Making goat’s cheese in Summer 2022

I can’t remember the last time I made cheese but it was a long time ago, sometime in the pre-COVID era and possibly as long as 5 years ago.

Making cheese in the summer with higher temperatures is difficult and more challenging but it is possible if you have an effective method of cooling the pasteurised milk and keeping the cheese cool afterwards. An ideal temperature would be around 15ºC.

Over the years, I have posted a number of blog posts about how I made cheese. The idea behind this post is to summarise all of these previous posts and to provide the definitive method and procedure.



  • 1.25 teaspoons dried rennet
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Mix the above ingredients together in a small glass and leave until needed.



We have an old chest freezer from the time when we lived in the Calle Boli in the Sacromonte in Granada. John has set it up with a thermostat so that the temperature will not fall below a certain set temperature with the possibility of being on either for 24 hours or only when the sun is strong enough. Thanks to the thermal blocks at the bottom of the freezer, the temperature is maintained constantly throughout the night if it is not on all the time.



I use Manchego cheese moulds and have a variety of different sizes (15cm diameter, 17.5cm diameter and 19.5cm). It is useful to know the weight of the empty moulds (without the lids) for calculating the amount of salt to add. The 15cm mould weighs 575g, the 17.5cm mould weighs 715g and the 19.5cm mould weighs 865g when empty.



Once the cheese in the mould, it needs to be pressed to remove as much liquid as possible from the curds. Over the years, I have tried and tested all manner of cheese press, from shop-bought ones to home-made contraptions. My favourite one at the moment is the simplest of all and consists of a grooved board with two hooks, a square piece of wood with a groove in the top and a short bungee cord. The square piece of wood fits snugly into the top of the mould and applies even pressure to the cheese.



The first point I’d like to make is that temperature is key throughout the cheese-making process and the curing period. If the ambient temperature is too hot and the cheese is not kept at a constantly cool temperature, it will start to ferment and expand.


If you are able to get hold of unpasteurised milk, you should pasteurise it before making cheese. Apparently, cheese made with unpasteurised milk or “raw milk” is safe to eat after 45-60 days when there is no longer any danger of listeria, the cause of Listeriosis, a serious and possibly fatal disease. However, I think it is better to be safe than sorry and now I always pasteurise the milk.

The pasteurisation process is not complicated and consists in heating the milk to a high temperature: the slow method raises the temperature to 63°C (150°F) for 30 minutes, and the rapid method raises the temperature to 72°C (162°F) for 3 minutes. It is a good idea to use a thermometer with a sensor so you can see what the temperature is without having to remove the lid.

Once you have pasteurised the milk, you want to cool it as quickly as possibly and one way to do this is to place the pan in a sink with running cold water. I transferred the milk back to the plastic 5-litre containers which are more manageable and put them in the freezer. It took a couple of hours to bring the temperature of the milk down to 34ºC. A temperature range of 34ºC to 38ºC is ideal. The next stage is to add the rennet.


I use powdered artificial rennet that you can buy from the chemist or pharmacy. I mix the rennet, salt and water in a small glass and stir well until completely dissolved. I use a slatted spoon to sprinkle the rennet/salt mixture over the milk and stir well to make sure that it has been thoroughly mixed. I cover the pan and leave for 60 minutes.


The next step is to test for a clean cut. As the rennet begins to act, the curds will form and separate from the whey. I insert a long palate knife vertically into the cheese pan and make a single cut. If there is a clean cut with a clear distinction between the curds and the whey, the curds are ready. It is fairly obvious if you have a clean cut as the curds will be white and the whey yellow. If there is not, then leave it for another 30 minutes or 60 minutes depending on how clean the cut is.

When you reach a clean cut, you are ready to cut the curds.


I use a long palate knife to cut the curds. You want to make a series of vertical cuts about an inch apart through the curds and then another series of vertical cuts at 90 degrees. You can also cut at 45º to ensure that the curds have been uniformly cut.


I went a large cheesecloth and use it to line a large, sturdy colander. Using the slatted spoon, I transfer the cut curds to the colander, using a swirling movement to remove as much of the whey as possible. I tie up all four corners of the cheesecloth and hang it over the sink to drain off as much whey as possible.


I wring out another cheesecloth and use it to line the mould. I then add the curds, pressing them down gently with a spatula. I put on the mould top, fold the remaining cloth around the central part and put the mould in the cheese press.


I leave the curds in the mould and the cheese press on a large circular, china plate in the cool fridge/freezer for an hour. I then take out the block of curds and remove the cheesecloth. I flip the the block and place it back in the mould and return to the cheese press and put it back in the fridge freezer and leave in the press for another 12 hours (or overnight).

This time, I was making two cheeses with 20 litres in two 1.5kg moulds. In the morning, I rinsed off the cheese press boards and poured off any excess whey. I used one of the cheeses in its mould and circular china plate to apply pressure to the other cheese. I left this in place for 12 hours and then swapped them round so that the bottom one was now applying pressure to one that had been on top.


I sprinkled 1/2 teaspoon of salt over the top of both cheeses and placed them back in the fridge freezer without the tops.I left them in the fridge/freezer for another 24 hours. I then removed the cheese from the mould, flipped it over and put in on a wooden board with a plastic mesh. The cheese will still lose liquid so I put it in a slightly larger plastic container. I then sprinkled the remaining salt over the other side. I put the cheese in the fridge.


As the cheese has been made with pasteurised milk, it is possible to eat the cheese whenever you like after only a few days. At this stage of the process the cheese is known as “queso fresco” and salt is only added to enhance the flavour of the cheese.

