Making your own homemade Chevre is rewarding and delicious. If you haven’t tried it yet, let’s go!
Chevre can be made with multiple cultures: Aromatic B, MA 11, and of course the Chevre culture. The Chevre culture is all-in-one, requiring no additional rennet. The Aromatic B and MA 11 cultures will need either vegetable rennet tablets, liquid vegetable rennet, or liquid animal rennet. I have made chevre with the veggie rennet tablets, so today I’m working with animal rennet to coagulate my MA 11 infused raw goat milk!
The MA 11 comes with four packets, but you’ll only need one for an ENTIRE gallon’s worth of milk!
If you start in the early evening, it will be ready by the end of the next day! Here’s how I did it:
You can use cow milk as well, if you don’t have goat milk available. If pasteurized, always make sure it’s regularly pasteurized, NEVER “Ultra” or “High Temp” or “Fine filtered” etc. It must be NORMALLY pasteurized milk…period.
Just a few tips to correspond with the directions as numbered:
- You’ll want to use the rennet within 30 minutes, so make sure you don’t overheat the milk past 75º and have to wait forever for it to cool down to the right temperature. Been there, done that, a pain in the rear!
- Yes, heat slowly so you don’t damage the milk.
- Why wait a few minutes after sprinkling the culture on? It allows it to absorb the milk better, before you stir it in.
- Don’t just stir in circles – you want to incorporate the culture all throughout the milk. Up and down, side to side, round and round.
- Carefully and slowly add the rennet, using a slotted spoon to better distribute the rennet in your milk – again, you’ll be stirring in that “spirograph” type movement…not just round and round and round and round.
- Sometimes insulating means getting help from things like emergency blankets and heating pads…experiment with water prior to cheese day to see what set up works to hold the water’s temp steady at 72ºF.
- It might look like yogurt, and you will likely see whey, with more whey being evident the longer it sits.
To drain, I found it helpful to use a piece of cheesecloth sewn into a bag. Here it is covering the pot so I can flip the cheese into the bag by turning the pot upside down – helpful to have a bowl or big sink underneath!
Then hang to drain somewhere safe, where it won’t get disturbed or accidentally knocked down.
Now to unveil my chev!
- Season! Salt, garlic, other herbs – make it savory if you want! It’s pretty bland if you don’t put something in it, so experiment!
After you mix in some seasonings, you can put it in a mold for it to further drain and make a pretty pattern! This is not necessary, just fun.
Press the cheese down in the mold to even things out.
Let it drain another 6-12 hours (it will age and get more sour!), then pop it out of the mold.
Enjoy the cheese of your labor! Get fermented!