Hard Goat Milk Cheese
8 Quarts Goat Milk
1/4 rennet tablet
Something to press down the cheese (two boards and a couple of bricks, or a cheese press)
Warm milk to 86 degrees. Mix rennet in a glass of cold water, crushing it with a spoon so it will dissolve. Add to milk. Stir and leave in a warm place undisturbed (30-45 minutes), until a firm curd forms.
Test the firmness of the curd by poking your finger into it and lifting it up. If the curd breaks clean over your finger, it is ready to cut.
The curd must be cut into small cubes, about 3/8” square. (use a knife long enough to reach the bottom of the pan) Cut vertically, then at right angles to first cut, and then at an angle. Turn the kettle and cut the opposite angle.
Stir curd gently and thoroughly with hands for 15 minutes, cutting up larger pieces that come to the surface. Heat curds very slowly, about 1-1/2 degrees every 5 minutes, until it all reaches 102 degrees F. Stir with a spoon frequently to keep the curd from sticking together. When done, the curd should hold its shape and readily fall apart when held in your hand (without squeezing) for a few seconds.
Remove from heat and stir every 10-15 minutes, so it doesn’t mat together. In about an hour, the pieces will easily shake apart when pressed together in your hand. Then pour the curd into a cheesecloth and drain briefly. Place in a pail and sprinkle 1 tbsp salt over the curd. Mix well by hand, but don’t squeeze the curds. Sprinkle another tbsp of salt and mix again. Tie corners of the cheesecloth together and hang over a kettle to drain (1/2 to 3/4 hour).
Take cheese ball from cloth and place on a table. Fold a long cloth into a bandage about 3 inches wide, and wrap it tightly around the ball. Pin in place. Press the top down with your hands. (The top should be smooth. Cracks will allow mold to penetrate to the center of the cheese.) The loaf should be about 6 inches across. Any larger will dry out too much while aging.
Place 3 or 4 thickness of cheesecloth on top of, and under, the cheese.
Put the cheese on a board, place another board on top of the cheese and weigh it down with two bricks. (watch, as they are likely to tilt and fall off). A home made cheese press or a factory built one will work much better.
The next morning, remove the cloths from the cheese and place it on a board for half a day. Turn it occasionally. When the rind is completely dry, dip the cheese in paraffin, heated to 210-220 degrees F, or paint paraffin on with a pastry brush. Store in a clean, cool cellar, or similar place.
Turn each day for several days. Then 2-3 times a week.
Should be ready to eat in 3-4 weeks.