1/4 tsp. lipase powder diluted in 1/4 cup water and allowed to sit for 20 minutes (optional – use if making this recipe with milk other than goat’s milk)
1 packet direct-set mesophilic starter or 2 oz. prepared mesophilic starter
1/2 tsp. liquid rennet (or 1/4 rennet tablet) diluted in 1/4 cup cool, unchlorinated water
2-4 tbsp. cheese salt
1/3 cup cheese salt, for brine (optional)
1/2 gallon water, for brine (optional)
1/8 tsp. calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 cup water (optional)
Combine the milk and the diluted lipase, if desired; heat the milk to 86 degrees F.
Add the starter, stirring to combine; cover and allow to the milk to ripen for 1 hour.
Add the diluted rennet and gently stir with an up-and-down motion for several minutes; cover and allow to set at 86 degrees F for 1 hour.
Cut the curd into 1/2-inch cubes.
Allow to set, undisturbed, for 10 minutes.
Gently stir the curds for 20 minutes.
Pour the curds into a colander lined with cheesecloth.
Tie the corners of the cheesecloth into a knot and hang the bag over the sink to drain for 4 hours.
Untie the bag and cut the curd into 1-inch slices, then cut the slices into 1-inch cubes.
Sprinkle the cubes with the salt to taste; place in a covered bowl and allow to age for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
For a stronger flavor, make a brine solution by combining 1/3 cup of salt and the water. Place the cheese in the brine solution and store in refrigerator for 30 days. (Use this method only if your goat’s milk comes from a farm; store-bought goat’s milk tend to disintegrate in brine.)
If the curds are not setting firmly enough for you to cut easily, next time add the diluted calcium chloride to the milk before adding the starter.