Last month, my husband made a great batch of fresh ricotta cheese from our goats milk. He did it using apple cidar vinegar (store bought but perhaps we can make our own this fall) and it was surprisingly easy. I don't remember all the temperatures or specific steps, but I can outline a general recap using the photos I snapped during the process.
Basically (like most cheeses), he heated up the milk and then added the vinegar. Once it curdled, he began gently scooping out the curds as shown in the above photo.
Ricotta curds in the cheese-cloth lined collander.
The curds went directly into a cheese cloth lined collander set in a stainless bowl. Because this is a soft cheese, the curds were only strained for a short while and they were not pressed at all. After straining, he stirred in a little salt and a little melted butter. Voila! Fresh ricotta!
We stored the ricotta covered in the fridge. I did taste it and it was more light and delicous than the store-bought variety. The next day, he made us a big pan of lasagna with the ricotta and it was delicious! The next goal will be to make our own mozzarella for the lasgna. And then...when the tomatoes are ripe - our own sauce from our backyard! Mmmm, I can't wait! Maybe that can be a goal for when my parents are visiting in August - truly homemade lasgna.