Again, what used to be hand stirring has become automated with our bigger batches of cheese. The paddles stir consistently and gently making sure the curd doesn't break as it cooks down into curds and whey. This process can take 30 minutes to several hours. As the curd is stirred, the vat is gently heated with water from the solar panels and the bacteria in the culture is given the right environment in the milk to thrive. When the target pH is reached, showing that the culture has done it's job, we whey off (remove the whey) and proceed to the next step. Whey is drawn off and disposed of one of three ways. Because it's rich in nutrients, it's either fed to the pigs, field applied to the pastures, or in some cases, fed back to the goats.