He will probably want to make things like Mascarpone, Brie and Red Leicester. I have tried looking into it but it seems quite complicated and so I'm not really sure what to get. So far on my list is:
Starter culture (but which...?)
Is a cheese press necessary?
Actually, now that I noticed this, I can tell you what you need right now.
First, for all of these you will need the following general supplies.
-A good thermometer (get a couple, just in case... I say that based on experience...)
-You will want two stock pots to form a water bath (or double boiler is the name I guess). I use an inner pot which holds 12 quarts- this if good for 2lb hard cheeses. For the outer I have a 16 quart stock pot (might be 18 quart). The exact numbers are not so important. The inner has to hold the amount of milk you intend to process and the outer has to hold the inner pot and enough water to maintain temperatures and warm the inner pot up slowly.
Now, if you are on a budget, you can get away with just using one pot and heating your milk/curds directly- this is not ideal and will not yield the best results- but it can be done. You can also use your kitchen sink as a warm water bath- I did that too. I very successfully made quite a bit of cheese this way in the beginning.
-You will need something to cut the curds with. This can be a long knife. I am sure you/he have something like this around.
-You will also want measuring spoons which can measure fractions of a teaspoon (for cultures, rennet, et all...).
- You should get some fine weave cheese cloth or butter muslin. This needs to be fine weave (The butter muslin I used to get was 90 threads per inch). The "cheese cloth" we have in the grocery stores in the US is not acceptable for cheese making. Not sure about the UK.
- Some bamboo sushi mats or cheese drying mats (particularly for the brie).
- Cheese wax (for the Red Leicester)
- Calcium Chloride is a good thing to have around if using pasteurized and homogenized milk but you can skip it if need be.
- A slotted spoon or skimmer for stirring and scooping out curds. Again, nothing fancy here.
For brie specifically (I had included Red Leicester in this section before for some reason...)
Get some small spray bottles for spraying on cultures. I would get a few.
You want a hoop mold big enough for brie. You can make this if you want to save some money. Depending on the size of the brie you want- get a food grade tube of some sort about 12-20 cm in diameter and about 10 or so cm in height. You do not need a press for brie.
You will want to get the mold cultures "Penicillium Candidum", "Geotrichum Candidum" some people also like to add a little bit of "Bacteria linens" for flavor (I would consider this non-essential).
For starter culture, a good mesophilic culture. I would get Flora Danica/Aroma B or MA 4001. Flora Danica/Aroma B is often recommended for cheese like brie because the flavor is described as a little more "buttery". MA 4001 is more of a general purpose culture. It has a little bit of thermophilic bacteria in it to speed up ripening a tad as well. Most mesophilic cultures would be fine though. You could even start off with cultured buttermilk at first and go from there. Buttermilk is a mesophilic cultured dairy produce- essentially the same bacteria is used. See this site for more details: http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/cheese/cheese_course/cheese_course.htm
Mascarpone is a fresh cheese. I have seen a few different recipes but they are usually acidified and coagulated using an acid (lemon juice, vinegar, citric acid or tartaric acid are the 4 I have seen). I have only seen one recipe which uses a starter, that is one of the recipes in Carroll's book.
Red Leicester is a hard cheese. In addition to your general equipment and a mesophilic starter, you will need some kind of press and some kind of mold (consider the size of the cheese you want to make when considering the dimensions of the mold. Feel free to run it by us!). Your press needs to be capable of pressing at least 4 PSI (about 50 lbs for a 2 lb cheese with a 4 in diameter). This does not have to be a fancy expensive press- you can rig something up. A stack of books works if you can pile them up safely and get enough pressure.
Also, for the signature redish color, you will want cheese coloring- usually annatto based.
For all of these, you also need cheese salt (or kosher salt). Basic idea here is you want iodine free salt, preferably free of other additives. Kosher salt seems to be ok.
- You mentioned scales (As in kitchen scales I assume?). These are nice and good for weighing out ingredients. If you are on a budget, I would say skip it.
- Eventually, a pH meter is handy, but again I would worry about that later.
I hope this list helps. My suggestion again- get some recipes (like those three listed) and see what they entail/require. Another thought, search around here on CF and see what people's experiences have been with particular cheeses. Brie for instance has a reputation of being a little more of an advanced cheese since there is more room for error. It may not be the best to start with. (Then again, for some people it is not that bad. You never know...)