Author Topic: Direction  (Read 1487 times)

Offline Tocoti

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« on: February 25, 2013, 07:22:06 PM »
Hi, I just need to pointed in the right direction. Where do I start? I can get farm fresh milk.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Direction
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 07:54:46 PM »
If you have no books and little or no experience you could take a look at some of the videos that Gavin has out up at  I think I remembered that correctly.  You can also look around on this forum although most people posting recipes are not posting the level of detail you might want or need.  Have fun!  :)

Offline xyztal

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Re: Direction
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 08:12:26 PM »
Making butter and yoghurt are pretty good... and cream cheese if you have some culture/rennet?

Offline Chetty

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Re: Direction
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 09:12:58 PM »
The website that I started from is here.

He has alot of step by step pictures.  On the negative side he uses junket rennet (not the best) I would also suggest getting a cheese book they are alot of help. 

Next to the cheeseforum, this is another place for recipes and information.


Offline BobE102330

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Re: Direction
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 09:33:04 PM »
What types of cheeses do you like to eat and want to make?

Start here:

I suggest you get some basic supplies and make a non-pressed cheeses to see if you want to invest more in making hard pressed cheeses.  Forum member iratherfly is a solid supplier with good prices.  You can PM him through the forum and he will help you out with a decent starter set of cultures, rennet, mold and cheesecloth.  I'm just a happy customer, no relation whatsoever. He's very helpful.  There are other places to get supplies like Rikki Carrols  She sells everything you need, too.  Her book has a bunch of recipes and basic startup information.  Just keep in mind that her individually packaged cultures are expensive and a bit more than most use for 2 gallons of milk. 

Start with some soft cheeses using store bought milk to get the feel for cheese making.  Then move up to a tomme, such as  This recipe is a good basic recipe that can lead a lot of directions once you learn the basics.  Throw the curds in a basket like mold from iratherfly and you'll have a nice looking cheese you can take in a variety of directions once you get experience. 

Basic supplies

Cheese vat.  For most cheeses you'll want to use a double boiler made from nesting stock pots.  I have a 20 quart pot I use as the jacket for either a 10 or 16 quart pots.  The part that touches the milk needs to be stainless steel. 

Perforated spoon for stirring
Curd knife AKA frosting spatula.  I bought  long straight one when I bought a colander and my stock pot from
Colander - 2 gallon batches you can get away with a standard stainless colander. 
measuring spoons - for cultures you'll need to be able to measure to a 16th tsp or less
Thermometer.  It can be something relatively inexpensive at first, but as you gain experience you may want more accuracy. 
Perforated spoon for stirring and scooping.
Cheese cloth - not grocery or hardware store stuff, you need the real thing
culture - a basic mesophilic like MA11 and maybe a thermo if you want.
Some way to keep the cheese around 5o deg F if you plan aged cheeses.

Notice I didn't say press or PH meter.  Good to have but not needed to get started. 

Welcome to the hobby.  You'll soon have 30 pounds or more aging in various refrigerators. 

Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: Direction
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 09:51:10 AM »
Any of the books or websites mentioned above are great places to start to learn the techniques behind making cheese. I'll give my recommendations as to the order or cheese types to pursue when first starting out:

Yogurt or buttermilk: practices sanitation and culturing with starter bacteria
Strained/Greek yogurt: practice draining a lactic-set curd into a thicker product
Ricotta/Paneer: a first more solid type cheese, and quick to make
Fromage blanc/quark/chevre: made similar to yogurt, but uses some rennet, and is then drained in cloth for a soft fresh cheese
30-minute type (using citric acid powder) mozzarella: uses more rennet, involves cutting curd and separating from the whey, which is the basis for most all hard and aged cheeses. Is also then heated a stretched (unique to this family of cheese), and is quick to make and eat (thus rewarding!)

Next comes the wide world of aged cheeses. These all involve culturing milk (a bit) with starter bacteria, adding rennet, cutting the curd, and draining the whey. Most also involve heating or cooking the curd, then pressing into forms:
Feta: doesn't involve cooking the curd or pressing. The curd is drained in a colander or form, then brined in salt water for a few days up to many months.
Gouda or Edam: a simple first hard cheese, in my opinion. The curds are cooked by adding hot water to the pot rather than heating in a "vat." This is a washed curd technique, where some whey is removed before the hot water is added. Then the curd is drained from the whey and pressed in a mold with cheesecloth, but doesn't require too much pressure to get it well formed. Then is is usually brined, and can be aged for 6 to 8 weeks for a mild yet tasty cheese. Can be waxed or vacuum bagged, the easiest for first time aging.

Then it gets more varied which direction you could go. Can try more types of hard aged cheeses, like Jack, Caerphilly, Cheddar, etc. Caerphilly is a favorite here on the forums. Extra hard cheeses like Parmesan and Asiago, and cheeses with Large Eyes like "swiss," are either a bit more complicated or simply take a long time to age. But there's also the bloomy rind, blue-veined, and washed rind types to explore:
Bloomy rinds like Brie and Camembert: made, at first, similarly to feta, but involve the addition of special mold cultures. Care is taking during aging to maintain the right temp and humidity. But if all goes well, in 3-4 weeks they are ready.
Blue-veined: ugh, trickiest for me! Blue molds are more sensitive to the right acidity and salt levels, and also are rather particular about the aging environment to go well. Usually involves piercing the formed cheese with needles to allow air into the center for the mold to grow.
Washedirinds, like munster, brick, limburger, etc: also made similar to feta and brie at first, but then require frequent washing (yes, literally) of the rind with a damp cloth or hands with a mild brine solution with a special b. linens bacterial culture to develop orange-red "schmear" on the surface, for a pungent but soft-bodied cheese.


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Re: Direction
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 06:30:56 PM »
Good luck! Hope to see you posting some cheese in the near future.