When I teach cheesemaking classes, I always say that you have to use pasteurized milk for chevre, and someone usually asks why, and I always have to say that I don't know. Well, I know now! We still have an abundance of milk, and we have so much cheese already in storage that I decided to try chevre with raw milk yesterday.
When I took it out of the mold today, I immediately knew there was a problem, because it looked like this.
It should be much smoother. I'm not saying it should be smooth as glass, but there shouldn't be hundreds of tiny holes. It also felt wrong. It felt spongy, rather than firm. So, I pulled it apart, and I saw this.
The inside should look smooth like cream cheese. We've seen tiny bubbles in cheddar before, and it means that the starter culture has failed. I imagine that's what happened here. Whatever bacteria is in the culture wasn't strong enough to overcome the natural bacteria in the milk. It doesn't necessarily smell bad, so it's going to the pigs.
For the record, I am using the chevre direct set culture from New England Cheesemaking. I suspect that if I were making chevre with a mesophilic culture and rennet, it would probably work. But that's an experiment for another day.