Goat’s Milk Colby
By Julie Ott*
A short while ago I got the opportunity to share my recipe for a cheese meld of Colby/Cheddar (click here). I am back again with another goat cheese recipe – Colby. This recipe is for raw goat milk. If you are using pasteurized, please double the amount of culture and rennet.
1 gallon raw goat’s milk
1/16 tsp thermo/meso blend (a 50/50 blend of thermophilic and mesophilic. This aids in the aging process.) Note: If you don’t want to use 1/32 tsp of 2 separate cultures, you can use our “Farmstead Culture” – MA4002 or, another option – RA21.
1/8 tsp animal rennet, diluted in 1/4 c cool non-chlorinated water
1 tablespoon salt or brine
cheese press, mold, followers
buckets for whey (pigs, chickens, and veggie plants LOVE it!)
Heat your milk to 86F.
Add 1/16 tsp culture per gallon of milk. You may need slightly more than this (or less) per gallon. (As a rule, 2/16 is usually too much for even the freshest of raw milk, and if the milk is over 3 days old, you will want to half this amount once again, or drop the amount of culture slightly.)
As an example, I used 4 gallons of milk, which was a combination of between 4 days and 12 hours old. Because after 3 days the milk begins to become more acid, less culture is needed. ,In this case, I used 3/16tsp of culture for 4 gallons, and it was the perfect amount.
Once the culture is added, let it sit for 2 minutes to re-hydrate. Stir in. Let set for 30 minutes.
Add rennet. Your temp should be no lower than 80*F. Let sit 45 minutes or until a clean break.
With a whisk, cut the curds. I like to begin with an up and down motion around the whole edge, working to the middle. Let set for 15 minutes. This step helps to keep the butterfat inside of the cheese and out of your whey.
Once the 15 minutes are up, use the whisk to cut the curds into ¼ inches or just under that size. This should take 5-10 minutes depending on your batch size.
Set your pot on the stove and begin heating the curds to 102F. You want to do this slowly, (about 30 minutes), while stirring. I like to stir every 5 minutes during this time, instead of constantly. Use your best stirring style (every 5 minutes is mine!). If you hit 102F before the 30 minutes is up, remove it from the heat and continue stirring for the remainder of the time.
After 30 minutes, and at 102F, remove from the stove (if using direct heat) OR retain the temp of 102F (if using a water-bath). For the next 30 minutes, continue to stir.
Your curds should look something like the photo below:
Let your curds set for 15 minutes (this just makes it easier to remove the whey, but it isn’t necessary).
Remove 1/3 of the whey. Replace this whey by volume with cold water (if you removed 1 quart of whey, add a quart of water). You want the temp to be around 80F once all of the water is added. A warmer temperature results in a slightly drier cheese, and a lower temperature results in a slightly higher moisture cheese.
The addition of the water should be done slowly over the course of 30 minutes, while stirring. I like to add ½ of the water in the first 10 minutes, wait 5 minutes (stir, stir, stir), and then add the rest of the water.
If you are salting, add 1tbs salt per 1.25lbs cheese (or per gallon).
Drain your curds in a colander. Save that whey and whey-water!
From this colander, add the curds into your butter-muslin lined mold. Press with moderate pressure as you fill the mold.
Press at 25 lbs for 1 hour. Flip. Press at 25-30 lbs for 1 hour, flip. Press for 40 lbs for 2-3 hours, flip. Press at 40-45 lbs overnight (8-10hrs). Remove from the mold and let the surface dry for 2-3 days unless you are brining the cheese, in which case, put it in your brine. I find overnight is sufficient, but it depends on the size of your cheese and how much cheese you have. There is a really good article about brining here: https://www.cheesemaking.com/learn/how-to/brining-cheese.html
And it is my favorite reference for making a brine.
Once the cheese is dry, transfer it to your aging room. A good 62F-68F and 68-80% humidity will make an amazing cheese. Flip daily every day for the first month, and then every other day for the second month. By 2 months, it is ready to enjoy!
* About Julie
Julie is raising goats and her 1 year old son in North Berwick, Maine. She makes a wide variety of cheeses.
We’re very grateful to her for sharing her recipe for Goat’s Milk Colby/Cheddar with us in April, 2017, and now this one.