Valley View Farm turns their goats' milk into delicious farmstead cheese... Following the strict laws governing the handling of raw milk, the creamery at Valley View Farm is split into two rooms. In the first room, raw milk fresh from the goats next door is poured into a chiller. It's quickly cooled to 40-degrees Fahrenheit.
Once chilled, the milk is pumped into the pasteurizer in the creamery's second room. It's cooked to 145-degrees for 30 minutes and then cooled to 70-degrees. Besides killing off any harmful bacteria, pasteurizing allows Mulholland and his crew to control the consistency of the cheese they produce. Out of the pasteurizer, it has the consistency of thick yogurt.
The milk curds are then ladled into molds and allowed to sit overnight or longer, depending on what kind of cheese is being made. The molds are perforated with small holes to allow whey to drain off. (They whey is then fed back to the goats!) The cheese is "seeded" with specific molds by spraying it in the air above the cheese.
Alternatively, the curds can be wrapped in cheesecloth and hung from the horizontal poles seen here. This is done for the fresh goat cheese and other soft cheeses produced by the farm.
And finally, we get to sample the cheese! We tried two kinds of fresh cheese, which was creamy and deliciously sour, and a few kinds of aged cheeses similar to brie. The Mulhollands are also experimenting with cow's milk cheese purchased from a neighbor.
This tour has certainly inspired our own cheese making, though we think we're a long way off from having a creamery like this! Related: Where Does Milk Come From? A Tour of Shatto Dairy in Kansas City (Images: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)