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How to Make Cheese | Making Cheese


A woman makes goat cheese from fresh milk at home.Anyone can make cheese at home. In fact, making your own cheese is fun! Cheese makers know that quality cheese begins with quality milk. This is the perfect hobby for farmers and anyone else with access to fresh farm milk. You can make cheese using milk from any breed of cows or goats, but know that certain breeds of milk-producing animals can be better suited for making particular types of cheeses. Here's an overview of making homemade cheese and the equipment you will need.

Making cheese is simple enough that you can do it in your own kitchen. In fact, many varieties of basic cheeses can be made in a few hours. Different cheeses may undergo a few different steps, but the fundamental process of making cheese includes curdling milk and separating the solids (the curds) from the whey. The curds are the white solids formed when milk is heated. The whey is the watery milk substance left after the curds are formed.

As mentioned above, heating and curdling milk is the first step to making cheese. To curdle the milk, you must add an acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, or an enzyme, known as rennet, to the milk. This separates the curds from the whey. Once the curdling process is complete, the additional steps can differ depending on the type of cheese you are making. This will determine the taste, color, texture and aroma of the final cheese product. Fresh cheeses, like ricotta, are merely drained or pressed while other cheeses, like cheddar, require a longer process of cooking the curds to reduce moisture. As more moisture is extracted from the curd, the result is a dense, hard cheese.

One of the final steps to making cheese is pressing the curds into molds to produce blocks, wheels or any other desired shape. At this point, some cheeses are ready to be eaten fresh. Depending on the variety, you may need to brine or wax the cheese and let it cure. The process of curing is aging to further develop flavor.

Making cheese from home does not require much equipment. Unlike other hobbies, you won't need fancy or expensive supplies. Your recipe will require fresh milk and cheese cultures, but you should have the basic equipment you need at home. Here is a list of what you will need:

  • Saucepan
  • Cheesecloth
  • Thermometer
  • Large spoon
  • Knife
  • Large bowl
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Container for cheese storage

After you have mastered the art of cheese making, store your cheese in an air tight container in the refrigerator. About 30 - 45 minutes before serving, remove from the refrigerator. The flavor and texture of cheese is best served at room temperature. While the steps for making cheese are simple enough, different varieties of cheese require different techniques. Here are additional resources and recipes for making homemade cheese:


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