Making cheese at home: Cookipedia's editors have only just started to make cheeses at home so we are by no means experts. However, everything we learn will be documented and if you can improve on any of the articles, then please do.
Certainly, there a few important basics to take into account when cheese making, most of which can be obtained from our growing list of home dairy suppliers.
- After use, rinse everything in cold water, as hot water will harden cheese deposits.
- Then wash in hot soapy water and rinse well.
- If utensils are stored for a while before re-use, wash again before use.
- If you are familiar with wine or beer making, then follow the same procedures when cheese making.
- Boil cheese cloths in water if they have been washed in detergents.
- Avoid making cheese at the same time, or in the same areas, as used for wine and beer making, bread making etc.
- Humidity is important whilst storing and therefore maturing cheese. For instance, the retail shop in Neals Yard Dairy has a humidifier spraying a fine mist to keep the humidity high. This is not possible at home but a level of humidity can be accomplished using a bowl of water near the cheese. Some fridges also have a system that maintains a constant level of humidity.
- Word of advice
- Advance preparation
- Maturing your home-made cheese
- Unless you have a cave handy, the fridge is probably the best place to mature your home-made cheese although it's really going to be too cold. After discovering the top shelf of my often-opened fridge could be as much as 5° C warmer than the bottom, I've decided to mature my cheeses there. As all fridges differ, check various areas of your fridge with a thermometer to find the area that is around 11°C [51° F], the ideal 'cave' temperature.
Ideally hard cheeses should be left to mature for up to 3 months or more and turned regularly; however, if you don't have the patience to wait that long for your home-made cheese you will find the results of a young cheese perfectly acceptable.
Basic cheese making equipment
The pictures link to enlargements and the text links to more detailed information'
Double boiler being used to make Cheddar cheese
Cheese making thermometer (at least 15°C to 50°C)
Digital thermometer with humidity reading
Cheese making thermometer, designed to float
A Chinese steamer makes a good cheese mould
- Double boiler vat
- Used to heat the milk without scalding it. Similar to a large Bain marie.
- Dairy thermometer. Should be able to cover 15°C to 50°C - a home-brew thermometer will be fine as long as it's clean!
- Specialised cheese making thermometers are designed to float on the surface of the milk.
- Starter cultures
- Specific cultures are used to produce certain cheese types
- Cheese cloths
- Plastic draining mats
- Use to stand cheese on whilst draining
- Cheese press
- Cheese moulds or forms
- Fungi to give character to certain cheeses
Pages in category ‘Cheese making’
The following 24 pages are in this category, out of 24 total.