Differences Between Batches
Q. My first batch of Chevre was sweet and creamy. I made another batch, and it was much tangier and lumpy. Could it be because it sat longer during the draining process?
A. A longer drain time will result in more acid development, which in turn will lead to a drier, less creamy final cheese.
Q. My chèvre has been consistently great through the spring and summer, but now (fall) every time I make it it comes out quite dry. Is there anything I can try?
A. Milk solids do change during the seasons, increasing as the summer changes to fall. Due to this, the make process needs to change as well. Dryness can be a matter of developing too much acid or allowing the curd to drain too much.
Watch carefully for the coagulation. You should only have a thin layer of about 1/8-1/4” of whey at the surface when cutting
Culture Usage, Yield, and Substitutions
Q. For the C20G Chevre Culture, I know the directions state 1 gallon to 1 packet. Is this literal, or is there a range that can be used, like up to 2 or 4 gallons? I ask because I have seen other cultures sold where their directions will state a specific amount is good for 2-4 gallons but the actual culture amount does not change.
A. There is always a specific amount of culture to use. It usually depends on the specific cheese being made, and milk being used. The info on those other packs you mention is a very general guide and not targeted to a specific cheese. Our packet for Chevre is designed for that specific amount of goat milk. Using more or less milk will result in under or over ripening.
A. Our Chevre packet contains a more complex culture blend that is especially suited to this cheese style. You can use the C101 Mesophilic, but it will not have as light of a texture in the final cheese, as this culture does not contain the aromatic/gas producer. Use 1 packet for 1 or 2 gallons, the higher volume of milk making a moister cheese. The rennet amount is very small, about 2-4 drops of liquid single strength rennet.
Q. I was wondering, can I use a small amount of my chèvre cheese to start a new batch like I can do with yogurt or kefir?
A. Unfortunately, this will not work. The fully fermented cheese will be quite different and the cultures are basically spent after the ripening/setting time. The viability will be poor compared to an active yogurt or kefir culture.
Q. I make cheese out of my raw goat milk. If I use the C20G Chevre culture with raw goats milk, can I use one packet to set 2 gallons of milk? Or can I use another culture, like MM100, and adjust the amount of rennet that I use?
A. The Chevre culture pack is best for 1 gallon of milk. It was designed for convenience, with both culture and rennet in one step. The convenience is great but does not allow for the variance in herd dynamics and seasonal milk variations.
Flavor and Consistency
Q. I made my first batch of chèvre using your goat cheese kit and goats milk from Trader Joe’s. It was so much fun and fascinating to watch the process unfold! While the finished product was very good, and everyone enjoyed it, all of us agreed that it didn’t have the “tang” of chèvre we normally buy. Why is that? Is there anything I can do to increase the “tang”?
A. The tangy flavor can be achieved with a longer ripening time. However, it will also get drier with a longer ripening time, so you will need to find a a good balance between flavor and texture.