8 Tips How to Make Cheese at Home
Most home-made cheeses are made from milk, bacteria and rennet. The cheese can be made from almost any type of milk, such as cow, goat, sheep, skimmed, whole, raw, pasteurized and powdered.
What you will need
Before buying dairy products, it’s a good idea to first find a recipe about how to make cheese at home. Then we start creating a list of the ingredients and equipment we will need to make our cheese.
Cheese manufacturing techniques
Here are some tips and tricks along with information about specific techniques. However, we should remember, people are making cheese for thousands of years, the process can be as simple, but also as scientific, as we want, it is up to us.
We will also show you a guide on how to make cheese. It’s not a recipe, but a great way to get acquainted with the tips of this ancient art.
Tip 1: Start with fresh, warm milk
The nicer and fresher the milk you are using, the more tasty your cheese will be. It is good to buy milk the same day you make it cheese. To heat the milk, you can either get it hot by milking (in this case you have to be on a dairy farm), or put it from the refrigerator into a large pot and slowly warm it in a cooking utensil.
Tip 2: Oxidation of Milk
There are many ways to make cheese, but first you have to oxidase the milk. One way is to add acid (vinegar or citric acid) into the milk to get the right acidity. This process (called direct acidification) is done in cheeses like ricotta and mascarpone. The other way to oxidase milk is to add crops or live bacteria.
With time, warmth and lack of competitive bacteria, these crops will absorb lactose into milk, turning it into lactic acid.
Tip 3: Add a coagulant
The most common coagulant is rennet, an enzyme that causes protein to bind into milk. However, the word “rennet” is a little vague. The rennet may come from the animal stomach “traditional rennet”. It can also be a “bacterial” rennet, sometimes also euphemistically called as “plant rennet” derived from recombinant bacteria (using DNA from calf stomach cells). Otherwise, the rennet may be from a fungus “microbial rennet”. Using the more general and more precise term “thrombotic”, we can add “vegetable” thickening agents that could come from fig or thistle. Put the thickener in the liquid milk and wait until some kind of milk jelly is produced.
Tip 4: Test for the stability of the milk jelly
When you have given enough time to rennet to make protein fermentations in milk, the milk will turn from liquid to gel. You can try the “stability” of the gel by pressing (with clean hands) the surface of the milk.
Tip 5: Cut the curd
The next step, now, is to quench milk that has been coagulated from a giant head, to smaller cubes or pieces. You can do this with a ‘cheese harp’, with a knife or even with a stirring wire. The size at which you cut the curd will greatly affect the amount of moisture retained in your final cheese. The smaller the original pieces, the softer and the oldest will be your cheese, and vice versa.
Tip 6: Mix, cook and wash the curd
For the next few minutes or even hour (depending on the recipe), you will mix the curd into the cooking utensil. If possible, you will turn on the temperature and cook the cheeses while stirring. During this phase, the most important thing that happens is the acid that continues to grow in the curd and from the movement of your stirring, the curd dries.
The more you cook and the more you stir, the more dry your cheese will be. Washing is the process of removing whey from the utensil and replacing it with water. This creates a milder, sweeter and more elastic mixture of cheese.
Tip 7: Drain the curd
Finally, it’s time to separate the curd from milk whey. You can do this almost final step simply by dropping the contents of the pot into a sifter in the sink. You can wait 10 minutes to let the curd sit at the bottom, and then press the liquid cheese together at the bottom of the pot before removing them out of the pot into pieces.
In general, our moves are fast at this point because we want to keep the heat in the porridge, encouraging them to sit together to form a nice smooth head. If we wait too long, the curd cools and the cheese dissolves.
Tip 8: Salt and aging of the cheese
Once the curd has been separated from the whey, you can add salt. Or you can move the curd to its final places (or baskets) and press the cheese rotary before salting. If a cheese is salted, has been properly acidified and has the right moisture inside it, it can aggravate to something more complicated. It can also be consumed immediately – exactly the same time.