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Old 12-09-2010, 03:58 AM   #1
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Default Chevre lacks pizazz

Yay! My first cheese forum post. I'm a total cheese making noob.

I made some chevre today and it has set up nicely. I bought packets for a chevre kit at the LHBS and some goat's milk from Trader Joe's. The texture is great, but the flavor lacks that certain je ne sais quoi I get from every other chevre I've had. Most chevres seems a little more acidic to me, almost like there is a little lemon juice in the flavor. Any ideas on improving the flavor?

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Old 12-18-2010, 06:25 PM   #2
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When I make goat cheese, I do the following:

My local store just has evaporated goat milk in a can, so I buy that and reconstitute it by adding an equal part water. No problem, pour can into pot, fill can with water, pour water into pot.

Then I bring it to a cool boil. Assuming you have a thermometer, 180 or so.

Next you have to curdle the milk by adding acid. You can add either lime/lemon juice or vinegar, I do both.

I also add a little white cooking wine.

The most important thing is to get the amount of salt right. I do not measure this. Instead, as the milk is heating on the stove, I add the salt to the warm milk and then keep trying it until it tastes like salty milk. Yes, it's nasty, but the most common cause of bad homemade cheese is too little salt. It should be salty; not overly salty, but salty.

After draining it in cheese cloth for about 45 mins ish, I take a couple (several, for me) cloves of garlic and some herbs, usually rosemary or dill, and just fold it into the cheese. Then it put the cheese in the fridge, with a little weight on it. The more weight you add, the drier your cheese gets. If you want it smooth and spreadable, less weight if any, if you want it to crumble, add a little more.

If your cheese lacks pizazz, it's probably undersalted but adding white wine, garlic or herbs might help you too. Also, as you suggested, you might just need to use lemon/lime juice when curdling the cheese.

In my experience, using pure vinegar to curdle cheese makes the cheese taste and smell too much like vinegar, I definitely prefer citrus juice but I still use about half vinegar and half juice, to avoid ending up with lime cheese.

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Old 12-18-2010, 06:31 PM   #3
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You just made it today? What was your process?

Here's mine: Bring goat's milk to 86 degrees and add culture/rennet. Let sit overnight at 70 degrees (if possible- my house is usually colder) and then transfer to butter muslin-lined colander. Mix in a bit of cheese salt (I don't use much). Allow to drain by hanging at room temperature for 12 hours.

By 24 hours, there is a definite "tang" to it. Part of that is the culture, part of it is the goat's milk itself. After the consistency is right, after the hanging, it can go in the fridge.

I don't pasteurize, overheat, or otherwise heat-treat the milk/cheese.

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