For matured cheese, however, salt is fundamental for the curing process and helps to preserve the cheese for longer.

It is important not to use iodized salt as this acts as a disinfectant and can hinder the curing process.

The salt can be added at two moments in the cheese-making process: 1. before the curds are put in the mould; 2: once the cheese has been pressed. In either case, it is necessary to weigh the curds to calculate how much salt needs to be added.

In either case, the amount of salt to add is calculated at approximately 3%–4% of the weight of the curds.


Once the curds have been removed from the whey, it is possible to make ricotta or requesón. All you need to do is heat the whey up to boiling point and then skim off the floating ricotta. You can drain the ricotta until you reach your desired consistency.

Vegan chorizo


This is a great recipe for spicy vegan chorizo and it doesn’t take long to make. Its main ingredients are sun-dried tomatoes and almonds, two things we have plenty of here at the cortijo.

The red pepper is roasted over a flame. Turn it a couple of times until the skin begins to blister and then pop it into a plastic bag. Before you need to add it to the mix, rub off the blackened skin.

Spicy Vegan Chorizo

This recipe is quick to prepare and tastes delicious.



  • 220g dried tomatoes
  • 200g raw almonds
  • 120g soft rolled oats
  • ½ large red pepper, roasted
  • 2 teaspoons dried garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon spicy paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil



  1. Steam the dried tomatoes over boiling water for 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer the tomatoes to a boil, add a splash of boiling water and cover.
  3. In the food processor, blend the almonds and oats until coarsely ground and then transfer to a separate bowl.
  4. Blend together the tomatoes and red pepper.
  5. Put the almonds and oats back in the blender.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse a couple of times.
  7. Divide the mixture in half.
  8. Roll out each half on greaseproof paper to form an even sausage shape.
  9. Roll up in the greaseproof paper and store in the fridge for 24 hours.

Video of wrapping soap

Sarah has now become an expert soap maker and has gone into large scale soap production. We have been selling boxes of 6 soaps in Spain and also around Europe.
We have so far only sold soap to people we know.

We even have an Etsy and a Wish page.

Sarah invented and designed this system to wrap the soaps using a wooden template. 

See the other page about soap making here

Garlic Soup

The traditional Spanish recipe for garlic soup soup contains ham and bread and this is a lighter version.

garlic soup

garlic soup

Garlic Soup

This recipe is easy to prepare and only requires turning after 20 minutes.



  • 4 garlic cloves, halved then very thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon spicy paprika
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1.2 litres of water
  • 1 pinch of salt


  1. Heat a splash of olive oil in a sauté pan (with a lid).
  2. Add the garlic and sauté gently on a low heat with the lid on.
  3. After a few minutes, add the paprika and salt and stir well for a few seconds so that the paprika does not burn.
  4. Add the water and the stock cube.
  5. Turn up the heat and bring it to a boil.
  6. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Break 4 eggs into the pan.
  8. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes until the whites are set.

Almost Free Solar Hot Water System.


Almost Free Solar Hot Water System.

This page is about a solar hot water system I installed in 2018. It  provides us with free washing up water and free pre heated water for the kettle. Water is sent out from below the sink, through the wall and then through about 15 metres of black plastic tubes. The water stays in the tube and heats up during the morning. By 11am the temperature is around 35C (95 F) and later on the temperature can get up to over 45C. (115 F)

Black tubing strong enough to withstand house water pressure is very cheap and a system like this could be installed very easily by anyone with some basic plumbing skills.  If you take the concept a little further you could extend the black tube and provide a lot more water for showers etc. My system is quite untidy but if someone lives in a more urban place you could make the tubes look more tidy.

I am not a very good TV presenter but I made made this video to explain the system.
There are subtitles in English, Spanish and French. 

We are about to have a climate conference in Glasgow where the politicians will probably come up with inadequate solutions to avoid climate disaster.  As an individual it is very frustrating but at least we can try to reduce our carbon emissions on a small scale in our personal lives and save some money.

More info:
Several years ago I started using black PVC tubes to heat water up with  100 metres of 16mm PVC tubing which adds water to our swimming pool every day.  Black plastic tubing is very cheap and as long as you have some space to put the tube in the sun it is very easy. You see lots of complicated you tubes with coiled up tubing but if you don’t mind it being a little untidy you can let the tube just run over any surface.

We tend to have our main meal in the middle of the day which is normal in Spain so for months on end I use this hot water to do the washing up. It is also useful for preheating water for making tea. During the hours of strong sunlight I use a 900 watt electric kettle for boiling water and using pre heated water cuts down the boiling time considerably.

Some facts about black tubing:
In one metre of 32mm (1 inch) tubes there is  804cc of water.

In perfect conditions a 1 metre length of tube perpendicular to the sun would receive around 40 watts of energy.

In Spain 100 metres of PVC tube that can withstand 10 bars of pressure costs around 100 euros.

This system has been running for over 3 years. At first my tube was not long enough and it did not completely fill the sink, so I extended it. As the tube gets hot it needs to be good quality 10 atmosphere tube. 

To work out the length of the tube, you have to work out how much water the tube can hold. The best way to do this is to use a this online calculator. The formula is: pipe volume = π * (radius * radius) * length, where radius = inner diameter/2. Pi is 3.14 Asterisk means multiply.

If I were going to do this for a pool shower or for showers I would buy a 100 metre roll.  In my pool heater set up I have 100 metres of 16mm tubing in the sun. Even with flowing water it heats the water up to around 45C. By the way: Tubes don’t hold the heat for very long. By 4 or 5pm the tubes will have cooled down.

In the winter I empty the tubes during January and February because the tubes might freeze during the night.