After yesterday’s disappointing batch of chevre I was eager to get another batch started and have a success this time.
Chevre Experiment #1 : 1 gallon of fresh, unfrozen milk milked within the last 3-4 days with one packet of rennet/culture mix PLUS an additional 4 cups of frozen milk
Results: I had a much more appropriate amount of ripening with this batch. My curds and whey still separated nicely. I started seeing effects within an hour of adding the culture and after about 8 hours it looked about done, to me.
In this photo you should be able to see how the overly ripened batch formed a very clear separation between the curds (solid) and whey (clear liquid). The curds have dropped down about half an inch below the surface of the whey. The new batch doesn’t have as definite a separation. The curds are still nicely formed but haven’t sunk completely- there are just pools of whey forming on the surface and around edges. I like a soft, spreadable chevre rather than something crumbly like feta, though I have seen both types sold as “chevre”. Therefore, I prefer for my curds to not be too firm.
The difference is easier to see once I start cutting and scooping out the curds as well as when the curds have just been poured into the cheesecloth lined strainer to drain.
I’ll have to wait a few more hours for it to finish draining and refrigerate a bit before the two finished cheeses are ready to be compared side by side.