Goat Cheese Disaster.

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This is a problem that, I'm sure, few people have: too much expired goat milk. As it happens, this is a problem I'm faced with on a somewhat regular basis.

Being a thrifty and resourceful lad, I decided to attempt to turn this sow's ear into a silk purse by making a very simple goat cheese out of the unsalable, but still good, gallon of goat milk from Coach Farm.

The recipe calls for the gallon of milk to be heated to 190º and then mixed with a 1/2 cup of plain old white vinegar. In theory, this should lead to a supple paste of goat curd forming in your pot, which you then gently break up with a spoon, salt and then drain into a cheesecloth lined colander. After a few hours of draining you should have what most people recognize as a sizable lump of fresh goat cheese or chevre, if you're a Francophile.

Anyway, that's the theory.

In practice what happens is that your candy thermometer is positioned, via a clip, near the side of the pot in which your goat milk is heating and the heat being applied from the wanky electric induction burner is tightly focused at the very center of the pot.

What difference could that possibly make, right?

Quite a lot apparently.

What happened is that, while the goat milk on the sides of my stainless steel vessel was slowly rising to about 175º, the center was getting dangerously close to the boiling point or, as I like to call it, the point at which your attempt at goat cheese becomes an attempt at goat rubber.

Sure, so the milk suddenly begins to boil, I turn off the heat in a futile effort to rescue my project from the compost bin and slowly stir in the vinegar.

What happened next is that I very quickly got the goat rubber I so feared. Because I'm a positive thinker, I still let the very strange looking mass of haywire milk proteins cool to the prescribed temperature and then drained and salted it.

The best way to describe it would be mozzarella bullets. The flavor was somewhere between fresh goat cheese and vulcanized tire welt. That is, not very good.

Now that I've seen the error of my ways I plan on making another batch that I hope I won't viciously overheat. If you plan on making this recipe yourself, make sure that you don't use one of those electric flat top burners and that you move the thermometer around (and stir the milk) as it reaches 170º.

The complete recipe goes like this:

Supplies
1 Gallon Goat Milk
1/2 cup White Vinegar
Large Colander
Cheese Cloth
Salt to Taste

Technique

Under low heat, raise the temperature of the milk to 190ºF.

Now, slowly stir in the 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Once the vinegar is poured into the milk stop stirring. A curd should start to form.

Let the mass cool to about 100ºF then gently break the curd slightly with a spoon.

Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of salt (to taste), stir to incorporate and then pour into the collander lined with a double layer of cheese cloth.

After the curd has drained a little you can bring together the ends of the cloth and twist to force out more liquid.

Good luck.
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