Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cheese Season and Butter Season

My dairy goats have just changed from butter season to cheese season!

The butterfat in their milk changes seasonally. In the Spring, there is lots of milk to feed hungry baby goats, but the butterfat is low. In the Fall, the amount of milk they give is less, but the butterfat content is higher. This changes what we can do with their milk during the year.

In the Spring and Summer, we make lots of fresh chevre cheese, but once the milk becomes very rich in the Fall, the cheese won't set. This is our signal to make as much goat butter as we can and freeze it for later. Once the goats have babies, we start back in with cheese.

Some of our goats are not pregnant this year. If we continue to milk them regularly, they continue to produce milk. In January or so, they suddenly begin to produce lots more milk and their butterfat content drops, as if they had babies. It's always a bit of a surprise.

While butter cookies and buttercream frosting are awesome, I've really been missing my homemade mac and cheese!

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