A Spoonful of Spice

Recipes for low-sugar living + treats for special occasions

Aging Chèvre and 10 cheesemaking tidbits

I took my first class at CUESA with Louella, to learn to make fresh chèvre and aged chèvre. She is a great instructor and very knowledgable about all things cheese.

Here are a few fun facts I learned:
1. Pour milk like you would a beer: this prevents the fat globules, which are important for a curd, from breaking.
2. Goat cheese uses lactobacillus and a second organism of your choice if you're aging the cheese.
3. Don't use yogurt as a starter for lactobacillus because it often retains rather than sheds water. Cultured buttermilk and kefir are better.
4. Goat cheese is a lactic-acid set vs. a rennet-set cheese.
5. Raw milk should be processed within 3 days.
7. A well-aged goat cheese is about 5-7 weeks.
8. Humidity is important to monitor: if it is too wet the cheese will rot.
9. Texture is formed by the roots of mold digesting the cheese in different ways.
10. Ash is incinerated vegetables

*My curds are resting for the night, and then I will salt it, turn it, and let it rest some more. This feels a lot like breadmaking. Resting and turning! I will continue to post pictures as it ages and starts to develop a rind. Bread and cheese--I can now continue to make two out of the three essentials in my trifecta of goodness--bread, cheese, and wine. Not too bad.

Today is day 23 for my aging goat cheese. It was amazing to see the mold start growing on the surface of the soft cheese. It grows fast and will attach itself to the mat if you not turn it. It was also interesting to see how my fingerprint made its impression on each turn. You may think that this is rather unappealing, which at times also lurked in the back of my mind. But I reminded myself of the wise words that not all mold is bad and you can smell and taste the cleanliness of a good mold.

The fluffy mold began to harden a bit into a rind very much like a Brie. Similarly, when I cut into it, the cheese had taken on a very creamy, rich texture. It still had the distinct tang of a goat cheese but the taste now had an added sweet but fermented component. Compare the day 1 with day 23 below!