Should Homemade Goat Cheese be Runny?

If this is your first time making goat cheese, it can be hard to know if you’re doing it right. If it turned out runny you may be wondering if that’s how homemade goat cheese should be. .

Homemade goat cheese should not be runny. When homemade goat cheese is ready, its form should be solid, but also soft. All liquid should be drained during the cheese-making process.

In this article we will further discuss goat cheese and how to help it turn out correct.

What Caused Your Runny Cheese

Your goat cheese should not be runny and if it is then that means you made a small mistake somewhere in the cooking process. There are a few different mistakes that could explain why your goat cheese could be runny. Below I’ve listed the most common.

The milk was too fresh

There are antiseptic properties in milk that can kill the culture, which is what causes the cheese to solidify. To avoid this problem you can pasteurize your milk or let it sit for a few days before you use it to make cheese.

Your culture/rennet was too old

If the culture or rennet is too old it could be too weak to form the cheese. It’s also possible that if the culture or rennet is too old, the antiseptics in the milk could kill it. Also, if you warm the milk for too long it could be too hot and could kill your culture or rennet.

You didn’t let it drain enough

The last step of making a chevre requires hanging the cheese in a cheesecloth and letting it drain. This step can be slow, but you really should wait until as much liquid as will come out is out. Luckily, this problem has a quick fix.

The Milk didn’t get hot enough

When warming the milk it should get up to around 180 degrees Fahrenheit. There can be some variance for altitude, so you will absolutely need to look into that. However, if the milk never gets to this temperature, the cheese will not set as it should.

Can You Fix Runny Cheese?

Whether you can fix your runny cheese all depends on what caused it to be runny. If you simply didn’t let it drain long enough then go ahead and put it back in the cheesecloth and let it drain until all the liquid is gone.

Unfortunately, if the problem was something else like maybe your cheese did not set, then your cheese cannot be saved. I know it might be disappointing and maybe a hard choice to make, but you’ll have to dispose of it and start over completely.

The History Of Goat Cheese

Goats themselves were first domesticated in the ancient middle east. An old Iranian folk tale says that the villagers in the mountains made a deal with the wild goats that if they provided protection and food, the goats would give them meat, milk, and hides, in exchange.

Though it cannot be officially confirmed, it is believed that goat cheese was consumed in the ancient middle east and ancient Greece. However, official history places the first Chevre made, in 8th century AD France (of course the French are known for great cheese), when the Moors brought goats to France for the first time.

So, while we can thank the French for the beloved goat cheese we enjoy today, we can also thank the early Iranians.

Types Of Goat Cheese

Chances are the goat cheese you are trying to make is Chevre. It is the most common form of goat cheese and is extremely popular for its soft, creamy texture and mild flavor. However, goat cheese does come in other cheese forms including:

  • Brie
  • Cheddar
  • Gouda
  • Feta
  • Ricotta

The list doesn’t end here. There are a good handful of farmers in the US who make their own goat cheeses.

Making Chevre

This is the common form of goat cheese and the easiest to make. It is also unbelievably good and is extremely versatile. Here’s a simple recipe to follow if you want to make a chevre at home.


  • 1-quart goat’s milk (don’t use ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (no pulp or seeds) or white vinegar
  • Salt (to taste)


  • You can also use a culture and rennet, but it’s not required for chevre.


  1. Slowly heat 1 quart of goat’s milk until it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need a kitchen thermostat for this.
  2. Once it hits 180, turn off the heat immediately and add the lemon juice or white vinegar (whichever you decided to use in this recipe).
  3. Let set 10 minutes. Curds should be forming at this point.
  4. Pour the curds into a very fine cheesecloth.
  5. Bundle the cheesecloth around the curds and hang the bundle, so the moisture drips out for 1 to 2 hours. (You can do this over the kitchen sink. Hang the cheesecloth from the faucet.)
  6. Once all the moisture is drained, you can remove the cheese from the cheesecloth and it should be done. At this point, you can eat it as it is, or you can get creative and add flavors.


Goat cheese is delicious on its own, but its mild and tart flavor makes it a very versatile cheese when it comes to adding flavors. Here’s a list of things you can add to goat cheese, that have already been proven to be delicious, by myself and other lovers of goat cheese.

  • Jam
  • Fruit
  • Honey
  • Walnuts
  • Herbs
  • Hot Peppers
  • Mushrooms


Goat cheese is a great appetizer or snack and because of its versatility, it pairs well with many other foods and drinks. Below are some pairings that have already been discovered and enjoyed.

  • Pears (this pairing is a personal favorite)
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Crackers
  • Wine

The wine that tastes the best with your goat cheese is going to depend on the acidity and saltiness of your cheese. If you’re making your own cheese, finding the best wine pairing may take some trial and error. If you are buying goat cheese here is a guide from The Fresh Market with some good cheeses and their best wine pairings.

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