes, keeping the temperature at 86 degrees. I set my pot in a sink with warm water. This process toughens the curds and releases the whey.
Pour the curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander (I use Plyban) then tie up the curds and let drain for 12 hours. Turning the curds once while draining helps keep the cheese well shaped for cutting in the next step.
After draining, the cheese should be very firm. Slice into 2 inch blocks. Lay the chunks in a covered container and rub the curds with non-iodized salt. Drain off excess liquid occasionally and re-salt. The salting process further toughens the cheese.
After 2 days at room temperature, place the cheese in a brine solution for 1 to 4 weeks and place in the refrigerator. Be sure the cheese is covered with brine. You can leave the cheese in the brine and it will keep at least a year in the fridge.
Once the feta has brined for at least a month, remove the cheese from the brine and cut into 1-inch cubes.
If you wish to marinate your feta, place cubed cheese in jars with lids leaving about 1/2 inch headspace. Add your favorite seasonings, then completely cover with olive oil. The cheese will age in the marinade and does not need to be refrigerated. Crumble on salads or use any way you would use Feta.
Shelley blogs at Twiggity Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats.
Do you have a recipe post or kitchen-related story to share on the Farm Bell blog?
See Farm Bell Blog Submissions for information, the latest blog contributor giveaway, and to submit a post.
Want to subscribe to the Farm Bell blog? Go here.