Combine citric acid and water in a measuring cup and stir to dissolve. Pour goat milk into large, non-reactive pot, with candy thermometer attached, over medium heat. Add water and citric acid mixture. Stir to combine.
Continue stirring every few minutes until the mixture hits 185°F degrees. This can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes, depending on your pot and burners.
Meanwhile, set up your cheese-straining system. Line a large colander with a clean flour-sack dish cloth, and tuck the edges of the cloth through the handles of the colander. Put the colander inside of a 6 liter Cambro bucket. Optional: Use chip clips to hold the towel in place.
When the milk mixture reaches 185°F degrees, stop stirring, remove it from the heat, and let it stand for 15 minutes.
Pour the milk mixture into the towel-lined colander. If you have a smaller colander, you may need to wait for some of the whey to strain out before you pour the rest in. But try to get it all at once if you can.
Gather the towel tight through each handle of the colander to create as much of a taught, bag-like shape as you can, with the towel suspended inside the colander. Use the chip clips to hold the towel in place.
For a creamy, spreadable goat cheese, let the mixture strain for 3-4 hours. For a firmer, more crumbly goat cheese, let the mixture strain for 4-6 hours, or even up to half a day.
When your cheese has strained to your desired consistency, unclip one side of the towel from the colander handle and fold it across to the other handle. Use one hand to gently twist the two ends of the towel together above the cheese (make sure to twist above the cheese so you don't push the cheese up into the twisted part of the towel), and use your other hand to gently squeeze the “bag” of cheese to express any additional whey.
Unclip and open the towel. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides, pushing the goat cheese together. Then transfer the cheese to a bowl.
Add the salt to the cheese and mix to combine. Adjust salt to taste. If you’re making plain goat cheese, you’re done! Transfer the mixture to an air-tight container and refrigerate. If you’re adding flavors, mix them in now, then transfer to an air-tight container and refrigerate.
Optional Shaping Step: If you let your goat cheese strain for 4+ hours, you can roll it into a log at this stage. To store, roll it in saran wrap or wax paper and refrigerate.