possible, use stainless steel equipment. It may cost more, but
it's worth it. It is easily cleaned, which is very important in
cheesemaking, where cleanliness is of the utmost importance (please
see milking & sanitation
use a large canning kettle.
Use use this to regulate the temperature of the curds (how
it's done) -
The thermometer you use needs to read from at least
70*-215* in accurate, readable, 2 degree increments and have a long
enough stem to reach your milk. Other than that, there is nothing "special" about
what thermometer you use..
can be expensive, but are worth it and last a long time if you take
care of them.- I got my original thermometer from The
Sausage Maker, Inc.
1-3/4" dial thermometer with 8" stem $29 (#49500).
Note- After going through three Dairy Thermometers
I started using my programmable
digital thermometer made by Polder.
really prefer this to the "old
fashioned" mechanical type and would never use anything else but
digital. The thing I really like about this thermometer is
that is has a built in timer and an alarm you can set to go off when
the milk reaches a certain temperature; this is great because now I
don't have to stand over the pot constantly. Also, my "new" digital thermometer
has worked well for many years where as I went through an "old school"
one every couple of years.
To put in he double boiler pot so you can see the temp of the water- I
got my "instant read" dial thermometer at Wal-Mart.
For stirring the curds.
cutting the curds.
draining the curds.
cultures are the key to cheese making. Almost all cheese needs to
have some sort of bacterial culture added to it. These bacterial
cultures not only give the cheese its flavor, but also acidify the milk,
which aids in the coagulation of the curds. Click here for more information on cultures.
Rennet is what "sets" or "curdles" the milk, causing
the milk to form a solid curd.
I recommend you use liquid, it's so much easier than tablets and can
be used for every kind of cheese. You can use animal or vegetable
rennet available from The Dairy
not use "Junket". It is not the same strength and will not
work as well.
I am often asked if there is a substitute for
rennet and the answer is no; you must have rennet to make cheese (except
acid precipitated cheese like Ricotta & Panir, which need vinegar).
We are vegetarians and I use the "Marzyme Supreme" vegetable rennet from The
Dairy Connection for all my cheeses. I
find it to work equally to animal based rennets.
Lipase is an enzyme
used for the development of certain flavors in some cheeses. This enzyme
ia a "must" for the manufacture of cheeses like Feta, Romano,
Pecorino, Parmesan, Mozzarella, etc. Without lipase, the cheese will never
develop the favor you expect from the particular cheese. Click here for more info on lipase powder.
Kosher (course salt)
I use Diamond Crystal. It comes in a red box, available in most
Order from: Hoegger Supply Company 1-800-221-4628
not use the stuff you find it the grocery store that is called "cheesecloth".
This is not real cheesecloth. It has much to course a weave and will
not work correctly.
use two different kinds of draining mats, depending on the cheese.
When I need a smaller weave in the mat, I like to use a plastic craft
"canvas". You can get these in the craft department of stores like
Wal-Mart. It is very easily cut and is cheap, about 30 cents
per sheet. When I want a larger hole in my drying rack, I like to
use "egg crate". This comes in a large sheet (2'X4') intended for
use in suspended ceilings. It's the stuff they put over where
the fluorescent lighting fixture goes. You can get this at your
home improvement store. It can be cut to size with wire nippers.
I use these two "mats" separately and in combination to dry and age all
you're going to make Mozzarella cheese, you need this. The cheapest
place to get quality food grade Citric acid is from winemaking suppliers.
I get it from Leener's Brew Works.
the temperature of the curds during cheesemaking:
Here's a good way
to control the temp. Make a "double boiler" using
pots you already have. To do this find a pot that is just a little
bigger than your cheese making pot. I use a big stainless steel pot
for holding the milk and a big (cheap) canning kettle as the bigger
pot. Place this large pot on your heat source. Place your cheesemaking
pot inside the larger, outer pot. Fill the cheesemaking pot with your
milk and the outer pot with water to the level of the milk. Try to
have it so there is at least one inch of water under the bottom of
the cheesemaking pot (more space is better). Put your dairy thermometer
in the cheesemaking pot and another thermometer in outer pot. This
way you can see what temp the water is. The water will act as an insulator
and keep the milk at the right temp. You can turn on the heat (when
needed) to slowly raise the temp of the water without worrying that
you might overheat the milk too quickly.
your own molds for Chevre:
will need molds (as in containers with holes in them, not like in moldy
bread) to make Chevre. You can buy molds from a cheesemaking catalog,
or you can make your own. When making your own cheese molds, you
must keep in mind that they should be made out of non-corrosive, food
grade materials. Go to Wal-mart and buy a set (5) of medium to
large plastic tumblers. Use a butane torch to heat a small nail
until it is red hot, be very careful doing this (definitely not a project
for the kids). Use the hot nail to punch out drainage holes in
the tumbler approximately every inch or so. Believe it or not,
that's it, you are now ready to make your very own Chevre.
visited your web for the umpteenth time and want to share with you what
I use for cheese molds. I use Betty Crocker or other type icing
wash them well and burn holes up the side all the way around
you say do to the tumblers from Wal Mart. They are a perfect size
small family. They are free and have a nice lid to keep the bugs
you are starting the draining process in the sink. I do put them
in a bowl
to catch the whey for a few days when first stored in the frig. or
them on a cake rack placed in a baking pan." -Juanita Reid
Goat Rock Nubians
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