Author Topic: BEST cheese for raw milk??  (Read 292 times)

Offline dougspcs

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BEST cheese for raw milk??
« on: October 11, 2017, 07:07:01 AM »
I'm getting my 1st supply of raw milk today. Now not withstanding all the proper protocols for safety of handling and aging..

I'm interested in knowing which cheese will best highlight the qualities of this high quality farm milk I'm getting.

I'm very new..I've done 5 cheeses in the last 2 weeks with cheap store bought and I'm comfortable with the mechanics of it such as temp control and handling process.

I've got a good permanent local supply of raw milk from a local farm on a barter basis..I like to fish, his family likes to eat fresh fish. I want some milk..easy math!!

I'd like a cave full of cheeses over the next couple months to drool over til they come of age.

Purely from a flavour perspective. I'm thinking a cheddar will be my 1st. Obvious I feel for its richness and long aging to cover the safety margin.

But after that?? Monterey, blue, how about parmesan or is the fat content too high for the dryer cheeses??

Offline awakephd

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 11:16:12 AM »
Any cheese is going  to benefit from raw milk. You probably already know this, but just in case: In terms of FDA regulations, if the cheese is going to age less than 60 days, you should pasteurize the milk - but if you do a low-temperature pasteurization ("vat pasteurization" - 30 minutes at 140°F), you will still get a tremendous benefit from the raw milk, both in terms of how the curd forms and in terms of flavor, while still meeting the requirement. For cheeses that age more than 60 days, raw milk can be used without pasteurization. Of course, all of this is predicated on selling the cheese, and there will be additional requirements and/or hoops to jump through if you want to sell the cheese. For personal consumption, of course, you can ignore the FDA regulations to whatever degree you like.

Here are my personal thoughts - but please take these with a grain of salt, as only some of this is based on personal experience, while other parts are based on my semi-uneducated intuition. :)

While any cheese is going to benefit from raw milk, I personally think that, in terms of flavor, you will see a greater difference when making aged cheese rather than fresh cheeses. That should definitely include a cheddar ... but I suspect (based on intuition only, not experience) that cheddar might not be the cheese that shows off that difference to its fullest, simply because of the relatively strong taste of cheddar. Where I have had personal experience is with an Alpine make such as an Asiago or Montasio - quite a dramatic difference in flavor when using raw milk. These can be extremely good at 3-6 months. I've not tried a Gouda with raw milk, but I would suspect a similar dramatic difference. Or, for a longer-aged cheese, consider a Gruyere.

For the parmesan types - as I understand it, or at least based on the recipes I have used to make them, a Romano is a higher-fat make while a Parmesan is a lower-fat make. I have only made them from P&H milk, and they have turned out decent - but I suspect they would be so, so, so much better if I'd had raw milk ... !
-- Andy

Online Al Lewis

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 11:17:12 AM »
The best I've made with it is Stilton.  The original was made with raw milk which was outlawed in the UK.  Then when they did an AOC on it they used pasteurized milk.  Now that they can use raw milk again they have to call the raw milk version, really the original, Stichelton.  How ridiculous is that?  Anyway, the raw milk version is delicious.
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Offline dougspcs

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 12:26:34 PM »
Excellent suggestions guys..some I'd thought of already as cheeses I want to try. Others I hadn't..montasio I had to look up!!

I could assume that swiss would be a good candidate..it is my favourite of all!!

Thanks for the insight..I'll be back for more!!

Offline GortKlaatu

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 12:45:22 PM »
I use raw milk for all my cheeses.
Mostly goat, but on occasion, cow or goat/cow blend.
Somewhere, some long time ago, milk decided to reach toward immortality… and to call itself cheese.

Offline 5ittingduck

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 07:37:08 PM »
I second awakephd's aging comment.
Raw milk cheeses are lovely, but older ones are so much more complex and interesting.
Good luck!

Offline Gregore

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 11:13:07 PM »
I would suggest a cheese you already made so can compare .

Online Al Lewis

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2017, 10:10:22 AM »
Excellent suggestions guys..some I'd thought of already as cheeses I want to try. Others I hadn't..montasio I had to look up!!

I could assume that swiss would be a good candidate..it is my favourite of all!!

