Although not an "overnight" cheese, it's well worth the wait.
- 1 gallon goat milk (pasteurized is fine, but not ultra-pasteurized)
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid calcium chloride
- 1/2 cup nonchlorinated water
- 1/4 cup direct-set mesophilic culture (or 1/4 cup active cultured buttermilk)
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet
- 5 tablespoons kosher salt
- Pour the milk into a large, heavy bottomed pan with a tight-fitting lid.
- Dilute the calcium chloride in 1/4 cup of water and stir gently into the milk.
- Over low heat and stirring frequently, heat the milk to 86 degrees. Do this slowly.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle the culture on top of the milk. Let sit for 2-3 minutes to rehydrate. (If using buttermilk, gently stir it in.)
- Gently stir the DS culture into the milk.
- Cover and let sit for 1 hour.
- After an hour, dilute the rennet in 1/4 cup water and stir into the milk. Stop the milk movement by placing your spoon in the middle.
- Cover and let sit another hour, or until you can get a clean cut with your knife or spatula and the curds and whey have separated.
- Carefully cut the curds into cubes about 1/2 inch with a long knife. Let them sit about 10 minutes.
- Using a long-handled skimmer or slotted spoon, gently fold the curds for 10-15 seconds. If you find large curds, break them up. Let the curds sit undisturbed for 5 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
- Remove 2 cups of whey to a container with a lid and refrigerate.
- With a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the curds into a fine mesh strainer or colander. Let drain for 10-15 minutes.
- Ladle the curds into cheesecloth-lined molds. Fold over the ends of the cheesecloth and stack the molds.
- Let drain until most of the whey has been expelled, about 18-24 hours. During the process, rearrange the molds and flip the cheese in the molds at least twice.
- Unwrap the cheese and place in a 13 X 9 dish, or the size needed to hold your cheese. Using 1 tablespoon of the salt, sprinkle each side of the cheese. Cover and let sit at room temperature until all the whey has drained and the cheese is firm to the touch. Flip the cheese and drain off any whey that appears at least once a day Depending on the size of your cheese, this can take 1-3 days.
- When cheese is ready, prepare the brine.
- When ready to store, prepare the brine. Whisk together the 2 cups of whey you saved with 4 tablespoons of salt until dissolved. Cut the feta into 1/2-inch cubes or leave whole, and place in a container with a tight lid. Pour the brine over the cheese. Refrigerate.
Dissolve 1/8 teaspoon of Ball's Pickle Crisp in 1/4 water if you don't have calcium chloride.
If you don't want to use molds, line the colander with cheesecloth before draining the curds. Then bring together the ends and tie. Hang to dry. After about 90 minutes, remove the cheese, turn over, and rewrap and rehang.