I started my goat cheese making journey some 10 years ago when I started my dairy goat herd.
First off I read a lot of books and articles, and that was before internet made this researching easy.
The second stage was to go and enrol in a dairy technology course, and that gave me the technical understanding I needed.
Finally I went to France and spent several months touring and visiting various French goat fromageries and goat raising farms, and what a wonderful few months that was.
That phase was to try and get a background and understanding into the ‘artisan” element of making truly quality farmstead goats cheese.
I am still learning and perfecting techniques and trying to create the “perfect” cheese.
Books on Cheesemaking I invested in several books on cheesemaking and the following are some that I found very useful to read and learn from
One great little book is called GOAT CHEESE SMALL SCALE PRODUCTION This is written by the Benedictine Nuns of Mont Laurier in Canada.
There is some very good information on goat milk; making starter culture; testing acidity; and some good cheese and yoghurt recipes. Highly Recommended and I have used this book a lot.
The Fabrication of Farmstead Goat Cheese by Jean-Claude Le Jaouen. This is a must have book and is full of technical knowledge for goat cheese making, it includes information on goat milk production and milk quality, practical methods for producing farmstead goat cheese, working plans for building and laying out of a cheese room and a lot more. This is a must have book! All you need to know about making-goat-milk-cheese
Home Cheesemaking by Ricki Carroll. This is a revised edition of the book Cheesemaking Made Easy. There are now 75 cheeses, 25 other dairy products, Q&A etc, another good investment for the bookshelf. More on making-goat-milk-cheese
You need the boiler to heat the milk. Typical sizes are around 3 to 4 gallons (12-16 liters). A double boiler is essentially one pot inside another so the inner pot is heated by the hot water.
This prevents boiling and even heating and stops any burning. It also allows better temperature control. For the inner pot a stainless steel pot is best, and you can simply use a larger stainless pot for the outside one. You also need to space the inner pot off the bottom around an inch (25mm), I often used a stainless steel cake rack until I had a proper stainless steel spacer made, and then finally a purpose made double boiler. Another good idea is the use of a Vacola bottling and canning outfit boiler as well.
Good temperature control is crucial so you need to get a good thermometer. You will need this to precisely control the curd temperature. You need to have an easily readable thermometer that has a range of around 70 degrees to 215 degrees F.
The large dial type thermometers that I used to use have a long 8 – 10 inch stem so that you get it down into the milk and curds. I eventually changed to a digital thermometer and it has all the bells and whistles such as programmable timer and various alarms which make monitoring a whole lot easier. Make your own home made goat cheese and all about goat cheese making