Raw Milk Goat Cheese
Featuring: Check Hellmer, President and General Manager, Jackie Chang, Cheesemaker
Location: Haystack Dairy, Longmont, Colorado
Haystack Dairy has been making goat cheese for 22 years. Cheese made from unpasteurized milk is packed with live enzymes and full of flavor.
Jackie, the cheese maker, starts by transferring milk from the bulk tank to the cheese vat. Then, she stirs and gradually heats the milk for one hour. After checking the milk’s temperature, she adds the cultures and waits for it to reach the proper PH level. That done, she adds rennet mixed with H2O. This coagulates the milk in a matter for minutes. The flocculation time, the time it takes to develop curd, is closely monitored. Once it develops, the curd is cut with a cheese harp. In this final stage all excess moisture is removed, including the whey.
Location: Billy Goat Dairy, Longmont, CO
Featuring: Bill and Kendall
Buying shares in a goat herd, and paying the farmer a “boarding” fee, allows members to consume the goat’s raw milk as if it were your own (because legally it is).
Raw milk means not pasteurized. Sanitation, rather that sterilization, is the key to safe and healthy raw goat milk. This means rapidly cooling the milk and keeping it cold, along with adhering to proper cleaning procedures.
Colorado law does not permit the retail sale of raw milk, but if you keep a dairy animal in your own backyard, nothing stops you from drinking its milk. The “goat share” principle allows consumers that same right. They pay Bill $10 for a tour of his facility to see how the farm operates. $5 goes to one share of the herd and the other $5 is a deposit for the mason jar which contains a half gallon of raw goat milk. Members either return the jar and receive $10 to cancel the agreement or continue by paying $20 a month as a “boarding” fee in exchange for a half gallon of milk per week. Bill currently has 45 shareholders using his service.