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Homemade Chevre and Feta

Homemade Chevre and Feta

Todd and I came back from the Island Family Farm with a little more than a gallon of unpasturized, raw goat milk and not being able to drink that much that quickly, I decided to dive in and learn to make some cheese. The two obvious choices were chevre and feta, both of which were supposedly pretty simple to make and wouldn’t require any fancy supplies, save some starter culture.

I took a drive north to The Cellar Homebrew on Greenwood and got a couple of different direct set cultures and came home and sterilized everything. I had two books as references – Creative Pickling at Home (which had a simple feta in brine recipe) and Making Artisan Cheese (which was a much more thorough how-to manual).

The process was pretty simple, and given the ambient temperature at a comfy 68 degrees, it was easy to keep everything at about the right temperature. The only tricky part seemed to come from the development of the curds - because the correct texture of the curds affects the resulting cheese texture too. The instructions seemed to suggest in one case really stirring the curds around and breaking them up, while the other seemed not to suggest that - and the two cheeses did turn out different as a result.

In fact, the feta turned out nearly exactly the way feta usually tastes and looks to me - tight, try curds, crumbles easily - and that may be a result of my pressing the curds in a square mold to drain overnight. The chevre, on the other hand, turned out closer to the texture of fresh mozzarella - springy is the best word for it. It's undeniably smooth, but it's very elastic. Melts nicely and tastes like chevre, but it just doesn't look like chevre, and that's sort of disappointing. All in all, I would definitely do this again!

Fresh Chevre
1/2 gal. goat milk
1/8 tsp direct-set culture
1 T of a rennet/water mixture (1/2 tablet of rennet dissolved in 1/2 c chlorine-free (bottled) water)

  1. Sterilize all equipment before starting.
  2. Warm the milk to 72 degrees.
  3. Add the starter culture and mix well.
  4. Add 1 T of the diluted rennet and stir for 2 minutes.
  5. Cover and keep milk at 72 degrees (if possible). Cheese curds will form within 18 hours. If it looks like curds haven’t formed, let it set longer.
  6. Cut the curds and check for a clean break.
  7. When they cut clearly, ladle them into a cheesecloth-lined colander and hang the cheesecloth over a drain bowl to allow the whey to drain.
  8. When the whey stops draining, the cheese is ready. This should take 4 – 6 hours.
  9. Package this in an airtight refrigerator container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Note: I used raw, unpasturized goat milk and didn’t need to add calcium chloride to get the curds to come together. This is sometimes a suggested addition in other cheesemaking recipes.

Makes 1/2 pound.


1/2 gal goat milk
1/4 tsp mesophilic direct-set culture
5 T of a rennet/water mixture (1/2 tablet of rennet dissolved in 1/2 c chlorine-free (bottled) water – you can use what you diluted when making chevre)
Cheese salt

  1. Sterilize all equipment before starting.
  2. Heat the milk to 86 degrees.
  3. Add the starter culture, stir, and cover for one hour.
  4. After an hour, add the diluted rennet.
  5. Cover and sit for one hour.
  6. Check for a clean break. When you have one, cut the curds into 1/2” cubes. Allow the curds to rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Stir the curds for 20 minutes.
  8. Pour the curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander and hang the cheesecloth over a drain bowl to allow the whey to drain. This should take about 4 hours. The drained curds should be spongy but firm.
  9. Remove the curds from the cheesecloth and cut them into 1” cubes.
  10. Lightly sprinkle with cheese salt.
  11. Place in a covered container and ripen in the refrigerator for 4 days at 58 degrees.

Feta will keep in the fridge for 4 days.
Makes 1/2 pound.

Soft Goat Cheese on Foodista

More Info

My homemade mozzarella and cream cheese posts
My homemade ricotta post
Great Cheesemaking supplies at Cellar Homebrew
Creative Pickling at Home by Barbara Ciletti
Making Artisan Cheese by Tim Smith


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Oh my goodness! Awesome

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The process was pretty

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Warm very gently, and cook

Warm very gently, and cook just until the sauce is incorporated and glazes the onions. Serve with the roasted pheasant.

cheese making

Hi, I just was sent to your site from Simply Recipes site. Great Pix! I just started blogging on recipes myself, so this is a good example for me.

I read the recipe for feta, and don't understand the brine part. Does rolling the cubes in salt produce the brine by drawing the water out of the cubes, or did I miss something?



Salt makes Brine

Hi Lisa!

Yes, rolling the cubes in salt allows the water to be drawn out from the cheese, and it makes its own brine. I was surprised how much liquid remained in the cheese after I pressed the curds dry, but the morning after I had rolled it in salt, I probably had 1/2c - 3/4c water drawn out. Not all of the cubes were covered with the brine, but that didn't seem to hurt in the end.

We ate the cheese within about a week, just like you'd do with any store-bought cheese. I'm not sure if it can last longer than that - it was raw milk so I didn't want to take a chance.

Thanks for your comment, and if you have any more questions please let me know!