Thanks for the insight..I'll be back for more!!


Swiss (Emmental) would not be a good choice for raw milk as the cream content is very critical.  Most successful ones I've done involved using mostly 2% milk with the whole milk to cut the fat content to 50%.  http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,14102.0.html  The Swiss use milk with a 50% fat content for making Emmental.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 10:30:32 AM by Al Lewis »
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Offline dougspcs

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2017, 12:15:20 PM »
I would suggest a cheese you already made so can compare .


My thoughts also, I just finished my 1st last night..a cheddar. Of 3 or 5 cheeses I've done thus far were cheddar..it was the one I am most comfortable with the process.

I loved working with the fresh milk..the smell was so much nicer during the 'cook', the curd set was awesome and the yield about 20% higher. I knew I was gonna like this turn out...it's a nice looking block of cheddar!! I'm pretty excited about this milk and will likely have 10 cheeses done by the end of the month.

Might like to do 3-4 more before moving onto others..both to really get the routine down, but also to get a few stockpiled for a nice long age. This time next year seems so far off!!!


Excellent suggestions guys..some I'd thought of already as cheeses I want to try. Others I hadn't..montasio I had to look up!!

I could assume that swiss would be a good candidate..it is my favourite of all!!

Thanks for the insight..I'll be back for more!!


Swiss (Emmental) would not be a good choice for raw milk as the cream content is very critical.  Most successful ones I've done involved using mostly 2% milk with the whole milk to cut the fat content to 50%.  http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,14102.0.html  The Swiss use milk with a 50% fat content for making Emmental.


Non, c'est dommage!?!?!

I was really looking forward to that one!!! That is definitely one thing this milk isn't..low fat! The follower from my press was butter coated when I was done my press...
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 12:23:34 PM by dougspcs »

Offline Gregore

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2017, 10:41:09 PM »
If you can trust the milk source a raw soft cheese is out of this world.

Offline dougspcs

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2017, 06:29:09 AM »
If you can trust the milk source a raw soft cheese is out of this world.

I was once very sick as a young man from drinking farm milk..I worked a dairy farm and drank the milk everyday. Then a bad batch came across the table. I lost 30 lbs from 2weeks of vomitting and disentry. Had to be hospitalized and IV fed!!

Even though practices are tight to ensure cleanliness the risks are too high for my comfort!

I'm sure they'd be excellent but I won't take that chance. Never want myself or anyone in my family to be sick like that!!!

Offline awakephd

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2017, 11:29:30 AM »
I confess that for my only experiences with using raw milk for cheese thus far, I went ahead and vat-pasteurized - since I had to source the milk through a friend of a friend, I wasn't prepared to take the chance of using it without pasteurization. But the good news is, the low-temp pasteurization still gives the benefit of the fantastic curd formation and the additional depth of flavor!
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Offline dougspcs

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2017, 12:18:26 PM »
I confess that for my only experiences with using raw milk for cheese thus far, I went ahead and vat-pasteurized - since I had to source the milk through a friend of a friend, I wasn't prepared to take the chance of using it without pasteurization. But the good news is, the low-temp pasteurization still gives the benefit of the fantastic curd formation and the additional depth of flavor!

Since my supply of milk is for the most part constant..I may try this method and some soft cheeses in the future.

Now is there a "homebrew" method to lower fat content so I can use it for the low-fat types cheese such as swiss and parmesan?

Offline Scarlettbri12

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2017, 03:04:01 PM »
To add to awakephd (Andy's) first post, I've used raw milk for a gouda. It is actually amazing, best cheese I've made yet!

Sadly, I can't compare it to a pasteurized gouda as that's my first gouda  :o

I recommend the same as Gregore, try making a raw milk version of something you've already made. Experiment!  ^-^

Offline awakephd

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Re: BEST cheese for raw milk??
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2017, 04:58:13 PM »
Since my supply of milk is for the most part constant..I may try this method and some soft cheeses in the future.

Now is there a "homebrew" method to lower fat content so I can use it for the low-fat types cheese such as swiss and parmesan?

The old-fashioned method - let the cream rise and skim it, then add back as much cream as desired.
-- Andy